Soosainather (Male) (44)
Marital status: Widowed with three children
Address: Vannankulam, Mullaitivu
Soosainathar and his family
displaced to India during the 1990 Sri Lankan military
operation in Mullaitivu. He came back home to Mullaitivu
in 2003 following the signing of the ceasefire
agreement. His family and home were seriously affected
in the December 2004 tsunami. He lost his wife and his
13 year old daughter in that tsunami. He was living with
his three remaining dependent children in the transit
camp at Unnappulavu.
Name: Thevasahayampillai Stanis Jeyakumar (Male) (39)
Marital status: Married with three children
Address: Vannankulam, Mullaitivu
Jeyakumar was displaced to India during the war. He
came back in February 2003 because his mother who was in
Mullaitivu was very sick. Jeyakumar’s mother Lilly
Thevasagajampillai says that Jeyakumar left his wife and
two children in India and brought one of his children
with him. Since then he has been looking after his
mother and the child. Jeyakumar’s mother laments the
plight of his child and herself without her son.
On 23rd January 2006 around 3.30 pm the pair,
Jeyakumar and Soosainather, left to go fishing from
Vannankulam area in Mullaitivu. Fishermen in this area
would normally return from the sea with their day’s
catch around 7.00 am the next morning.
At about 8.45 pm on 23rd, several people at the shore
heard gunshot noises coming from the sea which they all
recognized as coming from gunboat. Families and friends
of those who went to sea that night started to worry
about the men at sea.
Jeyakumar and Soosainather did
not return to shore on 24th morning. Their families
organized two boats to go to sea in search of the men.
These two boats returned that evening without any good
news and the searchers also said that they did not see
an oil slick or any other item indicating that the boats
have sunk. The searchers, however, said they saw two
pieces of fishing net floating 6 km from the shore. A
search team of 37 boats were sent the next day, January
25th, by the Federation of Fishermen’s Unions, also did
not find any trace of the men.
On January 27th people from
Mullivaikkal, an adjacent village 8 km away, found the
boat belonging to the disappeared pair swept ashore. The
boat was easily identified as belonging to the
disappeared pair by several distinguishing marks. These
are: it carried the number 195; it carried the name “Don
Bosco” since it was donated to one of the missing pair
by Don Bosco Religious Congregations; and it also had
the names of the three children of Jeyakumar, one of the
missing pair, to whom the boat belonged.
There were additional tell tale
signs. As shown in the photos below, a brand new rope
that had snapped and an iron cable were attached to
either side of the boat. These were not attached to the
boats when the pair went to sea. The missing pair’s
family and friends express the strong view that these
are the type of rope and iron cable used by the Sri
Lankan Navy. The parish priest of this area Fr. Jude
Amalathas says that two days prior to the disappearance
of the pair the Sri Lankan Navy gunboats close onto to
boats of the fishermen who were fishing in the sea at
high speed. Fr Jude said that this is a cruel harassment
of fishermen who would then leave their nets in the sea
and speed in their boats towards the shore in panic.
Since Mullaitivu is in the LTTE
administered area, families have lodged the
disappearances with the LTTE police station in
Mullaitivu. Families have also lodged the disappearances
with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).
Dr N Malathy (NESOHR Secretary)