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                           REPORT NO.7


                     RELEASED: 8TH MAY 1991


     Despite periodic massacres,  life in Batticaloa was  tending
towards  some low level of human existence with the trappings  of
normality.  But  the  sharp deterioration in the  situation  from
about  24th  April ushered in what many observers feel is  a  new
level of calculated terror,  reminiscent of counter insurgency in
the South and the headless bodies of Thirukkovil.

     On  24th  April,  two headless bodies were displayed near  a
police post in Iruthayapuram.  On the same day Kunaratnamani (18)
of Mankerni,  Valaichenai, was taken away by the forces. Kunarat
namani  was of Indian Tamil origin and his father  Arul,  a  long
standing  employee of the Civil Rights Movement,  was in the pro
cess  of  arranging  for his schoolboy son to  come  to  Colombo.
Kunaratnamani's severed head and body were found in the area  the
following morning (25th). The forces warned the people to dispose
of the body before the ICRC arrived.  Two bodies were also repor
ted  in Mandur.  The next corpse was that of a younger brother of
the LTTE area leader Karikalan, an employee of the Telecommunica
tions Department.  He is said to have been personally uninvolved.
On 1st May, the bodies of two girls were discoverd near thesecond
bridge to Puliyantheevu in Batticaloa.

     The Sunday times of 5th May reported:  "Batticaloa reisdents
who confined themselves to their homes said that the streets were
deserted by noon.  They also spoke of reports of a mysterious van
abducting people...."

     The  new situation coincides with the appointment  of  Major
General  Cecil Waidyaratne as commander of the Eastern  Province.
However,  the  Brigadier  in Batticaloa is said to have  appeared
genuinely surprised. Observers hold the government forces respon
sible for this outrage with the same degree of certainty as  with
which  the  LTTE is held responsible for massacres  of  Sinhalese
villagers further south. These activities have become the ceremo
nial aspect of widely reported peace overtures.

     Observers coming from Batticaloa describe recent killings as
totally counterproductive,  in a region where the peasant expres
sion 'sowing corpses' has come to assume deeper significance.

     On the positive side, there appears to have been an improve
ment  in  Kalmunai.  It was this STF controlled region  that  saw
headless  corpses  last September.  In Kalmunai according to  re
ports, disappearances have ceased in recent times. Those taken in
round ups are mostly released immediately. Someone released after
three  days  would usually have experienced  severe  beating.  Of
those detained,  it is said that both an acknowledgement and  the
place of detention are usually given.

                         C O N T E N T S

Chapter                                              Page

          Preface   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   .. i - v

1.   THE EAST: AN OVERVIEW    ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  10

     1.1  General Introduction     ..   ..   ..   ..  10
     1.2  Inter ethnic relations   ..   ..   ..   ..  11
     1.3  The consequences of the LTTE strategy   ..  12
     1.4  Waiting for the Unknown  ..   ..   ..   ..  13
     1.5  The Intrinsic unity of the East    ..   ..  15

2.   Reports   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  17

     2.1  Chenkaladi     ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  17
     2.2  Eravur    ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  18
     2.3  Kudiyiruppu    ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  21
     2.4  Batticaloa     ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  24
     2.5  Kattankudy     ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  26
     2.6  Kurukal Madam  ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  30
     2.7  Kaluwanchikudy ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  31
     2.8  (Periya) Kallar     ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  32
     2.9  Kalmunai  ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  33
     2.10 Karaithevu     ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  34
     2.11 Akkaraipattu   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  36
     2.12 Thirukovil-Thambiluvil   ..   ..   ..   ..  37
     2.13 Vinayagapuram  ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  38
     2.14 Thandiyady     ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  38

3.   Reports - Personal  ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  39

     3.1  Saved by his dog    ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  39
     3.2  Shot by home guards ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  40
     3.3  Taken from the Eastern University  ..   ..  40
     3.4  Hide and Seek in Batticaloa Prison ..   ..  41
     3.5  Left for dead in Kallar  ..   ..   ..   ..  42

4.   The Refugee camp at the Eastern University
     - Vantharumoolai    ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  43

     4.1  The beginnings ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  43
     4.2  From the records of Eastern University  ..  44
     4.3  How the people benefitted from the camp ..  45
     4.4  The LTTE and the camp    ..   ..   ..   ..  45
     4.5  The disappearance of 159 inmates   ..   ..  46
     4.6  The General arrives ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  46
     4.7  The last days  ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  47
     4.8  Refuge in the jungle     ..   ..   ..   ..  47
     4.9  The significance of the closure of the
          Eastern University  ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  48
     4.10 A postscript   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  50

5.   The Armed Forces    ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  51

     5.1  The STF   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  51
     5.2  The army  ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  52

6.   The Social Fabric and Communal Relations..   ..  53

     6.1 Why did the LTTE turn on the Muslims     ..  53
          6.1.1  Majority arrogance..   ..   ..   ..  53
          6.1.2  Yogi's speech..   ..   ..   ..   ..  54

     6.2  A note on the origins of the Muslim
          communities in Ceylon    ..   ..   ..   ..  56
     6.3  The character of leadership in the East ..  57
          6.3.1  The politics of cap turning:
                    Myth & reality ..   ..   ..   ..  57
          6.3.2  Sitting on a powder keg..   ..   ..  59

     6.4  The land question in Tamil Muslim relations 61
          6.4.1  The beginnings    ..   ..   ..   ..  61
          6.4.2  The 1960's and after   ..   ..   ..  62
          6.4.3  A Tamil perception from Kalmunai ..  63
          6.4.4  Truth and fiction ..   ..   ..   ..  65
     6.5  Muslim perceptions  ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  66

7.   The Eastern Borderlands  ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  72
     7.1  The Borderlands     ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  72
     7.2  Massacre of Sinhalese in Athimale-
               Moneragala District ..   ..   ..   ..  73
     7.3  Kantalai  ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  75
     7.4  The abduction of Pushparani Chelliah    ..  75
     7.5  Massacre at Niedella - Moneragala District  76
8.   Colonisation - Issues and Non-Issues    ..   ..  80

     8.1  Early motivations   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  80
     8.2  Tamil reactions     ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  81
     8.3  The flaw  ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  82
     8.4  The current war     ..   ..   ..   ..   ..  83
     8.5  The LTTE and Tamil interests  ..   ..   ..  84

Appendix 1 - The human rights agreement in El Salvador
                              (Press summary)..   ..  86

Appendix 11 - An appeal by the Council of Hindu
                              Organisations  ..   ..  87


     The current report is centred on the East and raises  issues
which  we think are central to the political future of this coun
try.  Our  inquiries were made mainly on the stretch of the  east
coast from Vantharumoolai,  north of Batticaloa,  to Komari, near
Pottuvil.  In  the course of preparing this report,  we  received
invaluable  help from some human rights activists in  the  South,
who  also gave us accounts of recent massacres of Sinhalese  pea
sants  in  parts of the Moneragala district bordering  the  East.
Through  discussions with them,  we were able to gather something
of the feelings of Sinhalese settled in the East.  At the cost of
some  repetition of material from earlier reports (No.5 and  Spe
cial  No.3),  our  final chapter attempts to clarify  the  issues
surrounding state aided colonisation.

     Some of the areas covered in Special Report No.3 were  revi
sited.  This time we had the benefit of several cordial conversa
tions  with Muslims living in the region from Eravur to  Akkarai
pattu.  This  helped  us  to correct some of the  imbalance  that
readers of Special Report No.3 complained of.

     The current report is fairly detailed,  as some of the  ear
lier ones have been, and may  deter the average reader. Given our
situation  and our capacity,  our primary purpose is not only  to
make an immediate impact.  By leaving behind a historical record,
we  hope  that  it would influence the development  of  healthier
politics in the future.

     We  have argued in our reports that at the root of the  pre
sent  political crisis and the spate of human rights  violations,
lies  the degrading feeling of powerlessness which the  different
communities  feel in the face of forces who not just impose  upon
them,  but  are often ready to resort to  massacres.  Though  the
protagonists, whether the state or a militant group, may tempora
rily  gloat over the powerlessness of the victim,  it also  turns
the  alienated young into militant potential that could be  moul
ded.  It becomes all the more explosive in a culture where it has
become  respectable to be insensitive.  It has become fashionable
in our universitites to tell students not to talk about political
issues,  while young men and women,  peasants,  soldiers and even
children,  are giving their lives by the hundreds.  For the, per
haps  small,  minority  of students who are keenly aware  of  the
tragedy  of their own village,  are unable to talk about it in  a
sympathetic environment,  and feel angry about it,  secret socie
ties and covert activity become the only outlets.

     We  have  also constantly argued that the  state,  with  its
legal obligations and material resources,  must make a bold poli
tical initiative based on human rights,  to break the ideological
blockade,  remove the feeling of powerlessness among people,  and
give  them confidence,  instead of being trapped in its ugly  ac

     Being  university  teachers rooted in  Jaffna,  through  the
experience of our own tragedy,  we have found it a necessary part
of our special obligation to question those ideological predilec
tions,  prejudices and hypocrisy on the part of our own community
that have also contributed to this tragedy.  Though such unortho
doxy  has caused unease,  as we have explained earlier,  it is  a
necessary part of the unfolding.  Also, we on our part, regard it
as  meaningless  to  record violations  without  going  into  the

     The_East :  Sadly today,  despite the government's claims to
have restored a semblance of normality, there are constant remin
ders  of the state's brutality,  potential and actual.  Following
the incident in Iruthayapuram,  a northern suburb of  Batticaloa,
at  the end of March,  when 12 civilians were massacred in repri
sals,  the regional police chief reassured the citizens'  commit
tee.  He did not refer to any inquiry or disciplinary action. The
police  officers  involved,  he said,  were being transferred  to
Mannar, that was incidentally being prepared to receive a refugee
influx from India. A month later, end of April, civilians passing
a police check point in the area,  witnessed two beheaded corpses
50 yards away.  Routine experiences of Easterners are  variations
on the same theme.

     In dealing with such a government,  in massacreing Sinhalese
and  Muslim civilians,  the Tigers have been prepared to pay  the
price  of utterly discrediting themselves as a liberation  group,
and  greatly diminishing the dignity and security of  Tamils,  in
return for longevity.

     A  climate  of terror now prevails among all communities  in
the Moneragala district,  following massacres of Sinhalese  civi
lians.  Reprisals  against  hill country (estate) Tamils  in  the
area,  appear consistent with some security officials in the area
giving  the impression that attacks on Sinhalese were carried out
by estate Tamils.

     With  the government proceeding thus in a political  vacuum,
we  need  to take serious alarm at the  prospect  of  escalation.
Sheer  anger and alienation,  rather than any tangible gain,  may
push many estate youth towards a cause which would only use  them

     The_North :  In their state of helplessness and degradation,
the  Eastern  Tamils  tend to look admiringly at  their  Northern
counterparts as forming a bastion of resistance.  Little do  they
understand that what obtains in the North is a community with its
moral  sensibilities  shrivelled,  groping at  survival.  Through
manipulation  and playing on its weaknesses,  the community  does
not question why young children are sent on a suicidal course  to
give their lives. But in the little room allowed for it to manage
some  survival  tasks,  it can show considerable will  power  and
resistance.  People set themselves immediate goals such as : take
son  to  Colombo,  arrange  to stay or go abroad.  Come  back  to
Jaffna.  Secure  house from takeover.  Collect  son's  documents,
testimonials,  leaving certificate etc.  Go to Colombo and so on.
Irritation  resulting from punitive delays at LTTE and Sri Lankan
army check points in Vavuniya,  can elicit both strong protest as
well  as  some harsh counter action.  The task of  catching  that
day's train to Colombo can be so all consuming,  that beating the
queue by ignoring warnings of minefields would appear natural.

     Persons may carelessly remark that now with the army camp at
Mankulam  demolished,  if  the same is done to that  at  Elephant
Pass,  the  route to Colombo will then be clear.  This shows  the
differences in perception between ordinary civilians on one  hand
and  the children who are giving their lives for what they  think
would be a separate state. The obsession of many is with having a
clear route to Colombo,  which existed before the war, and not to
Trincomalee  or Batticaloa.  Driven to such a level of existence,
the community earns increasing contempt from all armed parties.

     The people must also ignore the experience of 1987, reinter
pret the contrived tragedy of the East,  and go in for hallucina
tions,  in order to believe that the LTTE is protecting them from
the vindictive ire of the Sri Lankan army.  Many would argue that
the policemen massacred by the LTTE last June were killed by  Sri
Lankan  forces,  The Eastern Tamils continue as refugees  because
they are lazy as usual,  and so on.  The politics needs to encou
rage such illusions.

     We  have  pointed out that it would be a grave  mistake  for
anyone to take satisfaction in the reduction to such a state,  of
this or any other section of this country. Jaffna has much poten
tial  to be tapped for the good of the whole country.  Nothing is
gained  by  a politics that turns a section of  the  people  into

     It  must  also be mentioned that persons with diverse  voca
tions in Jaffna feel the urge to speak out at considerable  risk.
One speaker said at a recent public seminar in Jaffna:

     "Is it good to lose one's inner freedom and survive for
     the  sake of existence?  The war has created a sense of
     powerlessness  which has led to  helplessness.  Are  we
     being used as pawns in a game of chess?  Are the people
     being victimised?"

The  speaker  constantly  referred to the social  impact  of  the
American  veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars,  to illustrate
what was going on in Jaffna.

     Glimmers  of hope amidst a_sea_of_despair.  In the light  of
experience  over  the past decade,  and  the  existing  political
vacuum, what we face now is surely frightening. Looking back over
the war,  there have been a few initiatives,  often by individual
officers, which can be utilised to improve the situation.

     We  have recorded in this report the case of an army unit at
Kaluwanchikudy which had set high standards and also a police OIC
in Akkaraipattu who attempted the same. Such attempts did help to
usher in a benign atmosphere.
     There  is also the case of the Brigadier who was brought  in
after a bad experience in Mannar. He promised civilians in Mannar
that there would be no further disappearances and that  detainees
would  be treated according to normal rules.  His intentions were
not doubted, and by comparison elsewhere, his promise was largely

     Bombing  in Jaffna was mostly stopped when the  new  defence
minister  took charge on 6th March.  It helped to soften in civi
lian minds the vindictive face of the government.

     We  have  also seen that good officers can  enforce  a  high
level  of  discipline.  Civilian life in Mannar town now goes  on
normally  while injured soldiers are brought to hospital  - some
thing  unique in the annals of the Sri Lankan army.  Things  were
also helped by the interest taken by the UNHCR,  the ICRC and the
Indian Government.

     But all these are largely isolated instances in a  political
vacuum. An officer who rises above the general level of political
culture  deserves  high praise.  In this situation,  which  lacks
clarity regarding goals,  the work of a few good officers and the
effect  of  isolated initiatives soon wear off at  the  slightest
fraying of tempers.

     Over  the  traditional  New Year there  was  some  senseless
bombing and shelling in Jaffna resulting in civilian  casualties.
The  recent bombing of the repaired ferry at Puneryn had no  pur
pose except to give vent to anger.

     When  4 civilians were hacked to death in the Mannar  sector
on 17th February, even the well-meaning Brigadier became party to
a cover up.

     There  is no momentum leading to disciplinary action against
offenders  in order to move ahead with confidence  building  mea
sures.  There  is thus no option except to lauch a bold political
initiative.  Once the momentum is generated,  we are certain that
everyone concerned will be pushed into responding positively.

The_Demands :  We put forward the following demands pertaining to
some urgent issues raised in this report.

1.   Create  institutional machinery using locally  and  interna
     tionally  based  organisations  to further and  monitor  the
     observance of human rights.  There is an urgent need for the
     security forces to respond positively to complaints by civi

     In  this  connection,  a press summary of 'Human  Rights  in
     Civil War - the case of El Salvador,  a statement issued  by
     the Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka, is given in Appendix
     1.  The  statement  deals  with the agreement of  July  1990
     between  the two parties to the Salvadorean conflict  laying
     down  a  detailed  framework for  UN  participation  in  the
     maintenance  and monitoring of Human Rights.  This precedent
     opens  creative  possibilities  for both sides  to  the  Sri
     Lankan conflict. It, more importantly, provides for space to
     enable ordinary people to express their aspirations.

2.   Take  all  necessary  steps to convince Tamils  and  Muslims
     living  in the East that the state has no agenda of its  own
     to change the demography of the North-East.

     Halt  the  ongoing process of resettlement of  a  particular
     community with state patronage.  Ensure that all three major
     communities  feel  that their specific needs will  be  taken
     into  consideration in resettlement and rehabilitation  pro

3.   Appoint a committee consisting of persons from all  communi
     ties to study the question of land settlement and to propose
     a  solution  acceptable to all three communities  living  in
     these areas,  respecting the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural
     nature of our society. The committee should probe into :

     (i)  The  history of re-colonisation and  the  demographical
     changes that took place as the result of manipulation by the
     Whether  the  nature  and the working of the  present  state
     machinery is biased towards any particular community.

