On 24 January 2008, in the Kiriketuwewa area in Kebitigollewa in the Anuradhapura district, Sri Lankan Police, following information from locals who said that they can see a human hand sticking out from the ground, dug up two mass graves next to each other and recovered 16 bodies.

 The graves were examined in front of the local judge. It was noted that there were vehicle tire marks leading to the graves.  The judge ordered the 16 bodies to be removed to the Anuradhapura district hospital for forensic examination. According to the forensic report submitted to the judge, six of the bodies in one grave were buried two weeks prior to the exhumation and the other ten bodies in the other grave were buried ten days prior to the exhumation on 24 January. The forensic report also said that the hands were tied behind the back, some of the bodies had gun shot marks and some of the bodies had torture marks.  

Unable to identify the bodies, they were ordered to be buried in the Anuradhapura cemetery for future exhumation, after video recording and photographing the bodies added the hospital report. 

49 people who had taken refuge in a rice mill at Makiladitivu were burnt alive along with the rice mill.

About 200 people including old men , women and children have been admitted to hospitals for treatment for injuries caused during these assaults. These people will be refugees in their own land when they leave the hospitals as all their homes and belongings have been destroyed. During these assaults 82 Tamils were killed - many others have disappeared and unaccounted for.

The LTTE condemns the brutal slaying innocent Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan armed forces on the 12th of June 1991, as a crime against humanity. massacre took place in the villages of Kokaddicholai, Mahiladai  Teevu and Muthalai Kuddah in the Batticaloa District. Nearly 450 houses were looted and burnt. Some were burnt alive by the rampaging armed forces of the Sri Lankan Government. Many were barbarously clubbed and hacked to death.

"..Within three days of the launching of the Sri Lanka military operation which began on January 28, according to the Batticaloa Citizens' Committee, an estimated 150 to 175 civilians were killed by the STF commandos. The victims included 23 employees of a prawn culture farm run by Serendib Sea Foods Ltd, a fifty per cent American owned Hong Kong based company. The employees were rounded up, herded onto a tractor and trailer, taken to a road junction and shot dead. Seven of the victims were boys aged 12 to 14. Forty others who had sought refuge in the farm were also shot and killed. The bodies were later burnt on piles of old tyres obtained by the security forces from the town's bus depot. Subsequently, the commandos rounded up nearly 83 people from the villages of Mudalikuda, Munaikadu, llupadichenai, Thandiady and Mahiladitivu and deliberately killed them. Another 12 people were reported to be missing and are feared dead

"Up to 80 people mainly Tamil farm workers are said to have been killed and their bodies burned in a massacre in eastern Sri Lanka. The killings happened on Wednesday (19 February 1986), but confirmation of the incident was made only yesterday after community leaders had visited the remote spot near the town of Akkaraipattu, where the farm workers were shot."

The killing on 15 May 1985 of 48 Tamil passengers travelling on a ferry boat from Delft to Nainativu, allegedly in reprisal for the deaths of 146 mostly Sinhalese civilians in Anurahapura killed by unidentified men alleged to be Tamil extremists. Reports received by Amnesty International allege that navy personnel killed the passengers, but these allegations are denied by the government. Amnesty International's letter of 10 July 1985 to the Minister of National Security gives an eye-witness account by one of the ferry passengers, who identified one of those participating in the killings as belonging to the Nainativu Island Naval Camp. (Since the letter was written, Amnesty International has received further detailed evidence about the incident which leads it to conclude that navy personnel were involved in the killings.)

On 12th June, 1991 at 11.00 a.m., the Sri Lankan army stationed in the Kokaddichcholai camp situated in the adjoining village, entered these two villages, terrorised and assaulted all the Tamil people, raped the women , including teachers and students who had taken refuge in the village school. 17 families who had taken refuge in the school were shot and killed. In one incident, a young girl who took protection with an old lady teacher was dragged by these sex hungry soldiers and raped in spite of the old lady offering them instead all the jewellery the girl had. They took the jewellery and raped the girl as well.

The victims of the Vankalai massacre were members of one such family that returned from India. The husband was 38 year old Sinnaiah Moorthy Martin. The wife was 27 year old Anthony Mary Madeleine. The daughter was 9 year old Anne Lakshika. The son was 7 year old Anne Dilakshan. The family had re - settled in Vankalai about a year and a half ago.

SLA soldiers armed with bayonets and knives entered the house of a family of four and slaughtered 35-year-old father, 27-year-old mother, 9-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son Thursday midnight in Vankalai, 12 km southeast of Mannar. Eyewitnesses in the area, Thomaspuri Ward No 10 in Vankalai, have told Mannar Additional Magistrate that they could identify the soldiers involved in the massacre. Villagers alleged the mother was raped before the massacre. Tension prevails in Vankalai. Religious leaders including the Bishop of Mannar, parliamentarians and civil society members in Mannar have rushed to site. Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission officials have visited the massacre site.

Security Forces strongly deny pro LTTE media reports that the Navy lobbed a hand grenade inside St. Mary’s Church in PESALAI causing one death and injuring 44. This is yet another attempt by pro LTTE media to discredit the Government and tarnish the image of the Security Forces.
In spite of PESALAI being a heavily populated area, Tamil Tigers fired heavy weapons like Motors, Machine guns and RPGs towards Army, Navy and Police detachments located in the vicinity of the Church over two hours.

LTTE fired both from sea and land causing chaos and wounding many civilians in the area.

According to security forces around 40 civilians, 30 male and 9 females were wounded under LTTE fire. Six critically wounded civilians were transferred to
A full scale investigation is underway.



Communication to the press No.95/30
11 July 1995


Geneva (ICRC). On 9 July the Sri Lankan armed forces launched a large-scale military offensive against the positions of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) north of the city of Jaffna.

The operation, involving intensive artillery shelling and air strikes, immediately forced tens of
thousands of civilians to leave the area. Many of the displaced sought shelter in churches and
temples, including several hundred people who took refuge in the Church of St. Peter and Paul

According to eye-witness accounts, this church and several adjacent buildings were hit by further air force strikes at 4.30 p.m the same day. During the attack 65 people were killed and 150 wounded, including women and children. That evening and into the night Sri Lanka Red Cross staff evacuated most of the wounded by ambulance to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital. Delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) present the next morning at the scene of the attack noted the widespread damage and measured the extent of the tragedy: many of the bodies had not yet been removed from the rubble.

