Refugees tricked, then shot at

Place: Thalaimannar | Courtesy: TamilNet, February 27, 1998
| Date: 19980126

A youth was killed and another injured Thursday night, when the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) opened fire at a group of 56 refugees from the Vanni who had been promised a passage to India by unscrupulous refugee runners but were put ashore in Thalaimannar where the Navy has patrol unit said sources in Mannar.

The refugees, comprising men, women and children from the Wanni, paid large sums of money to the boatmen before commencing their journey on Wednesday night.

The boatman, who went round in circles in the high seas through the night, finally abandoned the refugees on the Thalaimannar coast, after assuring them that they were on Indian soil.

The refugees began walking towards an illuminated spot when they were met by a fusillade of bullets. The refugees were handed over to the Grama Seveka of Pierthurai East, Hubert Fernando.

District Judge Mannar, M. Ilanchelliyan ordered that the body of Punniyamoorthy Balraj (24) of Pavichchankulam in the Vanni, be handed over to his father Naganathan Punniyamoorthy after the inquest. The injured is Srivaanan (20) from Kilinochchi.