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CHAPTER 2: TRINCOMALEE DISTRICT

In Trincomalee, the number of complaints of arrests and disappearances received by this Commission was 710.  Ninety six (96) complainants failed to turn up for inquiries in spite of several summons served on them.  The balance 614 cases were inquired into. Of this number, 91 are complaints of disappearances and the rest are arrests totalling 523. The majority of the arrests are individual arrests, viz.: arrests of persons from their houses, arrests on the roadside, in the paddy field or, while fishing etc.  These amount to 258 in Trincomalee.

 

The arrests made at the Trincomalee Base Hospital premises on 15.06.90 and the group arrests and subsequent disappearances at the Mc-Heyzer Stadium where the people were asked to assemble for security Check on 11.07.90, and the smaller group arrests made, amounted to 124.  Then there were arrests from the Refugee Camps.  117 instances of such arrests came to the notice of the Commission.  There were arrests in the high-seas amounting to 24.

 

Arrests were made by several agencies.  In Trincomalee the major part of the arrests was by the Army.  It is reported that Army was responsible for 385 of the 523 arrests while the Navy accounted for 15, Air Force 4, Police 22, Home guards 7, L.T.T.E. 19, TELO 1, EPRLF 3, while 67 arrests were considered the handiwork of unknown people.  In most instances the “unknown” people are Security Forces operating without uniforms who go about in un-numbered white vans and sow terror in the countryside. They have entered homes at all hours and picked on the quarry under the very nose of the parents, wives and children.  Please see Annexure “C” for a detailed report of the arrests made in this District.

 

2.1            Sinhalese

 

From 1988 to 1995, 58 Sinhalese were arrested; of these, 26 arrests were made in 1989. These arrests were mainly in the 2nd half of 1989.  This was during the climax of the “no holds barred” struggle of the Government against the J.V.P.  in the second half of 1989, which tapered off with the arrests of Wkjeweera and Gamanayake by the end of the year.  Major part of the arrests took place in Kantale and its environs.

 

Evidence was led that Capt Peiris and Capt Athula were responsible for most of the arrests.  We give herewith some arrests in which these two officers are reported to have played a prominent role.

 

Two brothers – Elder brother Kasthuriarachchige Piyathissa, employed as Security Guard in the Sugar Corporation, and the Younger brother who was a teacher were arrested and taken into custody on 60.09.89.  This arrest is reported to be by Capt Athula.  The father sent meals for two days but later the Army denied arrest.  Capt Athula was alleged to be responsible for  the arrest of Thalvadigedara Nihal Jayaweera alias

Upali on 07.09.89.

 

Again Mapa Mudiyanselage Dhasman Gunasiri was arrested on 21.10.89 from his brother’s place by the Army and taken to Sugar Factory Camp.  When his wife went to the camp they denied arrest.  There were several arrests like these but one or two arrests stand out prominently due to allegation of needless cruelty reported to have been inflicted by the Security Services.

 

Wickremasinghe Mudiyanselage Nimal Bandara, Age 20, and his brother were arrested on 29.08.89 at 11.45 p.m. and taken to Kantale Camp. Both were tied by their legs and dragged up and down to the Camp.  One brother spent eight months in the hospital while the others is claimed to have been murdered by dropping a boulder on his head.

 

The officer responsible, Mr Ratnayake is reported to have left the Police Force. Wasantha Abeykoon  and his brother Piyatileke were arrested by the Army on 17.09.89, headed by Capt. Peiris of Mullipothana Camp, and Ariyadasa of Sobia Army Camp Piyatilake was released with a broken leg, but Wasantha was never sent back.

 

In the same month Army arrested Egoda Gedera Premachandra, and promised to release him after inquiry, but after five months his burnt body was found in Peramadu Jungle.