Deeply concerned by the series of the violent acts that have claimed innocent civilians, the ICRC calls on the parties involved to respect civilian lives, property and places of refuge. It also urges them to respect the protected zone around the Jaffna Teaching Hospital and to refrain from attacking any other medical facilities.


Names and Details of those identified bodies of the innocent Tamil civilians who were killed during the military offensive of the Sri Lankan armed forces on 9th July 95, at the Catholic church, where the Tamils have taken refuge.

Name of the dead Person  Gender   Age   Address
Mrs.N.Annaladsumy    female 57 110 Brown Rd. Jaffna
Mrs.S.Gunamany        female 57 Kopulam,Sadilipay North
Mrs.N.Vasanthamalar   female 32 Kalaiyady, Pandaththarippu
Mrs.R.Pushparany  female 36 Kalaiyady, Pandaththarippu
Mrs.P.Balayogini      female 35 Kantharodai, Chunnagam
Miss P. Balavalli female 13 Kantharodai, Chunnakam
Mr.S.Selvaratnam     male 46 Nedunkulam Road, Colombothurai
Mrs. Pushparani female 34 Kaddudai, Manipay
Mrs.S.Parasakthy female 29 Chulipuram West, Chulipuram
Mr.S.Shanmuganathan male 25 Chulipuram West, Chulipuram
Miss. Kemalatha female 27 Navaly North, Manipay
Mas.S. Pratheesh male 16 Navaly North, Manipay
Mr.S.Kandasamy male 43 Thellippalai
Mr.P.Ketheeswara male 17 Vellantheru, Jaffna
Miss R.Chita female 15 Navaly South, Manipay
Mrs.S.Rasammah female 71 Sankaraththai, Vaddukkoddai
Mrs.N.Thevaranjani female 24 Navaly East, Manipay
Mrs.P.Kalyanapillai female 60 4th Cross St.Jaffna
Mr.TJesuthaasan male 21 Main St. Jaffna
Mrs.S.Rasammah female 35 Nitsamam, Chankanai
Misss U.Ushanthini female 12 Nitsamam, Sankanai
Mas.Jeganatheesan Jeevadas male 17 Navaly South
Mrs A.Yogeswary female 35 General Hospital, Jaffna
Mr.K.Thurairajah male 55 Black Road, Chankanai
Miss.U.Ushanthini female 12 Nitsaman,Chankanai
Mr.P.Nagamuththan male 75 Nitsamam, Chankanai
Mas.Jegatheesan Devadas male 17 Navaly South, Manipay
Mrs.A.Yogeswary female 35 General Hospital, Jaffna
Mr.K.Thurairajah male 55 Black Road, Chankaanai
Mrs.K.Anjanadevi female 36 Kaddudai, Mnipay
Mrs.K.Kamadevi female 45 Navaly East, Manipay
Mas Vethushan male 12 Vellantheru, Jaffna
Mrs.K.Rahini female 35 Vellantheru, Jaffna
Mas.Piranavan male 05 Vellantheru, Jaffna
Mr.Lucas Jude Mohan male 23 Navaly South, Manipay
Mrs.K.Savithiri female 45 Navaly East, Manipay
Mr.V.Vanniyasingham male 57 Navaly North, Manipay
Mr.N.Chiththrabala male 50 Chullipuram West, Chullipuram
Mrs.Langeswary female 24 Chullipuram West, Chullipura
Miss P.Mathivathana female 12 Chulipuram West, Chulliuram
Miss C.Thareswary female 17 Chulipuram West, Chulliuram
Miss S.Jeyabalani female 19 Chulipuram West, Chulliuram
Mas.Piradeepan male 07 Chulipuram West, Chulliuram
Mr.N.Gopalakrishnan male 29 Chulipuram West, Chulliuram
Mas.K.Kajanthan male 09 Chulipuram West, Chulliuram
Mas.V.Jayanthan male 04 Chulipuram West, Chulliuram
Mr.S.Mahendran male 29 Chulipuram West, Chulliuram
Mas.S.Pratheepan male 13 Muhanthiram Valavu, Manipay
Mrs.S.Saraswathy female 72 Navaly South, Manipay
Mas.K.Kailajarajah male 09 Murugan Kovilady, Navaly
Miss K.Vinoba female 05 Murugan Kovilady, Navaly
Mr.C.Arumugam male 60 Murugan Kovilady, Navaly
Miss R.Thanushala female 05 131 Mt.Carmal Rd.Gurunagar
Mrs.R.Sasikala female 02 Kandy Road, Chavakacheri
Mr.Rajadurai male 35 Navaly South, Manipay
Mrs.R.Maheswary female 34 Navaly South, Manipay
Mas.R.Chandrakanthan male 13 Navaly South, Manipay
Miss P.Sutha female 11 Navaly South, Manipay
Mr.V.Satkunarajah male 30 Navaly South, Manipay
Mr.P.Selvaratnam male 60 Navaly South, Manipay
Miss T.Thuvarakadevi female 21 Madaththady, Tholpuram
Mas.T.Nareshkumar male 11 Valanpuram, Colobothurai
Mrs.S.Maheswary female 27 Tholpuram Centre, Chullipuram
Mr.H.Sittampalam male 72 Tholpuram Centre, Chullipuram
Mr.Uthayarajah male 22 Navaly South, Manipay
Mr.P.Indrakumar male 15 Chulipuram West, Chulipuram
Miss K.Thevachelvi female 10 Kaddupulam, Chulipuram
Mrs.V.Liladevi female 35 5th Cross St.Colombothurai
Mr.S.Jeyaseelan male 40 Navalar St.Navaanthurai
Mrs.K.Navaledchumy female 42 Illayathamy Tea Room,Manipay
Mr.K.Thevakulasingham male 36 Sivankovilady, Thirunelveli
Mas.A.Yogeswaran male 16 Kapiranjoy Camp,Chunnakam
Mr.M.Pararajasingham male 42 Illayathamby Tea Room,Manipay
Mr.K.Thevakulasingham male 36 Sivankovilady, Thirunelveli
Mas.A,Yogeswaran male 16 Kapiranjoy Camp,Chunnakam
Mr.M.Pararasingham male 42 Kaddudai,Manipay
Mr.G.Sathithiyananthan male 63 14,Kalaipulavarveethy, Jaffna
Mas.S.Gopikan male 13 Uduvul, Chunnakam
Miss.N.Jeyatha female 25 Uyarappulam, Aanaicoddai
Miss V.Abirami female 10 Uyarappulam, Aanaicoddai
Mrs.K.Maheswari female 55 Thavady North,Kokuvil
Mr.T.Thiyagarajah male 59 General Hospital, Jaffna
Mr.T.Kulasingam male 70 Uduvil West, Chunnakam
Mr.Siva Balasubramaniam male 50 Petnathy Road, Kokuvil
Child of Thevar female 10 Petnathy Road, Kokuvil
Child of Thevar female 07 Petnathy Road, Kokuvil
Child of Thevar female 05 Petnathy Road, Kokuvil
Miss.S.Anjanathevy female 27 135,3rd Cross St.Jaffna
Mas.K.Vasikaran male 10 Tholpuram, Chulipuram
Mas.B.Anada Alagan male 16 Tholpuram, Chulipuram
Mr.P.Ravi male 20 Vannarpannai, Jaffna
Miss T.Sujeeva female 17 Navaly South,Manipay
Mas.P.Krishnakumar male 01 Vadaliadaippu,Pandaththarippu
Mas.R.Rajamohan male 16 Araly South,Vaddukkoddai
Mr.N.Narayanasingham male 50 Araly South,Vaddukoddai
Mrs.S.Rasammah female 57 Nitchamam,Chankanai
Mrs.M.Sarasu female 75 Nitchamam,Chankanai
Mr.M.Ponnambalam male 40 Navaly East, Manipay
Mrs.S.Ratnapoopathry female 66 200 Kashthuriyar Rd,Jaffna
Mrs.I.Pawalam female 70 Pannakam,Chankanai
Mrs.S.Suseeladevi female 43 ICRC, Jaffna
Mrs.V.Sellamah female 34 Kaadduppulam, Chulipuram
Mr.Veerasingham male 43 Mudaliyar Kovilady,Manipay
Mr.S,Jeyabalan female 50 Pulawar Veethy, Kalviyankaadu
Mr.N.Saravanamuththu male 60 Kaddudai, Manipay
Mr.K.Pathmanathan male 24 Near Ponnammah Mill,Jaffna
Mrs.K.Revathy female 36 Murugan Kovilday, Navaly



