continuing conflict in northern and eastern Sri Lanka exacted a heavy price from the
civilian population. The police and armed forces continued to kill non combatant
Tamils... Of particular concern were reprisal killings by the security forces and
reports that Tamil suspects taken into custody were shot or tortured to death and their
bodies disposed of in secret. By the end of 1987, over 680 Tamils had reportedly
'disappeared' since 1983 and no substantive attempts had been made by the government what
had happened to them." - Amnesty International Annual Report, 1988 for period
January to December 1987
“…Operation Liberation commenced on May 26 , ended on May 31, and resulted in over 1,000 deaths and 2,000 arrests in Vadamaradchy on its
'liberation from the LTTE'. On the last day of the offensive I was arrested from one of the 16 temples specified as havens by the Forces in a notice dropped from the air across Vadamaradchy. We, the captives, were chained and shipped to a makeshift detention camp in Galle, though our destination, according to our papers, was to be the notorious Boosa Detention Camp. Later, we came to know that Boosa was already full.
We were confined to a warehouse turned into a detention camp, adjacent to the port of Galle, about 200 metres long, and 20 metres wide. There were 6 latrines, outside the camp. At a time 6 detainees would be led out at gun point to spend 6 minutes in the latrines. Most of us had no option other than defecating and urinating into a gutter deep inside the camp. The gutter overflowed. We wallowed in our own faeces and urine that flowed from the gutter, under our feet, towards the centre of the camp which teemed with worms and flies, vomit and spittle. There were no baths. None of us had bathed or changed for days. Both the camp and the inmates stank.
The camp was packed to capacity. The detainees were split into over 50 groups, with 50 in each, each headed by one of its members. I headed group 52. A barbed-wire fence divided the head and the body of the camp….”
- S. Velupillai from Vadamaradchy region in the Lanka Guardian, Colombo, Oct.1, 1993;