 

During the same period Sarath Bandula Kalupahana was taken into custody on 12.09.89, and his body was found on the railway track, a quarter of a mile away.  K.G. Nimal Karunaratne, Nissanka Gnanapala Amarasiri Arachchige Gamini Amarasinghe, and K.G. Tikiri Banda were arrested by the Army in August 1989.  Capt. Peiris is alleged to be responsible for the arrests and disappearances of the above four people.  One of these victims, Gamini Amarasinghe, was supposed to have been taken to Habarana jungle and shot.

 

Capt. Peiris now Colonel appealed before this Commission and in evidence denied involvement in these arrests.

 

2.2            Tamils

 

499 Tamils were taken into custody during the period 1988 to 1995.  Out of these 397 were arrested in 1990 alone and most of them were arrested in the six month period from June 1990 to December 1990.  Our report relates mainly the complaints made by the Tamils as they formed the bulk of the aggrieved persons in Trincomalee.

 

2.3            Muslims

 

During the same period, i.e. from 1988 to 1995, 54 Muslims were arrested.  Out of these 34 persons, i.e. more than half, were from the year 1990 and mostly during the 2nd half of 1990.

 

2.4            Burghers

 

There were three Burghers arrested during the period from 1988 to 1995.  All three of them were arrested in 1990.

 

This shows that 1990 was the year of large scale arrests in the Trincomalee District: The arrests were possibly a response to the gruesome way the L.T.T.E. started Ealam War II, by mowing down the Policemen from several Police Stations in Batticaloa and Amparai Districts After they surrendered.  The intensity of the struggle in the background of the massacre could explain the extreme measures taken by the Army personnel.  But most of these arrests were unreasonable, not called for by the situation prevailing on the ground, and often attended by needless cruelty.

 

 

 

 

 

2.5            Arrests at Mc-Heyzer Stadium & at the Base Hospital, Trincomalee

 

The arrests at Mc-Hayzer Stadium and at the Base Hospital, Trincomalee are well documented arrests and we deal with these arrests in greater detail, as we had the opportunity of listening to the people who suffered on the one hand and also the Army’s version of these events.  The Army as a rule denied involvement in the arrests.  They also claimed that records are missing.  This has been the attitude of the Army Personnel from the top brass downwards.

 

2.6            Group arrest at Base Hospital Trincomalee  (15.06.90)

 

Eelam War II started on the 8th of June, 1990 and the worst barbarism occurred on the 11th of June on which date the L.T.T.E. put to sword about 100 Policemen who were manning Police Stations in the East.  The group arrests at Base Hospital, Trincomalee happened on the 15th of June 1990, close on the heels of the L.T.T.E.‘s slaughter of the Policemen.  This could explain to some extent the incidents that happened in the Base Hospital, Trincomalee.

 

From the evidence given by Dr K. Gnanagunalan D.M.O., Base Hospital, Trincomalee, and her husband Dr Eliezer Gnanayagam Gnanagunalan, M.O.H. of the area, Ariff Samsudeen who was manning the Police Post in the Trincomalee Hospital and Brigadier Tennakone who was the senior most staff officer in the Army

Headquarters in Trincomalee,  The Commission could arrive at a picture of what happened in Trincomalee on the 15th of June 1990.

 

It appeared that :

 

1. There was a tense situation in the hospital and its surroundings on the 15th of June, 1990, following military movements and shootings in that area on the day preceding the 15th of June.

 

2. On the 15th of June 1990, some Army personnel along with the Police arrived at the hospital by about 7.15 a.m., informed the D.M.O., checked the hospital premises including the Nurses’ Quarters and took into custody about 30 persons, of whom six were patients warded in the Hospital and some others who had come to the hospital for O P D treatment.

 

3. The D.M.O., M.O.H. and Ariff Samsudeen the Police Sergeant at the Hospital Police Post who were summoned by the Commission to give evidence testified that group of Army men headed by a Captain did a Security Check and took several persons including six patients into custody and that they were taken away in buses.

 

4. The Sergeant had further said that the Captain had told him that he was from 22 Brigade from the Plantain Point Army Camp.