Following is the terrifying testimony provided by the witnesses to the enquiry commission about the massacre of the Tamils in the Saththurukkondan Army Camp.

During the President's Enquiry commission's hearings on those missing, conducted under retired judge Gopala Krishnar a Kanthasamy Krishnakumar aged 27, the sole survivor of the massacre testified as follows:

"On the 10 of September 1990, Tamil civilians from Batticaloa, Saththurukkondan, Panichchaiyady, Kokkuvil, Pillaiyarady were taken to the Army camp for interrogation. I was the only survivor of that 185 civilians taken there. We were stabbed with sharp knives including a one and a half year old child, children and women.

He also testified that " On the above said day at around five thirty in the evening Army men both in civil and military clothing came and told that the officer in charge of the Camp wanted us to come to the camp for enquiry and so they took us."


" Elderly, Women, children and even babies were taken to the Saththrukkondan Bois town Army camp. After that four of us were taken to the back side of the camp and blindfolded and our mouth was stuffed with a cloth as well. Later they laid us on a wood brick and suddenly they started stabbing us with sharp knives. I laid there as if I was dead. I head voices of agony and pain I can't even describe, all around me.

After every thing was all over I slowly opened my eyes and saw butchered bodies all around me. I then crawled my way through the dead bodies and hide myself among small shrubs. It was around three clock in the morning at that time. After exiting from that hell I came to the village and I was admitted to the hospital for treatment. The army was at this point in time was in search of me after having heard of my escape. I was handed over to the Rev. Miller for protection by the Batticaloa Peace Committee. I lost my whole family in this incident. I am the only survivor."


During the testimony Kanthiah Sivakkolunthu (37) said that:

" I am the principal at the Kathaiyakkan thivu school. On that day at around 11 in the morning a man wearing a red half sleeved T- shirt was going in a bicycle. He was new to the village and had a knife on the handle of the cycle. I immediately sensed that something was wrong and took my wife and children in a cycle to the Saththurukkondan colony. At that time, I saw Armed personnel both in civil and military clothing taking many civilians including women, children and elderly. We stayed the day at the Saththurukkondan colony. The army camp was situated a thousand meters from my house. I heard cries of distress, shouts for help of women and children trough out the night. We also heard gun shots being fired and also saw a huge fire as well.

Next day morning I went to my uncle's house. I couldn't see my uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or any of the children. All I saw was some splattered small shoes of the children. In this massacre one and a half year old SUBOSHINI, three year old THULASI, seven years old SULOCHANA were lost. I heard that all of them were taken to the Army camp and were butchered. Even the bodies have been burnt. Some kids who had gone near the camp later for rearing the cattle have said that they had seen many skulls and bones."

During the hearings, a Vairamuththu Ariyavadivel (22) testified as follows:

" On that day I had taken shelter in the jungle fearing the military. Since I thought that the Army won't harm children I had left my siblings, SOTHIVADIVEL (7), SHARMILA (9) at our house. They are also missing since the day of the massacre.I heard a lot of cries for help and mercy and a lot of shots being fired all through out the night on that day.


" My two son-in-laws were killed by the army only two months before the Saththurukkondan massacre. After that in the Saththurukkondan massacre I lost my wife, three daughters and seven grand children including a one year old one. I lost my whole family, eleven members all together to the army."

This was the tearful and emotional testimony given by Ganapathippillai Arunachalam aged 73.


During his testimony Retired Electricity Foreman AUGUSTINEPILLAI PHILIPPILLAI (73) said:
"'Our grandson, Vijayakumar (8) was staying with us and had gone to play outside on that day. As he was missing for some time we went in search of him and we saw many people being taken by the Army and among them was my grandson. Sensing the situation me and my wife hid ourselves."

