Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Nation without a State> Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Indictment against Sri Lanka > Sri Lanka's Shadow War '02 to '07: Introduction & Index > the Record Speaks....

Sri Lanka's War on Eelam Tamils
...in the Shadow of a Ceasefire

  • Extra Judicial Killing of Jude Sugathy (Theresa) Croos,  Jude Arokiyathass Fernando, Emmanual Croos, Emmanuel Anthonikkam Croos, Jude Suganthie Cruze, and Jude Arokiaraj Parunandu on 23 December 2005 [also in PDF] - North East Secretariat on Human Rights NESOHR Case Report, 14 January 2006

Bishop Rayappu Joseph - Mannar  "...On the 23rd of December, consequent to a claymore mine attack on the Navy at 100 Houses-Scheme at Pesali in the Mannar island, the the Navy went on a rampage and besides attrocious cruelties, assaults and other human rights violation let out by them, on the poor innocent civilians of the same place, they had liquidated four civilians including a three years old child. Responsible eye witnesses, on the morning of the 24th Dec. had managed to creep in to the house where these four were staying and had seen a whole lot of blood in the room.

There is also an eye witness who had seen a white van parked in front of this house on the 23rd for two hours. Later, when we were allowed to visit this village along with the SLMM on the 25th morning, for the first time after the incident, the witnesses told me that the blood had been completely wiped out and there were found burnt three pieces of human bones and flesh in that room. We believe that these four civilians had been killed in that room, were moved away and were disposed of, elsewhere. There is no sign of a big fire in that room. This can be seen even today.The victims are: 1. Mrs Jude Sugathy (Theresa) Croos 31 yrs and her son Jude Arokiyathass Fernando 3 yrs ( D.B 22.09.2002) ; Mr.Emmani Croos 45 yrs and his wife Mrs Emmani Anthonikkam Croos 45 yrs.

When Mrs Suganthy Croos and her husband with two of their children were having their luch at 1.55 noon on the 23rd Dec., 2005, at their home as above, they heard the mine blast. Consequently they heard the Navy firing and as their house is located along the main road, they left their house, the husband with the elder child and the wife with the younger child. The wife had told her husband that she would get in to the neighbouring house as there was a couple there and she ran in. The husband went further to the last house on the lane with his child and stayed there and was able to escape the sad fate of his wife and his younger child."


1. Claymore attack

On Friday December 23rd, at 1.30 pm, the second vehicle of the three vehicles carrying Sri Lankan Navy sailors back to their base in Talaimannar was hit by a claymore mine. The attack occurred in Pesalai when the bus was passing through the �Hundred House Scheme�. The Sri Lankan Navy camp in Talaimannar is located about two kilometres from this housing scheme. Thirteen soldiers died in the attack and many more were wounded.

2. Retaliation Uninjured soldiers in the other two vehicles immediately started spraying bullets towards the housing scheme. Panicky occupants of the houses in the �Hundred Housing Scheme� started to flee in all directions. Following account is based on the statement given to us by a family member of one of the victims and the descriptions of the attack given by several other residents who faced the Sri Lankan Navy revenge attack.

3. The Statement:

The fleeing As people started to run, Suganthy picked up her younger child aged 3, and her husband, Fernando, picked up their older child aged 5. Fernando told Suganthy, �Let us run and if we die, let us die together�. They began to run. Suganthy�s house was on the road side between the location of where the Navy vehicle got hit by the claymore and the Navy vehicle that was traveling a few metres ahead. Suganthy is an asthma patient and she found it difficult to run carrying the toddler. At this time Suganthy saw that the couple next door was still in their home, standing at their door steps. This couple next door was not about to run like everyone else. Suganthy told Fernando, �I will wait with them, you run further�. She tore her hand off from Fernando�s and ran into the house of Anthoniamma and Emanuel Cruz. That was the last time Fernando saw his wife and child.

The Cruz couple, whose house at which Suanthy took refuge, have four children, eldest of them is 14 years old. These children had gone to another house to watch television with their friends. The parents, worried about what could happen to their children did not want to run away, and they stayed in their home.

Fernando ran on and stopped about five houses further down and stayed there. After that, no one knows what exactly happened to Suganthy, her baby and the Cruz couple. The beating and the sexual assault

One woman resident states, �The fleeing people were stopped by the Sri Lankan Navy and the women were forced to sit on the hot sand with their face to the sand. The Navy soldiers then asked the young women crude sexually motivated questions. They also dropped their trousers in front of the women. It was so unbearable�.

The men were taken to another side and they were all beaten. There were all together about 42 men who were beaten. Both men and women were then forced to sit there for several hours.

Navy men came to the house where Fernando (Suganthy�s husband) had taken refuge with their older five year old boy. The Navy men picked up the five year old boy by his collar and was about to beat him. Fernando instinctively put his arm to take the blow. The Navy men had then turned to the father and said, �Are you so brave and strong that you can stop us?� They then severely attacked the father. Fernando sustained severe injuries on his arms, legs, and hips as a result of the attack. He was unable to walk.

Refuge in the church and the missing people

Around 6.00 pm the priest from the village church arrived and rescued all of the residents sitting on the sand and took them to the church. The Navy did not release nine men.

When the villagers arrived at the church they realized that several people were missing. Everyone thought the missing people would have run further and took refuge in the adjacent villages. The church priest searched for the missing people in the other villages, found some of them and brought them back to the church. Suganthy, her baby and the Cruz couple were still missing.