 

5. The M.O.H. has testified that 30 persons were brought by the Army from the Hospital and were made to sit close to the hospital wall.

 

This figure tallies with the evidence given regarding the disappearance of 30 persons.

 

The M.O.H. further said that he cannot identify anyone of the Army men because they were not Trincomalee based and that he had never seen them before or after the incidents.

 

6. The M.O.H. told the Commission that the Army also wanted to take over the hospital ambulance.  But he went along with surgeon Thaventhiran to Plantain point where they spoke to Late Gen Kobbekaduwa who gave them a personal guarantee and released the ambulance.

 

It appears that the Office-in-charge of the raid on the Hospital was one who could exercise his discretion without reference to Superiors.  This was established when the M.O.H. appealed to the Army Officer to release the hospital Employees whom they had arrested, the Army Officer asked him to identify them and promptly released three employees who were identified.

 

Brigadier Tennakone (presently in Mannar) who was the Staff Officer, Army Headquarters, Trincomalee, during the period material to the inquiry said that the Late Brigadier Wijeratne was in command during this period, that no record whatsoever were available for the whole of 1990 and that he is not in a position to testify as to the two group arrests that are being inquired into by the Commission.  He also said that the Late S.P. Wijesekera was conducting the operations along with the Late Brigadier Wijeratne and that due to the absence of records he is not aware of the arrests.  He also added that “as I am unable to get the records pertaining to year 1990, I cannot say whether there were operations or not.”

 

“I cannot say what happened to the records maintained by Brigadier Wijeratne.  I cannot speak as the records were with Brigade Commander Wijeratne and the operations were conducted by the Late Wijeratne and S.P. Wijesekera who is also no more”.  The Commission was surprised by this stance taken by Brigadier Tennakone who was at the time of the raid the Senior Officer of the Brigade in Trincomalee.  The Army authorities do not expect the Commission to believe that all the documentation regarding the arrests were taken by Brigadier Wijeratne in his jeep when he drove over the land mine.  Hence the Commission summoned the Army Commander, briefed him of what happened and requested him to conduct a Domestic Inquiry and report to the commission.

 

2.7            The report of the Army Commander reads as follows:

 

"Although the evidence revealed that certain Police/Army personnel had entered the Base Hospital, Trincomalee and removed certain patients warded in the Hospital in addition to some others who happened to be inside the hospital, and examination of documents maintained at HQ 22 Brigade, HQ 2 GR, Base Hospital, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police Detachment and Trincomalee Prison, to ascertain whether there were any entries pertaining to the incident was futile as the Court was unable to trace any documents with such entries”.

 

2.8.       The opinion on the Court is as follows:

 

“There is sufficient evidence to prove that a number of persons including six patients have been removed from the wards of the Base Hospital, Trincomalee by security Personnel and Police.

 

The names of the patients removed from the hospital were:

a. Mohandas

b. Surendra

c. Asokan

d. Jusuthasan

e. Pushpanandan

f. Karunathilakan”

 

It is surprising that security personnel who were not from Trincomalee apparently had undertaken the raids.  There is an Army Camp at Ford-Fredrick which is close to the hospital.  The Security Forces who went for the raid would have passed several Check Points in Trincomalee.  The Army should have had prior knowledge of this raid. It is unthinkable that an Army Group invaded the town and raided the Hospital in the heart of the town and arrested thirty odd people and transported them in an ambulance, truck and a bus without it being known to the Army Units which were manning several check points in Trincomalee.

 

It is unbelievable that the Sri Lanka Army “could not obtain any evidence” as to the troops who conducted this operation.  Army should know what happened to those arrested at least from the Army Intelligence Group.

 

A list of some of those who were taken into custody during the Hospital Operation is given along with their age occupation and the ostensible reason they came to the hospital.  It is obvious that most of the people who were arrested have come to the hospital to help their relatives who were warded there or to obtain treatment for

themselves or to have a cup of tea in the canteen.

 

Tharmalingam Gopal, 25 years old, went to give a change of clothing to his wife who was after confinement.