At this point the judge asked "How many were taken by the Army?"

Witness: Among the crowd, 19 of my own close relatives were there. After coming to know those who were taken had not returned I along with my wife went near the camp searching them. It was around seven in the evening. We heard the women crying, pleading for mercy and children shouting and crying in distress and pain. We could not hear those voices after that and so we came
back." Judge: Did the International committee of Red Cross went and saw what happened?

Witness: They were not allowed to see. Later the Bishop talked to the Brigadier and went there with the members of the Citizen's committee, Sebamalai Geevaratnam and Singarasa to see what happened. Sivarasa later told that he saw his wife's slippers and that of many children's and babies'.

During the testimony another witness Kanthasamy Nagaratnam (39) said:

" 16 of my family members were taken on that day to the camp by the Army. On that day when the Army came, only women and children were mostly at home. The men had taken refuge in the forest. At around 5.30 Army took all those who were at home. After some time a lot of voices of distress and pain were heard from the Army camp.

E.Vairamuththu (62) while testifying said that:

" My wife told me that if the Army came they will only take the men therefore you hide your self. I will stay in the house, they won't take women. But I lost my wife who had saved me as they had taken her to the camp. After the Army left I went near the camp in search of her but I only heard people crying."

While testifying about the Saththurukkondan massacre Rasaiyah Ratnaiya (45) of Panichchaiyadi said:

"On the day of the massacre about 60 Army personnel came at around 5.30 armed with guns and butcher knives. I took refuge in a small palmarah plant. The Army then took my mother, father and three children. I was thinking that they would be released after interrogation but even after eight they were not and so I went in search of them near the camp. I heard a lot of people crying in pain and agony that I got scared and returned home.


In the continued enquiry Batticaloa's Peace committee President and retired Government Agent S. Arunagirinathan testified as follows:

"After coming to know of this incident we recorded the testimony of the sole survivor KANDASAMY KRISHNAKUMAR. We still have the audio recording. Later we brought this atrocity to the attention of the Batticaloa Brigadier SENAVIRATNA. But he refused even to see us. Rest of the higher ranking Army officers also refused to talk to us about this incident.


During his testimony the then Officer-in-Charge of the camp, Captain. Gamini Varnakula Sooriya said "On that day no search or arrest was conducted by us". He also reiterated that none of his men even ventured out of the camp on the day of the massacre.



Nachchikkuda Massacre

Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) Sri Lankan helicopters fired on a group of Tamil refugees, killing 16 civilians,Tamil rebels said today. The army put the number of dead at 30, and said they were all rebels.

The military initially denied the attack, but reversed itself late today, saying the gunships assaulted a rebel base at Nachchikuda, 160 miles north of Colombo, on Sunday. It said 30 Tamil guerrillas died and many were wounded.

However, Tamil rebels said 16 civilians died in the attack and 60 were wounded. They said the attack targeted a refugee camp the guerrillas control at Nachchikuda.

A report in the Tamil-language Veerakesari newspaper quoted travelers as saying the weekend attack killed eight civilians.

It is impossible to confirm reports from the war-torn north, which has no telephone lines. The government has prohibited visits by journalists for a year.

Tamil guerrillas have been fighting for a homeland in northern and eastern Sri Lanka since 1983, claiming the Sinhalese majority discriminates against the Tamil minority. More than 40,000 people have been killed.

The Government officers issued the names of those who died in the Helicopter attack. Almost all of them were people displaced from the coastal areas of Jaffna who were temporarily living in Nachchikuda and were engaged in fishing. The affected people had earlier fled Jaffna when their homes came under military attack during the time the Sri Lankan armed forces launched a military offensive to capture Jaffna from October
1995 to December 1995. Particulars of the 16 killed, released by the Government officers are :

Name                                              Gender            Age                            Originally From

Julian Delin                                Baby Boy              6 Month                 Gurunagar
Kanthasamy Senthilkumar             Child                  09                           Koddady
Kanagasingam Tharsini                 Child                  10                           Anaikoddai
Anton Mary Amalini                     Child                  12                           Maniyan Thoddam
Anton Jegadeepa                        Child                 12                           Navanthurai
Antonipillai Lawrencestayn           Child                  15                           Anaikoddai
Zavier Consal                              Child                15                            Navanthurai
Mahendiran Yalini                        Girl                   18                             Navanthurai
Ponnambalam Selvarasa               Boy                  18                             Maniyan Thoddam
Soosaipillai Amalotpararani            Girl                   21                             Mathagal
Victor Lucia                                Girl                  23                              Gurunagar
Mariathas Edlisiar                        Male                 30                              Gurunagar
Alphons Packianathan                  Male                48                               Mathagal
Zavier Gnanamani                       Female              52                              Gurunagar
Velan Arumugan                          Male                60                               Nachchikudda
Thavasi Velayi                            Female            68                               Koddady

12 year old girl describes the tragic death of a 2 year old baby

Sathiaverni a 12 year old girl from Aruhuveli described the tragic death of a 2 year old baby who was killed by an artillery shell when the Sri Lankan armed forces launched a shell attack on Thenmaratchi and Vadamaratchi on 16-03-1996. She said when the shells fell on our compound, we ran further away and laid down on the ground to take cover. I spotted my aunt's daughter Kalpana - a 2 year old baby standing away from us unaware of the terrific danger she was in. I got up and started running towards her desperately to
grab her to safety when a shell fell very close to her and exploded. When the smoke cleared we looked for her and found that she was dead. I was trembling. My hand was cut by a shrapnel from another shell that fell close by.


The following letter was written to the President of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Kumarathinge and appeared in Sri Lankan Sunday Times on 14. April 1996. By Rev.Dr.S.J.Emmanuel, Vicar General for Jaffna.

