"To us all towns
are one, all men our kin.
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"Amnesty International was concerned about reports of random killings of non combatant Tamil civilians by members of the security forces. It also remained concerned about the detention of Tamils... it continued to receive reports of widespread torture of detainees. Several reports of deaths in custody, allegedly as a result of torture or shooting were received..." - Amnesty International Annual Report, 1985 for period January to December 1984
"Most of the dead are admitted to have been passers by, shot at random by vengeful infantrymen. They reportedly included men and women in their sixties...when the security services cannot find known suspects, they detain their fathers or brothers.." - Guardian 17 April 1984
"In respect of the killings on 28 March 1984, Amnesty International has concluded that there is strong evidence that the seven people shot dead in Chunnakam and the one man later shot dead at Mallakam died as a result of deliberate random shootings by airforce personnel" - Amnesty International Report, June 1984
" The crimes committed by the Sri Lankan State against
the Tamil minority - against its physical security,
citizenship rights, and political representation - are of
growing gravity for the international community.
"Despite denials by the government there... is credible evidence that the Sri Lanka security forces have repeatedly engaged in reprisals against civilian population centres in the northern province, burning houses and shops and randomly shooting civilians because of attacks by Tamil guerillas." - International Herald Tribune, 14 August 1984
"I left Sri Lanka most concerned that the terrible breaches of human rights of 1983 could well be repeated. Sri Lanka managed to stave off a United Nations investigation of the July 1983 violence by promises that have not been kept and other democratic nations should bring pressure to avoid the further outbreaks of communal hatreds that threaten and that will lead to further destruction of human rights" - Senator A.L.Missen, Chairman, Australian Parliamentary Group of Amnesty International, Report on visit to Sri Lanka, June-August 1984
"Army authorities conducting operations (in August
1984), asked the local population to produce male teen
agers, undertaking that they would be questioned and
immediately released after checking their identity.
The children were arrested, tortured and transported
like cattle by lorries with barbed wire to unknown
prisons in the South.
"...Yes, I believe Amnesty International's conclusions
that there have been extra judicial killings in Sri
Lanka; that the government's anti terrorism laws are
brutal, repressive and inherently anti democratic;
and yes, I believe that the process of disenfranchising
anyone who believes in a potential solution that is not
consistent with the majority view is completely anti
''Sri Lankan forces are conducting a harsh and remorseless campaign of intimidation among the islands' Tamil minority. By means of random murder, indiscriminate shootings, beatings, torture and plunder, ill disciplined and trigger happy soldiers keep the Tamils in the North in a state of constant fear...
Many thousands of people, mostly women and children, have fled to India and to Europe. Thousands of youths have been rounded up and held in Army camps. Their parents do not know where they are: they have become Sri Lanka's disappeared ones... The army's rampages, massacres and brutality have swung even moderate Tamil opinion against the authorities..
There is strong evidence of beating, torture and
murder of young men in Army custody... Troops have been
looting and burning houses. Many women have complained of
being robbed of jewellery...
"Allegations have recently reached Amnesty International of widespread killings in the Mannar area on 4 December 1984 by personnel of the security forces apparently in reprisal for the killing of a soldier when a landmine exploded...the scale of these killings is unprecedented. It is alleged that at least ninety unarmed civilians, nearly all Tamils, many of them old men, women, and children, were shot dead..." - Amnesty International Report on Sri Lanka, 9 January 1985
"The Mannar massacre is a case in point. On 4 December 1984, a vehicle carrying an army patrol was blown up by a mine on the road leading through the jungle to the small northern town. One soldier was killed and 11 wounded.
In the carnage that followed, troops poured out of their camps and according to the townspeople, killed more than 100 civilians. One group stopped a bus... and then shot all the ... male passengers... Another twenty died when the same treatment was meted out to a busload of passengers travelling in the opposite direction.
Off the main road, an army jeep drove into the village of Parappankadal. The soldiers fired indiscriminately, killing 12 of people including a mother nursing her infant child. The child survived though three toes were blow away by the bullet that killed its mother." (Michael Hamlyn reporting in the London Times, 18 February 1985)
" Who is a terrorist? Is he the person who uses a gun? Or is he also not a terrorist who accompanies a terrorist with a gun? Is he not also a terrorist who gives a house to a person who has a gun and who wants to kill? Is he also not a terrorist who watches the movement of the army and then goes and tells a terrorist: do not go that way, the army is around?" - Sri Lanka National Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali in Sri Lanka Parliament, December 1984