Sri Lanka Army soldiers manning a check post close to Thandikulam
Agriculture Farm School in Vavuniya entered the school premises, lined up the
uniformed hostel students who were engaged in practicals and shot at them,
killing four students, 3 Tamil and a Muslim, and wounding eight. The troopers
manning a check post, at Soya Lane, 100 meters away from the school, stormed the
premises after a Claymore blast killed five soldiers opposite the school around
9:45 a.m. Saturday. Fellow students said the troopers shot at them while they
were pleading they were innocent students.
The four dead students were identified as Atchuthan of
Batticaloa, Gopinath of Trincomalee, Rizwan Mohamed of Batticaloa and Sinthujan
of Vavuniya, Police said. Two students who were in a critical condition were
transferred to Anuradhapura, according to medical sources.
The Claymore attack had taken place 10 meters from the school, opposite the
road. Five troopers including an officer were killed and the remaining four
soldiers in the vehicle were wounded. The troopers were travelling towards
Omanthai when their vehicle was attacked.
The soldiers who entered the school premises had come from the check post
located at Soya Lane. Vavuniya magistrate M. Ilancheliyan visited the
Vavuniya hospital and conducted initial inquiries. Thandikulam is located 4 km
north of Vavuniya on A9. Omanthai is situated about 17 km north of Vavuniya.
COLOMBO, Nov 19 (Reuters)
- Nordic truce monitors said on Sunday Sri Lankan troops
opened fire on a group of agriculture students at close
range in the island's north on Saturday, killing five,
after a deadly rebel ambush on government forces. A
military spokesman said ground troops told him the
civilians were killed in crossfire after a Tamil Tiger
blast in the northern district of Vavuniya killed five
soldiers on Saturday, and that police were
investigating. "These soldiers fired indiscriminately at
a group of students who had thrown themselves on the
ground seeking safety after an LTTE (Tamil Tiger)
Claymore mine blast nearby," Helen Olafsdottir,
spokeswoman for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission that
oversees the 2002 ceasefire, told Reuters. "Witnesses
say that soldiers jumped over the fence, into the
agricultural school premises, and opened fire," she
added. "They shot from close range, five of the students
were killed and at least 10 others were injured."
Execution-style killings of students in Vavuniya, a war
crime - Tamil National Alliance Press Release, 19 November 2006
On 18 November 2006, at about 10.30 am, the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL)
Army personnel had approached the premises of the Agriculture Farm School in
Thandikulam, Vavuniya from several fronts firing in the air with live
ammunition. Several students dressed in uniform were engaged in Practicals
at the time. On hearing the firing the students had taken cover by lying
flat on the ground.
On entering the school premises, members of the GOSLís Army had ordered the
students to stand up. At this point, one student Ramachandran Atchuthan, had
stood up and explained that all those present were students of the said
school and had no connection whatsoever to an earlier claymore mine attack
that had been carried out on a Sri Lanka Army vehicle. At this stage the
GOSL Army personnel shot Atchuthan in the head at point blank range.
Subsequently three other students, Gopinath of Trincomalee, Rizwan Mohammed
of Batticaloa and Sinthujan of Vavuniya were also shot in execution style
killings. The GOSL Army personnel then proceeded to open fire randomly at
the remaining students, grievously wounding ten students of whom six were
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) condemns in the strongest possible terms
this heinous crime committed by the GOSLís Armed Forces against innocent
Tamil civilians. This is yet another crime in a very long list of such
crimes that have deliberately and systematically targeted innocent Tamil
civilians. These are War Crimes of the most serious nature.
The TNA wishes to point out that the GOSL Armed Forces are over 99%
Sinhalese, and are openly hostile to the Tamil people. The Tamil people look
upon the GOSL armed forced as an Army of Occupation and have every reason to
fear that the massacre of Tamil civilians will continue for as long as the
GOSL Armed Forces continue to occupy the areas of historical habitation of
the Tamil speaking people.