     (ii)  Social  changes resulting from transfer  of  lands  to
     particular communities,  with no state involvement,  and the
     social forces behind such transfers.

     (iii)  Social  changes resulting from a neglect of  economic
     development in the North-East, such as emigration of a large
     section  of  the middle class,  and the resulting  sense  of
     isolation and vulnerability.

4.   The government should come out with a clear equitable policy
     statement  on  land settlement,  and  should  take  positive
     action  at a high level to ensure that any built up  inertia
     of  the state machinery to favour a particular community  is

                            CHAPTER 1

1.1  General Introduction

     The common mood one comes across among Eastern Tamils is one
of resignation and utter helplessness.  The humiliation they feel
has  been  rubbed in deep by the frustration they experienced  in
respect  of missing persons,  and the dire threats  connected  to
burning  tyres  with  which government servants were  ordered  to
return to work. The Batticaloa and Kalmunai areas each have lists
of dead and missing extending over 1000. The regime is not always
so harsh now. Sentry point checks are mostly formal and policemen
and soldiers could frequently be friendly and human. Yet there is
an  undercurrent of unpredictability.  The massacre of 20  or  so
Tamil  travellers in Eravur on 21st February,  following the kil
ling  of two Muslim homeguards is among several  sharp  reminders
that lives are playthings for the state.

     Apart from the fact that people are nearly always questioned
in Sinhalese,  there is the very visible fact in Batticaloa town,
that  Tamil  and  Sinhalese policemen are  distinguished  by  the
former being unarmed and the latter armed.  This is a humiliation
to  which  Sinhalese  policement were not subject  following  the
recent JVP uprising.

     The  visit by President Premadasa on 14th February did  not
hing to restore confidence among Tamils. A delegation of Battica
loa mothers wanted the President to look into the matter of  175,
mainly  youths,  removed by the army from the Eastern  University
refugee  camp  on 5th and 23rd September,  who  then  disappeared
without a trace.  The President told them in effect: "The mothers
of those killed by the JVP are crying.  The mothers of dead secu
rity forces personnel are crying....." To many people in Battica
loa,  this sounded a piece of sarcasm completely evading the fact
that  the  President  has an obligation to  be  accountable.  The
people  also noticed that the President visited Kattankudy  where
the  Tigers killed Muslims,  but made no attempt to visit  places
such  as  Valaichenai  where a large number of  Tamils  had  been
killed.  The President's gift to Batticaloa town of a clock tower
based on Kandyan architecture,  topped by an ornament of Buddhist
significance,  only gave further offence. A university don obser
ved,  "Kandyan  architecture may be good in itself.  But we  have
been through an experience after which we see everything  through
coloured glasses. Could he not understand that?"

     Coupled to a measure of satisfaction that the LTTE is embar
rassing  the government,  there are very grave reservations about
its record.  When the LTTE ran away in June after announcing  the
final  battle,  deserting  the people faced with an  angry  army,
there was both puzzlement and anger.  After building heavy forti
fications,  the Tigers had abandoned the Oddaimavadi bridge - the
gateway  to Batticaloa District - without a fight.  Many expostu
lated:"Whatever  happened  to those arms captured  from  the  TNA
which the Tigers had displayed in lorry loads?" One observer said

that the Tigers had met their Waterloo in Kiran. Their failure to
overrun  the small unprepared army camp despite repeated attacks,
he felt, had changed their psychology. Their policy then evident
ly changed to concentrating their military strength in the  North
and  to provoking and using the conduct of the forces to turn the
East into a source of recruits.

     Like elsewhere,  the result of the struggle particularly  in
the  Batticaloa and Amparai Districts is paradoxical.  A powerful
driving force in these areas was to break out of the hegemony  of
Jaffna and to assert an Eastern identity.  The massive participa
tion  of  Eastern youth in the militancy,  it was  once  thought,
would  lead to this.  Eastern youth are today dying for the Tiger
cause in larger numbers than ever before. But the hegemony of the
Jaffna based leadership has been strengthened.  Myths far removed
from reality,  concerning the superiority of Jaffna,  are current
in the East.  Common ones are : "Our Tigers are rotters. They are
only  good at settling personal scores.  But those in Jaffna  are
doing a splendid job,  sincerely dedicated to a cause",  and, "We
Tamils  in the East have no future.  We are always  cutting  each
others' throats. We have no leadership like in Jaffna." Ironical
ly,  the  Tigers have been saying repeatedly in Jaffna that it is
the Eastern boys who are largely fighting for them,  while Jaffna
boys were being selfish and are running away.  People have become
tired  and fatalistic,  not wanting to talk about  what  happened
("It is all history now!") and not wanting to analyse. Only a few
understand  that Tiger policy is a well co-ordinated policy  with
Eastern  cadre doing a good part of the fighting and dying in the
North.  To  enhance and sustain the Eastern man's loss of  confi
dence  in his own ability is an important aspect of  Tiger  poli
tics.  When  the  Eastern University became a large refugee  camp
where people were learning to take up issues  collectively,  des
pite  serious ups and downs,  and the camp leadership was develo
ping  a  strong sense of responsibility,  whom  the  people  were
looking up to,  the Tigers forced the closure of the camp without
any  discussion with the camp leadership.  People who were reali
sing  some  collective strength to fight  back,  were  driven  to
become helpless fugitives in jungles, unprotected and facing many
natural  perils in addition to bombing and helicopter  straffing.
(See report).

1.2  Inter_Ethnic_Relations
     The  lesson  that has been tragically brought home  to  both
Muslims  and  Tamils is that the two communities are  inseparably
linked and that a sound basis for co-existence needs to be found.
The fear of LTTE attacks on Muslims and Tamil fears of  reprisals
by  Muslim  home  guards,  directly or indirectly backed  by  the
forces,  has affected all areas of life.  In the rice bowl of the
nation,  the fields of both communities remain untended. Herds of
cattle  which used ot supply milk are  unaccounted  for,  because
villagers  dare not go far looking for them.  On the road between
Batticaloa and Kalmunai, passenger vans belonging to one communi
ty drive at break neck speed through villages of the other commu
nity,  not daring to pause. The bulk of Muslim staff and students
do  not  attend Eastern University because it is  situated  in  a
Tamil area, although the neighbouring area is Muslim.

     Mutual necessity however helps to build bridges.  Kattankudy
is  a  Muslim village heavily dependent on trade.  Owing  to  the
security  situation,  Tamil traders lack the ability to transport
goods from Colombo.  Within three weeks of the Kattandudy  massa
cre, there were gestures of conciliation. Kattankudy traders have
now re-opened their shops in Batticaloa town.

     In  many areas peace committee meetings have been  organised
by  security forces commanders and held in police stations  - the
most acceptable venue for both parties.  The exercise has several
drawbacks. With the state, ironically in concert with the Tigers,
having actually encouraged and used Tamil-Muslim differences, its
motives are suspect, although individual officers may be sincere.
An  important draw back is that apart from expressing good senti
ments and bringing about some thaw,  these committees can  deter
mine very little. They cannot give guarantees of safety. At least
in  the area of expressing goodwill and trying to understand each
others immediate difficulties,  there have been some successes. A
notable failure is Kalmunai.

     The  resumption of Kattankudy Muslims trading in  Batticaloa
was aided partly by good personal relations between the community
leadership  at  Kattankudy and the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  The
Church  had  also tried hard without success to get the LTTE  re
lease  three  Muslim leaders it had abducted form Eravur  on  4th

     But  the ultimate guarantee for secrutity rests with  forces
outside the control of ordinary people,  pursuing their own aims.
Tamils  fear  getting back to Pottuvil and  Eravur  because  they
cannot predict how the security forces would react to acts of the
LTTE.  Acts  of violence attributed to Muslims have almost  never
been  independent.  Muslims  on  the other hand are  looking  for
guarantees,  not from the security forces or from Muslim  politi
cians,  but  from the LTTE.  In town after town Muslims has  said
that  the  Tamil-Muslim differences would vanish the  moment  the
LTTE  states publicly that it would not harm  Muslims.  The  more
mature  Muslim leaders are extremely anxious to re-establish good
relations with Tamils. Our discussions were always cordial. After
9  months of war,  the LTTE is seen on the surface as  the  major
actor - it shows the powerlessness of all the communities and the
destructive power of the LTTE.

1.3   The_Consequences_of_the_LTTE's_Strategy:  From the time  it
massacred  Muslim  and Sinhalese policemen at the outset  of  the
war,  the  LTTE has pursued a clear strategy of attacking Muslims
and  deepening  communal enmity.  Even at the time  some  Muslims
reacted in Kalmunai following the killing of Muslim policemen and
the  arrival of the army,  there were no signs of unrest  in  the
Batticaloa district. There was even a tendency among Muslims here
to rationalise the Tigers' actions.  Yet from the 12th July,  the
Tigers  set  about attacking Muslims in the Batticaloa  district,
starting  with the massacre at Kurukkal Madam.  It is  this  that
argues against the supposition that the initial killing of Muslim
policemen  among  others was simply a mistake by a local  leader.
The  Tigers have stirred the communal cauldron and have used  the
anger  and frustration resulting from government actions  to  get
their recruits.  But at what price?  All creative activity in the
region has been brought to a standstill, and the Tamils in parti
cular are on the way to becoming a smaller and fragile community.

     While there is a limit to which the state could afford to be
seen as working towards anarchy,  the Tigers have no such inhibi
tions.  They  have  cloaked  total irresponsibility as  a  sacred
prerogative.  Thanks to their adversary,  they have been able  to
demonstrate that they could frustrate anything by anyone else. If
they  choose to give a guarantee of safety to the Muslims  tomor
row,  the  relief  will  be so great that if elections  are  held
immediately  afterwards,  many Muslims would consider voting  for
them as a survival tactic.  Such benefits can only be shortlived.
In defying every human norm,  the Tigers have also sown the seeds
of their own destruction. The longer the crisis lasts the greater
the anger against elders, who appear to compromise Muslim dignity
to survive.  More Muslim youngsters will draw the conclusion that
to  oppose  the Tigers,  they must imitate  them.  With  economic
hardship  and confinement,  there are disturbing signs of such  a
reaction.  Posters have reportedly appeared in Eravur threatening
those  who  have dealings with Tamils.  Many Muslims  are  keenly
aware  what  it would mean for the  Muslim  community.  A  Muslim
leader  in Akkaraipattu said vividly:"An attack is something that
lasts a short time,  some die and it is over. What we are worried
about  is the counter-attack.  It grows within us and  terrorises
us, as it happened to your community."

     The  other danger referred to by both Muslim and Tamil  lea
ders  is that while the present state of communal  enmity  lasts,
there  will  be  no political initiative and  matters  of  common
interest  vital to both communities will be lost sight of.  While
the  Tamils and Muslims are preoccupied with each other and  with
the  security  forces dominating most of  Amparai  District,  the
state  will push Sinhalese colonisation from the west.  As it  is
few Tamils and Muslims are left in the Gal Oya scheme.  With  the
commencement of the war,  the few Tamils left in Amparai town and
places  such  as Inginiyagala and Ingurana were killed or  thrown
out.  Pottuvil is now a no go area for Tamils.  While the  Tigers
have  used the mad policy of state sponsored Sinhalese  colonisa
tion  of  deprived  Sinhalese for mobilisation,  they  have  done
nothing to address the issue creatively.

1.4  Waiting_for_the_Unknown:  While the Sri Lankan forces  began
the war in an orgy of blood,  as though they were co-operating in
a recruitment campaign for the Tigers,  the killing at present is
at a low ebb. The occasional massacre still does take place. From
mid-February  to  late March at least,  those taken prisoner  are
generally  said to be alive.  In many cases visits have been  al
lowed. In Thirukkovil-Thambiluvil, the last known killings by the
STF were about early February.  In Karaitivu it is said that most
of  those taken in are released soon.  There is some  uncertainty
about what happens to the rest.   We have no information on deve
lopments following the deterioration in Moneragala.

     There  appeared  to be a change of orders and  a  change  of
tactics.  There  are even cases in early March where the STF  had
warned  LTTE  suspects and sent them home.  These may have  borne
some  fruit if the government had launched a  parallel  political
initiative to give confidence to the Tamils.  But the forces have
been  sent to do a thankless and frustrating job in a total poli
tical vacuum.  The forces lack the discipline,  and character  to
match  the  Tigers' destructiveness.  They had discredited  them
selves  and hurt the Tamils too deeply.  The initiative  is  thus
clearly with the Tigers.  Everytime the forces react by punishing
the Tamils, they move a step in the direction of defeat.

     While  the government has over 9 months not made up its mind
on  a political programme,  the process of destruction  goes  on.
Barely  three days after we had conversations with Muslim leaders
in Akkaraipattu,  who were both warm and hospitable,  a bomb went
off in the fish market killing at least six persons and  injuring
several more.  This co-incided with LTTE attacks elsewhere in the
East. In Akkaraipattu, both Muslims and Tamils had to put in much
creative  effort to restore something close to normal  relations.
Many  old  friendships had been reactivated and even some  inter-
communal  organisations were functioning.  It took only  a  split
second  for an imbecile bomb to destroy that trust  so  painfully
rebuilt. The_purpose_of_the_bomb_was_to_simply_ensure_that_Tamils
and_Muslims_do_not_discover_strength_in_working_with  each_other.
In  handling the aftermath,  the forces have predictably  failed,
however  determined they were to prevent trouble.  Local  sources
said  that 23 Tamils had been abducted by Muslim homeguards,  not
in Akkaraipattu, but in the sensitive region between Kalmunai and
Karaitivu. A senior police officer is quoted as saying that he is
not aware of such abductions.

     This would only further enhance Tamil fears and distrust. To
the  Tamils,  homeguards are simply an arm of the forces.  In the
incident  of  21st February near Eravur,  where  about  20  Tamil
travellers were massacred,  at least two gun shots were fired and
one or more persons in uniform were sighted. There was no attempt
to  have  an inquiry to punish the offenders and to reassure  the
Tamils  that this would not happen again.  The late Minister  for
Defence simply contended that homeguards were not involved, as if
that  were  the end of the matter.  The state of mind  of  Tamils
around Kalmunai should be understood.  It would take a generation
or  more  for them to recover from the entry of  the  first  army
battalion last June. Their subsequent experience is one of conti
nual  horror  - mostly  linked to Muslim home  guards  and  their
masters.  They  would tell you today:  "Do not go on the  streets
after  six",   "Do  not go near the old police station.  That  is
where they behead people." To the outsiders,  the burnt out shops
of  Kalmunai are merely an eyesore.  But those who pass them  day
after day are reminded of corpses and skeletal  remains.  Whether
the information concerning the abduction of 23 Tamils is accurate
or not,  the authorities have to go far beyond simple denial - to
the  process of the law.  It has been brought home to the  Tamils
again  and again that publicising Muslim deaths is good propagan
da,  but Tamils do not matter for the government.  For the Tigers
it  is the reverse.  In the meantime the Tigers have  launched  a
recruitment drive with the slogan of liberating South Tamil Eelam
(the East). Tamils in such an environment will seldom see through
the cynicism.

1.5  The_Intrinsic_unity_of_the_East: Barring a new initiative by
a  force  that can give confidence to all communities,  the  East
stands to slip further into tragedy. On a human level, the trage
dy  of  the East is beyond  description.  Its  vast  agricultural
potential remaining unused is a mere symptom. Communities who had
lived  together  have been split asunder by hatreds.  The  Tamils
have been prostrated by a sense of division. Many families resul
ting from intercommunal marriages had been broken up. Communities
of  Sinhalese  had sprung up in many Eastern towns in  a  healthy
manner, through normal migration in search of oppotunities. These
Sinhalese who had intimate social relations with those whom  they
lived among, have also been humiliated, killed or expelled.

     The  Muslims and Tamils spoke the same language,  lived with
each other and were bound by local customs.  The question whether
one  is  Tamil or Muslim is ironical at a time when  perhaps  the
greater  volume of literary output in Tamil appearing locally  is
of  Muslim authorship.  Tamils must face up to the fact that  in
stead of using much that was common to strengthen existing  ties,
by giving respect to Muslims for their contribution to the econo
my  and culture,  they treated them as an appendage.  Attempts to
forge  only  a mechanical unity in the face of threats  from  the
state, such as colonisation, exposed all the contradictions.

     The  tragedy  of  the East is one aspect  of  the  corrosive
politics  that  has been the bane of every part  of  the  nation.
Despite  all this human destruction that is a living reality  for
the vast majority of people in this country,  conventional econo
mic  indicators blithely proclaim a growing economy.  It is  this
that  would  weigh  heavily with those  powers  who  mechanically
decide the fate of small third world nations.

