Name: Thambirajah Arulajanthan
Age: 15 Marital status: Single
Address: Kodikamam, presently displaced
Arul was a
Year 10 student. He was living with his parents and his
sisterís family in Kodikamam. His brother-in-law
Kirubaharan was a member of the LTTE and left the
movement six years ago. He is now married with children
and was living in Kodikamam with Arulís family.
Kirubaharan says he had nothing to do with the LTTE
since he left the movement.
Harassment of Kirubaharan
Members of the Sri Lankan
military intelligence wing have harassed Kirubaharan on
the street several times prior to the killing of Arul.
They would ask Kirubaharan if he still works for the
LTTE. Kirubaharan has emphatically denied this. However,
the intelligence wing personnel have persisted in their
harassment according to Kirubaharan. During the period
prior to the shooting, the police, the military
intelligence wing, and EPDP men came three times to
Arulís home apparently to search the premises. They
carried out a thorough search.
One day following the search,
the family found two grenades in their backyard.
According to the family these two grenades were placed
there by the military. The family cites the following
two points to prove their statement. First, because
there are small children in the household they clean
their yard regularly. Second, the two grenades were
found above the boot marks which could only have been
made by the military. Family informed the police and the
police came to look at the grenades. Police however did
not remove it. Later SLA soldiers came and removed it.
On 28th January night the family
had just finished watching a movie on the television and
had gone to bed around 10.15 pm. Family members state,
ďWe all felt some movement inside the house but were
half asleep. Arul and his mother were sleeping in the
front room on the floor. Arulís father was sleeping in
the same room on a bench. Kirubaharan, his wife and
children were sleeping in the next room. Arulís mother
was the first to be woken up by the movement of people.
She asked ďwho is it?Ē One of the invaders covered her
mouth and pulled her by the hand. Arulís mother then
tugged at Arul to wake him up. By this time, three of
the invaders have gone just behind Arulís father. Arulís
mother fearing they will harm Arulís father started to
shout. By now Arul had got up and was standing at the
entrance to the room. He asked the invaders why they are
inside. Suddenly there were three gun shots and the
invaders ran awayĒ.
Arul dies without treatment
When the family realized that
Arul was shot they tried to hire a vehicle to rush him
to the hospital. None of the drivers in the locality who
hire out vehicles were willing to take Arul because of
fear of retribution by the SLA. By the time Arulís
relatives living at some distance came to the aid to
take Arul to the hospital, he was dead.
Arulís brother-in-law escaped to
Vanni and could not even attend the funeral of Arul out
One of the village hair
dressers, outraged by the shooting of a young school
student, threw some Palmarah seeds (size and weight of a
tennis ball) at the SLA soldiers. Next day his shop was
completely broken and the hair dresser is in hiding.
Invaders revisit the house
Two of the invaders who shot
Arul the previous day visited the house the next day.
The funeral of Arul was taking place. Arulís family
thinks that the two men were revisiting the house to
shoot Kirubaharan, Arul's brother-in-law. However, the
two men riding a motorbike, approaching the house from
behind, slipped on the gravel and the motorbike fell
with the riders. Arulís school friends who were
approaching the house from behind to attend Arulís
funeral saw the men falling. They also saw the pistol
from their waist fall off. The men threatened to shoot
the students through their ears if they tell anyone
about what they have just seen. Arulís family also saw
SLA soldiers hiding behind the house when the two men
slipped and fell from the motorbike.
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 were 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)