 

Muthugrazian, 17 years old student, took meals for his father who was warded in the Hospital.

 

Thavasimuthu, U. C. labourer, was in the hospital when the Security Forces arrested him in the round-up.

 

Karli Vellian, fisherman, 36 years old came from the sea-beach to the hospital out of sheer curiosity and was arrested.

 

M. Rasenthiram, 21 years old, fisherman, had gone to the hospital canteen for a cup of tea and was rounded-up.

 

K. Alagaiah, fisherman, admitted his wife in the Hospital and gone to the canteen for a cup of tea and was arrested.

 

A. Maheshwaran, 18 years old, fisherman, went to the hospital canteen for a cup of tea and was arrested.

 

V. Ganesh, peon in the Governor’s office, went to hospital to get medicine for his child.

 

Kali Sivarajah, 22 years old, went to hospital for treatment for fever and was arrested.

 

Karuppan, fisherman, was admitted to Ward No.06, in the hospital, as he was complaining of chest pain.

 

S.K.M. Gaffoor, 30 years old, fisherman, went to hospital to see his wife who was admitted for confinement 5 days earlier.

 

Ilankovan, 24 years old, labourer at the glass factory in Angoda, went to Trincomalee Base Hospital to see his father who was a patient there.  He was arrested and his father died of shock.

 

The Commission is convinced the Army officers are closing ranks to hide from the Commission as to what really happened to the arrested from the Base Hospital.

 

2.9.            Group Arrest at Mc-Heyzer Stadium:

 

On 11.07.90, one month after the beginning of “Eelam War II”, the security Forces conducted a joint operation “Cordon and Search” in Trincomalee town.  Col. Saliya Asoka Kulatunga explained to the Commission the “Modus Operandi” of this Cordon and Search Operation.

 

“Police informed the people in the town through Loud Hailer to report at Mc-Heyzer Stadium leaving behind the Chief Occupants in the house.  Police were sent on search parties to check whether all the inmates have gone to the Stadium.  This announcement was made about 5.30 a.m. to 6.30 a.m. At the stadium, people were requested to stand in rows, male and female in separate rows.  They had to pass through some screen and

there were observers behind the screen.  Some people were pulled out from the rows and were asked to get into a bus.  They were blindfolded with their own shirts and were put into three SLTB buses and were taken away.  The search operation was completed at 3.00 p.m."

 

These arrests were witnessed by all the people of Trincomalee who were at the Stadium.  According to Mr Tharaja of the Citizens Committee, 52 persons were arrested on that day.  He had prepared a list of those arrested and handed it over to the Co-ordinating Officer.

 

Hence there is no question about the fact of arrest.  It is also clear that those arrested were transported to the Plantain Pint Army Camp.

 

Witnesses mentioned to this Commission about the several frustrating trips to the Plantain Point Army Camp to get their relatives released.

 

1. Mrs Alagarajah Lily Mary of 311, Court Road, Trincomalee had this to say about the arrest of her brother Arasu Thiraviam:

 

“…there were SLTB buses parked and my brother was asked to stand behind the said bus.  Five by five were taken with their eyes tied with their own shirts.  I was close-by and I saw him being taken into the bus; the people who were arrested were also taken into the bus.  Army Officers were in the bus and were wearing red caps.  They took them to Plantain Point Army Camp.  I went every day to Plantain Point and they told me

they will release him after inquiry.  I went last on the 30th of July and I was asked not to come again.”

 

2. Velayuthem Ravi of 15/1, Sivapuri, Trincomalee, in his statement to the Commission mentioned as follows:

 

“They took my brother Velayutham Rajkumar, bind-folded with others and took them in three buses.  I was about 100 yards from the bus.  They said that they were taking them to Plantain Point Army Camp.  They told me that my brother Rajkumar was there and will be released.  I informed the I.C.R.C., Citizens Committee and made an entry in the Police Station, Trincomalee.  They said they would inquire and let me know.  I went once again to Plantain Point Army Camp and they said inquiry is still not over and he will be released after inquiry”.