An open letter to President

Seventeen innocent civilians, mostly children and aged, killed on the spot. Sixty seriously wounded and many houses damaged by fire in the early hours of Saturday morning of March 16. This was the planned retaliatory attach of the SriLankan Air Force on a sleeping village. For the third time in recent months, your Armed Forces have attacked this coastal village of Naachchikudah merely under a non-confirmed suspicion that some Sea Tigers were operating from that coast and without the least regard for the mass of poor refugees

They executed this disaster with their two newly-acquired Ml 24 helicopters flying over Mulankavil around 4.50 am and firing rockets (sideways ) into the fishing village Naachchikudah. This least known village, lying 50 km west of Killinochchi became known mostly after the historic exodus of poor fishing families from Passayoor, Gurunagar, Navanthurai, Navali and Mathagal of the Jaffna district on October 30. They sought refuge in a coastal village so as to continue their survival with fishing - the one and only profession they know for their lively hood. This massacre of the innocents, as we have come to experience, within a few hours of the incident will most probably be 'explained away' by the Sri Lankan Forces in their now well known characteristic fashion. Well, that has been done all along in the case of a long series of massacres during the last forty years! None of these have been in any way compensated - neither houses built nor funeral expenses paid nor even apologies extended. Yet acknowledging you as Head of a Government proclaiming to seek a peaceful solution to the ethnic issue and as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces sent to liberate the Tamil people from the Tigers. I think it is still our duty to place before you the glaring facts of the incident and ask a pertinent question from you.

On Friday 15.3.1996, it was reported that the Sri Lankan Navy had an encounter with some Sea Tigers off the Pallimunai (Mannar) sea, and while chasing the Tigers, the Navy had hit a sea-mine on the way and had lost eight of their personnel in the blast. No sane person will find fault if the Navy had chased the Tigers and at attacked them with all their might. But what did they do? They resorted hours later to one of the worst and cowardly acts of firing rockets on a sleeping village of refugees! We can understand civilians getting caught in an exchange of fire between fighting forces, but not a retaliation of this nature.

The Tamil parties in Colombo might ask you for a commission of inquiry (not dare for any compensation) and the government, which appears to solve problems by just appointing commission after commission, might readily appoint just a one man commission, if possible of a soldier,

But we are not asking for any such thing, but plead with you for a convincing reply for the following questions:

* How is your Government going to bring to an end this spiral of violence which has been started many years ago by the previous governments ?

*How are you justifying such cowardly retaliation of the Forces as part of your attempts for Peace?

Rev Dr. S. J. Emmanuel.
Vicar General. Jaffna.

Kilali lagoon massacre

Tamil Eelam.

20 April 1996


Sri Lankan government embarks on a military solution, Military offensive code named 'Riviresa Two' launched In an attempt to deny a political solution to the Tamil people and driven by their ambitions to capture Tamil Lands and to subjugate the Tamils, the Sri Lankan Government yesterday launched a new military offensive to capture the Tamil homelands of Thenmaratchi and Vadamaratchi. The Government also gagged the International and Local press by refusing them permission to visit the Tamil areas where the Government has declared a war.

Yesterday the Sri Lankan armed forces while cowardly firing heavy barrages of artillery shells on thickly populated Tamil areas, advanced by mid day to the village of Madduvil near Chavakachcheri in Thenmaratchi, where the LTTE forces stopped their advance any further.

As part of their programme to soften up the area prior to their advance, the Sri Lankan armed forces stationed at the Palali and Elephant pass camps fired artillery shells after artillery shells throughout the day, without any break on the thickly populated areas of Thenmaratchi and Vadamaratchi. In Thenmaratchi, artillery shells rained down on the villages of Madduvil, Kanakanpuliyadi, Sarasalai, Kalvayal and Katkuvil which are all close to the town of Chavakachcheri. In Vadamaratchi, the Sri Lankan armed forces directed their artillery shells on the heavily populated villages of Thikkam, Valvettiturai, Puraporukki. 10 Tamil civilians were killed and 30 civilians were wounded by the Sri Lankan artillery shells and aerial bombardment.

Their details are supplied at the end of this report.

An accurate assessment of the dead and injured cannot be made as the artillery shells have been falling every where. Dead bodies are found on the road unattended, while people are fleeing in panic. The Doctors and nurses and staff have left the Chavakachcheri hospital because the area came under intense artillery fire. The patients who were warded in the hospital also have left for safer areas.

Tens of thousands of Tamil civilians have started fleeing their homes to avoid getting massacred by the advancing Sinhala dominated Sri Lankan army. The Tamil civilians who lived in west Thenmaratchi areas and along the coastal belts of Vadamaratchi have been severely battered by this Sri Lankan military assault. A major part of the Tamil population of Thenmaratchchi West have now shifted towards the centre of Thenmaratchchi in their attempt to flee to Vanni, while a huge number of Tamils - a number not seen ever before even during the time of the Sri Lankan offensive on Valigamam during October-December 1995, have already reached the shores of Kilali in the process of fleeing to the relative safety of the Vanni the Tamil mainland.


KILLED (Only five were identified so far out of the ten people who were killed) :

NAME                                            GENDER        AGE         PLACE

Sinnaththambi Sinnammah     female          62        Peraporikki
Kunasingam Pumathevy         female          -             -
Sivasuri Senthuran                male            19        Thikkam
Angajetselvi                         female          20        Sarasalai
S. Jokeswari                        female          32        Sarasalai


NAME                                             GENDER                AGE                PLACE
Santhalingam Santhakumar       male                 29          Commanthurai
Kanthavanam Suntharalingam male                  60           Thikkam
Rasakumar                              male                  09           Sivankoviladi, V.V.T
Murukan Nadesan                   male                   -       

Mahalingam Indra                  female                40        Puraporikki
Ganeswari                             female                 40       Puthuvalavu, V.V.T
Mohanathas Mahalingam       male                     -        Puraporikki
Kanakaratnam Mathi             male                   20       Madduvil South
Valipuram Singarasa             male                    51       Madduvil South
Kunarasa Kunaratnam           male                    22       Madduvil South
Thampirasa Saraswathy         female                 44       Madduvil South
Kathiresan Sorna                   male                    18       Sarasalai South
Nadarasa Alageswary           female                  32      Alvai West
Jegatheesvari                        female                  25       Thikkam
Puspakumari                          female                 25        -
Subramaniam Kandipan         male                    18        Madduvil North
N. Thavakumar                     male                     40        Manipay
A. Ravikumar                       male                      27        Madduvil
Selvarani                              female                   36       Madduvil
E. Annusa                             female                   -         Kanakampuliyadi, Madduvil
Murkan                                 male                      65       Kanakampuliyadi, Madduvil
S. Vithusan                           male                       08        Kanakampuliyadi, Madduvil
S. Thevappillai                     male                       30        Kanakampuliyadi, Madduvil
Atputhamalar                        male                      44         Kanakampuliyadi, Madduvil
Menaka                              female                     15          Kanakampuliyadi, Madduvil
Sayantha                             f emale                     -           Kanakampuliyadi, Madduvil
M. Suntharesan                   male                        18         Kanakampuliyadi, Madduvil
Maline                                female                     19         Chavakachcheri
Punaka                               female                     22          Chavakachcheri
Kanaka                              female                      15          Chavakachcheri


