Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Eight Tamil civilians in mass grave in Mirusuvil after detention by Sri Lanka
Tamil Centre for Human Rights TCHR
issued an Urgent Action Appeal on 30 December 2000 (ref: AE/12/12), drawing
attention to the discovery of yet another mass grave of Tamil civilians in the
Jaffna peninsula, occupied by the Sri Lanka army. The Appeal stated:
"According to information received by TCHR sources from Jaffna, eight people,
including two children, arrested by the Sri Lankan Army on 19th December,
disappeared. Our sources informed us later that on 25th December a mass
grave was discovered in the Mirusuvil area, Thenmaradchi. The bodies were
found of Vilvaraj (41), his two sons Prasath (5) and Pratheepan (15),
Thevakulasingham (31), Baskar Gnanabasakaran (19), Jeyachandran Nadesu (21),
Gnanachandran Kathiran (35) and his son Shanthan.
According to our sources the incident took place as follows. The victims had
been displaced from Mirusuvil, and were living in Point Pedro. When
returning to their homes in Mirusuvil, to collect personal belongings, they
were arrested and abducted by members of the Sri Lankan security forces who
blindfolded and then assaulted them. The post-mortem revealed that they were
murdered on 19th December, the date of arrest.
The bodies had deep stab
wounds around their necks. All but two of the bodies were completely naked
when discovered in the mass grave. Local residents fear that more bodies are
hidden and buried in the surrounding area.
These cases and thousands of
other cases of disappearances have been brought
to the attention of international human rights organisations and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights...
Again we recall the brutal murders of
Krishanthi Kumarasamy and so many others...
Still no independent inquiry has been made into
the massacre at Bindunuwewa
(TCHR Urgent Action AE/10/10 25th October 2000).
...TCHR requests all human rights organisations and individuals to
appeal to the President of Sri Lanka, who is also the Commander of the Armed
Forces. We kindly request appeals to be made also to the Head of State of
the country in which you reside."
Her Excellency President Chandrika B Kumaratunga,
Fax: 94 - 1 - 333 - 703
British Refugee Council, Sri Lanka
Monitor reported in its December 2000 issue:
"Reports say eight Tamil people, arrested on 19 December, were murdered by Sri Lankan soldiers and buried in a grave at Mirusuvil in
Thenmaratchy, 16 miles east of Jaffna town. The eight refugees who had earlier fled to Point Pedro, Atchuveli and
Udupiddy, further north and north-west, returned to Mirusuvil on 19 December to inspect their houses and to collect firewood, when they were seized by the Army.
According to the evidence of District Medical Officer Dr C Kathirvetpillai, their throats had been slashed. The dead included three teenagers and five year-old Vilvarajah
The murders came to light after Ponnuthurai Maheswaran escaped from Army custody with serious injuries and informed relatives. In a letter to President Chandrika, Jaffna MP Mavai Senathirajah says that a woman’s body was seen partially buried in the area, leading to suspicions that there are other mass graves. Mr Senathirajah has urged the President to order further excavations in
Mirusuvil. The police arrested an Army officer and six soldiers in late December. Five soldiers were identified in identification parades held in Point Pedro on 3 and 4 January.
More than 700 people disappeared in Jaffna in 1996 and 1997. The remains of 17 people were found buried at Chemmani in 1999. The Sri Lankan government has said that 765 complaints of disappearance had been received. Sixteen people were ascertained as killed in custody and 201 were said to be in prisons. The fate of 548 remains unknown. The UN Working Group on Disappearances urged the government in March, to abolish the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency regulations which facilitate disappearances. The government introduced new regulations in May, increasing the powers of the security forces..."