 

3. Mrs Kanagasingham Sellathangam of 1220, St Mary’s Street, Palayuthu, Trincomalee, in a statement to this Commission about her missing son told about the arrest of her son and said he was taken in a bus.  She told Mr Thavarajah, Peace Committee Member, and he had told her that he will go to Plantain Point Army Camp and will be able to get him released after inquiry.  “For seven or eight days I went to the Plantain Point Army Camp and asked for my son.  They told me, they would release him after inquiry and to come on Friday.”

 

4. Mrs Anne Perpetua Joseph, wife of Varuki Antony Joseph of 57, Kandasamy Kovil Road, Trincomalee whose husband was arrested during the Mc-Heyse Stadium round up stated to this Commission as follows :

 

"…same day I went to the Army Camp at Plantain Point.  They said my husband will be released after inquiry.  I made representations to the A.S.P. Pullanayagam, who telephoned Plantain Point Army Camp in my presence and Army told  A.S.P. Pullanayagam that my husband will be released after inquiry.  One K.M. Saleem, one of the persons who were released told me that he saw my husband three days in the Army Camp.  He told me about this on the 17th, and Saleem was released on the 16th.  He is my witness”.

 

5. Mr Ummu Habeeba of 19/2, St Antony’s Lane, Trincomalee stated about the arrest of her husband who was a Grama Sevaka.  He was arrested at the Mc-Heyzer Stadium on 11.07.90.  Ummu Habeeba Stated as follows :

 

 “I say my husband was taken by Thassim and was put into the SLTB bus. Bus went to Plantain Point Army Camp.  I immediately informed one Mr Jeinudeen who informed me to come in the morning and that he will be released after inquire.  I immediately went to Plantain Point Army Camp and they wanted me to come on the

following day.  The following day I went and I was told he will be released after inquiry. Cpl. Jeinudeen and one Saleem of the Army were there.  The first day, Jainudeen told me that he will be released after inquiry.  I went continuously for five days and on the last day Mr Saleem told me that everything is over and not to come again.

 

6. Mrs Kulanayagam Thilairani of 368, Thirugnansampanthar Street, Trincomalee, in a statement to this Commission stated as follows :

 

“On 11.07.90, we were asked to be present at Mc-Hayzer Stadium; I also went.  I saw my husband being taken into the SLTB bus by the Army.  People said that they took him to Plantain Point Army Camp.  I informed Mr Thavarajah, Member of the Peace Committee and the following day I went to Plantain Point Army Camp.  Thereafter I went to the Camp about three or four times and they told me that he will be released after

inquiry.”

 

The most damaging statement was given by Cader Mohideen Mohomed Saleem, Labourer at the Navy Civil Section.  He is one of those fortunate enough to be released from the Plantain Point Army Camp.  His statement is given in full as this might throw some light on what happened to those taken to the Plantain Point Army Camp.

 

“On 11.07.90. I was staying at Mosque Road; then there was an announcement that we should go to Mc-Heyze stadium about 6.30 a.m.  I also went to the Stadium at 7.00 a.m. When I was standing in the row an Army Officer came and told me to get into the bus.  I got into the bus.  About 20 people were in the bus.  They removed my shirt and blindfolded me.  More people got into the bus and the bus started off about 2.00 p.m. I cannot say where that took me.  After half an hour ride we were asked to get down with our eyes tied.  I was asked to sit. They assaulted me with a pipe filled with sand.  It was not an iron pipe.  They removed the shirt from my eyes.  They brought water and gave us a drink, and they asked us to tie up the eyes again.  I had to tie up my eyes properly. About 20 of us were put into a bathroom.  I was asked whether I collected Rs25,000

for the L.T.T.E., I said no, then they assaulted me and asked me to sign a document. Then we were blindfolded and taken into the bathroom again.

