Sri Lanka rules out amnesty for cornered Tiger leader

April 22, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s cornered Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran will not be eligible for amnesty, having “spurned” an offer to surrender, the island’s president said. President Mahinda Rajapakse said the guerrilla leader, whose Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are fighting to prevent complete defeat after being pushed to a narrow stretch of coastal jungle, would not be pardoned.

“The LTTE leader has spurned the possibility of pardon by us,” the president’s office quoted him as saying. “He must now face the consequences of his acts.”

Sri Lankan forces say they are about to crush the Tigers after 37 years of fighting.

A government announced 24-hour deadline for the surrender but the rebels ignored the offer and kept on fighting while renewing a call for an unconditional ceasefire.

The President had said he was ready to consider an amnesty for elusive Prabhakaran, who is believed to be leading his remaining fighters from the northeast of the island, but it will no longer be considered.

“Such clemency would have been possible for Prabhakaran if he had surrendered, given up arms and abandoned violence, as called for on several occasi