Suganthy�s relatives looked among the injured civilians admitted to the hospital for the missing four people. There they saw a pregnant mother who was hit in the stomach with a gun by the Navy men.

The nine men

On the second day, Saturday December 24th, the Bishop of Mannar (Bishop Rayappu Joseph), talked to the Navy and got the nine detained men released. It was around 12.00 pm on Saturday when they were released. Residents said those nine men, when they returned, did not look like they were humans, they were attacked so severely, their skulls were broken, their hands and legs were broken. The state in which they came back was beyond belief.

Search for the four people

On Saturday, no one was allowed to go back into the village. The Navy however, allowed the Assistant Government Agent (AGA) for the district to go through the village but she was not allowed to go inside any houses. The Navy stopped them from stepping off of the road. The Navy only allowed the AGA to go down the road to the adjacent villages to look for the missing people. The AGA looked through the other villages and came back and said the four missing people were not to be found.

The residents encouraged the AGA to ask for permission from the Navy to go inside houses to look for the missing people. The AGA took three more of her officials and went to look in the houses. Those who came described what they saw as follows, �It�s hard to describe what we�ve seen, it�s really cruel. There is a lot of blood that has run from inside a house, outside, and down the front steps of the house. The verandah is covered in blood. Because there was so much blood, we couldn�t step into the house. The blood on the steps is still there. We found the hands of a small child just outside the house and a chunk of flesh inside the house among the ashes�.

Among the burnt remains

Everyone by now realized that the four people are no more. The Navy did not allow anyone into the houses for sometime and they must have cleared out the place during that time. They have just missed to remove the child�s hand and the chunk of flesh that the AGA and her three officials saw on Saturday.

The third day, Sunday December 25th, which was Christmas day, the Sri Lankan Navy pulled back, and allowed the people to go to their homes. Fernando was the first one to be there with his younger brother. The others soon joined him. The ashes in the house were still there. The hand and the chunk of flesh had been removed. They could see that some attempt had been made to wash up the blood. They searched among the ashes. Fernando immediately recognized the green skirt that his wife was wearing. It was halfburnt. In one area there was dried blood in a puddle, which the Bishop took pictures of. Only the Bishop was allowed to take a camera. They found Suganthy�s national ID (Identity Card), her army ID, and her bank account book as she must have run with her purse and these things were in her purse. Her homeowner�s identity card was also there.

They submitted all of these things to the police. The National ID of Emanuel Cruz was also there.

Theft and burning

The people were also saying that there had been some theft. The Navy actually stole jewels from the women and there was 25,000 Rupees missing from one home. About seven houses had been burnt badly. Furniture and mattresses were heaped in these houses and were set alight. They completely burnt one of the large shops in the village. Monday

By Monday, December 26th, the entire village had collected the remains of their belongings and left the village. Fernando was also admitted to the hospital on Monday. On Tuesday, the family members of Fernando took some offerings to the house, as part of the funeral ritual. They placed the food at the steps and within two minutes of doing this, the Navy men were there. The family members felt threatened.

People were absolutely scared at the time of the incident. On the second or third day after the incident the Navy was still carrying out its search operations and the entire village was in a state of fear.

4. The Inquiry

On Sunday, December 25th, two officials from the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), the Bishop of Mannar Rev. Rayappu Joseph, and Rev. Fr. Wincent Parick, the parish priest from the church where resident took refuge, visited the house where the burnt human remains were found. Mannar Police were given the job of conducting investigations.

It is revealing to note that none of the people who faced the Sri Lankan Navy attack on December 23rd expect anything to come out of the police investigations.

Dr N Malathy (NESOHR Secretary)

Civil group calls for probe into Pesalai civilian killings

[TamilNet, January 23, 2006 20:40 GMT]

Pesalai Parish Pastoral Council and Mannar Citizen Committee through a joint memorandum Monday appealed to Sri Lanka's President Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse to order an impartial inquest into the killing of four innocent civilians including a three-year old child by soldiers of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) on December 23, and to pay compensation to the dependants of those killed, sources said. President of the Pesalai Parish Priest Council, Rev.Fr.Vincent Patrick, and Secretary, Mr.A.T.Masceringhe, and representative of the Mannar Citizen Committee signed the memorandum.

Mr. Emmanuel Cruz (42), Ms Emmanuel Anthonikkam Cruz (42), Ms Jude Suganthie Cruze(30), and Jude Arokiaraj Parunandu (3) were killed and burnt in this incident. Residents believe that navy sailors killed these persons and disposed the remains elsewhere. Following this atrocity remaining families in the housing scheme fled from their houses and sought refuge in the Pesalai church, the memorandum said.

"We regret that no action has been taken so far regarding these murders, to apprehend the culprits and to bring them to justice. Hence we appeal to you to order for an inquest into these deaths and to offer compensation to the dependants of the murdered civilians," the memorandum said.

A delegation comprising a group of people of Pesalai Monday afternoon handed the copies of the memorandum to the Mannar Assistant District Secretary, Ms. Mohanathan, at the District Secretariat and to the representatives of the ICRC and SLMM in Mannar at the Mannar District Secretariat.

Copies of this memorandum were also sent to the SLA Commander, Defense Ministry Secretary, envoys of Japan, USA, Britain, India, Australia, German, Norway and Canada, Mannar Bishop, President of the Bishops' Conference, SLMM, and ICRC in Geneva, sources said.




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