 

It was about midnight.  Then they tortured us by kicking us with their shoes in the chest, cutting my hands with a knife.  We were sent back to the bathroom; we were bleeding then.  We were asked to come out from the bathroom.  About 25 of us were chained to one chain.  Again they asked us to go into the bathroom.  They asked us to sit on the floor which was wet.  When one of the captives asked for water he was assaulted with a pipe and no one asked for water after that.  There was a tub of soap water.  I took the soap water and gave it to the captives to drink.  An officer called Abdeen came there and wanted all the rings which were with us.  Everyone removed the rings and gave them to him.  I do not know the rank of the officer who robbed our gold rings.  I can identify him.  He threw away all the Silver rings. 

 

The second time he came with another officer.  They removed all the purses from our pockets which contained our money.  I lost a gold chain which was inside the purse and cash Rs.3,700. All these things happened within about 10 minutes.  Then they returned our purses with the few remaining coins having noted the contents of the card and the bicycle key.  I was asked to sign for the purse.  Then we were taken to the bathroom with the set shirt and from there we were taken and put into the bus, and driven off for another 45 minutes. At the end of the journey four people had died inside the bus.  One of them was Saravanabhavan known to me.  The dead bodies were removed.  At that time our blindfold was removed.  After another 10 to 15 minutes journey, we were asked to get down. We were taken into a house and asked to sit inside the House.  They took an account of 28 people.  At this stage my name was called out along with three others and we were taken to a separate place.  Then I heard the sound of automatic gunfire.  I realised that someone was being shot.  I was taken out after a soldier told me that I was lucky and given a new sarong and was allowed to take a bath in the well.  I was given a meal and then brought back to Plantain Point Army Camp.  There I told an Army Officer-called

Suresh Cassim that I was not involved in any money collection.  They said that is why I was released”.

 

The Commission asked the Army Commander, to hold a domestic inquiry and submit the report to us.  The Army Commander, sent a report conveying the findings of the Military Court.  The report is as follows:

 

1. On the said day an Operation had been conducted by the Security forces/Police to screen the people in the town having taken them to Mc-Heyzer Stadium. Subsequently the persons screened had been taken to another location, the details of which cannot be probed due to absence of records.  Unfortunately, late Major General Col. Wijeratne Commander 22 Brigade, Trincomalee at that time and Late Mr  W.A.R. Wijesekera A.S.P. Operations, Trincomalee who could furnish details in this matter have fallen victims to terrorist activities. Captain Cassim the other officer who could have thrown light on this matter could not be traced as he has been discharged from the Army.

 

2. Details of persons taken in for screening cannot be established due to non-availability of documents.

 

3. The screening had been done by the police and the Intelligence Section led by Captain Suresh Cassim, who has since been discharged from the Army.

 

2.10.         Opinion of the Court

 

4. The screening had taken place at the Mc-Heyzer Stadium, Trincomalee, on the 11th July, 1990 by the police and some Army persons supposed to be from the intelligence section.  The exact number of persons taken into custody cannot be ascertained due to lack of evidence and non-maintenance of proper records during the relevant period.  Neither was there evidence documentary or otherwise to ascertain the identity of troops who conducted the said operation.

 

5. It appears that during the period under review there had been a chaotic situation due to intense terrorist activities that had taken place with the out break of Eelam War II, resulting in the administrative machinery coming to a standstill and proper documents not being maintained.  Nevertheless, considering the exigencies of service that prevailed during the said period, the lapse may be understood.

 

G H De Silva Commander of the Army added that:

 

“I too am aware of the chaotic situation that prevailed during the relevant period with the outbreak of the Eelam War II that was so sudden taking everyone unawares which may have caused the administrative machinery to come to a stand-still.”

