Feature Article

Eastern University massacre was premeditated crime, UN should investigate: families of victims

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 September 2018, 22:46 GMT]
Twenty-eight years ago, the occupying Sinhala Army of genocidal Sri Lanka, which brought a few so-called Muslim home-guards and Tamil paramilitary operatives, entered the premises of the Eastern University at Vanthaa'ru-moolai in Batticaloa and filtered away 158 young members among the thousands of Tamils, who had sought refuge at the premises of the Eastern University on 05 September 1990. The victims, identified by the masked men, were taken away by the SL Army that had brought two CTB buses with it to the premises. The victims were taken to Naavaladi in Vaazhaich-cheanai, where they were subjected to brutal torture before being hacked to death. The families of enforced disappeared, who marked the 28th remembrance of the traumatic event this month, blamed the SL State for persistent refusal to admit the premeditated arrests, the massacre and removal of skeletal remains of the victims.

The surviving family members of the victims staged the remembrance event with the help of the Student Union of the Arts Faculty of the Eastern University and the District Organisation of Enforced Disappeared.

Eastern University Remembrance


“28 years have passed. We are standing on the road to mark this memorial event. We need to raise a memorial monument for the victims,” said S. Ariyamalar, who was an eyewitness to the enforced disappearance, which was carried out by the SL Army.

She was urging the University administration and the SL authorities to grant permission to raise a monument inside the University premises to mark the memorial day with dignity each year in the future.

The matter needs to be addressed by the United Nations, she further said.

Another woman, Vasantha Veerapaththiran from Mu'rakkoddagn-cheanai said she had lost 3 of her brothers in 1990. The LTTE recruited her son to the movement in 2003. It was another loss. Furthermore, a sister was hacked to death in 2006. The SL Army still has a camp in the lands it has seized from her family, Vasantha complained.

“Before 2015, we received some (rental) payment for the lands that have been seized. But, not anymore,” Ms Vasantha said. The SL military continues to be stationed in her private lands at Mu'rakkoddaagn-cheanai, she said.

“I have a daughter, whom I need to look after until her marriage. However, the SL government is not even providing Samurdhi rations to us,” she complained.

Ms S. Sivapakiyam, a mother of five, said her two sons were subjected to enforced disappearances in 1990 at Mayilampaa-ve'li and at Koappaa-ve'li. “I can't tolerate the sorrow anymore. Please help to find my sons,” she weepingly said.

Eastern University Remembrance


Several commissions looked into this crime in the past. However, none has admitted the massacre nor delivered justice, Amalraj Amalanayaki, a coordinator of enforced, disappeared in Batticaloa, told TamilNet. She was reiterating that the so-called Office of the Missing Persons recently launched by the SL State was also just another such eyewash. Nothing is going to happen through the OMP, and the families of the enforced disappeared have rejected it, she said.

Back in 1994, a three-member Presidential Commission was appointed by Ms Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike to investigate the allegations of enforced disappearances.

The Commission, which was led by Justice Krishnapillai Palakidner, issued a report in 1997 and described the crime as the ‘biggest group arrest’ to be reported in the Batticaloa district till then.

The SL Army was reportedly burning the skeletal remains of the victims in May 1994 as the Commission came into being.

EUSL massacre/missing remembrance
EUSL massacre/missing remembrance
EUSL massacre/missing remembrance
EUSL massacre/missing remembrance
EUSL massacre/missing remembrance
EUSL massacre/missing remembrance
EUSL massacre/missing remembrance
EUSL massacre/missing remembrance
EUSL massacre/missing remembrance
EUSL massacre/missing remembrance

 

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