     In  order  for  the Easterners to find a creative  means  of
fighting  back,  they  need to rediscover the  history  they  had
forgotten.  Today  they  are dominated by a total sense of  their
division and worthlessness, coupled with an admiration for Jaffna
that was initially a part of the middle class value system.

     The truth is very different.  Until quite recently the  Eas
tern militant cadre showed a community spirit which ignored group
divisions.  When  this  posed  a challenge to the  leadership  in
Jaffna,  they had to send men from Jaffna to create division  and
restore  their authority.  When the LTTE took on the TELO in  May
1986,  the native born Batticaloa LTTE leader,  Kadavul, issued a
statement expressing the need for Eastern Tamils to be united and
assured the other groups that they would not be harmed.  The LTTE
leadership  had to send Kumarappa and Pottu to enforce the  divi
sion.  Francis,  another LTTE leader born in Batticaloa, was very
highly  regarded and is said to have been against the killing  of
Batticaloa resident Sinhalese in October 1987.  The killings were
ordered by the Jaffna leadership.  Francis later died a miserable
man. Division, mutual suspicion and a feeling of worthlessness in
the East are thus integral to the LTTE's strategy, which based on
Tamil  chauvinism  has  also meshed with the  aims  of  Sinhalese
chauvinism.   The   organic  unity  of  the  East  needs  to   be

                            CHAPTER 2


2.1  Chenkaladi

     The  army  arrived in Chenkaladi in late July  1990.  People
fled into the jungle and later ended up at the Eastern University
refugee camp. On the first day the army took 8 persons in a round
up.  They released 3 and went away with 5. Nothing more was heard
of them.  Three months later information was received that one of
the prisoners, Elango, was under detention in the South.

     The first army unit stationed at Chenkaladi was harsh. A few
days  later a two thousand strong army unit arrived.  The  senior
officers  were  camped in the Methodist  Church.  This  unit  was
extremely well-disciplined and the officers very courteous. When
ever  they removed cooking vessels from homes of local residents,
they  washed them and put them back.  Though this unit was  there
only a few days, people became over confident. The word go around
and those who had fled started coming back.

     Eravur_Massacre_and_after:  On  11th August a landmine  went
off  in Chenkaladi.  Though there were no  casualties,  the  army
fired shells and took away 25 persons,  including the post master
and a technical assistant.  Some buildings were burnt. Many civi
lians fled into the Muslim area (Eravur North).  The army did not
respond while the LTTE massacred Muslims that night.

     As  the army began moving towards Eravur from Chenkaladi the
following day (12th),  soldiers stabbed Maruthappu, the sexton of
the Roman Catholic Church, and Seeni Podiyar, an 80 year old man.
One  soldier  who was concerned came running into  the  Methodist
Manse premises,  collected the boys and pushed them  inside,  and
made the women stand in front.  The other soldiers then passed by
without  bothering to look inside (See Report No.5).  The  church
was  full  of  civilians' things,  and 125 refugees were  in  the
church.  At 12.00 p.m.  Fr.  Joseph, the Roman Catholic clergyman
brought  news of the stabbings.  Two soldiers were then  standing
sentry in front of the church.  At length,  a church worker  took
some water for the soldiers and asked them whether it was safe to
move  about.  The soldiers replied that there was nothing to fear
as  long as they were there and that they could move about  until
5.00p.m.  A tractor was arranged to transport the things and  the
people left for the Eastern University.

     The Methodist priest, Rev. Arulrajah, and Fr. Joseph went to
the  Athiyamalai Roman Catholic Church and made it to  Batticaloa
the  following day by a circuitous route.  There they made a com
plaint  to the military authorities about killings by  the  army.
Brigadier A.N.U. Seneviratne denied that there had been killings.
The clergymen returned to Chenkaladi with Fr. Diconic from Batti
caloa. He and Fr. Joseph conducted the burial rites for Maruthap
pu.  An  old  beggar lady remaining in the Methodist  Church  was
dispatched  to  an old peoples' home.  Nearly all those  left  in
Chenkalady  went to Batticaloa on the 13th.  An old  couple,  Mr.
Kanagaratnam  and his wife decided to remain in their home.  They
were later killed in shelling.

2.1  Eravur

     Eravur  is a village 4 miles north of Batticaloa town having
37,000 Muslims and 13,000 Tamils living in wards 4 and 5.  Tamil-
Muslim relations had been consistently good and the two  communi
ties were integrated,  and their economic activities were comple
mentary.  The  Tamils were chiefly from the service casts such as
barbers,  dhobys,  builders,  goldsmiths and iron smiths. In some
sense  they  were better off serving Muslims  rather  than  caste
conscious Vellalas. The Muslims were mainly farmers, labourers or
fishermen.  These categories made up 95% of the Muslim population
in sharp contrast to Muslims of Kattankudy.

     Apart from the integration of economic and social life,  the
relations  between  the  two communities were  also  cemented  in
educational  life.  Aligar Maha Vidyalayam in Eravur had  eminent
Tamils  and  Muslims  among its alumnii,  and came first  in  the
island for Arts and Commerce in 1986.  It attracts Tamil students
from as far as Kiran and Saththurukondan. S. Thambirasa was among
its eminent principals.  The school has also produced many Tamils
who  are  doctors and engineers.  Although  recent  politics  has
tended  to  strain relations,  there were leaders on  both  sides
working hard to maintain good relations.  In 1985, a Tamil-Muslim
unity  committee  was  set up with Dawood and  Sivanandarajah  as
joint secretaries. More recently Dawood and Thambapillay who were
class-mates  at  Aligar  MV were joint  secretaries.  Dawood  was
cluster principal of a group of schools in Eravur. Mr.Haniffa the
present  AGA of Eravur was a principal who had served largely  in
Tamil schools at Pandiruppu and later at Vantharumoolai Central.

     Following  the LTTE assuming control in  late  1989,  Muslim
expectations were high.  Because of the conduct of groups aligned
to  the  IPKF,  the Muslims had provided substantial help to  the
LTTE. Dawood, together with a number of other Muslim leaders held
talks with LTTE leaders including Anton Balasingam and Yogi  with
regard  to  Muslim  rights in the future  political  arrangement.
These  were leaders who had staked the future of Muslims on  good
relations with Tamils. The LTTE's response was lukewarm on Muslim
rights.  These Muslim leaders spoke from LTTE platforms and  were
filmed with LTTE leaders at the latter's Vaharai convention.

     The_June_War:  Eravur  was among these villages which had no
record  of  communal violence on anything approaching  the  scale
known  elsewhere.  Although the massacre of Muslim policemen  had
taken  place  further south and the army was expected  in  Eravur
anytime, the village leadership was intent on not allowing Tamil-
Muslim relations to suffer.  An elder showed a diary entry, where
Dawood  summoned a meeting about 16th June of the village  elders
and  told them:"Do not fraternise with the army.  Our Tamil  bro
thers will be angry".

     The  army which had been ordered to retake  the  East,  went
into  action  without a clear strategy.  The army was rushing  to
Batticaloa from Valaichenai without securing its lines of  commu
nication.  It  moved into Eravur about the 23rd of June and moved
unresisted towards Batticaloa without setting up a camp. The LTTE
then moved back into Eravur.

     On  4th  July (Haji),  the LTTE abducted  community  leaders
Dawood, Kazi, M.L.A. Gafoor and Al Haj Ali Mohamed. This happened
in  the  morning.  A person who had collected  several  lakhs  of
rupees  for the LTTE,  approached them.  Independent efforts were
also  made  by  the Tamil-Muslim unity committee  and  the  Roman
Catholic Church.  After a long delay,  the LTTE let it slip  that
the last rites for these leaders could be performed.

     Just after the army passed through on 23rd June the LTTE had
come in large numbers and looted the MPCS and local shops, inclu
ding  Tamil ones.  The same thing was going on in  Chenkaladi.  A
curfew was imposed.  Mr.  Tawfeek, a graduate teacher, who was on
the  road  was tied to a post while the looting went  on.  Others
seen with prayer caps were assaulted.  The LTTE had also  brought
Tamils  from  the neighbourhood and had encouraged them to  loot.
The  Pradeshiya Sabha (Regional Council) and Public Library  were
also  destroyed.  Equipment  from the Aligar  MV  laboratory  was
carried away. These happened between 23rd and 27th June.

     One  Muslim observed,  "I was in Jaffna when the forces des
troyed your public library.  It was a piece of cultural  genocide
worthy  of  publicity all over the world.  Imagine what we  would
have felt when the same was done to ours?"

     The  army  returned from Batticaloa in late  July,  about  a
month later, to secure its lines of communication. Camps were set
up  in Chenkaladi to the north and in Sathurukondan to the  south
of Eravur. Patrols used to set off from both places simultaneous
ly and meet in Eravur.  Following the Kurukkal Madam massacre  of
Muslims, there was talk of setting up an army camp in Eravur.

What_was_behind_the_disappearance_of_Dawood_and_other_leaders?: A
common  rumour  in  circulation among Tamils is that  Dawood  and
others  were killed because they had garlanded the army  when  it
arrived.  In  fairness to these men,  it is necessary to  examine
this  claim.  Dawood belonged to the class of Eastern Muslims who
from  humble beginnings rose through sheer hard  work.  He  first
became  a  Tamil  trained teacher,  then worked for  his  degree,
diploma  in education and finally passed the Administrative  Ser
vice examination.  He was also a member of the Eastern University
Council.  From his school days he had identified himself with the
social  advancement of Eravur.  As a schoolboy he  had  organised
Jinnah library in 1952 which later became the public library.  As
a community leader,  he had staked his diplomatic efforts on good
relations with Tamils.  He was an experienced man with a sense of
history  and had seen a number of forces come and go in the space
of  a few years.  It was only logical and in keeping with  common
sense that he had,  following the outbreak of war,  cautioned the
village against fraternising with the Sri Lankan army. Would such
men have suddenly lost their heads to go and publicly garland the
Sri Lankan army that was passing through?
     This  claim  about Dawood welcoming the forces  is  strongly
denied by others close to him.  Asked whether the villagers  wel
comed the army, a government servant gave an answer which carried
much  conviction.  He  said,  "Most people in this  village  have
hardly  gone  beyond  this region in all their lives and  do  not
speak Sinhalese.  When the army came, the atmosphere was tense. A
boy was called out by soldiers from near my house. They asked him
for young coconuts to drink.  He just stared in fear.  They  then
asked  him where the LTTE was.  The boy pointed to the jungle.  A
soldier slapped him.  That was how things were. Of course several
people gave them water when asked.  Does that amount to welcoming
the army?" It is further pointed out that when Dawood and  others
were  abducted  on  4th July,  the LTTE came to their  homes  and
called  them.  They came out promptly because they knew the  LTTE
and did not think they had anything to hide."

     What could then have happened?  Many community leaders, both
Muslim and Tamil, will readily admit on the basis of commonsense,
that  when an army moves in,  it is best to establish some  human
communication.  the soldiers are new to the place and are  tense.
When  they  make irrational judgements,  much damage can  result.
Thus  nearly  all citizens' committees appointed by the  LTTE  in
Jaffna did business with the Sri Lankan army in 1987 after Opera
tion Liberation,  and with the IPKF later on. They even took part
in functions.  Furthermore, if one had an LTTE connection of some
sort,  it is better to introduce oneself before an informer  does
it. These are realities in the North-East. The LTTE does not take
kindly to any action based on the initiative of persons not under
its control.

     For  the disappearance of these Muslim leaders,  one has  to
look  for  causes in the LTTE's self inflicted  paranoia  against
Muslims. This is discussed separately.

     The_Massacre,_12th_August : By early August the cauldron had
been  stirred.  The  LTTE had conducted massacres of  Muslims  in
Kurukkal Madam and Kattankudy and had destroyed the very communi
ty  leadership  in Eravur that had worked for the maintenance  of
good  relations between Tamils and Muslims.  This  leaderlessness
combined  with anger and fear were natural catalysts towards  the
creation of anarchy.

     Muslims  deny  allegations that Muslim agents were  then  at
work pointing out Tamil youth to the army.  In this atmosphere of
growing  suspicion,  Tamil claims are based on the  premise  that
several  Tamil  youth were picked by army patrols in  the  market
shared by Tamils and Muslims.  There were other factors contribu
ting to the tension. A call had been made by Muslim leaders based
in  Colombo to set up an army camp in Eravur on the grounds  that
Muslims  were being attacked.  Tamils on the other hand had fears
of the army based on experience. The anti-Muslim direction of the
LTTE  had  caused several Muslim cadre to desert  and  return  to
their  villages.  News had also reached Eravur that the LTTE  had
killed  five of its Muslim cadre at Kokkadichcholai on suspicion.
It is however a fact that Muslims and Tamils did have social  and
neighbourly relations until 11th August.
     LTTE cadre arrived in Eravur about 10.30 p.m. on 11th August
and  went  about massacring Muslims until the early hours of  the
morning.  They  went through the Muslim areas of  Surattayankuda,
Michnagar,  Meerakerni,  Saddam  Hussein village  and  Punnakuda,
killing  121 persons.  Among the worst reported incidents was the
cutting  of a pregnant lady's stomach.  The baby is said to  have
been pulled out and stabbed.  The army based at Chenkaladi 1  1/2
miles  away,  it  is  said,  came in the  afternoon  to  'collect

     The soldiers accompanied by mobs then went through the Tamil
wards  (4  & 5) killing a number of civilians and  burning  dwel
lings. The rest fled. (Reports given separately). The creation of
home  guard  units by the government which went into  action  two
weeks later created an impossible situation for the Tamils.

     The_Present:  Eravur is relatively calm today. Muslim elders
are very anxious to reassure Tamils and point to Tamils who  have
been functioning unharmed.  They are very anxious to re-establish
fraternal  relations.  One quoted a saying attributed to a  Tamil
politician  that Muslims and Tamils in that region are like coco
nut and flour in the  pittu.  However, continuing LTTE attacks on
Muslims  and a hint of anarchy which the forces have done  little
to discourage,  keep the two communities apart. Tamils go through
the main road of Eravur with some trepidation. It is a sad legacy
of liberation politics.

     The  local economic life is at a standstill and  the  people
are living on government rations. 95% of the people who depend on
agriculture  cannot  go to their fields.  36,000 cattle  are  un
accounted  for  and over 40,000 acres of paddy land belonging  to
the  village  remain uncultivated.  Two seasons  - Kalapoham  and
Munmari - have been missed.  Villagers dare not go out to  obtain
clay  for  bricks,  firewood,  river sand and  keerai  (spinach).
Fishermen  who used to go to Punnakuda beach 3 miles away to  the
east  dare not go beyond 1/2 a mile from the village.  While Mus
lims  are used by the state for propaganda,  little publicity  is
given  outside to their sufferings.  Tamils quite  often  believe
that Muslims are well off.  Meanwhile the Tamils who used to earn
a living by providing services to the Muslims,  languish in refu
gee camps.

2.3  Kudiyiruppu:_The_Massacre_of_Passengers,_21st February_1991

     News  was received that 6 Muslim home guards who went beyond
Eravur station road had been shot by the LTTE,  killing two.  The
four  injured were sent to Polonnaruwa hospital.  The  university
staff who were opperating from Batticaloa, decided to return home
immediately.  They left Eastern University in two vehicles, a car
in  front and a Tata bus behind.  At  Chenkaladi,  vehicles  were
waiting  in a queue,  from the People's Bank up to the army camp.
The  time  was 1.30 p.m.  In the queue were  vehicles  and  buses
transporting train passengers from Valaichenai to Batticaloa. The
AGA, Chenkaladi, drove his jeep up to the camp and went in to ask
for an escort to take them past Eravur. The AGA came out and said
that  an escort will be given.  When the escort did not turn  up,
Prof. Mano Sabaratnam and Dr. Jeyarajah went into the camp to ask
for  an escort.  Two TELO members with guns were then seen coming
out  of the camp and stopping a van.  The van went in  front  and
others  followed.  Behind the two university vehicles led by  the
car,  was  a  CTB bus from Valaichenai with passengers  from  the
train which had come from Colombo.

     While  passing  through Eravur,  an army picket was on  both
sides of the road.  When passing the police station, Muslim home
guards at the sentry point lightly made a cryptic utterance. They
said,  "Say  ta ta (goodbye) and go carefully".  On reaching  the
camp  marking  the southern boundary of Eravur and  the  deserted
Tamil village of Kudiyiruppu, the TELO escort turned back, presu
mably  on  the grounds that it was a Tamil area all  the  way  to
Batticaloa,  and  further  that  the LTTE may thus  attack  them.
Vehicles then took off on their own.  After several vehicles  had
gone ahead,  the university car reached the security post marking
the end of Eravur.  At this point the Chenkaladi AGA's jeep which
had  gone  ahead  came rushing back to the post  at  full  speed,
sounding the horn and flashing the head lamps,  evidently warning
others of trouble.