 

It is not understood why the Court of Inquiry refers to absence of records. Mr Thavarajah of the Citizens Committee had provided the Army with the list of those arrested by them.  Then again the Army has mentioned that those arrested at the stadium “had been taken to another location.”  It is not understood why the Army is so coy about a reference to the Plantain Point Army Camp.  They are studiously avoiding any mention about the Plantain Point Army Camp.  From the statement given by several witnesses, the Commission can surmise as to what happened to those taken into the Plantain Point Army Camp.  There were several instances of witnesses claiming that those arrested have been taken to undisclosed detention camps.  This Commission wrote to the Ministry of Defence to supply the Commission with a full list of such camps and the names of those detained there.

 

The reply came from the Operational Head Quarters of the Ministry of Defence that “there are no undisclosed detention camps maintained by the Army in existence.” (Annexure D)

 

The other alternative is to think the unthinkable and to assume that these detainees were subject to extra judicial killing by the Army.  This aspect of the matter needs investigation by the C.I.D. as no civilised society can overlook massacres of this proportion especially by its own security forces.

 

Apart from the spectacular arrests in the Mc-Heyzer Stadium and in the Base Hospital, There are many more arrests which have to be examined to find out the reasons for the arrests, those involved in the arrests and to whether charges can be maintained and proved against them.

 

We cite three arrests which are representative of the chain arrests that occurred in Trincomalee:

 

1. 15 people were arrested by China Bay Police and evidence was forthcoming to implicate the Police in killing and burning five of the arrested persons:

 

Kumaran Thanarajah, age 23, driver, married, was arrested by China Bay Police on 04th July, 1990.  His father saw his son in the custody of the Police.  Then he heard some gun shots and saw some burning tyres and five people who were arrested were never seen after this.

 

Sivalingam Jeyarajah of Karadipooval, China Bay, stated in evidence as follows:

 

“On 4th July, 1990, our village was rounded up by the Police at about 5.15 a.m. 16 persons including myself and Thanarajah were taken to the Police station.  After some time we were taken inside the Police Station.  He was taken behind the Police station and after few minutes we heard some gun shots.  Then afterwards we saw some flames coming from burning of tyres.  From a window I saw some human bodies were burnt.  Then we were put inside a cell and released after that.  Out of the 15 arrested in all five were taken behind the Police Station, and all those five are missing. Before they were being taken away the police assaulted them mercilessly and I saw them being assaulted.”

 

2. The arrest of Miss Noel Annammah attracted lot of international attention.  She was arrested by the Barbour Police, Trincomalee on 02.08.90 and after three days she was released.  Then on her way to the Post Office she was arrested by the Police again and was released after a few hours.  Her sister went to escort her back home.  On their way home, Police came by bus and abducted her again.  Her sister went to the Police Station to report about this arrest.  She was informed that the O.I.C. was sleeping and was asked to come again.  The Police refused to record her statement.  Nothing was heard of Miss Noel Annammah after that.

 

3. The case of Sahul Hameed Salaldeen is another instance of needless cruelties inflicted by the Army. A portion of his father’s statement is given below:

 

“We were at the Muthur Maha Vidaylaya as refugees during the trouble on 21.07.90. The army along with Muslim Homeguards came there and took my son to the upstairs of the school.  I could not see but heard that the army assaulted him in the night and in the morning the army took him in a tractor toward Kinniya.  Then my nephew Saleem who went to Kinniya Army Camp saw him detained there.  I spoke to the Commander of the camp about the release of my son.  The Commander wanted the clothes for the son and also asked me to come on Sunday.  On Sunday when I went to see my son someone from the camp came home and told us that our son is dead and asked us not come.  I asked for the body from the person who came and told me.  He said that the body has already been buried.  I have not made any complaint at any police station and the death of my son has not been registered.  I can bring the nephew before the Commission as witness.  I have six children and all are going to school.  I request the Commission to grant me some relief.  I still believe that my son must be living somewhere.  I request the Commission to trace him.”

 

The Commission could not look into these serious allegations due to time constraints.  We however give a schedule of the arrests which cry aloud for investigation. Please see Annexure E in volume II.  We feel this is a task for our successor Commission.

Posted on 2002-08-30



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