Marital status: Married with two children aged 3 and 5
Address: Katkovalam, Point Pedro
Occupation: Fishing & Mason (Builder)
Baskaran grew up in Kudaththanai with his adopted family
and attended the Kudaththanai American Mission Tamil
Mixed School. He left school after studying GCE OL
classes. He began to work as a fisherman to earn a
living. As his adopted siblings displaced from the
island during the war, Baskaran took over the full
responsibility of taking care of his aging parents.
Baskaran married six years ago and they have two young
children. His family continued to live in Kudaththanai
so that Baskaran can take care of his aging parents.
Baskaran has recently obtained a passport with the
intention of traveling overseas to escape the threats he
faced in his village. The above photo is from his
Past arrests and torture
According to his friends and relatives, Baskaran was
arrested twice by the Sri Lankan military, under the
Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). His first arrest was
in 1997. He was kept in the Kaluththurai prison for
around six months. He was tortured during this period.
He was hung upside down and beaten. A bag filled with
petrol fumes was tied over his head. He was produced in
the courts and released after the courts found him
innocent. He was arrested again in 1999 and was again
released by the courts a few months later after he was
found innocent. He married soon after his second
Recent harassment and the move by the family
Few months prior to his shooting, Baskaranís family and
his parents moved to Katkovalam, unable to bear the
harassment by the Sri Lankan military and the local
paramilitaries in Kudaththanai. The two villages are
separated by a distance of about 6 km.
Events surrounding the shooting
Sri Lankan Army (SLA) rounded up Baskaranís home in
Kudaththanai on January 5th, the day before the
shooting. They held him for questioning for a long time.
SLA searched the house premises, including the
belongings of Baskaranís children, for a long time. They
were there from 5.30 until 8.30 pm. SLA accused Baskaran
of belonging to LTTE and of possessing Claymore mines.
Baskaran told them that he does not get involved in
anything like that. He begged the SLA to inquire from
the neighbours. When the SLA finally left they warned
that the family that they must report any visit by the
LTTE to their home.
Baskaran was unable to go fishing in Katkovalam because
he had the ďpassĒ (Sri Lankan Navy permission) to fish
only in Kudaththanai and not in Katkovalam. He had
therefore started to go to work as a builder in
Katkovalam. His wife had advised him to go to Vanni
because of the threats and harassment by the SLA.
Baskaran had refused to leave his aging parents because
there was no one else to take care of them. That night,
however, the family went to bed considering more
seriously about a shift to Vanni.
Around 11.00 pm someone called out ďBaskarĒ. Thinking it
was his friends next door Baskaran opened the door. The
men standing at the door tried to pull Baskaran by his
teeshirt. Baskaran was holding on to the door and begged
them to let him go because he has young children. When
his wife screamed they pointed the gun at her and she
stopped screaming. Baskaranís wife grabbed his tee-shirt
and tried to pull him back into the house. Baskaran
pushed his wife away fearing that the invaders will harm
The invaders then asked what Baskaran wanted as a last
request. He said that he wanted to see his children. His
wife turned to go inside to collect the children and she
heard the gunshots. Baskaran was lying on the ground and
was in pain. His wife was afraid to go near him.
Baskaranís neighbours who attempted to come to the aid
of the family after hearing his wifeís screams
discovered that armed SLA were guarding their doors
preventing them from leaving their homes. The invaders
left after warning his wife that they will come back the
next day to search the house again. After the invaders
and the SLA in the surroundings had left, neighbours
tried to hire a vehicle to take Baskaran to the
hospital. None of the drivers were willing to take
Baskaran to the hospital out of fear of retribution by
the SLA. Baskaran died of the gunshot wounds soon after.
One of Baskaranís friends came and looked closely at the
dead body of Baskaran. Immediately the news had traveled
to the SLA, who arrived demanding the identity of the
person who came to look at Baskaranís body. That person
has gone into hiding. Next morning the same men who shot
Baskaran came and looked around. When the magistrate
came for the inquiry no one was willing to tell the
magistrate the truth. Out of fear, Baskaranís wife told
the magistrate that she did not see anything except the
dead body of Baskaran. Very few people came to the
funeral out of fear. SLA threatened Baskaranís father
for informing the local government official (GS) about
SLA officer named ďJegathĒ
Friends and relatives say that they can identify one SLA
officer by the name Jegath who was stationed in
Kudaththanai for several years. He was also present
during the shooting in Katkovalam at Baskaranís house.
He may have now been transferred to another area. Some
of them also said that Jegath may have been transferred
to the Muhamalai checkpoint which is the border point
between the SLA controlled and LTTE administered areas
through which everyone moving between the two areas must
What villagers said
Two men from their area, Kamalakannan and Kuhan were
arrested. Their family was able to see the two men after
the arrest. Villagers said that these two men have now
been sent to the Kaluththurai prison in Colombo.
Villagers also said that out of about 500 families that
lived in their area only about 25 are still staying
Note by NESOHR:
NESOHR is with holding the identities of the people who
have provided us with information about the case for
their own safety. NESOHR is ready to share more detailed
information with any reputable international human
rights organizations wishing to inquire into this case.
International diplomats, media personnel and INGO staff
in the island have asked us why we have not issued
reports on the attacks on the Sri Lankan military. We
are surprised by this question. NESOHR is styled as a
national human rights organization and its main task is
to protect the human rights of those who are unarmed.
For this reason we do not bring under our purview the
attacks on armed persons like the Sri Lankan military,
members of the LTTE and members of other armed groups.
Dr N Malathy (NESOHR Secretary)