Madras Hindu, PTI & UNI Report dateline 22 September 1985:
"Fifty two villages have been destroyed in the Trincomalee district in the last
two months by the Sri Lankan armed forces according to an eyewitness who fled the country.
The middle aged person who claims that he was helped by the Sri Lankan Government to
escape from Trincomalee, told PTI many shops and houses in the district had been razed to
the ground rendering thousands of Tamils homeless in the Government's bid to "drive
away Tamils from the strategic port town of Trincomalee".
The person, a non Tamil belonging to a group settled in Trincomalee for generations who
wanted to be anonymous said he fled from the town following the ghastly attack by the Sri
Lankan Home Guards on September 4 in Trincomalee town. Virtually, the entire town was
wiped out in the attack driving away the Tamils to forests and refugee camps, he said.
About 12 temples and a mosque were destroyed in the attack and Pattam Kurchi, a nearby
village was completely wiped out. The person with religious pursuits said he decided to
get away from the town as it had become "unlivable'.
Although he could not give any statistics about the casualties, he said, all he knew
was there were 6,000 refugees lodged in a school turned camp after the Sept. 4 attack in
Trincomalee. The entire area had become "unsafe" to travel and communication
links had been completely cut off.
He said the modus operandi the troops adopted was to come in disguise to a targeted
place and throw some bombs. They would then come back to the area a little later saying
the Liberation Tigers had attacked the place, and so they must search and apprehend
them.... The person said it was wrong to say that the Tamils attack first and the
Sinhalese Army undertook reprisals. "It is the (Sri Lankan) Army and the Home Guards
who throw bombs and then blame the Tigers for it." ... He said during the Sept. 9
incident, in which the former TULF MP, Mr. Sampanthan's house was bombed at midnight in
Trincomalee, "people had seen Sinhalese come and bomb the place with their own
"The Sri Lanka Government has accomplished its objective of a 'prohibited
zone by driving out Tamils from the 40 mile North Eastern coastal stretch from
Mullaitivu to Trincomalee town in the island, through savage attacks on them jointly by
the Sri Lankan army men and armed Sinhala hoodlums", Tamil United Liberation former
politburo member and former MP from Trincomalee, R. Sampanthan said today. ...
He said systematic attacks on Tamils were launched during the last three months in the
coastal village of Kuchuveli, Nilaveli, Uppuveli, Murugapuri, Tirucuddalore, Veeranagar
and division No.10 in Trincomalee town. Mr. Sampanthan said the efforts of affected Tamils
to reach these areas were resisted by the Sinhala armed forces and home guards.Three
Tamils were hacked to death when they attempted to reach their hometown in Murugapuri two
days ago, he added."