Commission received 537 written complaints from this district. We could not
visit Jaffna as a good portion of Jaffna was under L.T.T.E. control and the
ground situation was not conducive for a visit. Even after the completion of
the Riviresa operation the Presidential Secretariat by its letter of 10.12.96
advised us not to visit Jaffna.
the Commission invited those complainants who were residing outside Jaffna to
appear before the Commission at the Ministry of Justice. 104 such complainants
were heard. The balance complainants are residents of Jaffna and the
Commission faced difficulties in summoning them in view of the postal and
transport delays and the security problems faced by them in coming down to
Colombo. So their inquiries had to be delayed, for a future date.
50% of the cases inquired by the Commission relate to the disappearances of
soldiers and this number amounted to 51. Out of these, 37 soldiers were from
Pooneryn Camp and the balance from the other Camps.
Security services have a well worked-out scheme to support the families of the
armed personnel who die or disappear while on duty. It was revealed in
evidence that they have already been paid compensation, obtained posthumous
promotions and their monthly salary is being paid to the dependants.
The other people who appeared before this Commission
are an industrious and self-reliant community and they have enriched Jaffna
life for centuries. On 30th November 1990, the L.T.T.E. took a
decision to evict the Jaffna Muslims with two days notice. The disruption of
the social, economic and emotional life of the Muslims was enormous. All their
possessions were plundered and they were not allowed to take even a change of
clothing, let alone jewellery and cash. Evidence given by Mrs. M.P Pathurasman
of No.10/90 Anuradhapura Road, Puttalam, regarding the disappearance of her
son and her husband, is given below. This shows the traumatic effect this
eviction had on the Muslims.
complaint is about my son’s disappearance. Ramzeen was 18 years old, he was
a student Osmania College Jaffna. When my son was at his aunt’s place at
Mullatuvu on 11th April,
1990, some Tigers came on bicycles
and took him into custody and took him away. My sister Samoon Jerina, alias
Jaseeda saw the incident. She will come as a witness to testify.
information was passed on to me by my sister whose address is Mrs. Jerina
Samoon No.74, P.W.D. Road, Mullaitivu. I inquired for him at the Tiger Camp in
Jaffma and various other Tiger Camps and contacted one Saleem of L.T.T.E. who
was in the Thirunelvely Camp who informed me the son is in their custody and
they would release him after inquiry. Subsequently I heard that my son was in
the Tiger Camp of Neerveky and inquired for him and got the same reply.
my husband was also taken by Tigers and kept at their Camp and they promised
to release him after inquiry, My husband who was 50 years old was taken into
custody in October, 1992 and the L.T.T.E. demanded a sum of Rs.1 million for
his release. He was released after 15 days without any payment. I have four
children, out of whom my son is the eldest. The person who told me said that
he contacted my son at the shop and my son was scared to give any letters for
fear of reprisal. I do not have anybody to go and speak to him and get a final
reply. I have given this information to the ICRC as well. I did not get any
information from them. I request the Commission to trace him and hand him over
to me. My husband is working in a shop at Puttalam. We depend on the state
assistance of Rs. 1,250 per month for our living. All my children are school
going. My arrested son is an O/L student. My son’s name appears in the list
of 32 names held in captivity by the Tigers, given to the ICRC. I like to see
my son. I request the Commission to make arrangements to see my son through
the good office of the ICRC”
affidavit of another witness, Mrs, Ummu Salma of No.41 Navalar
Road, Jaffna is also reproduced below to show the travails Jaffna
Muslims underwent during these troubled times.
husband Mohamed Kiluru Sultan Abdul Cader, aged 68 years, father of six
children (three males and three females) and a businessman dealing in Gold
jewellery and gold, residing at 41, Navakar Road, Muslim Ward, Jaffna, was
taken into captivity by the L.T.T.E. terrorists on the night of 30th
September, 1990 at about 11.00 p.m. when he was sleeping.
the group of terrorists came to my house they asked for the keys of the
jewellery shop purported to be owned by my husband, when in fact my husband
had no shop as such, he replied that he had no shops at all. Thereafter he was
blind folded and forcibly loaded into a vehicle driven by them and was taken
away from home immediately.
the 4th October, 1990 the, group of L.T.T.E. terrorists came again
to my house and loaded all the household effects, furniture, movable property
electronic and electric appliances and other household effects into their
vehicles and took away the vehicles which were parked in the house and
premises. From the day my husband was taken into captivity by the said
terrorists he was kept at various places from time to time but no members of
the household were allowed to see him. Nor was he shown to them.
