Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tamil Genocide

1958 pogrom

Women were raped and Tamil property was damaged. A priest was burnt alive inside his Kathirvelayutha temple in Pananthura. The Sri Lankan government looked on as the violence against Tamils continued. Many Tamil homes were set alight. Babies were dropped in hot tar.

Manalaru massacre 03.12.1984

Many civilians were killed including women and children. Hundreds of families were displaced from these areas. Sinhalese were settled in these villages later.

KokkilaiKokkuthoduvai massacre 15.12.1984

131 civilians were killed including 31 women and 21 children. More than 2000

families were displaced following this operation and they remain displaced to this date in 2006.

Udumbankulam massacre 19.02.1985

On 19.02.1985, early in the morning, 85 Sri Lankan military personnel from the Amparai military camp arrived in six military vehicles in Thankavelayuthapuram and

Udumpankulam villages. Some of the military were in camouflage uniform and others in blue uniform. They went into the paddy fields where hundreds of poor farmers were busy with harvesting work. They were carrying weapons. They rounded up 103 people in the fields and took them to the forest nearby. There they raped and cut the breasts off from the women and killed them. Others were lined up and shot dead. In total 103 people were killed including many children. The military spread the harvested hay over the bodies and set fire to it.

Ms. TK, who was a victim of rape and eye witness to the massacres that took place in the paddy fields of Udumpankulam, related her story:

“On the night, the Army which came from Kondavedduvan camp rounded up all the people working in the paddy field. Then they started shooting the men. They raped five of us. We pleaded with the soldiers not to do anything to us. But they all raped us, in line in the paddy field itself. As we couldn't bear-up the pain, gradually we lost consciousness----”.

Kumuthini Boat massacre 15.05.1985

They [two navy members] asked all the people inside to say their names loudly. So we all did. They did this so that the sound would hide what was happening in the room. They started asking people to move towards the back. As I walked towards the back, they hit my forehead with a stick. I don’t know what happened after this. Inside this room, there were very small children there under the age of one. They stabbed a 6 month old baby and ripped open her chest. Girls were also raped along with other acts of violation. People were killed. 72 people were in the boat, 36 were killed and 36 survived. But the survivors were all tortured.

Kiliveddi massacre in 1985

125 houses were burnt that day. A further 13 people, eight men and five women, were taken to the Dehiwathe village. The men were murdered and the women were raped. Among these women were Mrs. Sinniah and her daughter. The women were left naked after they were raped. When some Kiliveddi people with the help of the Sinhala people in the Dehiwathe village went to see, they saw one of the Kiliveddi women naked and tied up.

Kanthalai massacre 09.11.1985

Kantalai is situated in the Trincomalee district. On 09.11.1985, Sri Lankan military went to the home of Mayilvakanam near Kanthalai Pillayar temple and abducted all six people from the house. Their bodies were later found in 4th Milepost area in Allai road. Among the six were two daughters of Mayilvakanam. Postmortem revealed that the two girls were raped before being killed.

Periyapullumalai massacre in 1986

On 08.05.1986, the military arrived from Mahaoya and began attacking the village. 18 civilians were stood on a line and shot and killed by the military. 51 civilians disappeared. Many families were killed en masse. The mother four children and an eight month old baby from the family Nagalingam Rajaratname were killed that day. Children died when the military stepped on them with their boots. Kanthasamy his Sinhala wife and their child were killed. The military let two civilians known to them to escape. They ran and arrived at Senkalady. On 10.11.1986, more people were killed including a three month old baby. Six of the women who were killed were raped before being murdered. 24 people arrested on this day disappeared. A planned identification parade to identify the military men who carried out these massacres was stopped from proceeding.

On 10.11.1986, more people were killed including a three month old baby. Six of the women who were killed were raped before being murdered. 24 people arrested on this day disappeared. A planned identification parade to identify the military men who carried out these massacres was stopped from proceeding.