     The  university  vehicles  stopped near the  security  post.
After a few minutes the front vehicle started moving. The univer
sity  vehicles and the CTB bus followed.  The car was  about  1/4
mile behind the vehicle in front. As the university vehicles came
to  the bend 400 yards from the security post,  those inside  saw
two men crouching behind bushes wearing camouflage banians of the
type worn by the armed forces and homeguards.  One was carrying a
shot  gun of the kind given to the homeguards and the other had a
pole.  On seeing the university car,  they ran  back,  presumably
thinking that those inside were persons of consequence.

     A  little  further on,  those in the car saw a man  in  a  T
shirt,  soaking  in blood,  running towards the road with a limp,
signalling that he wanted help.  Three men in sarongs,  two  with
knives and one with a pole were chasing him.  The car being full,
the  driver  slowed down and signalled the Tata bus to  stop  and
pick  up  the fugitive.  The bus driver not having seen the  man,
overtook the car and went. The car driver then took the centre of
the  road and braked,  forcing the CTB bus behind  to  stop.  The
conductor helped the injured man on board.

     At  the same time the driver of the car saw in his mirror  a
woman  in a red sari,  chased by other saronged men with  knives.
All  decided that she was too far for them to risk stopping.  The
driver  saw the woman being overtaken and stabbed.  The  vehicles
moved off and reported the incident to the army at the Saththuru
kondan  camp.  The soldiers took over the CTB bus and rushed  to
wards Kudiyiruppu, in sharp contrast to the army in Kudiyiruppu.

     The_van_passenger's_story:  About  40 train passengers  were
squeezed  into a van which had proceeded ahead of the  university
vehicles.  After the final check post in Eravur, the escort left,
and the van proceeded on its own.  The following story was  given
by a Jaffna University graduate working in Batticaloa:
     "I  was seated in front with my brother-in-law who was  next
to  the driver.  Just before we reached the bend (400 yards  from
the  security  post and visible from it),  a shot gun was  fired,
catching,  the driver full in the face.  My brother-in-law became
soaked in the driver's blood.  The van went straight, got off the
road  at  the bend and after some distance,  was  stopped  by  an
electric  post.  The driver had died immediately.  Several of  us
clambered out.  I squeezed out through a window.  I ran westwards
towards the lagoon.  As I was running,  I tripped against a clump
of  grass and fell down.  This saved me,  as just then a  pursuer
opened  fire and the shot went over me.  I got up and made it  to
the shore of the lagoon. Evidently our pursuers had lost interest
in  those who got away,  and were busy with those trapped in  the

     "At  the  shore of the lagoon,  I discoverd a lady and a  20
year  old girl,  who had run into the water and whose  feet  were
stuck in the slime.  I pulled them out and the three of us walked
along the lagoon shore to Thannamunai. I later discovered that my
brother-in-law  had escaped and was picked up by a bus.  As I got
up from my fall and was making it to the lagoon,  I saw a ball of
smoke  and realised that the van was being set on  fire.  I  know
that  about 15 of the passengers with injuries were later  warded
at  Batticaloa hospital.  I figure that about 20 dead and injured
would have been burnt with the van."

     Who_was_behind_the_attack?:  Following the incident,  no one
was  questioned  and no inquiry was held.  The late  Minister  of
Defence  when questioned at a press briefing maintained that  the
attackers were civilians and that homeguards had not been  invol
ved. But the people had seen much and drew their own conclusions.

     It  is  understood that when the AGA reported the matter  to
the security point on the Eravur-Kudiyiruppu border,  he was told
that this was the boundary of the forces there and that they were
not supposed to go beyond.

     The attack had taken place about 400 yards from the security
post. At least two shots were fired which would have been clearly
heard  at the post.  Not only was no attempt made to offer  help,
but  no attempt was made to stop other vehicles going past  their
check point.

     From  the  point  of the attackers,  they had  chosen  ideal
conditions.  They  had  lain in wait in a  Tamil  area  abandoned
during  the arson and killing that followed the Eravur  massacre.
Thus their presence was not anticipated.  It is logical that they
were aware that the armed escort sent by the Chenkaladi army post
would  stop at the end of Eravur.  Who could have given them such
information?  The  attack  was significantly carried out  from  a
point close enough to the security post to ensure that the attac
kers would probably not be disturbed by Tigers.  Further,  in the
Sri Lankan context,  it is very seldom,  if ever,  that civilians
had been instigated into violent acts without inspiration from an
armed group.

     The  vehicles from the university had not seen the van  that
fell victim, because it had gone off the road at the bend and was
hidden behind the lush greenery that followed in the train of the
rainy season.

     The  known  facts  and the cover up by  the  government  led
ordinary  people to believe that the forces  were  involved,  and
that it was, by default or otherwise, part of government policy.

2.4   Batticaloa_&_Environs
     When  the army entered Batticaloa in June,  the town did not
witness the sensational massacres that took place elsewhere.  But
people were picked up and burning bodies started appearing at the
rate  of about 5 a day.  The largest single incident in town  was
the  appearance of 27 bodies down Bar Road.  Three battalions  of
soldiers  had moved into Batticaloa.  One remained and  two  went
back  having finished their 'job'.  Brigadier A.N.U.  Seneviratne
remained in charge of Batticaloa, with Brigadier Karunatilleke at
Valaichenai. During the early days, the army refused to entertain
civilian delegations.  A leading army officer is quoted as having
said,  "We  are different from the IPKF.  They came  to  maintain
peace.  But  we came to fight." At that stage the LTTE had vanis
hed.  Of killing there was a good deal.  But of fighting,  almost

     An  elderly person gave an experience to illustrate on  what
delicate threads lives of young boys hung in those days.  He  was
passing  an army checkpoint when a Roman Catholic priest who  had
finished a service came with a boy. The soldier at the checkpoint
detained  the  boy and asked the priest to go.  The priest  tried
explaining  that the boy had just come from church  worship.  The
soldier again asked him to go. The priest then appealed to others
passing through, "This fool does not understand English or Tamil.
Can  someone tell him in Sinhalese?" The layman being  a  retired
government servant,  went up to the soldier.  The latter told him
that he had no business here.  The old man tried to explain calm
ly.  The  soldier being unyielding,  the priest darted inside and
grabbed  the boy from his captors.  Within those few moments  the
boy  was  already bleeding from two head injuries.  The  old  man
said,  "If someone was detained and you did not get him out imme
diately,  you  had  to assume that he was finished!" This  was  a
commonly held view based on tragic experiences, capped by burning
bodies.  Often  the  myth that soldiers are  foolish  brutes  and
officers are not too bad, served both sides.

     Massacre_at_Thannamunai:  The  next serious occurence around
Batticaloa,  took place in Thannamunai, just north of Batticaloa.
The exact location was Pillaiyarady, near Sathurukondan. Early in
the  morning about 7th August 1990,  a cyclist who had come  into
town with injuries was taken to the Roman Catholic Church  autho
rities.  He  reported  that the army had moved in  and  massacred
about 200 people and that their bodies were being burnt. When the
army was contacted,  they denied that such had taken place. After
further  insistence  by civilians,  the injured man who was  both
tired  and confused was sent with Colonel Percy Fernando  to  the
area.  It was around 3.30 p.m.  The man, in his state, was unable
to  locate  the places where dead bodies were supposedly  set  on
fire.  The  party  returned to town a short  time  later,  before

     The army wanted Mr.  Arunagirinathan, chairman of the Batti
caloa  citizens' committee to sign a statement to the effect that
there  had been no massacre as alleged.  The chairman signed  the
statement and resigned from his position.  It was then claimed in
the Defence Ministry press briefing that citizens'committee  mem
bers  who were taken for an inspection had said that there was no
evidence of such an incident.

     As things calmed down, nuns from the Holy Family convent and
church officials went back to the are to restart the convent  and
the Boys' town. They_stumbled_into_about_100_skeletons.

     Twelve_bodies_in_Iruthayapuram: Although Batticaloa with its
numerous  sentry  points appeared calm on the surface  and  there
appeared  to  be  a move towards not killing  suspects  detained,
things could hardly be other than deceptive.

     On  30th  March 1991,  a police patrol on  bicycles  through
Iruthayapuram  was fired at killing one policeman.  According  to
the  Virakesari  (2nd April),  'uniformed' persons  arrived  that
evening and took several persons into custody.  On the  following
morning,  Sunday,  twelve  bodies  were  found dumped  with  stab
wounds,  and some with gun shot injuries. At the time of going to
press,  7 bodies had been identified by relatives at the Battica
loa mortuary, whither they had been conveyed by the ICRC.

     Iruthayapuram  had witnessed a massacre prior to  the  Indo-
Lanka  Accord.  The recent massacre will persuade the people that
the Sri Lankan forces are incapable of maintaining order and will
add to the furthering of anarchy in the East.  The militant stra
tegy  is also significant.  Civilian cover was used to  kill  one
policeman  and go into hiding.  There was no strategy or wish  to
protect civilians from reprisals.

     The_Army's_trip_to_Mudalaikudah:   Mudalaikudah   (Crocodile
Bay)  lies  in the hinterland across the lagoon from  Batticaloa.
Access is by ferry.  The area is no man's land with no  permanent
army  presence.  The villagers are normally left alone.  The LTTE
comes occasionally. But when the army comes, pandemonium reigns.

     A woman described a visit on one such occasion earlier  this
year.  She  had entered Mudalaikudah by ferry when gun shots were
heard.  Then  there was panic as people were urged to run for  it
because  the army had come.  It was later learned that there  had
been no confrontation with the LTTE. TELO cadre who came with the
army,  it is said, had killed some alleged LTTE sympathisers. The
woman saw 3 bodies on the road. The army's visit was brief.

     A_note_on_the_Army_Operation_in_Vaharai:  In UTHR (J) Report
No.  6, (Section 6.5), we quoted local sources to the effect that
over  100  civilian refugees were killed when the army  moved  in
during  January.  When  we tried to check this out  from  leading
civilians  in  Batticaloa,  no  one was aware of deaths  on  that

     This points to some of the difficulties about getting  accu
rate information about the East.  Many persons who used to play a
role  had  lost hope to a point that few are aware with any  cer
tainty, about what happens beyond their village or town. Documen
tation  of information is not done at the level  of  organisation
existing in 1987.  When it comes to an incident in a remote area,
some  person who escapes from the noise and confusion would  give
an  impressionistic picture.  It is often difficult to go  beyond
that. Regarding Vaharai, one individual said that he was aware of
4 refugees from one particular village being killed.  Refugees in
the  jungle would have been from several villages.  It would thus
not  be  possible to get an accurate picture unless there  is  an
organisation having contacts in all villages actively involved in

     In Trincomalee,  people have been so intimidated by security
forces,  that  there is little information on what  had  happened
there.  Another  angle to this situation is that several  persons
who  used  to take risks in highlighting human rights  violations
have been killed after 1987,  both in Batticaloa and in Trincoma
lee, by more than one Tamil militant group.

2.5  Kattankudy

     During the IPKF presence,  the LTTE had good relations  with
the Muslims of Kattandudy,  where they used to take shelter. When
the  LTTE assumed control in December 1989,  the LTTE was said to
be extremely well behaved during the first two weeks.  Hopes were
then  very high.  But from then on things gradually soured  below
the  surface.  The  high taxes demanded by the  LTTE  placed  the
population which largely depended on trade under strain. The LTTE
began  taking  a repressive approach to any form  of  independent
Muslim activity.  There were small incidents of acts against LTTE
supporters and subsequent reprisals.

     But  the  local leadership represented by the Federation  of
Mosques and Muslim Institutions (FMMI) took a pragmatic  approach
to  the  LTTE and constantly intervened to smoothen out  matters.
The FMMI was under considerable pressure from young activists who
felt  that  it was a disgrace to palaver the LTTE unless  it  was
prepared  to  respect Muslims and recognise their right  to  some
autonomy.  The FMMI together with other Muslim leaders constantly
put friendly pressure on the LTTE to make such a  commitment.  At
one  point,  in cracking down on all independent forms of  Muslim
expression, the LTTE banned the FMMI.

     When  Yogi visited the East subsequently,  the local leaders
explained  to him the tense situation created by the  banning  of
the  FMMI.  They told him that they had no wish to defy the  LTTE
and  that they could carry on as before if Yogi officially lifted
the ban imposed by the LTTE. This was done by Yogi. But Yogi also
maintained  a silence on other Muslim  demands.  However,  normal
relations continued.  Newton,  Karikalan,  David and Ranjith Appa
were among the LTTE leaders maintaining frequent,  friendly  con
tact with the Kattankudy elders.

     The_June_War  :  With  the beginning of the  June  War,  the
importance  of Kattankudy to the residents of Batticaloa District
increased.  With  the direct routes leading out of  the  district
becoming closed,  the Tamil traders and lorries unable to go out,
Kattankudy  traders  who were able to fetch goods  from  Kalmunai
became  the source of food for the entire district.  People  from
outside regularly flocked into Kattankudy to purchase food items.

     Jinnah  Hadjiaar was a mill owner living near the Manjantho
duwa border,  who knew Ranjith Appa.  After the outbreak of  war,
Hadjiaar  had innocently told Ranjith Appa,  "You must look after
the people of Kattankudy and see that they come to no harm."  The
general  tendency in Kattankudy even at that time was to rationa
lise the massacre of Muslim policement at Rufus  Kulam,  together
with their Sinhalese colleagues.

     The residents of Kattankudy were taken by surprise, when the
LTTE came into the village on 26th June,  imposed a curfew, stood
on  both sides of the road and proceeded to loot the  shops.  One
person who came out unawares was killed.  The looting was part of
a  pattern  everywhere in the district,  including several  Tamil
villages.  93 shops were looted.  What offended the Muslims  most
was  that 3 shops adjoining a Mosque and maintained in support of
the Mosque, were burnt. The Mosque itself was saved by the people
dousing the fire after the LTTE had left.  This spate of  looting
left residents of the district with almost no access to food.

     The  local  leaders had maintained friendly  relations  with
officials in the Roman Catholic Church,  to whom they made repre
sentations. Within a week of the looting, LTTE leaders Newton and
Ranjith  Appa came to the village,  had a meeting with 15  elders
and conveyed their apologies for the 'mistake'.  They gave assur
ance of the LTTE's future good behaviour.

     While  the Muslims remained hopeful,  another blow  came  on
12th  July when the LTTE massacred at least 68 Muslims at  Kuruk
kalmadam,  3  miles  south of Kattankudy.  (See next section  for
report).  Though these persons killed were from Kattankudy, there
was  then,  still  a tendency to find reasons for  the  incident.
There  was  a story around that the LTTE had done  it  because  a
Muslim deserter from its ranks had led the army to its Kanjikudi
chcharu hideout.

     The_Massacre_of_3rd_August:  The massacre of 3rd August (See
UTHR  (J) Nos.  4 & 5 for reports),  finally persuaded the  local
people that there was no hope of accomodation with the LTTE. Like
the one of 12th July,  this too was totally unprovoked. The local
leaders  explained that the secretary,  FMMI,  issued a statement
because there was a great deal of confusion about who was respon
sible.  Among  local residents itself there was a story that  the
army,  which was camped at the Araipattai and Navabkudah ends  of
the main road,  was responsible.  The leaders explained that they
knew the LTTE and had seen who was responsible.

     Just  prior  to the massacre,  Ranjith Appa had gone to  the
house of Jinnah Hadjiaar and asked for his son-in-law.  The  son-
in-law's  small son had said that he was in the  bathroom.  Since
Ranjith Appa was a familiar visitor, there was no alarm. When the
son-in-law came to meet Ranjith, he was shot dead in the sight of
his  wife  and son.  The party then proceeded to two Mosques  and
massacred over 120 persons at 8.30 p.m.  The massacre took  place
at the time of Sujuth - prostration, the most sacred of moments.

     The  leaders admitted that there were subsequently  isolated
instances of mob violence against Tamils. But the FMMI did large
ly restore calm.  Since the Muslims felt helpless, it was decided
that  they  should  accept the government's offer to  train  home
guards.  One  leader  explained,  "We did not want  an  extremist
organisation  starting here.  So we decided that the  FMMI  would
nominate persons for homeguard training.  Whenever the government
decides  to settle the problem,  let them take back the arms they
issued. The problem is then off our hands".

     While homeguards may have been an expedient to restore calm,
as  elsewhere,  they were of no use in defending the people,  but
were  rather a nuisance to them,  an easy target for the LTTE  to
boost their image, and a source of terror to sundry Tamils within
their  reach - particularly after an LTTE action.  They became  a
part of the problem.  In the sequel the LTTE killed Muslim strag
glers.  The homeguards responded in similar fashion. According to
Muslim  leaders 40 Muslim fishermen have been killed  in  several
incidents.  Following  the killing of some Muslim fishermen  last
September,  persons  identified as Muslim homeguards abducted  17
Tamils  and murdered then on the sea shore.  This happened  about
19th September, leading to an outcry to ban homeguards.

