Bodies of missing civilians found

Place: Jaffna | Courtesy: TamilNet
| Date: 20001225

The bodies of eight Tamil civilians, including a five year old child, who were reported 'missing' after being arrested by Sri Lanka Army soldiers on 19 December were unearthed from a grave in Mirusuvil area in the Thenmaradchi Monday, said police and hospital sources in Jaffna.

The victims were displaced from Mirusuvil and were living in Pt.Pedro. They were arrested by SLA soldiers when they went to Mirusuvil area on 19 December, to collect their personnel belongings from their houses.

One of the missing, Maheswaran Ponnuthurai, managed to escape and alerted local authorities in Manthikai and the relatives about the unlawful detention.

According to Maheswaran the soldiers had blind-folded the villagers and had severely assaulted them. Sources in Jaffna said the grave was exhumed after site was identified by two soldiers.

According to hospital sources, the victims have been identified as:

Vilvaraj, 41, and his sons Prasath,5 and Pratheepan,15 Thevakulasingham,31 Baskar Gnanabasakaran,19, Jeyachandran Nadesu,21 Gnanachandran Kathiran, 35 and his son Shanthan.

Their bodies were brought to the Manthikai hospital Monday evening.


Massacre victims died of stab wounds - Medical Officer

[TamilNet, December 27, 2000 16:21 GMT]

Bodies of the eight civilians found buried in Mirusuvil, Northern SriLanka yesterday, allegedly abducted and murdered by the Sri Lanka security forces, contained deep stab wounds around the necks, said the District Medical Officer, Dr. S. Kathiravetpillai, after his postmortem examination carried out at Manthikai General Hospital today.

A large number of people had assembled and somber mood prevailed as the relatives took the bodies home for proper burial, sources in Manthikai said.

All eight civilians murdered were between the ages of 5 and 41, and only two were found with their underwear on. The rest of the bodies were naked.

Medical examination also revealed that the victims were murdered on 19th of December, the same day they were abducted, hospital sources said.

Meanwhile, nine soldiers including an officer have been arrested on suspicion of having carried out the crime and are being questioned, police sources said.

W.M. Samarakoon, Chief Police Officer of Kodikamam district is leading the Police team in the murder investigations.


More bodies feared buried in Mirusuvil

[TamilNet, December 27, 2000 21:35 GMT]

In addition to the recently discovered bodies of eight Tamil civilians found buried in Mirusuvil North in Jaffna, residents and local authorities fear more civilian bodies may be hidden buried in areas surrounding Mirusuvil, according to deposition given by Jesutha, the young wife of one of the murdered civilians Theivakulasingam.

"A few days before my husband was killed, when he visited Mirsuvil, he became suspicious of a foul odor coming from a disturbed patch of land. He began digging without the knowledge of the security forces and discovered the body of a young girl of about 18 years old," said Jesutha in her deposition to the police.

Jesutha added that her husband told her that the dead girl was wearing a yellow punjabi-style dress, and that he left his pair of slippers as a marker near the place where he found the body.

"When my husband informed of the foul odor to the security forces they told him that the body of a person who was killed in shelling was buried there," she further said in her deposition.

Formal inquiry into the murder of the eight civilians is to be held tomorrow, Thursday, and Jesutha said she will describe to the officials everything her husband had told her.


Witness picks out murder accused

[TamilNet, January 03, 2001 16:50 GMT]

Three of several Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers, including an officer, accused of murdering eight civilians in Mirusuvil in Jaffna on 19 December were identified by the prime witness, Ponnuthurai Maheswaran, during an identification parade held Wednesday. Thirteen government troops including two officers have been arrested in connection with the massacre. Seven of them appeared for the identification parade.

The soldiers were produced at Chavakachcheri District Court, functioning in Pt.Pedro at 11.30 a.m. Wednesday. The judge ordered the soldiers be remandered till 10 January. The remaining six soldiers will be produced in the courts Thursday.

The following three soldiers were identified by the witness today: Lt.R.W.M.Moonesinghe, Lance Corporal R.M.S.Ratnayake, and Lance Corporal G.N.Jayaratne.

Sources said a large number of armed police personnel were deployed in the court house and the road outside was closed for traffic from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m.