Periyapullumalai massacre in 1986

On 10.11.1986, more people were killed including a three month old baby. Six of the women who were killed were raped before being murdered. 24 people arrested on this day disappeared. A planned identification parade to identify the military men who carried out these massacres was stopped from proceeding.

Veeramunai massacre 20.06.1990

On 16.07.1990, eight women who went from the refugee camp to check their homes were arrested at the Malwaththai checkpoint. They were gang raped by more than 30 SLA men and killed. Their bodies were burnt.

On 26.07.1990, the military again arrested 32 young men. 23 of them were school children. All of them have disappeared.

Tiraikerny massacre 06.08.1990

A contingent of the police - the Special Task Force (STF) came in a number of vehicles. They had come there firing all the way. We realized that it is their firing that drove away the soldiers and the attackers. They saw the large number that had been murdered and injured. The women, who had been frozen from shock and fear, were unable to speak. There was blood and flesh strewn all around. In the midst of piercing shrill cries and screams of the injured, the chief of the STF promised protection and help to all victims.”

**According to a sworn statement, a little girl was seized and raped, and thereafter, thrown into the fire. Rescuers recovered the half-burnt body and buried it.

Kalmunai massacre 11.08.1990

Next day relatives of the young men walked to the Karaithivu camp through the Kalmunai town. The military in the town stopped them and made them stand by the road side. Large number of military arrived at the scene and selected the young women among the relatives. They were taken to a building near by where they were gang raped and killed. Men were tortured on the road and killed. All together 37 people were killed in two hours in this manner. None of the 25 young men taken to the Karaithivu military camp have been seen since. In total 62 people were killed in these two days by the Sri Lankan military.

Saththurukkondan massacre 09.09.1990

On the 10.09.1990, military arrested several people and took them to the military camp. Among those arrested were 85 women and many children. The arrested people were taken to the Sri Lanka army camp at the Saththurukondan. There, the women were raped, and their breasts were cut off. 68 children, among them five babies were also tortured and murdered. 205 people were killed in this massacre. Only one man, 21 year old Kanthasamy Krishnakumar escaped being killed and informed the others about what has happened. At an inquiry into the massacre, the 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. The military also threatened and forced the President of Citizens Committee, Arunakirinathan, to sign an affidavit saying no such incident took place. Arunakirinathan resigned from his pots following this forced affidavit. Mrs. SS lost 35 blood relations, almost her entire family.

Eravur massacre 10.10.1990

There was a man standing there with a knife. – But I did not know this. He grabbed my hair – because I had oil his hand slipped. He had tried to cut my head, but because his hand slipped, he cut my neck. I fell to the floor. I thought I would die, that’s how badly I was hurt.

Dr Shunmuganathan and a few others were cut and killed. As I was lying there, I could hear all the screams and violence. It was unbearable. But I had no other choice. After some time, a lady was brought in shouting. She seemed young. Her sari had already been removed in another room. An army took her inside a room and raped her. She pleaded to be let go and that she would not tell anyone what happened. Another army ordered that she be cut. I don’t know what they did - but I heard no sounds thereafter. Then he left.

Pullumalai massacre 1983-1990

Pullumalai in Batticaloa is a region immersed in natural beauty where Tamil people have lived for hundreds of years. Today, it lies barren and lifeless. The remains of the destroyed local school, temple and church have been left untouched as a symbol and memorial to the pain of those died and of those who survived. From 1983 to 1990 the SLA, together with Sinhalese mobs, tried over five times to destroy the village. Houses were burnt, wealth was robbed, and massacres were organized. There are unbelievable accounts of the rapes and systematic killings that took place. Over 400 families disappeared. No international or local body has enquired into the fate of these 400 families.

In July 1983, the cows in the village were killed and wealth destroyed. In 1984, when the Thiruvemba pooja in December was happening at Pillayar Temple, the SLA shot 9 people dead. That same year 300 houses were burnt. On 4th of January 1985, the SLA killed the only Engineer along with 7 others. They also destroyed houses and wealth. One week later on the 10th of January, they shot the temple priest along with 9 others. On 10th of November 1986, they returned to rape, steal, kill and burn the villagers. 103 Tamils were cut and killed that day.