     In the process the boundary areas between Kattankudy and the
neighbouring Tamil villages became deserted. Muslims had to aban
don  the surrounding villages of Palamunai (800 families),  Siha
ram,  Ollikulam,  Keechchanpallam,  Kankeyan  Odai  and  Manmunai
(south  of Kattankudy).  Some of the residents of  Palamunai  and
Kankeyan  Odai have now gone back.  The rest of the villages  are
completely  deserted.  Kattankudy now had a population of  40,000
confined to one square mile - amongst the world's highest popula
tion densities.

     Muslim  stragglers trying to make a living by fetching fire
wood  or  by doing small business on bicycles,  continued  to  be
picked  off by the LTTE.  In one incident 8 Muslims are  said  to
have been killed near Kallady, on the way to Batticaloa.

     In  another incident during the first week of December,  two
Muslim  women of ages 65 and 55 went with two young boys  in  two
bullock carts with drivers,  to fetch things from their abandoned
house in Ollikulam. All six were killed. A small boy of 8 is said
to have been killed when his grandmother tried to hide him in her
sari. Only 4 bodies were recovered.

     The_present:  One elder said that he was not angry, but felt
broken hearted about Tamil responsibility for the entire tragedy.

     Kattankudy  which depends heavily on trade has been hard hit
by  its  confinement.  6000 acres of paddy land  in  Paduvankarai
across the lagoon,  belonging to its residents,  have been  aban
doned  for 5 years.  They have also lost access to their  coconut
estates situated in Tamil areas.

     Bishop  Kingsley  Swamipillai of the Roman  Catholic  Church
gave  the following anecdote to explain how Tamils tend to under-
estimate  the difficulties and anxieties of Muslims.  At a  peace
meeting last year Tamils complained how they have to spend Rs.50/
to  go  from  Batticaloa to Araipattai  because  they  cannot  go
through Kattankudy. They have to cross the lagoon, bypass Kattan
kudy on the other side,  and cross the lagoon again.  "We have to
spend  Rs.500/- to go Valaichenai,  because we cannot go  through
Batticaloa," replied the Muslims,  "We have to go to Kalmunai and
then  to Valaichenai via Amparai and Maha Oya." The Bishop  added
that this was an eye opener to many Tamils.

     Among  the handful of Muslim students attending Eastern Uni
versity  is one young boy offering Mathematics,  acknowledged  as
brilliant by his teachers. His future is as bleak as that of many
of his Tamil counterparts.  He comes by van from Kattankudy. Gets
down just after Kallady bridge,  follows classes at the universi
ty's  Uthaya Motors premises,  and returns without  loitering  in
Batticaloa. His opportunities for further studies are remote.

     It  is evident that the Muslims are as anxious as Tamils  to
restore  normal relations.  The trend of current politics on  the
part  of  both the government and the LTTE would be to  keep  the
communities divided.

     At  the level of NGO's there appears to be little communica
tion  between those working among Tamils and those  serving  Mus
lims.  While  the  former are largely funded from the  West,  the
latter  receive  funds from Muslim sources.  If there  is  better
communication and  a pooling of resources at that level, it would
also  help to bring some thaw at ground level.  It is  often  the
case  that the NGO's serving Tamils are often subject to  stories
about the villainy of Muslims,  and receive little information on
the  difficulties  faced by them.  This has added to the  process
leading to a feeling of isolation felt by the Muslim community.

2.6  Kurukkal_Madam

     On the way from Batticaloa to Kalmunai,  there is a  village
every  two or three miles and each has peculiar traditions of its
own.  Kurukkal Madam lies just south of Araipattai.  It is a vil
lage where both aspiration and attainment in the field of  educa
tion  are high and many of its present and former inhabitants are
in  government service or in the professions.  The admission  fi
gures  from the village to the Eastern University are said to  be
very creditable.  As the name suggests,  the level of Hindu piety
is also high in the village.  The militant tradition in the  vil
lage  is  said  to be low in  comparison with  the  neightbouring
villages of Ambalanthurai, Kirankulam and Chettipalayam. About 11
of its members were in the PLOTE and TELO.  After the LTTE  deci
mated  other  groups in 1986,  nearly all these persons left  the
East.  Subsequently  almost  no one from the village  joined  the
LTTE, and thus it experienced little trouble from the forces that
came. Understandably, some suspicion and ill-feeling was directed
towards Kurukkal Madam from neighbouring villages.

     The_Massacre_of_Muslims: Following the end of the first week
of July,  a convoy of Kattankudi resident Muslims was  proceeding
thither,  from  Colombo,  via Kalmunai.  In the convoy were  also
lorries carrying a large quantity of goods.  The convoy was stop
ped  in  Kurukkal Madam by the local LTTE group led by  Mani  - a
somwhat notorious figure.  The captives were herded into a single
house.  A  witness  put their number at 60 to 80.  It was  widely
understood that the initial motive was robbery.

     How  the  decision to massacre was taken  appears  a  little
involved.  A  number  of refugees from  Karaitivu,  Kalmunai  and
Pandiruppu  were present at Kurukkal Madam.  Muslim informers and
helpers were associated in their minds with the widespread  atro
cities of the Sri Lankan forces. In terms of support and recruit
ment, however irresponsible, the LTTE had some populist advantage
to be gained in the bloody assuaging of anti-Muslim feelings. But
it  is unlikely that a local leader would have taken such a deci
sion  upon himself,  since there was apparently no clear line  at
that  time about Muslim civilians.  Muslim sources in  Kattankudy
name  a senior LTTE leader in the Batticaloa hierarchy as  having
given  the order to kill.  The Muslim civilians were later  taken
out  and reportedly killed nearby.  Witnesses saw old  women  and
children among the victims.  Among the motives suspected by resi
dents is that of putting them into trouble when the army arrived.
It  was  by then clear from what had happened elsewhere that  the
LTTE had no intention of stopping the army.

     Those in Kurukkalmadam left in fear.  Many left as  refugees
wading across water to Ambalanthurai. Several of them came back a
few days later.

     The_army_arrives:  When the army arrived a few days later, a
young  man  was in his house with his parents.  A cyclist on  the
road,  on  seeing the army left the bicycle on the road  and  ran
away. The army came into the house and took the young man and put
him  into a tractor containing six young boys with hands tied and
eyes  blindfolded,  brought from Chettipalayam.  The young  man's
parents went up and pleaded.  The mother was beaten.  An  officer
who  came  behind released the young man.  Later six bodies  were
found  burnt,  placed radially around a tyre.  The army had  also
done its usual looting of TV sets and watches.

     The  local  residents had further instances  of  the  Tigers
wanting  to put them into trouble.  On one occasion,  a Tiger was
standing  near  a house containing civilians while a  patrol  was
coming,  ready  to run away.  On another occasion a landmine  was
placed opposite the post office,  then containing  refugees.  The
mine  did  not  go off when a patrol passed by.  The  LTTE  later
removed the mine.

     When   things settled down,  it turned out that a number  of
people from the surrounding areas had been killed, while none had
died from Kurukkal Madam itself.  That strengthened the prevalent
religious beliefs!

2.7  Kaluwanchikudy

     Many  of the buildings in town were destroyed when the  army
shelled the area before moving in from Amparai.  There used to be
a  big LTTE camp in the area.  The shells were fired from  Periya
Porativu  as the army moved along the Gonagolla  - Kaluwanchikudy
road.  There were initially the usual symptoms of Sri Lankan army
occupation.  But  we  shall confine ourselves  to  what  happened
subsequently, and for a change, to the rare positive side.

     The  battalion  that came into occupation  subsequently  was
commanded  by  Colonel  Halangoda.  The conduct of this  unit  is
spoken  of  with  high praise by local civilians  and  others  in
neighbouring areas.  This period provided the civilians with both
dignity and confidence.  The standards set were very unusual  for
the Sri Lankan army.

     On  one occasion an army patrol as well as the LTTE ended up
in  the market at the same time.  The troops were ordered not  to
fire for the fear of hitting civilians.  The confrontation  ended
peacefully.  In  another incident an army patrol was ambushed  in
Kottai Kallar, south of Kaluwanchikudy. Two soldiers were killed.
The  army  behaved  itself and there were  no  reprisals  against
civilians.  The  villagers were asked to tell the LTTE that there
was no objection to their coming into the village,  provided they
did so without arms.

     When in mid-December 1990, the STF was on a vindictive binge
in Kallar and Periya Nilawanai further south,  resulting in  many
disappearances, the army at Kaluwanchikudy was warning people not
to  proceed  south as the STF was on a spree.  Colonel  Halangoda
left  earlier this year on an overseas scholarhip.  Because of  a
total  political vacuum,  such achievements are too often  short
lived.  Good officers, although they can decisively influence the
character  of their unit,  cannot compensate for  poor  political

2.8  (Periya)_Kallar

     According  to residents in Kallar,  the worst incident  with
the  IPKF was the kicking to death of a young boy by soldiers  in
public view. This happened after the outbreak of the October 1987
war.  Later  things  were quiet.  About July 1989,  26 boys  from
Kallar were conscripted for the ill fated TNA. The TNA was posted
in the Methodist Church Community Hall, and were described as not
aggressive.  Strangely  enough,  many  Tamil youth then  took  up
residence in Amparai town to evade conscription.  They were  then
well  received,  though Amparai became a death trap the following

     In  November 1989,  the TNA confronted the LTTE at  Thumpan
kerni, beyond Palugamam. 7 were killed. The rest, including those
from Kallar, were taken prisoner and are missing since then.

     The_June_War:  On  June 16th,  the day on which the army ar
rived, a man was hacked to death on the causeay to Kottai Kallar.
Five youths,  including Suntheralingam,  Paskaran,  Sasikaran and
Gunam,  were  taken  by the army in a round-up and  are  missing.
Subsequently, refugees from Veeramunai, Central Camp, Division 8,
Malwattai and Mallikaitivu came to reside at a camp in Kallar. In
late  July,  35 of these refugees were rounded up by the STF  and
Muslim  vigilantes,  taken to the Kallar beach,  and  shot  dead.
Local residents were called in to carry the bodies into vehicles.

     During  those  days  the STF used to fire at people  from  a
distance  without verifying their targets.  In September,  a  CTB
driver,  Eliyathamby Rasiah and conductor Arumugam Anandan,  both
from Kallar,  on their way to work in Kalmunai, were shot dead by
the  STF.  This happened at 6 a.m.  in Periya Kallar.  A  retired
gentleman,  Kanthappar  Vyramuththu was shot dead while  crossing
the road.

     Kallar  used  to be a place patrolled by the STF  in  Periya
Nilawanai (Maruthamunai) from the south, and the army in Kaluwan
chikudy from the north. The Batticaloa district ends with Kallar.
During late September,  Sellappah Kanapathipillai (51) a  teacher
who  was listening to the radio in his house with Maruthanayagam,
a  carpenter,  were both taken out and shot by  the  army.  Three
relatives  who  went  in search of their bodies  never  returned.
Their bodies were recovered from the lagoon in a decomposed state
in Onththachichi Madam.  Three women relatives who went to  Kalu
wanchchikudy  to  meet the army are said to have been hacked  and
thrown into a well.  The well was later covered up. Three mothers
and  three sons from Kallar travelling to Colombo by CTB  bus  in
October,  were  taken  at Malwattai by army personnel and  Muslim
home guards. They are still missing.
     Disappearances_in_December:  Two  days  after STF  men  were
ambushed in Panama (about 7th December),  in the south of Amparai
District, the much dreaded white van doing nocturnal rounds, made
its appearance in the area. On the first day it drove into Kallar
at  7.30 p.m.,  with armed men in plain clothes.  It went away at
8.30 p.m. taking away six persons.  Among them were the son  (O.L
student) and son-in-law (newly married) of Mr.  Kanagasabai,  and
three members of the Nadarajah family,  including Nadarajah  him
self, his brother-in-law and his son (O.level student). The other
was a recently married 27 year old son of Bobby Arulampalam.

     Another  who  disappeared during this period was a  graduate
teacher Thayalan from Jaffna University.  He was taken on the way
to the National Savings Bank at Kalmunai.  His father, Mr. Tissa
veerasingham,  principal  of  Thurainilawanai MV  (High  School),
appealed  to  the Minister of Education and to  the  Director  of
Education, Batticaloa. There has been no response.

     Others  who  went missing during this period are 17  traders
from Kaluwanchikudi,  Kurumanveli,  Eruvil and  Palugamam.  These
persons used to come on bicycles from the north to purchase goods
from Muslim traders at Maruthamunai,  after passing the STF camp.
While this was happening,  the army at Kaluwanchikudy was warning
people not to go south (See also UTHR (J) No.6).

     While  this  was going on people were wondering why the  STF
was resorting to reprisals there for what happened far south. The
reason  now believed by many is based on the discovery  that  the
OIC  at Thurainilawanai (Maruthamunai),  was the namesake of  the
commanding officer at Mankulam army camp,  which fell to the LTTE
less than two weeks prior to the disappearances.

     According  to local sources,  76 persons have been killed or
are missing in Kallar,  since the outbreak of the war. The figure
includes the 35 refugees massacred in July.

2.9  Kalmunai

     We  add to what has been given in Reports 4 &  5.  Following
the killing of policemen and 10 soldiers on 11th  June,  Kalmunai
town was subject to intense shelling by the army.  On 14th June a
responsible  person  concerned about the  Girls'  Home,  Kalmunai
telephoned  LTTE's Castro as to what they should do.  Castro rep
lied not to worry and that nothing would happen.  Despite  making
plans  for  their  withdrawal,  they offered no guidance  to  the
civilians.  Since shells were falling all around,  it was decided
to evacuate the Girls' Home.  Late that night 150 girs and others
walked to Karaitivu through Sainthamaruthu, a Muslim area. As the
army  got close,  confusion also reigned  in  Karaitivu.  Lacking
guidance from anyone, plans were afoot to walk the girls 12 miles
south to Akkaraipattu. This was abandoned when others in Karaiti
vu  advised them to stay put.  The girls got back to Kalmunai  in
July, when a lorry sent with food by church authorities in Colom
bo, was made available to transport them.

     The  massacre  of  hundreds by the troops  which  came  into
Kalmunai  has been described in earlier reports.  All other inde
pendent reports give variations on the figures, but the essential
facts stand.  The list of dead and missing in and around Kalmunai
stands at above 1000. The army's attitude at that time is further
illustrated by the following incident.  The only son of a profes
sional man was taken by the army in a round up. The parents found
out the name of a senior commanding officer and went to the  camp
at nightfall.  They took that risk because every moment mattered.
They  informed  the sentry that they would like to speak  to  the
officer named.  The sentry put them through,  thinking from their
middle  class  bearing that the officer was known to  them.  They
pleaded with the officer.  The officer finally replied,  "I  will
release him because he is your only son.  If you had another son,
I  certainly  would not release him".  There was no  question  of
whether  he had LTTE connections.  All that mattered was that  he
was a Tamil. In judging the officer, it must be kept in mind that
in an affair of low humanity, he came up at least to this level.

     The scars and the atmosphere of terror in Kalmunai will take
a long time to heal.  With the exodus of a large number of senior
government  servants,  the Tamil middle class has shrunk,  making
the community feel more abandoned.  Kalmunai hospital now has  no
specialists  and its medical staff is depleted.  One of its  last
remaining  Tamil doctors,  a lady,  fled Kalmunai,  reportedly on
receiving a note of demand for liberation tax.

2.10 Karaitivu

     At the time we visited Karaitivu, the people were sullen and
pessimistic.  But  it was said that killings of detainees by  the
STF  had  reached a very low ebb.  STF patrols could be  seen  on
bicycles  in  lanes,  occasionally taking persons for an  inquiry
while the women screamed.  It is said that nearly all those taken
would be questioned and released.  A few days later,  when a bomb
exploded in Akkaraipattu market,  a number of persons disappeared
in  an  area including Kalmunai and  Karaitivu.  Although  Muslim
homeguards are said to have been responsible,  they together with
the police and the STF are part of the same institution.  Preten
ding that they are distinct, serves well to shuffle responsibili
ty and to confuse. But it at the same time increases distrust and

     We correct some figures given earlier.  According to respon
sible  local sources,  when the army came into Karaitivu in  June
1990, they arrested 64 in a round up, and after 2 weeks, released
5.  The  others are missing.  16 others died when prisoners  were
thrust into a room and a grenade was exploded. Of those killed in
the explosion were Sri Ram,  who was due to enter the Faculty  of
Medicine,  University  of Jaffna,  and his younger  brother.  His
elder brother escaped.  The total killed and missing in Karaitivu
since the outbreak of war is put at about 150.