Attack on fleeing civilians continues; Dead bodies are lying along the streets In an attempt to trap as much civilians as possible Sri Lankan armed forces are unleashing a terror campaign against the fleeing innocent Tamils civilians in Jaffna peninsula. Large number of human bodies and body parts are lying along the roads leading to Kilali sea shore. Their bicycles tied with their few belongings are also lying beside their dead bodies. A refugee who escaped from Madduvil area and arrived in Kilali sea shore on 22-04-1996 morning said that he saw 3 people dying when shells exploded among a crowd of fleeing civilians during the night of 21-04-1996. He said others quickly buried their mutilated bodies close by and proceeded towards Kilali.


Aftermath of the Kumarapuram Massacre

April, 1996

Peace Brigades Internationals (PBI) field-workers returned to Trincomalee District in March, nearly four months after our 'exploratory' journey. Our conclusions from the previous trip had suggested various important areas of work that simply would not be done without PBI support. However, contacts had also expressed very clearly that the project would need to make a firm commitment to Trincomalee before any NGOs or activists would begin petitioning for international monitoring or accompaniment. With team-size about to increase to five in April and six by the end of May, we could finally make such a commitment. The purpose of last month's trip was primarily to lay the foundations for a much more regular presence in Trincomalee, and to more clearly identify the needs of the NGO community.

Massacre at Kumarapuram

The dominant theme in all of our discussions was the recent massacre at Kumarapuram, in southern Trincomalee district. As we reported last month, on the 11th of February, men in military uniforms entered the village shouting "Demala kattiya maranuwa" (death to the Tamils). They killed at least 24 civilians, including 7 children under the age of 12, and wounded 26 more. Villagers who survived the attack were initially very willing to identify the men involved as members of the Sri Lankan Army attached to various nearby camps. According to Mr. Thangathurai, MP for the area, the soldiers carried out the attack in retaliation after two of their comrades were ambushed by cadres of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). A report by the University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR) further indicates that the divisional army commander may have actually ordered the massacre, having allegedly told his troops, "kudu karanda" (make it dust).

Government Response

While originally denying any security forces' involvement in this incident, the government was quick to condemn the massacre and launch a full military inquiry. Sri Lankan activists promptly complained that the local population would not willingly speak to army investigators. However, the official committee of inquiry was able to gather enough evidence to recommend that soldiers from the camps involved be produced in court for an identification parade, and that anyone identified should be subject to the full penalties allowed by civil law. In early March, eight soldiers were identified in court and placed under remand. Two weeks later, on 27 March, the suspects were again produced in the Muttur court as required by law. At the suggestion of lawyers from the Movement for Inter Racial Justice and Equality, PBI team-members attended court on the 27th to observe the proceedings.

There are varying assessments of the government's response to the Kumarapuram incident, with most contacts indicating some degree of dissatisfaction. Everyone is clearly pleased with the immediacy of the government's response to the massacre, and that those who actually took part in the killings will be produced in a civilian court. However, many are disappointed that the soldiers who stood guard or even watched the massacre will likely go free, and that the commander who allegedly ordered the attack will simply be transferred to a different area, if he is 'punished' at all.

Local sources also complain that cases against some of the eight who were identified from the lineup may eventually fail as witnesses lose the necessary confidence to continue involvement in the proceedings. Area residents noted the increased army presence throughout Muttur town on the day of the identification parade, as well as two weeks later when the accused appeared in court. This included an armored personnel carrier almost immediately outside the courthouse. Whether or not it was intended to do so, the unusual army presence reportedly led some potential witnesses to remain quiet at the line-up, and may drive some to withdraw their testimony. Area contacts suggest that security precautions for the accused and for high-ranking security forces personnel involved in the case must be more carefully balanced against the security needs of the witnesses.

The Kumarapuram incident has had ramifications both for PBI work in the Trincomalee area and for the efforts of many local and national organizations. Although this massacre highlighted the crisis situation developing in the East, the UTHR report suggests that activists would have noticed the clear deterioration of the human rights situation in conflict areas long ago if they had watched more carefully.

The report goes on to point to a long series of smaller incidents that had taken place in the area prior to the massacre, all of which had received little if any attention. Lack of effective response to the previous abuses may have been one of the many ground conditions that allowed the latest atrocity to take place. Strong immediate reaction to even small, apparently random incidents may help to diminish the risk of major abuses taking place in the future. Many now realize that national and international organizations must provide a greater level of support for civilians and NGOs in the East.

Organized Human Rights Monitoring

In order to do all of this, national organizations recognize the need to establish more direct lines of communication with groups in the conflict areas to facilitate the rapid reporting of incidents on an ongoing basis. Most of our contacts in Trincomalee also see the need for a more organized human rights monitoring effort in the district. Unfortunately, almost no one expressed willingness to be directly involved in gathering reports or communicating the information to Colombo, let alone in actually taking the responsibility to launch such an effort. A wide range of concerns were raised, most notably security issues and the lack of consistent support from outside of the district.

The Peace Brigades team realizes that, if such a monitoring committee is to be formed, both national and international organizations must be involved from the start, offering support if not guidance. We have clearly expressed our willingness to support this effort in any way allowed by our mandate and our resources.

