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Sri Lanka's Genocidal War - '95 to '01
Sri Lanka's reprisal killings of Tamil non combatants: May 1996 - December 1996
"Sri Lankan forces stationed at Elephant Pass have directed artillery shells at the Kilinochi hospital.The attack is thought to have been the army's retaliation for the fall of Mullaitivu. The indiscriminate shelling resulted in the deaths of five civilians.Another sixteen were wounded. Those injured included the head of the Sri Lankan Red Cross Mr.Vinayagamoorthy. Many who had lost their limbs in the attack have been dispatched to the hospital at Vavunya. Also in retaliation for the fall of Mullativu Sri Lankan soldiers stationed at the Thandikulam barrier fired on Tamil civilians who were waiting to cross the barrier. Mortar shells and bullets were directed towards the people by the army." (Tamil Monitor, 29 July 1996)
The bullet-ridden bodies of Sivarasa Krishna and Palanivel Gunasingham were found at Selvanayagapuram in Trincomalee on 29 May. The two Tamil youths had been abducted in a white van the previous night from Anbuvalipuram. White vans are associated with military death squads and a number of people abducted have disappeared. Tamil MP M Chandrakumar says in a letter to President Chandrika that white vans are creating widespread fear and has called for immediate inquiry. Observers say abductions are the Army's response to Tiger attacks. (Sri Lanka Monitor, published by British Refugee Council, May 1996)
"Police (mostly STF officers) and army personnel committed extrajudicial killings in both Jaffna and the Eastern Province... In February 1996 army troops murdered 24 Tamil villagers, including 2 children under 12 years of age, in the eastern village of Kumarapuram. ... In some cases these extrajudicial killings were reprisals against civilians for LTTE attacks in which members of the security forces were killed or injured. Several such reprisals occurred during operations by the STF. In many cases, the security forces claimed that the victims were members of the LTTE. However, human rights monitors have determined that these victims were civilians. ... There were also a number of suspicious deaths attributed to the security forces, mostly involving detainees..." (U.S. Department of State, Sri Lanka Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1996, January 1997)
"All branches of the security forces as well as Muslim and Sinhalese home guards and armed cadres of Tamil groups opposed to the LTTE were cited by survivors and witnesses as responsible for human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, "disappearances", torture and arbitrary arrest and detention. Some of the violations apparently took place in reprisal for attacks by the LTTE... (Amnesty International Report, August 1996)