     These  sources  also gave the number of Tamils in  the  area
killed in 1985 when the STF attacked in the company of a mob,  as
19.  A  further  15  were missing.  The damage  to  property  was

     According to local sources, an incident took place in Karai
tivu  about  a month before the war of June 1990.  This  was  the
period  during  which  the two sides were involved in  a  war  of
nerves.  The  government  had set up a support police station  in
Karaitivu,  manned by 15 to 20 mainly Muslim policemen. One night
these policemen were killed.  But no-one claimed  responsibility.
The LTTE was in control at that time.

In what follows, we correct an account given in Report 6, Section

     STF_round_up_of_Refugee_Camp,_12th_December_1990:   At  5.30
a.m  the STF surrounded the refugee camp at Vipulananda  College.
Refugees  from each village were asked to come out in  turn,  and
were  marched  past  persons described as  Muslim  informers.  28
persons were taken into custody. The manner in which persons were
picked up was reminiscent of what happened in the Eastern Univer
sity.  Of  the 28 picked up,  9 were refugees from  Attapalam,  a
Tamil  village  next  to  the  neighbouring  Muslim  village   of

     The  STF then moved into the refugee camp premises and  sur
rounded  the main school building.  Those outside heard a grenade
explosion  followed by automatic fire and another  explosion.  It
turned  out  later that 3 LTTE cadre hiding in  the  ceiling  had

     Of  the  28 taken,  only one person from Attapalam  was  re
leased. The rest are missing, mostly without any indication about
their  fate.  Chelliah  Namasivayam,  one of those  detained,  is
believed by his wife Manonmani to be in Magazine prison.

What_the_Refugees_experienced:  In what follows we briefly sketch
out the experiences of refugees in the Karaitivu camp.  The  list
is far from exhaustive.

Amparai_Town:  A  leader from a community of Indian Tamil  origin
living  in Iraikamam Rd,  Mihindapura,  related their experience.
They  were  mainly  Health Department labourers  living  in  line
rooms.  At  3.30 p.m.  on 11th June,  3 policemen came  to  their
quarter,  opened fire with their automatics,  and started setting
fire  to their rooms.  They caught some boys and threw them  into
the  fire.  It  may be noted that except for the fact that  these
people  spoke.  Tamil,  they  were as remote from the  Tigers  as
ordinary Sinhalese.

     At 7 p.m.  the same evening, they were set upon by Sinhalese
mobs.  Among  those killed were members of an  entire  family.  A
total  of 70 persons from that community were killed.  The survi
vors walked it to Karaitivu via Veeramunai and Samanthurai.

     Although their work is of the most menial kind which few  is
this  country would willingly perform,  they are desperate to get
back to work. The leader said that he could now make brief visits
to Amparai.  But whether they could live there remains in  doubt.
They have been told that they could get back to work at their own
risk.  The health authorities are not prepared to guarantee their
safety.  Those who visit Amparai town are still subject to threa
tening remarks.

Muhangala,_Ingurana:  At 1.30 p.m.  on 13th June, a Sinhalese mob
attacked  them with sticks and poles.  Among those killed were 12
children,  pregnant  women and elderly persons.  They  walked  to
Akkaraipattu through sugar cane fields.

Inginiyagala:  Approximately  40 Tamils were killed by police and
Sinhalese mobs.

Korakovil: 30 killed.

Attapalam:  The army rounded up 36 persons on 2nd July and killed
8.  Out of the remaining 28,  23 werereleased. The fate of 5 per
sons is not known.  In all,  58 persons are dead or  missing.  Of
this  number  22  were adbucted by the army while  travelling  to
Colombo  by  bus.  Those in the refugee camp  remain  because  of
Muslim home guards.

Thiraikerni:  41 died on 6th August when the STF came with Muslim
home guards. The one person taken prisoner is missing.

     Going  through all these stories,  one sees that a  perverse
sense  of historical memory justifies any act of violence by  any
one  party.  There is no creative thrust by those who know better
to overcome this politics of destruction.

2.11 Akkaraipattu

     The_Police-mutiny:  Discipline  among policemen in the  East
was bad enough (see special Report No.3). In Akkaraipattu, things
had  become unmanageable when a sub-Inspector was in charge of  a
A-grade  Police station.  A new crisis developed  when  Inspector
Vahalathanthri was put in charge of the station.  The new Inspec
tor  broke  all the good traditions of the force.  He enforced  a
strict  duty  roster,  inspection parades and banned the  use  of
liquor in the station. He pulled up his men for getting civilians
to dig bunkers, telling them that it was work which they ought to
do  themselves.  His men were also reportedly pulled up for  mis
treating  those under detention.  Both the Muslim and  the  Tamil
public  saw  stars.  He later told a group of citizens that  some
were trying to bribe him. But that his father and grandfather had
been in the police force,  that he was a Christian (Roman  Catho
lic),  and that he thus took integrity in duty very seriously. He
announced that he would only meet people officially and would not
attend  private parties.  People spoke of him with enthusiasm and
could not believe their ears.

     In  the  night,  about 15th March  1991,  drunken  policemen
mutinied.  Wild firing,  mostly into the air,  went on for a long
time,  causing  people  to think that there was an  LTTE  attack.
Fortunately for the policemen,  there was'nt one. The ASP, Kalmu
nai,  had to come with a party to quell the mutiny.  Subsequently
many  of  the policemen were transferred.  The Inspector  told  a
person  that he would take the challenge and continue to do  what
he was doing.

     In  a country where policemen have been promoted on instruc
tions from on high,  precisely for being corrupt, Inspector Vaha
lathanthri deserves both sympathy and good wishes.

The_unexpected_meeting:  A man with a familar face hailed us  and
proceeded  to  greet us with touching enthusiasm.  He had met  us
last  September when his family were among Sinhalese refugees  in
Amparai  town.  He insisted on being the host at a tea  shop.  As
with most refugees,  he found it depressing to live on  handouts.
He  left his wife and children in Amparai and had resumed work in
Akkaraipattu. Since there were differing versions of the destruc
tion   of the Buddhist temple in Amparai,  he was asked  for  his
story.  "Believe me sir," he said,  "We saw it with our own eyes.
The Tigers came in a jeep on 14th June about 3.00 p.m.  and stole
some  of the things in the temple.  They took an oil lamp and our
sadhu's (priest) fan.  They also stole a radio cassette presented
to  the sadhu by the Tamil people in appreciation of what he  had
done  for  them.  During the Tamil-Muslim clashes  in  1985,  the
Tamils had sheltered in the temple.  Later the Tigers bombed  the
temple which was once the refuge of Tamils".

     That  gave  another element of complexity to  the  chequered
history of the East.

2.12 Thirukkovil-Thambiluvil
     A  sizeable  refugee population still remains in this  area.
Most of them are from Veeramunai and Pottuvil.  The former are in
camps.  The main body of refugees from Pottuvil is in Komary.  In
Thirukkovil-Thambiluvil itself,  things are relatively  calm.  At
least  for 1 1/2 months after the incident in Vinyagapuram  there
had been no further killings. It is known in one case at least in
early March,  that a person accused of supplying food to the LTTE
was warned and sent home.  There appeared to be a change. But for
how long?

     The Tamil policemen from the region who survived, are now in
a  temporary police station next to the STF camp,  on  probation.
Life is hard for them as local people do not take them seriously,
and they in turn feel impelled to do things to show that they are
real policemen.

     Following  the  news item of early Novemebr on headless  bo
dies,  in  'the  Island',  no further headless bodies  have  been
sighted.  The Amparai correspondent to whom the item was sourced,
had since also vanished from the pages of 'the Island'. (See Spe
cial Report No.3 for background information.)
2.13 Vinayagapuram

     About  the first week of February,  the STF  at  Thirukkovil
picked  up and reportedly killed two boys who had allegedly  sup
plied food to the LTTE,  in hiding around Kanjikudichcharu.  Some
said  that  the boys previously had EROS links.  In  response  to
this,  a  dhoby in Vinayagapuram who did washing for the STF  was
shot  dead on the allegation that he had given information to the
STF. Having made inquiries as to who shot the dhoby, the STF went
to  Vinayagapuram looking for two boys Kuna and Kumar.  The  boys
not being present,  the STF took their fathers. One man Shanmuga
nathan had two daughters at home.  Having taken the  father,  the
two  girls were locked up.  The girls screamed.  The STF then let
out the girls and chased them away.  According to local  sources,
the STF had said, "When we acted against the JVP in the South, we
finished  off entire families.  But we are letting you  go'.  The
house  was  then set on fire.  The other man taken  was  Vadivel,
whose house too was set on fire.  Nothing more was heard of Shan
muganathan and Vadivel.

     It  is  said  that the citizens' committee  of  Thirukkovil-
Thambiluvil  raised the matter with the STF.  The STF  commandant
Lionel Karunasena,  it is said,  appeared to have been upset, and
had assured them that this would not happen again.
2.14 Thandiyady

The_origin_of_headless_bodies:  Uthayakumar was a young boy  from
Thambiluvil  who was looking for a new life.  It is said that  he
was  keenly studying the Bible.  Then came the war of June  1990.
Young  boys were in a panic over the thought of the armed  forces
coming  in.  The LTTE urged them to join the final battle  rather
than  be  killed  while staying at home.  Uthayakumar  with  many
frightened boys followed the LTTE into the jungle.  The STF  then
assumed control promising clemency.

     Uthayakumar  returned about a month later and was staying at
home. He was pointed out to the STF by two informants moving with
the STF at that time,  and was picked up.  One dawn in late July,
his  severed head and body were found a short distance  from  the
STF  camp at Thandiyady,  between Vinayagapuram and  Komari.  His
remains  were  interred  by local villagers who had  found  them.
Uthayakumar's was the first in a list of over 30 headless corpses
found in the area.

                            CHAPTER 3



     Karuppiah Madhavan (40) from Nawalapitiya had married Sothi
mani  of Eravur 4,  and was the father of Selvi (13),  Illankovan
(10)  and Senthilkumaran (8).  The children were living with  his
mother  and were schooling  in Nawalapitiya.  He  had  previously
worked  as a foreman for the Swedish firm Skanska on the Mahaveli
project and later at Puttalam. They were barely settled in Eravur
for 7 months. He was last working for Daya Stores, Batticaloa.

     On 12th August, the day following the massacre of Muslims in
Eravur,  the  army surrounded his house and dragged out  Madhavan
with his wife.  Both were assaulted. As the army dragged Madhavan
to a place 1/4 mile away,  he shouted at his wife to run away  to
safety.  The  soldiers proceeded to kick him with their boots and
assault  him with rifle butts.  He received injuries on his  head
and chest and lost some of his teeth. The soldiers inquired about
Kuttithamby  and Suresh.  Madhavan said that he was new here  and
knew few people.  He was losing his senses during the assault  as
breathing became difficult.  Then an officer arrived and Madhavan
explained  to him in English.  The officer asked him to be off or
that Muslim thugs would kill him. Madhavan said that he had to go
home and look for his wife.  The officer followed him as he craw
led home on his knees.  Instead of helping him to walk,  the sol
diers tried to hold up his tummy.  Finding Manonmani missing,  he
shouted for her.  His voice was mostly a gasp.  He went over  the
neighbourhood  on all fours calling his wife.  The officer warned
him again that Muslim thugs would get him.  With injuries on  the
head,  teeth broken,  a stab on the chest with a small knife, and
boot nail injuries all over, including the abdomen, Madhavan went
north at crawling pace, followed by his dog Jimmy.

     By  sheer force of will,  he reached Rameshwaram,  which was
empty and devastated,  at about 2.30 p.m. He was now 3 miles from
the Eastern University and physical as well as mental  exhaustion
caused  him to faint.  As he regained consciousness,  he  noticed
that  he was surrounded by crows and dogs,  eager for his exposed
flesh.  Jimmy was close to him,  frantically barking and  keeping
the  predators at bay.  Madhavan observed,  "Even other creatures
became corrupted by mankind,  and had developed a taste for human
flesh. If not for my faithful Jimmy, I would have been finished."

     He  continued,"I  then heard the thundering  noise  of  army
trucks  from the direction of my home in TC quarters,  Eravur.  I
felt  better and slowly walked another mile.  I met  two  persons
having  a  drink  of coconut.  They had come to look  over  their
houses.  On seeing me they offered me a drink of coconut and took
me to Eastern University on a bicycle.  That was the last time  I
saw  my  faithful Jimmy.  I reached the university about  quarter
past six.  Two days later my neighbours who were in the camp told
me that Manonmani had been seen cut and thrown into a well.  They
had  found her slippers and her rolled up  sari.  Silly  girl.  I
suspected  when  I asked her to go away that she would  not.  She
must have waited to see what became of me and Muslim thugs  would
have got her."

     Madhavan was hospitalised in Batticaloa for 16 days.  He has
now aged,  is semi-disabled and wears the scars of his ordeal. He
is  now in the Batticaloa Hindu College refugee camp and is look
ing for help in starting a small shop.

3.2  Shot_by_Home_Guards:

     Mrs.  Thangamma Thavarasa of Eravur 4 fled her home with her
family  to  Vantharumoolai (Eastern University) on  12th  August,
soon after the massacre of Muslims.  On 30th August she left  for
home  with two other women by a jungle path,  to look over  their
belongings. Having walked two miles, they encountered Muslim home
guards  who were recently deployed,  and began to run  away.  The
home  guards  followed  shooting and asked them to put  up  their
hands. The women were then dragged and abused in filth. They were
made  to  line up and remove their jewels.  One home  guard  then
proceeded  to shoot the pleading women,  reloading his  gun  each
time.  Thangamma  was shot in the chest below the right  shoulder
and  fainted.  Selvam Arokiam survived with a shot in the  throat
and  Pamanasom  Esamma died immediately.  After  recovering  con
sciousness Thangamma held her chest wound and walked to Vantharu
moolai with Arokiam.  On the way Arokiam collapsed.  Hearing dis
tant  gunshots Thangamma's daughter Thavendri had come hither  to
find out.  On seeing her mother, she shouted Amma and ran to her.
She  went  back to the university and brought help.  Both  ladies
were taken on bicycles and received first aid at the camp  hospi
tal. The ICRC took them to Batticaloa hospital the following day.
Arokiam died en route.

     Thangamma  was discharged 10 days later and now lives at  7,
Pioneer Road,  Batticaloa. She faces many problems common to that
area.  Her son Thavendran (26),  was taken by the STF from Eravur
on 5th June 1987 and is missing since then.  Her daughter Thaven
dri formerly worked for Adam Lebbe at Gaya Bakery,  Eravur.  Adam
Lebbe  is  himself  in difficulties and is unable  to  help.  Her
eldest daughter Mrs.  Sakthivel had lost her husband and has  two
boys  and  a girl (11,10 & 9years) to mind.  Thangamma  had  also
brought  up  an orphan,  now aged 9,  for 6 years.  Her skill  at
rolling  cigars is profitable in the villages,  but not in  town.
She  now earns a meagre sum selling pieces of chewing tobacco  in
the market at 50 cents a piece.  She thinks that dying would have
been easier.

3.3   Taken_from_Eastern_University:  Thavarani Thambirajah  (22)
has  been through much looking for her brother Uthayakumar  (23).
They are natives of Kommathurai.  On 5th September the army  sur
rounded the Eastern University. Thavarani saw her brother for the
last  time when the boys were separated from the  girls.  Uthaya
kumar  was  one of the 159 taken away after being pointed out  by
informers.  Uthayakumar  first  worked as church  keeper  at  the
Chenkaladi Methodist Church,  then at the dispensary of Dr. Ragu
nathan  of  Eravur and later with the Director at  the  Methodist
Educational  Centre,  Chenkaladi.  He  was known to many  leading
persons  who would vouch for his character.  His  misfortune  may
have been that he was known in Eravur.

     The  family went to the Roman Catholic Bishop.  The Catholic
Club circulated appeals to army camps.  They went to the Morakka
tanchenai army camp in early February this year and were given  a
date to call again. The mother went on 10th February and spoke to
an  official  through a TELO interpreter.  She was told that  the
army  had not been able to check yet,  and promised to  give  her
further  information by post.  Nothing was heard.  They lodged an
appeal with the ICRC on 14th March.  Among the children there  is
one other boy and 5 girls.

3.4  Hide_and_Seek_in_Batticaloa_Prison:

     During  the  third week of January this year the army did  a
round up at Santhiveli and Kaluwankerny and altogether 10  priso
ners  were  taken.  They were sent to Batticaloa prison and  were
beaten  on the way.  All were subsequently released,  two on  1st
February and the rest,  later.  Many of the prisoners were middle
aged (35 - 45 years) and had 3 - 6 children. Before their release
they had some novel experiences.  This was a period during  which
greater leniencey was exercised. It is not representative of what
took place earlier or what may come after.