Outside Presence in Border Areas

Another impact of the Kumarapuram incident was the stronger call for a regular international presence in Trinco district, especially in outstations to the south along the Batticaloa border. A handful of international development agencies work and travel throughout the district, but there are a number of places to which they simply do not go. Due to the difficulties associated with visits to 'uncleared' or border areas, both national and international groups are hesitant to begin new projects in places where regular fighting is a distinct possibility. As a result, villagers from these areas are isolated from simple outside contact. When crisis situations develop, they have no way to communicate their difficulties, and they thus become fairly easy targets of abuse from all sides. Local NGO field-workers believe that a regular international presence in the border villages could markedly improve the situation and ease tensions. Team members have received a request to visit Kumarapuram with a local activist on our next trip to Trincomalee. He believes that the village will remain at risk for quite some time, and that our occasional presence will decrease the possibility of future incidents.

Petitions for accompaniment on visits to 'high risk areas' would also help to improve villagers' access to information, supplies, and medical services, all of which have been restricted due to the war. For Trincomalee based NGOs, international accompaniment is nothing new. Due to security risks and regular harassment, several Sri Lankan organizations have stopped traveling alone to the border areas. Instead, local organizations regularly travel together with international groups when they do work in nearby villages. However, the international NGOs do not work in every village that needs attention.

A handful of local activists have asked for PBI escorts on our next trip to Trinco so that they may renew contact with some places that have had very little attention, some of which haven't been visited regularly for years. The NGOs hope that our accompaniment may help to ease future access to these areas and lay the foundations for them to once again travel on their own.




In addition to the events recorded above there were 2 violent massacres in the Welikade prison in Colombo during which 53 Tamil prisoners, arrested on suspicion of terrorist activity, were killed. In addition to other prisoners, there were also in the goal at this time 73 Tamil political prisoners who had been arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. These people had been detained originally in army custody at Panagoda Army Camp, but recently had been transferred to the Welikade prison.

The Prevention of Terrorism Act gives wide powers of detention without trial, and has been severely criticised for the lack of protection which it provides for those held under its provisions.

In the massacre which occurred on July 25th all of the prisoners held in B3 and D3 were massacred and killed.


On July 25, 1983 the Sinhala prisoners attacked the detainees in the Chapel Section of the prison and murdered 35 persons among whom were Kuttimany, Jegan and Thangathurai. From eye witness accoutns, Kuttimany's eyes were gouged and his blood drunk by his attackers. After killing six Tamils including Kuttimany in one wing, the attackers killed 29 Tamils in the other wing. A boy of 16 years, Mylvaganam, had been spared by the attackers, and was crouching in a cell. A jail guard spotted him and stabbed him to death.

The 35 dead were heaped in front of the statue of Gautama Budha in the yard of Welikade prison, as Minister Athulathmudali so aptly described as a sacrfice to appease the blood thirsty cravings of the Sinhala demons'.

Some who were yet alive raised their heads and called for help but were beaten down to death in the heap.

The attackers then made entry into the other wing through openings in the first floor but the jailers there refused to give the keys and persuaded them to leave.


28 Tamil detainees in this wing were transferred to the ground floor of the Youth Ward and nine of us were accommodated on the First Floor. All was quiet on the 26th. On the 27th at 2:30 pm there was shouting around Youth Ward and armed prisoners scaled boundary walls and started to break open gates in the youth Ward. Nearly 40 prisoners armed with axes, swords, crowbars, iron pipes and wooden legs appeared before our door and started to break the lock. Dr. Rajasundaram walked up to the door and pleaded with them to spare us as we were not involved in any robberies or murders and as Hindus we did not believe in violence and as Budhists they should not kill. The door suddenly opened and Dr. Rajasundaram was dragged out and hit with an iron rod on the head. He fell among the crowd. The rest of us broke the chairs and tables and managed to keep the crowd at bay for half an hour. The army arrived through tear gas bombs and dispersed the crowd. Then the 2 soldiers lined up 8 of us and were taking aim to shoot when the Commander called out from below to them to come down. Then the soldiers chased us down and all who escaped death were lined up on the foot path in front of the youth Ward. AS we walked out, we saw corpses of our colleagues around us and we heard prisoners shouting that it was a pity we were allowed to live.

We were ordered to run into a mini-van and removed out of the prison compound and loaded into an army truck. We were ordered to lie dace down on the floor of the truck and a few who raised their heads were trampled down by the soldiers. All along the way to Kaunakakai Airport some soldiers kept cursing the Tamils and Eelam and using obscene language. We were kept at the airport until early morning. We were refused even water. We were then taken into an Air force plane, ordered to sit with our heads down until we reached Batticaloa Airport. From there we were taken in an open van to Batticaloa prison. We felt we had returned to sanity and some measure of safety."

- Mr. S.A. David, the president of the Ghandiyam movement.

More Tamil Bodies were found in Colombo Lake!

08/15 0435 Sri Lanka-Bodies

Associated Press Writer

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Three decomposed bodies weighted down with rocks were fished out of a lake near the Parliament building, the latest in a series of grisly findings in the capital, police said today.

Nineteen bodies have been found in Colombo and its suburbs since May. Some of the victims were mutilated, while some were found with their hands tied, police said. Most had bags of rocks tied around their necks.

Authorities say five of the victims could be minority Tamils. Human rights activists have recently reported "disappearances" of Tamils who have been taken into police custody.

Police have not identified any of the naked corpses recovered Monday from Diyawanna Lake. Officials refuse to speculate on who killed the men, who died either by strangulation or drowning. They were 35- to 40-years-old.

The bodies, discovered by parliamentary police who patrol the lake, had apparently been in the water for three days, and were partially eaten by scavenging animals.

The appearance of the bodies follows a report by the human rights group Amnesty International that expressed concern over police treatment of Tamils. Tamil rebels, who claim discrimination by the Sinhalese majority, have been fighting the government for an independent homeland since 1983.

"Since mid-April there have been continuing reports of arbitrary arrests of hundreds of Tamil people, particularly in the east and in Colombo. Amnesty International has also received reports of `disappearances' and extra-judicial executions," the report said.

Thousands of Tamils have been detained by police in the capital since April 19, when Tamil rebels broke off a truce and peace talks with the government and renewed fighting.

Police have denied they had anything to do with the Tamil deaths. Most of those detained were released as soon as they could prove their identity, authorities say.

Sri Lanka Cops Find More Dead

AP 15 Aug 95 4:40 EDT V0684
Sri Lanka Cops Find More Dead

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Three decomposed bodies weighted down with rocks were fished out of a lake near the Parliament building, the latest in a series of grisly findings in the capital, police said Tuesday.

