Sampoor massacre - 22 killed

Place: Jaffna | Courtesy: TIC
| Date: 19851027

On 27 November 1985, an unspecified number of Sri Lankan soldiers in the company of Home Guards (Sinhalese civilians armed by the Sri Lankan government) entered four adjoining villages in the Trincomalee district in a "search and destroy" operation and killed 22 Tamil civilians and burnt down 165 homes.

The soldiers entered the village of Kaddaiparichan at 4.30am, set fire to 25 houses and took into custody 2 persons.

They proceeded to the village of Chemaiyoor at about 7.30am where they burnt down 20 houses and arrested nine persons.

Next they went to the village of Kaddalkaraichenai at about 10am, set fire to 20 houses and arrested an additional nine persons.

The soldiers entered the village of Sampoor at about 1pm, arrested two persons from the Sampoor Mahavidyalaya Refugee camp and set fire to over 100 houses.

Of the 22 persons taking into custody, the soldiers shot 18 dead on scrubland at Sampoor and set fire to the bodies. From there, the soldiers and Home Guards proceeded to the beach at Kaddalkaraichenai where a navy gunboat had been anchored, taking with them the remaining four arrested persons.

From the beach, all of them got into a small boat and approached the gunboat, into which the soldiers and Hone Guards climbed.

The remaining four Tamils were ordered to sit on one edge of the small boat and shot at close range and pushed into the sea. Three of them died on the spot, but one, Kandiah Sundaram, aged 30, of Sampoor survived to relate the events to the Committee for Monitoring Cessation of Hostilities appointed by the Sri Lankan government on 14 December 1985.

There is so far no indication that the government is taking any action against those responsible for the arson and murders on 27 November 1985.