"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
 
- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Trans State Nation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Indictment against Sri Lanka: Introduction & Index > Indictment against Sri Lanka - the Record Speaks > Genocide'83  > Sri Lanka's Genocidal War '95 to '01 > Sri Lanka's Undeclared War on Eelam Tamils in the Shadow of a Ceasefire - 02 todate > Disappearances & Extra Judicial Killings > Rape & Murder > Torture  > Sri Lanka's War Crimes > Censorship, Disinformation & Murder of Journalists > Patterns of  Impunity  > Sri Lanka Accused at United Nations Rajiv Gandhi's War Crimes

 

INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA

ARBITRARY KILLINGS
& TORTURE - JANUARY - MAY 1985


"Staff (at Jaffna General Hospital) told me they see many victims of army beatings. Typically, boys emerge from interrogation and spells in custody with multiple bruises caused by thrashings with PVC pipes filled with sand. Some have heel fractures, having been suspended and beaten on the feet."

"A doctor said: 'I see about five of these cases a week, but remember that many victims do not seek treatment because they are afraid... The Army is behaving atrociously. Troops think they have been sent here to make us submit."

Recently one of the medical staff escaped with her life when troops opened fire on two buses in Jaffna, killing five people, the doctor said. And a man and his ten year old son were shout out of hand on the street last week..." (Trevor Fishlock reporting in the London Times, 2 January 1985)


"We do feel... that the Tamil minority is under threat. Certainly the Tamils, of all classes and from all parts of the country, believe that to be the case. Whilst we would not wish, at this stage, to lend support to the view that there is a deliberate and coordinated plan to reduce the rights and status of the Tamils, there is little doubt that the sum total of separate measures taken in respect, for example, of university entrance and colonisation in the north and east, amongst others, in fact, achieves such an objective. We see no possible justification for such measures... The consequence we saw was that of an increasing alienation of all Tamils from the Sri Lankan state." - Robert Kilroy-Silk, M.P. and Roger Sims, M.P United Kingdom Parliamentary Human Rights Group Report, February 1985


"...The President conceded that 'terrible things' were happening in Sri Lanka. Asked if he would set up an inquiry commission to go into the atrocities committed by the army against the Tamils, he said: 'Did the British appoint a commission during the war?..." - President Jayawardene - interview with Kuldip Nayar: Island, 17 February 1985


" The (Sri Lanka) Special Task Force of police commandos was created last year and trained by British experts who are former members of the (British) Special Air Services (SAS)...

"....a 23 year old man described from his hospital bed how he was arrested by police commandos (belonging to the Special Task Force) and accused of being a terrorist. He was tortured for two months before being released without explanation and dumped at the local hospital.

Mahendra Kesivapillai, a second year science student from Jaffna University, told me nails were driven into his heels to force him to confess. Chilli powder was rubbed into sensitive parts of his body and he was hung up by his handcuffed wrists for upto eight hours a day in his prison cell...

Doctors at Batticaloa hospital, where Kesivapillai has been a patient since last month, say he has been subjected to unbelievable cruelty.There are many burn marks, they say, on his buttocks and arms. Two bones in his arms, the radius and the ulna, have been so badly damaged after being ripped apart, he will never recover the use of his arms.

...Kesivapillai thinks he was released because he managed to smuggle out a letter to his father, a retired teacher, telling him where he was...

Kesivapillai's horrifying experience is not the only example of commando brutality according to the local citizen's action committee. Prince Casinader, headmaster of a Batticaloa school and chairman of the action committee said there were other cases of young men picked up by unmarked commando vans and taken to unknown destinations.

Last month unable to trace three of his missing school boys, he went in desperation to the local mortuary. 'I saw three horribly mangled bodies with bashed in skulls. I don't know who they were, poor wretches, but they were not my boys.'

The commandos also use tactics that were first made popular by the army... They burn the homes of families harbouring suspected 'terrorists'. Last month after a mine killed seven members of a police patrol outside Batticaloa, commandos surrounded the three nearby villages of Koduwannadu, Tamanavelli and Kayankadu, where they set fire to 27 (Tamil) homes.." (Shyam Bhatia reporting from Colombo in the London Sunday Observer, 14 April 1985)


"It took me two days to come here (to Jaffna) from Colombo, the capital, just 400 kilometres away... Our Tamil bus conductor was beaten up by an army officer who punched him repeatedly on each side of the head, then kicked him in the shins with his heavey army boots. The apparent reason for the beating was that the bus was over crowded, although in fact it was the least crowded bus I travelled on in Sri Lanka. A diplomat in Colombo later suggested the real reason was that the conductor had allowed me, a foreigner, on the bus to Jaffna... I felt outraged as the conductor was beaten, but didn't interfere, and everyone else seemed to accept the beating as a routine event..."

"...The stories people have been telling me explain the passiveness of the Tamil passengers. I was told of innocent bus passengers being shot by soldiers, of 1,000 young men arbitrarily arrested and held as suspected terrorists in a detention camp near Galle on the south shore, of a priest shot by soldiers near Mannar on January 6, of a Methodist minister shot the week before, of 100 youths who have disappeared..." (Howard Adelman, Sri Lanka's Agony writing in Refugee, Canada's Periodical on Refugees, May 1985)

 
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