Nineteen bodies have been found in Colombo and its suburbs since May. Some of the victims were mutilated, while some were found with their hands tied, police said. Most had bags of rocks tied around their necks.

Authorities say five of the victims could be minority Tamils. Human rights activists have recently reported "disappearances" of Tamils who have been taken into police custody.

Police have not identified any of the naked corpses recovered Monday from Diyawanna Lake. Officials refuse to speculate on who killed the men, who died either by strangulation or drowning. They were 35- to 40-years-old.

The bodies, discovered by parliamentary police who patrol the lake, had apparently been in the water for three days, and were partially eaten by scavenging animals.

The appearance of the bodies follows a report by the human rights group Amnesty International that expressed concern over police treatment of Tamils. Tamil rebels, who claim discrimination by the Sinhalese majority, have been fighting the government for an independent homeland since 1983.

"Since mid-April there have been continuing reports of arbitrary arrests of hundreds of Tamil people, particularly in the east and in Colombo. Amnesty International has also received reports of 'disappearances' and extra-judicial executions," the report said.

Thousands of Tamils have been detained by police in the capital since April 19, when Tamil rebels broke off a truce and peace

1: 1956 - Tamil Parliamentarians attacked by Sinhalese mobs, 150 Tamils killed 
2: On the night of May 25, 1958, one of the most heinous crimes in the history of Ceylon was carried out by Sri Lankan armed forces by killing over 100 Tamils.
3: July 14, 1979 - Hundreds of Tamils were killed after emergency declared in Jaffna, Source: Amnesty International,
4. 1997 - Organized pogrom against Tamils in 1977 - more than 300 killed, Source: London Times, Date:
5. 1983 Riots - more than 3000 Tamil civilians killed, Source: Collection
6: 1984 - Chunnakam massacre and extra judicial killings of Tamils by members of the security forces - Amnesty International.
7: August 16, 1985 - 200 Tamil civilians killed in Vavuniya, Local Media, 
8: February 19, 1986, Akkaraipattu Massacre: more than 90 Tamil civilians were killed!   Source: Humphrey Hawksley reporting in the Guardian.
9: Date: January 28, 1987 -Kokkaddichcholai massacres: over 150 Tamil civilians killed by members of the Special Task Force, Source: Local Media.

10: Date: September 10, 1990 - Saththurukondan Massacres: 180 Tamils butchered by the Sri Lanka army at the Saththurukondan Army Camp.
11: Date: 1993 - Over 1,000 Tamil civilians killed in the three years bombing of Jaffna by Sri Lankan arm forces. Source: British Refugee Council,

Thamil Creative Writers Association 


December 25, 2000 



We are appalled, but not surprised, at the gruesome murder of 8 Tamil civilians by Sinhala troops at Mirusuvil which brings to memory the Chemmani mass graves. These mass murders also come in the heels of  the massacre at Bindunuwewa and extra-judicial killings of Tamil civilians at Gopalapuram by Sinhala armed forces.  Those done to death at Mirusuvil include a 5 year old Prasath and his brother 15 year old Pratheepan and another 12 year old child. Even four-legged beasts could not have carried out such dastardly murders in such savage fashion.   

Globe trotting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar visits capital cities raising the bogey of  child soldiers deployed by the LTTE at the battlefront. He came all the way to Winnipeg last September to attend the Foreign Ministers conference and waxed eloquence about how the Sri Lankan government is rehabilitating “Tamil child soldiers” captured by the Sinhala army.  He further told the Foreign Ministers that the Sinhala army unlike in the past has metamorphosed into a disciplined force under President Chandrika.   But no sooner he returned to Sri Lanka, the same army carried out the most cowardly murder of more than 30 Tamil youths under judicial custody at the Bindunuwewa Rehabilitation camp. Ironically Foreign Minister Kadirgamar was the Chairman of the Rehabilitation Committee responsible for the administration of the  camp! A clear case of entrusting the chicken hoop in charge of wolves!   

President Chadrika addressing the representatives of the World Bank-organised Sri Lanka Development Forum held at Paris from 18-19th at Paris, claimed that “I would say, 80% of the people living in the North, the Tamil people, who the LTTE is supposed to liberate, are consistently and repeatedly requesting the Government not to withdraw the forces and leave them to the mercies of the LTTE. They do not want to be liberated by the LTTE. This is not what I am saying, this is what all foreign delegations, journalists, who have had the occasion to go to Jaffna have been told by the ordinary citizens of Jaffna.”   

President  Chandrika’s claim  is not only  supremely ironic,  it is also a cruel joke bordering on sadism. Her claim will only be true if by liberation she meant mass murders of innocent Tamil civilians and dispatching them to the world beyond  by  her  Sinhala armed forces. Apparently having deceived most of the people most of the time,  she expects to deceive all the people all the time.  

We wish to ask President Chandrika whether none of the foreign delegations, journalists who visited Jaffna ever told her that 2,000 Jaffna University students took out a procession on November 22 and at the end burnt the effigies of both Chandrika and Devananda in front of the Jaffna Kachcheri?  Again did she not know that the Arts faculty students of the Jaffna University performed a street play on December 4, in which her puppet cabinet minister Douglas Devananda was portrayed as a heinous oppressor of civilians in the north and the caricature of. Devananda torn to pieces by the people of Jaffna? It is very worrisome President Chandrika’s intelligence outfits are keeping her in the dark about her “popularity” among the Tamil people!  

The mass grave at Mirusuvil once again reinforces our conviction that the Sinhala chauvinistic leadership will never renounce the path of military violence and terror against the Tamil people. The anti- Tamil racial politics offers no alternative to the Tamil people other than to fight and liberate their lands to establish an independent state of Tamil Eelam which will  guarantee the security of our people to live in freedom and dignity.  The time has come for the international community to accept the self-evident truth  that Tamil people cannot co-exist with the Sinhalese in a single polity and  Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity cannot be reconciled with the right of self-determination of the Tamil people.   As stated by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu a  friendly divorce is the need of the hour just like the Czechs and Slovaks. Tamils have shed enough blood, sweat and tears for their freedom and they deserve liberation from the yoke of Sinhala hegemonic rule.

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