14th October, the group of terrorists again came to my house with
my husband, who was chained in his hands and legs and appeared to have been
tortured in captivity, and forcibly took away all the jewellery kept in safe
places in the house and took away the same along with my husband. Thereafter,
though valiant efforts were taken to see my husband, no one was allowed to see
him nor was he allowed from captivity.
the same period of time several other wealthy Muslims were also taken into
custody by the same group of terrorists and were detained under trying
was reliably informed and verily believed that my husband was beaten up,
incarcerated and tortured in captivity by the terrorists who took him into
captivity from the day he was taken as such.
last day I saw my husband alive was on the 14th day of October,
1990 when he was brought home in manner set out above and thereafter I have
had no occasion to see him.
or about 27th October, 1990 there was a talk to the effect that my
husband had succumbed to his injuries sustained in the course of torture in
captivity on or about the 16th of October, 1990.
up to the time I was in Jaffna which may be reckoned as the 17th
day of December, 1990, I had not seen or viewed my husband dead or alive. Even
after the information which spread all over the city and residential areas in
Jaffna that my husband was dead due to being tortured, his remains were not
handed over to me or any other person to be disposed of according to religious
custom prevailing among Muslims.
I have not seen my husband dead or alive after 14th October, 1990
and since the remains of my husband if he was dead then had not been handed
over to me or any other person for religious burial and since no person in
authority in the peninsula or elsewhere in the Island was informed of his
captivity or his death up to date, it cannot be presumed that my
husband is dead unless or until the Commissioner is satisfied by evidence
adduced to the contrary That is to say only after sufficient evidence is
brought up before the Commissioner for him to satisfy fully that my husband
died in captivity on the date referred to above, then and in such an event
only is it a fact that my husband died on the 16th day of October,
1990 in captivity of the L.T.T.E. terrorists at Nallur in Jaffna.
has therefore become necessary for me as the lawful widow of the said missing
person, to make application to the Commissioner for the relief set out below:
to trace my husband if he is
to ask for sufficient oral and documentary evidence relating to the taking
into captivity of my husband, circumstances relating to his captivity and
torture and medical treatment extended to him in captivity;
If such evidence point out to one answer that is my husband is not alive, then
in such an event to direct the authorities concerned to issue appropriate
documents to that effect.
following persons may provide sufficient evidence in relation to the averment
M.U Thahir, Plaza Complex, Wellawatta, Colombo 6.
M.Rahumathullah, Albert place, Dehiwela.
M. Burhanuddeen, Wattala.
M. A. C. Ibrahim, St Lazarus Road, Negombo.
S. A. C Mubeen, Dam street, Colombo 12.
Army in its operations arrested 14 people mainly from the Islands and
Karainagar and they are still missing. The Navy was responsible for the
disappearance of eight people, mostly fishermen and those crossing the Jaffna
Lagoon at Kilali point. The L.T.T.E. arrested nine people - six Sinhalese
fishermen and three Tamil civilians.
arrests were made by unknown groups. The E.P.R.L.F. has arrested 22 year old
M. Constantine and trained him as one of their fighters and allowed him to
correspond with his father. The father had lost contact with him for seven
years. His subsequent fate is not known.
have been reports of large scale arrests of youth by the Sri Lankan armed
forces, during the operations in Jaffna Fort, which commenced on 22nd
August, 1990. The troops from Kayts had moved towards the Jaffna Fort, through
the islands after advising the population of the islands to move into temples
and churches at Allaipiddy. On 25th August 1990, the Army had gone
to St. Philip Neri Church and arrested about 600 young persons of the age
group from 15 to 30, and later released them except for 49 persons.
the 23rd September, the Army arrested another 27 youths and none of
these 76 persons taken into custody on these two dates ever returned home.
the 26th September, 1990 after the forces withdrew, the local
dailies in Jaffna, reported finding 34 skeletons in some wells in the
Mandathivu area. The Commission could not investigate into this matters due to
the fact that the area was inaccessible to the Commission.