50 Tamil people were killed

Place: Jaffna | Courtesy: Local Media
| Date: 19840409

The Government Agent for Jaffna estimated that 50 people died between April 9 and 12 and that 'hardly any of those killed by the army were linked with the guerrilla campaign for more Tamil minority autonomy. During this period, emergency regulations, which permitted police to bury casualties without postmortem or inquest were in effect and the identity of those killed was never established.

Tamil militants bombed an army truck in Jaffna on April 9. Between April 10 and 12, militants reportedly attacked a police station in Point Pedro.

Army and navy personnel retaliated for the truck attack by opening fire in Jaffna and its surrounding environs. A number of bodies were reportedly burned to thwart identification.

The Minister of National Security contended that all of the estimated 32 killed were terrorists. However, the Government Agent for Jaffna estimated that 50 people died between April 9 and 12 and that 'hardly any of those killed by the army were linked with the guerrilla campaign for more Tamil minority autonomy. During this period, emergency regulations, which permitted police to bury casualties without postmortem or inquest were in effect and the identity of those killed was never established.

Murder is an offense punishable by death, under the Army and Navy Acts, and the penal code. Culpable homicide under all three acts carries a 20 year maximum sentence. In additon, death caused by negligence is punishable by a maximum of 5 years imprisonment.Because all of these punishable offenses may have been committed during the outbreak of violence in Jaffna, an investigation into the killings should have been conducted.