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Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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HomeTamils - a Nation without a State > Struggle for Tamil Eelam  >  Human Rights & the Tamil People >Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) > Sri Lanka: Mounting Humanitarian Toll in 2008 > Sri Lanka's Genocidal War '08 ...after Abrogation of the Ceasefire

Sri Lanka Army Deep Penetration Unit
Assassinates Chairman of Human Rights Body � NESoHR

20 April 2008

[see also International Federation of Tamils condemns Targeted Killing of Rev. M.X.Karunaratnam as a War Crime]

Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) condemns in the strongest possible terms the assassination of Reverend Father X. Karunaratnam, the Chairman of the NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESoHR), by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) in a claymore mine (command detonated mine) on Sunday, 20 April 2008.

Father Karunaratnam was a senior resource person TRO and other local NGOs in the NorthEast and worked tirelessly to promote and defend the human rights of the Tamil people. Father Karunaratnam was loved and respected by all that met and worked with him. Over the years he has given a tremendous amount of support, advice and solace to TRO and other members of civil society and worked tirelessly for peace during the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) period, an agreement recently unilaterally abrogated by the GoSL.

Fr. Karunaratnam was the Chairman of the NGO Consortium from 1998-2002 and prior to that was the Vanni/Northern co-ordination for the news service Radio Veritas.

TRO sends it condolences to his family, parishioners and the staff of NESoHR and hope that people all over the world join together to honor this great man and the work he did for the suffering people of the Vanni and the NorthEast.

TRO calls on the international community, the UN Human Rights Council and human rights organizations to condemn this attack and to pressure the Government of Sri Lanka to allow a human rights monitoring body to be set up in the country with access to all areas. 

This is the most recent attack by the SLA DPU, which has a history of targeting civilians, including doctors, nurses, school children, another priest, and a Member of Parliament. Some of the details of previous attacks:

06 March 2008: Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian, K. Sivanesan, and his driver, Periyannan Maheswararajah, 27, were killed in a Claymore attack carried out by the Sri Lanka Army Deep Penetration Unit on A-9 road,

27 November 2007: Seven school girls, three male volunteers and the driver of a van, engaged in rural first aid service, were killed at Iyangkea'ni on Kokkaavil - Thu'nukkaay Road in a Claymore attack carried out by an SLA DPU unit.

25 November 2007: An ambulance that belongs to Muzhangkaavil hospital, engaged on medical service to the displaced civilians from Poonakari living in Mudkompan area, was targeted by a SLA DPU Claymore attack at Mudkompan. The driver of the ambulance, Thavaseelan, 29, was seriously wounded in the attack.

26 September 2007: Rev. Fr. Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith, 40, the Mannar district coordinator of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) killed while bringing in baby milk and essential humanitarian supplies for displaced children.

24 March 2007: TRO Humanitarian worker Muthuraja Aruleswaran, was killed and 3 TRO directors, including the Assistant Executive Director of the TRO, Vadivel Ravichandran, 38, were wounded in the attack which took place at Periyamadu in Mannar district, located northwest of Madhu.

09 August 2006: A doctor, his wife, two nurses and the driver of the ambulance belonging to Nedunkerni hospital killed in a DPU attack.

08 June 2006: Four health officials of the Tamileelam Health Service Mobile Medical Service, including a nurse and the driver of the vehicle, were wounded at Akkarayaan, 20 km from Kilinochchi


Arjunan Ethirveerasingam
Geneva Mobile : +41 078 763 5903
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Skype: arjunan1

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