Sri Lanka tightens security as Tigers vow war

Nov 4, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan security forces stepped up patrols and roadblocks Sunday, fearing reprisals after the death of a top Tamil Tiger leader in a government air strike. They boosted their presence in and around the capital Colombo as the Tigers’ overall leader vowed to step up the long and bloody battle for independence.

Checks at all entry points into Colombo were increased and roadblocks set up within the city of 650,000 people, a police spokesman said.

“We have similar arrangements in other parts of the country too,” he said, adding they feared that the Tigers could try to avenge Friday’s death of S.P. Thamilselvan, the head of the guerrillas’ political wing.

His funeral will be held Monday in rebel-held territory.

The Tigers’ leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, said he was determined to keep up the “liberation struggle” despite the killing of Thamilselvan, who was the public face of the separatist organisation.

“Thamilselvan was close to me ever since he joined our freedom movement,” Prabhakaran said. “I loved him deeply. I taught him as my own beloved younger brother.”

Tiger rebels, who are known for their trademark suicide bombings, have