     The prisoners were often kept awake by screams in the night.
Many  of the torturers were said to be Muslim deserters from  the
LTTE.  Sometimes  they were driven in a van with tyres and petrol
cans and their eyes tied,  after threats to burn them,  and  then
brought back after a 5 minute drive.

     The  ICRC used to come once a week and they used to be shown
only  a  section of the prisoners.  When the ICRC spoke  to  them
individually, prisoners were usually afraid to speak of those not
shown.  Once  when the ICRC arrived,  13 prisoners  were  quickly
hustled away by the guards and only 8 shown.  When the ICRC spoke
to  them they made a routine denial that there were other  priso
ners.  But one boy signalled with his fingers.  The ICRC visitors
also  apparently noticed that there were more shirts hanging than
there were people. The ICRC left. The 13 were brought back by the
guards.  The ICRC officials then suddenly returned and took  down
details of the 13 they had not seen earlier. The prison officials
were angry about the ICRC's discovery.  They suspected one priso
ner  who knew English and had with the permission of the  guards,
helped the ICRC to fill up forms about other prisoners. After the
ICRC left, this prisoner was assaulted.

     The prison facilities,  it is said,  were not bad. They were
given good food, including noodles.

3.5  Left_for_Dead_in_Kallar:

     A  young man holding a very responsible job in the East left
Kalmunai on 21st June 1990 when army reprisals were at its  peak,
and proceeded northwards with his younger brother. At Kallar they
were  stopped by the army,  and the younger brother was asked  to
proceed  with some of the others.  The young man was then  merci
lessly assaulted and was left for dead against a fence. After the
army left,  the owner of the house came to look,  and saw a move
ment  of the young man's hand.  His people were contacted in  due
course and he was warded in Kalmunai hospital.

     Subsequently,  he was taken twice by the police and released
after being assaulted.  His identity card was also taken.  He now
has  a  dent at the back of his head,  two fingers broken by  the
police  and  hurriedly set in the local  hospital,  and  a  voice
defect.  He  was asked to see a neuro-surgeon.  But there are  no
neuro-surgeons  in  the East and he still finds it  difficult  to
travel to Colombo.

                           CHAPTER 4


4.1  The_Beginnings

     The army moved from Valaichenai through Eravur to Batticaloa
on 23rd June,  abandoning the areas through which they had moved.
The  LTTE  launched a looting spree around Chenkaladi  and  Ervur
between  23rd and 27th June,  emptying the shops and food stores.
On  25th July,  the army came to the Eastern  University  refugee
camp about 5 p.m.  10,000 refugees were in the camp at that time.
The army left after taking 5 persons with the help of TELO infor
mants.  With the army establishing a campt at Kommathurai,  those
going  south to Batticaloa had to bypass Kommathurai as the  army
did not permit passage. This became established practice.

     On  8th  August,  the LTTE placed a mine in the  residential
area in Eravur - Chenkaladi.  But nothing happened.  Another mine
was planted on 11th August (See Report No.6,  4.5).  The army did
not  suffer any harm,  but killed a few people around the  place.
One person was shot at point blank range.  A cinema,  two garages
and several houses were burnt by the army.

     Following  the  massacre at Eravur on the  11th  night,  the
Tamils  killed  by  the army and mobs included 18  massacred  and
burnt at the Eravur sawmill. The number registered at the univer
sity rose fourfold to 46,000.  There was a floating population of
about 10,000 who lived in outlying villages, but collected provi
sions at the university. The camp had to function amidst difficu
lties caused by both sides to the conflict. Once the LTTE planted
a landmine in front.  The refugees protested strongly and  almost
physically forced its removal. The army camp at Kommathurai, half
a  mile from the university,  was among the nastiest.  There were
several  instances  of people (including the  AGA's  peon)  being
detained,  and upon inquiry the matter was simply denied.  Once a
shell  fell  into  the refugee camp killing one  person.  When  a
complaint  was made,  the Captain in charge simply  replied  that
they ought to ask Prabhakaran. The area came under the command of
the Brigadier at Valaichenai, noted for his draconian approach.

     Given this situation,  the camp, and the university dons and
the administration who gave it  leadership, had an important role
to play.  Because the university was an important institution, it
attracted  international attention.  Journalists and NGO's  which
included  the ICRC and the MSF were frequent visitors.  The camp,
apart from being an information centre, was also a hospital and a
food  distribution centre for a vast  isolated  region.  Probably
responding  to pressure,  some officals in the administration  at
Batticaloa  expressed  anxiety about the large number of  persons
registered. The camp authorities pointed out that if the adminis
tration  in  Batticaloa had the means to distribute food  to  the
remote villages that consisted the floating population, they were
welcome  to take over.  But since they sorely lacked  the  means,
they  would do well to allow the present arrangement to continue.
The camp was developing a capacity to create a new social leader

4.2  From_the_records_of_Eastern_University: In functioning as an
information  centre,  the staff maintained meticulous records  of
violations  reported by the inmates of the  camp.  The  emotional
strain  involved in sifting through hundreds of individual trage
dies can hardly be imagined.  The records are also very  informa
tive  about what was happening.  We learn that at least 8  Tamils
were murdered in the Eravur-Chenkalady area on 25th August,  soon
after Muslim home guards were trained and deployed. It records at
least  40  persons killed and 30 missing during the aftermath  of
the Eravur incident.  119 persons are recorded missing in a sepa
rate list. Those detained in the camp in two roundups by the army
(5/9 and 23/9) total 175, nearly all of whom are missing.

     We give some samples from the records:
(25/8) K. T. David (60) of Eravur 4 - Killed by the forces

(25/8) Mrs. Kanapathipillai Santhanam of Eravur 5,
       killed by unknown persons.
       F.R.  Joseph (58),  Dental Technician - Assaulted to death
       while on duty in Eravur hospital.

(16/8)  Kasipillai  Thuraisamy (85) was at  home  in  Kudiyiruppu
       (south of Eravur) when he was killed and burnt by a Muslim
       mob in the company of the forces.

(23/9) Mrs.  Thuraisamy Parvathy, wife of the above had witnessed
       her husband being killed and burnt by the forces. She then
       came  to  reside at the University.  On seeing the  forces
       again, she fell down and died of shock.

(12/8) K.A.  Arasakone (78). Shot dead while taking refuge at the
       house of Mr.  Razak,  Chairman (Eravur).  Reported by wife

(25/7)  Chinniah  Thambiraja (42),  died in the Eravur market  of
       helicopter firing. (This was the army's second exercise in
       entering Eravur).

(25/8) S.  Ganeshamoorthy (37), died of gunshots and partly burnt
       with tyre.
       Balasundaram,  fishmonger.  Shot dead while returning from

(16/9) Ramasamy Ranjan (24).  Arrested while answering a call  of
       nature just outside the university campus.

(12/8)  Kandiah Alagathurai (37).  Went to work int he field  for
       Muslims. Did not return.
(15/8)  Douglas Silva Gunasiri (34).  Went on request to purchase
       cigarettes at Eravur. Reported missing by wife V.Susheela.
27/7) V Thevarasa (12).  Taken by forces on way back to camp with
       father, after a bath.
(5/6)  S.  Krishnapillai  (45) of Eravur.  Went to  Welikande  to
       bring firewood. Did not return.
4.3  How_the_people_benefitted_from_the_Camp:  It was perhaps too
early for the camp to make an impact on curbing the army's exces
ses.  The ICRC which regularly visited the camp was able to  help
little in this respect. According to camp officials, the ICRC and
the  MSF  did help them a lot,  not so much in bringing food  and
medicine,  but by pressing government officials in Batticaloa  to
do more efficiently what they should have normally done.

     They  clarified  that the epidemic of diarrhoea in the  camp
together with a number of deaths as reported in the press is  not
quite  accurate.  Many of these people had already fallen sick in
the surrounding region and were brought to the camp hospital.  If
not for the camp,  many more would have died and would have  gone

4.4  The_LTTE_and_the_camp:  The camp officials are firm that the
LTTE  never demanded food and medicines from them and did not  to
their  knowledge take anything out in large quantities.  With the
people having largely fled the surrounding villages,  LTTE  cadre
in need of food came to their relatives in the camp. The LTTE had
requested some university equipment.  The staff refused,  telling
them  that if they were removing things as an armed  force,  they
could not stop them. The Chemistry laboratory was forced open and
some  chemicals were removed.  The pick up truck belonging to the
university was also taken away.  This was reported to the army as
a formality.

     The LTTE was also irritated by losing its civilian cover  in
the surrounding areas.  Instead of being sympathetic to the refu
gees who had suffered much,  it became angry with them,  accusing
them  of  eating sufficiently,  having electricity  and  watching
television,  while they were in difficulties outside. Towards the
end  of  August  the transformers supplying  electricity  to  the
university were blasted. This act was an indication that the LTTE
did  not approve of the camp and was feeling around for means  to
make it uninviting.

     For  the university as an institution catering for the deve
lopment of the region, the loss of electric supply meant a signi
ficant loss.  The university's Department of Agriculture was  in
volved  in a project to find organic alternatives to  weedicides.
They  had been collecting and storing varieties of fungi with the
aim  of  culturing ones that would attack weeds  in  rice  fields
while  not harming the rice.  Equipment had been provided by Bri
tish Overseas Development Aid worth 10,000 pounds.  Without elec
tricity all this effort of storing went waste.  This project  has
been suspended.

4.5  The_disappearance_of_159_inmates:  Early morning on 5th Sep
tember, the army surrounded the camp and wanted the men and women
to  line  up separately in the grounds.  These inmates were  then
paraded before informers. While the parade was taking place there
was an explosion in the auditorium. It was later learnt that some
LTTE  cadre were hiding under the stage and a grenade  of  theirs
had exploded.  Three died and three others were taken away by the
army.  Of those who were paraded,  159 were taken away. There was
much  anger  over this.  A senior member of the university  staff
said: "The Muslim informers brought by the army simply pointed at
anyone they knew. A young boy I knew well and who was taken away,
was  timid  and  would not even have so much  as  spoken  to  the
Tigers." A Christian clergyman who ministered to a number of army
officers said:"The whole thing was a sham.  My sister's neighbour
was a fishmonger whom I knew well.  He had no connection with the
Tigers.  Someone  must have been trying to get rid of a  business
competitor.  As soon as I heard about it,  I used my influence to
try to get him out.  I failed. Perhaps I was late." Going through
the list of those taken,  it turns out significantly that most of
them had Eravur addresses. The ages of those detained ranged from
11 to 51.

     Everyone felt depressed, helpless and listless. That evening
a lorry from Save the Children Fund arrived with relief supplies.
A senior don asked for help to unload the supplies and hoped that
it  would distract their minds.  Immediately there was an uproar.
People started shouting,"We do not want the supplies. We want our
children.  Send the lorry back." They wanted the camp leaders  to
go  to  the Kommathurai army camp and talk to them.  The don  ex
plained,  "I  was here when they took people away.  I am  not  an
outsider  who  had just arrived to go to the camp to verify  that
this actually happened. The camp officials going is of no use. If
you can persuade 36,000 people,  we will all go. I will lead you.
That will have some effect."
     After the initial surprise,  people started consulting  with
each other. The don reflected,"Had we all gone, the army may have
opened  fire.  Some of us may have got killed.  But we would have
built something. I was waiting, thinking that on the balance they
may decide to march.  At length a spokesman asked me, "Can you go
with the families of those taken?" They were obviously  crestfal
len. I told them that going with just the families would not have
any effect. We then silently unloaded the lorry."

4.6   The_General_arrives:  One of the advantages of the camp was
the  publicity it had received.  On 8th September  General  Gerry
Silva,  who  commanded  the East,  arrived with  the  ministerial
delegation of political party representatives.  During the talks,
the  camp officials raised with the general the release of  those
detained.  the general declined to release them,  saying words to
the effect that those detained were all guilty. It was then asked
whether, since those left in the camp had been screened, he could
issue  passes  to them for their future protection.  The  general
said  that  this  would not be possible as  they  might  tomorrow
receive information about a person which they did not have today.
The general's evasiveness made people uneasy.  Someone asked  why
not  have the army permanently surrounding the camp so that accu
sations  about  harbouring the LTTE need not be  made.  This  was
thought unfeasible.

4.7  The_last_days:  The army made a similar raid on the camp  on
23rd September.  On this day fighting had taken place between the
army  and the Tigers at kaluwankerny,  a fishing village 3  miles
east.  Following  this,  500 people from the village came to  the
refugee camp. Not relishing being alone in the village the Tigers
ordered the villagers to get back,  threatening penalties. A camp
official  on  hearing this inquired of the Tigers  the  following
day.  They  completely denied making such an order and said  that
the villagers could stay on.

     On  27th September the Tigers abducted the university regis
trar for a so called inquiry (later released) and about the  same
time  told  the inmates of the camp that they must vacate by  the
1st  October.  There  was no public announcement.  The  word  was
passed on to groups of people.  Perhaps to avoid  questions,  the
matter  was never taken up or discussed with the camp leadership.
The latter came to know this from refugees who also told them,"If
you ask us to stay, we will stay." A leader explained, "By asking
them  to stay,  we would have got into a confrontation  with  the
LTTE. It may not have done any good to us or to them. I told them
that  it  must be their decision.  I was hoping that  they  would
decide to stay. Some said they would stay. On the 28th, I noticed
that the number in camp had declined. There was the atmosphere of
a sinking ship.  I knew we were going. We asked for the remaining
provisions to be distributed."

     The  discipline  that had held all this time suddenly  broke
down.  The community that was coming together disintegrated.  The
people, together with the LTTE, started stripping the university.
The  LTTE brought bullock carts.  People took away  things  which
meant nothing to them - chemical balances, micro computers, video
screens  etc.  These gadgets and university furniture started ap
pearing all over the surrounding area.  Much of these were  later
dumped  in places and the university is still receiving  messages
about things found.  By 1st October the anarchy and panic came to
an  end.  The  home of 40,000 persons stood empty.  Some  of  the
people  found their way to Batticaloa.  But the larger number had
headed for starvation and perils,  natural and man made,  in  the
surrounding jungles.

4.8  Refuge_in_the_jungle:  The following experience related by a
34 year old labourer who left the university camp and took refuge
in the jungle, is typical of thousands. He now lives in a refugee
camp  situated  in a school in Batticaloa :  "I together with  my
family were living in the jungle at Mylavedduvan.  Apart from the
rains,  our  immediate concern was about being bitten by  snakes.
(Batticaloa  hospital  then reported an average of 5  snake  bite
patients a day).  Drinking water was also hard to come  by.  Food
was in very short supply.  Some of the farmers in the surrounding
area  gave us some sacks of paddy.  Several people took to trade,
particularly  those  old  enough to look  harmless  and  yet  fit
enough,  going to Batticaloa, bringing things and selling them in
the jungle.  We had to sell a few things we had to survive.  When
children fell ill,  it was a nightmare.  It sometimes took 3 days
to  locate and buy one Disprin tablet.  The army later restricted
trade by allowing only 10 coconuts and 4 Disprins per person.
     "The ICRC used to come at all hours and be of great service.
The LTTE used to sometimes bring medicines.

     "As  the  rains advanced things became nigh  impossible.  We
used to be subject to bombing and helicopter straffing by the air
force.  I  saw 7 or 8 persons who had been killed  by  helicopter
fire.  A  number  of people who ran into flood waters during  the
bombing  were  carried away.  By the end of October  we  came  to
Batticaloa town."

4.9  The_significance_of_the_closure_of_the_Eastern_University_
     Camp:  One of the versions given out by the Tigers regarding
the  closure of the camp is that the army was causing persons  to
disappear,  and  thus they had to close the camp to prevent  more
people from disappearing. Since this claim received international
publicity,  it needs to be examined.  The facts we have presented
point to the patent truth.

     Many more persons were taken away by the forces during round
ups of several refugee camps in the East,  usually after informa
tion  leaked to the foreces about Tiger infilitration.  This hap
pened  for instance in Veeramunai and Sorikalmunai.  250  persons
disappeared from the much smaller camp at Veeramunai.  There  was
no university at Veeramunai. The camp elders had repeatedly asked
the  Tigers to keep away from the camp.  There was never talk  of
closing the camp and leading the people into the jungle. The camp
was closed on 12th August by the forces setting Muslim homeguards
on a massacre.  That too remained little known. (See Report No.3,
October 1990).

     Such  behaviour by the forces in refugee camps which receive
sanctity in international law needed to be exposed.  As a libera
tion  group  the obligation of the Tigers was to  strengthen  the
people to fight against such things. The two major sets of disap
pearances  from the Eastern University camp were serious  matters
which apart from the loss,  affected the morale of the people and
caused much insecurity.

