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Saluting the LTTE? Sri Lankan military features LTTE commandos in Independence Day parade

Sri Lanka’s ‘Independence Day’ parade has drawn attention after it emerged that a military float carrying ‘War Heroes of Sri Lanka’ was adorned with a photograph of LTTE fighters.

The float, which was carrying seated fighters from the Sri Lankan military, was given a prominent place in the parade, reportedly carrying “War Heroes”.

It has since emerged that the second photograph on the float, seen in the photograph above, is of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) commandos on the battlefield.

The photograph was released by the LTTE from a battle in Vannearikku'lam on 2 September 2008, as fierce fighting took place with the Sri Lankan military.

See a report from TamilNet from the time, with the photograph, here.

It still remains unclear if the Sri Lankan military is aware of the significance of this photograph or who was responsible for the photograph selection. The photograph is still available to view on the official Sri Lankan military website here.

The float was part of an annual massive showcasing of arms that takes place on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day. Senior Sri Lankan military and government officials stood or saluted as the float travelled past, including the heads of the armed forces and Sri Lanka's president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

See a video of the parade, and float (at 2 mins 41 seconds), below.

Sri Lankan officials have been contacted for comment. No response has been received so far.

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