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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Peace Brigades International reports on atrocities in Batticaloa area - June 1995
The US based non governmental organisation, Peace Brigade International reported on 11 July 1995:
"Since the fighting resumed between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government in late April, witnesses have reported a wide-range of human rights violations against the Tamil population living near the Morakotanchenai Army Base, including: extra-judicial killings, regular mass round-ups, forced civilian labour for military purposes (eg. clearing land mines and serving as human shields).
Sri Lankan Army troops and the Independent "Motorcycle" Brigade, both stationed at Morakotanchenai in Batticaloa District, Eastern Province, have one of the worst records of human rights violations against the Tamil civilian population, according to local human rights activists. During the week beginning 25 June (1995) alone, witnesses in the area report the following:
* 25 June, unidentified youth arrested by the Independent Brigade. His body was found on 29 June.
* 28 June, the Independent Brigade forced nearly 2,000 villagers to attend the a "funeral" of an unidentified informant. Following the lecture, members of the Independent Brigade roamed the area, assaulting those who had failed to attend. Two men who had received information from PBI field-workers were also singled out and beaten.
* 30 June, in response to reports of an impending LTTE attack on the camp, an estimated 5,000 villagers were forced to serve as human shields for the Morakotanchenai army camp.
Local organizations and activists believe that the presence of international organizations, such as Peace Brigades, is an essential component in efforts to safeguard human rights in the combat zone. Intimidation of international monitors and their local contacts can only signal the intent to engage in further abuse, and we believe that a strong, immediate response is necessary to ensure our continued effectiveness."(Peace Brigades International - USA - [email protected] ) 11 July 1995