In 1986, after they had shot 7 men in the village they used tires to burn the bodies. In 1987, 14 people that were fishing in the pond were shot. On 9th of July 1990, once again people left the village unable to bear the atrocities that were committed on them. Babies were ripped open and thrown callously. Over 40 families were shot; girls were raped, stabbed and ripped open. The witnesses of this torture left and have not returned till this day. Soosaimoththu Thambimoothu talks about unbelievable torture on the day his younger brother Sellathamby Perinbarasa and wife died,

“In 1983, the SLA and the mobs joined together to set alight our houses. They took all the wealth in our houses away in their vehicles. Around 40 or 45 houses were burnt. Everyone ran with fear in the direction of the vegetable garden. We also ran to our vegetable garden at Mungil Malai. The SLA rounded up and took away all the people that had gathered at Mungil Malai. My younger brother and his pregnant wife were two of these people taken away. They took turns to rape my sister in law in front of my brother. They tied up my younger brother’s hands and legs, cut open his wife's stomach, took out the baby and trampled the baby with their legs. Right at the end, they shot my brother in the ear. They took his wife's naked body, placed both bodies in a position that looked like husband was raping the wife and left. A little way away from them, Yoganathan, his father Arumugam, Jeganatha and Ramayyah were shot dead. One of their chests was ripped open with a knife and his insides were taken out. The people that were captured and taken away – don’t know what happened to this day.”

Kathirvelu Rasammah’s children and husband were destroyed by the SLA. In 1983, 1984 and then in 1990 her children were all shot dead,

“I ran behind the Army when they took my children. They told me to stop else they would shoot. They said they would have to carry out an investigation and then the

children would return home. We went to the camp a little while after this. They told us to go home and return back tomorrow. When we went the next day they did not let us and so we went back again the day after. They told us, that they had taken our children and left them in the forest and that we could go and see them there. We did not go immediately because we were too scared. When we did go a few days later, the forest was sprawled with bodies. There were arms and legs strewn everywhere. We could not identify whose children they were. They had all swelled up and were into their decomposition phase. We were too scared to stay there and so came back. My son and Arumuganathan who were fishing in the pond were caught by the SLA and chopped up. When we went looking for our son at the pond, there too we saw legs and arms lying around.”

Soosaimoothu Joseph’s account of the 1990 massacre is as follows:

“Suddenly trucks, vehicles and tractors were used to bring the SLA who surrounded the village. We ran in all directions. Bullets were falling rapidly. They took 35 or 45 people in one batch in a direction behind our house. They systematically took girls one by one and raped them. Even though we did not see this, the screams and pain of the girls were enough for us to know what had happened. There was no one there to save them or stay with them. Everyone ran in any direction they could. They came into our chicken pen and caught the chickens. I grabbed my wife and children and ran away. There were about 40 or 50 people running in the same direction as me. We ran in the forest that was beyond the pond. We were not able to run any more. We thought we would just remain there and die. My little child had a very bad cough. If the Army heard this, they would have come and shot everyone. Whilst we were thinking about this, the Army was coming our direction through the grounds. The Army at front had raised their guns and we thought that they had seen us and were approaching. My little child started coughing about the same time. 50 people were going to die because of this one child. So I tried to strangle the child to save these 50 people. My wife in panic pulled away my hand and took a handful of the milk powder that we had brought and shoved in the child’s mouth. The flour got stuck in the child's mouth and she struggled but was unable to cough. The Army was about 20 or 30 meters away from us and kept continuing on their track without stopping. We were so lucky that they did not see us. We stayed there till dark. When the firing stopped we went back into the village. In there we did not know where to look. Death was everywhere. The Peter Family and the 40 or 50 people that had run with them were all shot dead. Girls who had been raped were lying naked. Babies within one year were all shot and thrown about. The 3 children of the Pakyanathan had their legs ripped out of them.


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