     Following  the  army action on 5th  September  many  parents
became  afraid for their sons and sent them into the  surrounding
jungles.  These youngsters then paid brief visits to the camp, or
food was taken out to them.  Some of these young in anger,  frus
tration and hopelessness even joined the Tigers. ("Our government
would not even let us sit in one place and starve in peace!").

     But  the camp also had its strengths because of its interna
tional  standing.  Apart from the services it was  providing,  it
was,  through experience,  developing a leadership with the  will
and  capacity to fight back.  The people were becoming  organised
and the camp had the ability to draw on some international machi
nery  for its protection.  It was because of this that everything
that  happened at the Eastern University received  publicity.  It
was the obligation of the Tigers as a liberation group to discuss
with the people and the leadership how the camp's standing  could
be  protected.  They should have asked themselves in this  situa
tion,  whether they ought to maintain a presence in the camp, and
whether  they  should ask those who wished to feed them to do  it
outside. If the camp leadership could say that there was no Tiger
presence in the camp,  it would have strengthened their case.  If
this assurance were possible even the ICRC could have been  asked
to  co-operate in running the camp.  Maintaining the camp was the
best defence the people had.

     Never once did the Tigers talk to the camp leadership  about
the  welfare  of  the camp or how the people could be  helped  to
fight against the army menace.

     If  it is claimed that the people were asked to abandon  the
camp  for their protection,  it should be asked what  alternative
protection the Tigers provided for them?  Did they provide  food,
medicines,  shelter, protection from snakes and aerial attacks by
the  government?  Using the people as pawns they conducted a mas
sive international campaign appealing for help,  for people shel
tering in the jungles from the oppressive Sri Lankan government.

     Going by past experience and from what happened in the  camp
itself,  the  Tigers were up to their usual cynicism,  killing  4
birds with one stone against the background of crass brutality by
Sri Lankan forces:  1. Any organised effort from which the people
drew  strength and confidence had to be crushed.  People ought to
be clay in the hands of the Tigers.   2.People dispersed from the
camp  become  civilian cover.  3.  Cornered youth  are  potential
recruits.  4. Have an international campaign on the plight of the

     Campaigning against oppression is a legitimate thing. But it
had to be done on responsible premises.

     More recently,  the LTTE leader Karikalan told a rehabilita
tion  official  that they are against food handouts  because  the
people are becoming lazy.  He said that people should get back to
their villages.  His reasons are understandable.  We have  hardly
met  a refugee who is not anxious to return to work.  When people
have no hope and no prospect of ever returning to their homes and
leading normal lives,  they tend to become professional  refugees
when  this  situation  is prolonged.  How can the  Tigers  expect
vulnerable  people to return to their villages when they  persist
in a policy of killing Muslims? This also explains their perverse
military  strategy.  By attacking Muslims and using  Tamil-Muslim
enmity for mobilisation,  the Tigers also brought about the large
scale  displacement  of Tamils,  causing themselves  problems  in
mobility.  This  would not have arisen if good relations  between
Tamils and Muslims had been a part of their political approach.
4.10  A_postscript:  A number of staff members from  the  Eastern
University  felt  so  dejected that they felt reluctant  to  talk
about  their experience.  The twisted propaganda about the  whole
affair was so strong,  that a young lecturer sounded as though he
would never be believed. For those who had worked hard and shoul
dered much responsibility, the closure of the camp delivered such
a blow as to drive them towards apathy and resignation. In compa
rison with the detailed information they had at their finger tips
covering their period of activity, they are dimly aware of events
in their region since then. One could now hardly find anything in
the  East that can be called an information centre.  People  have
very  vague  impressions of what happens outside  their  town  or
village.  What  is the good of knowing when the liberators do not
welcome those who care?

     This  experience of the university dons  and  administration
explains the apathy and loss of confidence one sees everywhere in
the East as a consequence of "liberation politics".  Sadly,  some
international  figures  pledged to protect the interests  of  the
people,  have  helped  the propagation of myths harmful to  their
interests. The victims have become voiceless.

     Many of the younger inmates of the refugee camp who had much
to complain of the conduct of the Tigers from the beginning, have
been  driven  by  the impressions left by the experience  of  the
government's conduct to have some sympathy for the Tigers.  Their
government not only violated the refugee camp, but in addition to
their other miseries, bombed and straffed them in the jungles.

     Regarding those who disappeared from the camp,  a letter was
received much later from Air Chief Marshal Walter Fernando of the
Joint  Operations  Command.  He acknowledged that about  30  were
detained  and that they were soon to be released.  None  of  them
appeared.  A  don  commented on this angrily,  "This letter is  a
sham.  When we talked to General Silva on 8th September,  3  days
after  the incident,  he never contested our figure of 159 arres
ted. Furthermore, there is an agreed procedure for the release of
prisoners which the army has without exception adhered to.  Those
to  be  released  are usually handed over to a  group  of  senior
citizens at some place like the  (Roman Catholic) Bishops House."

     Air Chief Marshal Walter Fernando is a member of the  Presi
dential Task Force on Human Rights!

                            CHAPTER 5

     In  previous  reports we have been trying to point out  pat
terns in the conduct of the armed forces.  The following adds  to
what has been said earlier.

5.1  The_STF:  The STF is a smaller and more closely knit organi
sation compared with other arms of the forces.  It is also a good
reflection of the political culture articulated from Colombo. Its
methods are patronage,  targetted terror and deviousness.  Unlike
with the army, this makes it extremely difficult to judge indivi
dual  character among STF officers.  Images are carefully  culti
vated and used for tactical ends. Some are widely known as decent
and  understanding.  Some  tough and brutal.  Some play  fatherly
types who are helpless to prevent what happens.

     In the episode of headless bodies,  an impression was  deli
berately given that a young officer was responsible.  At the time
the  incidence of headless bodies became frequent in late Septem
ber 1990, the 'good man' in charge, it became known, had left the
station.  Comments  by officers in the area were  devious:  "This
chap was caught with a grenade. So and so had taken him. You know
what would have happened," or "When we old blood do something  we
think twice.  You know these young chaps.  They think only once,"
and so it went on.  Later this young officer was transferred out.
When  people  started disappearing around  Periyanilawanai,  just
after  the  ambushing of 7 STF men in  Panama  in  December,  the
general  talk  was that the STF was generally alright,  but  that
this  happened  because the young officer  previously  associated
with headless bodies was now in charge at  Periyanilawanai.  This
supposition  though widely believed was wrong.  The young officer
was actually in Kalmunai.  There were others who thought of  this
same young officer as decent and helpful.

     What  happened  at  Periyanilawanai had a touch  of  macabre
artistry,  very  different from the predictable reprisals of  the
army. The STF did believe in terror as its creed and was bound to
respond  to the ambush in Panama.  What happened appears to  have
involved some planning.  It responded two days later in the  nor
thern  extreme of the STF's area of control for what happened  in
the  southern extreme.  The arrival of the nocturnal white van in
Periyanilawanai, and the perhaps incidental fact that the OIC was
the  namesake  of the officer commanding the Mankulam  army  camp
when  it fell two weeks earlier,  gave the incident  touches  for
dramatic  speculation.  Although more than 25 persons disappeared
for unclear reasons, the issue itself became lost. It received no
publicity. People who expected reprisals near Panama, once satis
fied that there were none, stopped looking. But for the people in
the region who received the news from Periyanilawanai by word  of
mouth, there was a clear message of menace.

     The incident for many reasons could not have been unknown to
the STF high command. The army at Kaluwanchikudy was conscious of
it  to  the point of warning people not to go south.  They  would
have  routinely contacted the STF at a higher level to  find  out
what was amiss.

5.2   The_Army:  It  is widely known that among a large class  of
army officers there is reflected a feeling that they had been ill
used by the political establishment,  in being asked to fight  an
'enemy'  strengthened  and  fattened with the  blessings  of  the
government over 14 months. When the New Year ceasefire was called
off by the government on 11th January, a widespread wrong impres
sion  was  created and to some extent promoted after  his  death,
that  this  resulted  from the late Defence  Minister's  personal
belligerence.  The reasons were more complicated. A large section
of the army is known to have expressed the feeling that,  if  the
government  can  settle the matter  politically,  fine.  But  the
process  of  asking them to stop fighting one day and resume  the
fight with a strengthened enemy another day must stop.

     The  lack of firm principles and direction in the  political
establishment,  appears  to  have left many  officers  disturbed.
What is their future,  what and whom are they fighting and giving
their lives for?  Would their actions of today be scorned another
day?  are questions that would cross any intelligent mind. To the
thinking  of many officers,  the war has already  been messed up,
and what can be salvaged must be salvaged politically.  The mili
tary can best do a holding operation.  The ground reality  unlike
in July 1987, is one where the army controls little in the North-
East.  In  the  East the forces barely control the towns and  the
main trunk roads.  The rest is no man's land. Some of these offi
cers are frank in admitting that it is poverty and not patriotism
that brings people into the army.  These officers would be  gene
rally  against antagonising civilians unnecessarily and would not
risk the lives of their men on doubtful ventures.  The  knowledge
that the battalion which first went into Kalmunai and indulged in
widespread  massacres,  later suffered grievous casualties to the
point of wrecking the commander's career, has also made an impre
ssion on them.

     Another group of officers tends to believe that the war  can
be  won with more men and material - a political liability for an
economically hard-pressed government.  This group is looked  upon
by  the  former as furthering their careers by feeding  the  vain
hopes  of politicians who should be seriously looking for a poli
tical solution.  This division is influential in determining  the
company kept by officers within the army.

     It  is much to the detriment of the army that the press  and
the  politics prevent the ordinary people from thinking seriously
about  tragic realities.  The games played by the government  and
the opposition,  constantly praising the army without  addressing
issues,  costs  the country dearly in lives of civilians and sol
diers.  The  army  has become a sacred animal which  is  bleeding
profusely. Everyone vaunts its sanctity. But the medicine to stop
the bleeding is too dangerous to contemplate.  For it will  raise
too many questions about the legacy on which the present politics

                           CHAPTER 6

6.1  Why_did_the_LTTE_turn_on_the_Muslims?


     The answer has perhaps more than one angle to it and we have
tried  to answer it in previous reports in terms of the  nervous
ness  felt  by the LTTE in the face of any form of  Muslim  self-
assertion.  Tbe six months of LTTE rule from the departure of the
IPKF  was characterised by increasing repression against Muslims.
If a common question at sentry points today is,  are you a Tamil?
then it used to be,  Are you a Muslim?  Not only the Muslim  Con
gress,  even institutions managing Mosques were sometimes banned.
We have also tried to explain the decision to kill Muslim police
men and the successive massacres of Muslims in terms of an inter
play  between  the accumulated feelings of suspicion  and  hatred
that  had  grown on the LTTE leadership and the populist  mileage
that  was  to be gained,  by pandering  to  anti-Muslim  feelings
prevalent in some areas of the East.  These feelings grew rapidly
as the state set about using Muslim anger aroused by massacres of
Muslims by Tigers.

     The  expulsion of Muslims integrated into the North made  no
political sense,  except to pander to Tamil feelings in the East.
This  systematic persecution renders the explanation  attributing
the  whole episode to a mistake by some undisciplined Tiger  area
leaders in the Amparai District untenable.

     What we were told in the course of conversations with Muslim
leaders in the East gives substance to what we have pointed to as
the  main reason.  Indeed the narrow totalitarian claims of Tiger
ideology  would  have found it difficult to adapt to  any  social
diversity.  Being both numerous and conscious of an identity, the
Tigers saw in the Eastern Muslims an immdeiate challenge to their

     But  most Muslim community leaders in the East tried  to  do
what  many of their Tamil counterparts did twenty years  earlier.
They  were  anxious to preserve the economic and social gains  of
the Muslims and did not want any ruinous extremism. They also had
to contend with younger Muslims feeling humiliated and  resentful
over the conduct of and demands made by the Tigers.

     Muslims  leaders,  many of whom closely identified with  the
Tigers,  constantly  pleaded with them to make their position  on
Muslim rights clear. A document that came up in these discussions
was  one drawn up in 1987 when several Muslim leaders held  talks
with the LTTE leadership in Tamil Nadu.  The Muslim organisations
represented  in  these talks included the ACML and  the  MULF.  A
point  on which agreement is said to have been reached is that of
Muslim  representation  in the  projected  North-East  provincial
council.  Since  Muslims formed 34% of the population in the East
as  against 5% in the North,  representatives of Eastern  Muslims
asked  for compensatory representation to secure their  agreement
for  the merger of the North and East.  It is said that the  LTTE
had  agreed  to 33% representation for Muslims.  The idea  was  a
diluted  form of the 50 - 50 representation sought by  the  Tamil
leader G.G. Ponnampalam prior to independence for Ceylon in 1948.

     The  Muslim leaders say that not only did the LTTE agree  to
these rights,  it translated the document into Arabic and sent it
to  Islamic nations and organisations.  That was in 1987 when the
LTTE  was in a much weaker position.  In 1990 it had  become  the
dominant  power  in  the North-East.  According to  these  Muslim
leaders,  despite  their numerous and apparently  friendly  talks
with  LTTE leaders such as Balasingam and Yogi,  the latter  stu
diously avoided any substantive commitment on Muslim rights. What
suggests  itself  is  the same psychology  that  moved  Sinhalese
majoirty  leaders  in the past when faced with Tamil demands  and
reminded  of  promises.  First it was silent  resentment  from  a
feeling that 'these people are becoming too much'. The next stage
was  complicity in communal,  violence directed against Tamils  -
'They should be taught a lesson',  being the governing  sentiment
of majority arrogance.


     The  following are extracts from a speech made by Yogi,  the
LTTE's  political  spokesman.  The speech was  delivered  at  the
University  of  Jaffna shortly after the expulsion of Muslims  in
October 1990.  The arrogance,  muddle headedness, and most impor
tantly  the  similarity to Sinhalese communalist  demonology  are
self evident. This serves to illustrate the foregong:

     "The  expulsion  of Muslims from the North has  resulted  in
immense  shock and amazement among the Tamil people.  Why did  we
expel  the Muslims?  4000 Tamils were killed in the Eastern  Pro
vince, of which 2000 were killed by Muslim goons and home guards.
Muslims claim that they are neither Sinhalese nor Tamils, but are
Arabs.  They  use this in pursuit of their selfish  aims.....They
are Tamils.  They study in Tamil at Tamil schools.  Their culture
is  not Arab.  If it were so their women will be wearing  purdah,
which is not done here....

     "The  Muslims form 35% of the East and 5% of the  North.  In
Sri Lanka they are 7% .  In the merged North-East they form  17%.
The Muslims of the East claim that they are losing privileges due
to  35%.  Why  cannot they see that 5% Muslims in the  North  are
obtaining privileges owed to 17%? Thus those who would receive 2%
privileges  in  the whole of Sri Lanka would receive 17%  in  the
merged North-East. But the Muslims in the East do not see this.

     "If  the  Muslims  in the East are not concerned  about  the
Northern Muslims, why should we worry about them?

     "In  the Amparai District 10 Tamils villages are no  more...
70000 Tamils there have been uprooted.  The news of these atroci
ties did not come out because no one was left to write them.  Why
do  those who did not worry about 70000 Tamils,  now worry  about
40000  Muslims expelled from the North?  Unlike what happened  to
those  Tamils,  we  did not kill them,  rape them or  loot  their
property. We only sent them out.

     "Some are worried whether a  Muslim Jihad organisation would
also  develop in the North.  Premadasa will not tolerate a  third
armed power...

     "We made several promises to the Muslims.  We promised  them
35% of jobs in the North-East.  We promised them the Deputy Chief
Ministership.  We promised that the allocation of land will be in
proportion to the ethnic ratios in the District.  The Muslims did
not listen.  On the contrary,  they joined forces with the Sinha
lese  army  and  the Sri Lankan state and  set  about  destroying

     "Tamil Eelam is a secular state which has no distinctions of
religion or caste.... There is no room here for division.

     "The  Muslims  must accept that they are Tamils.  They  must
understand  that they are descendents of Arabs who married  Tamil

     This  speech was delivered in the presence of many of  those
presumed to be intellectual leaders of Tamils and to an  audience
in  the University of Jaffna.  By the explusion of  Muslims,  the
university  had lost a sizeable section of its students and  some
of its very able and popular teachers.  Yet,  despite the serious
questions  raised by the speech and the sensitive chords  touched
in view of the Tamils' own history as an oppressed minority,  the
speaker was not even mildly challenged, and no discussion ensued.
Is  it  that  all these intellectuals had suddenly  become  stark
blind?  Or,  is it something else?  It is sad to note that goods,
particularly electrical items,  looted form Muslims are now being
sold  at a 'supermarket' established at the Jaffna BMC  Building,
and people are buying.  (There is however no  electricity).  Many
are  pained by this loss of social inhibition resulting from  the
politics.  Others  cynically  refer to the selling place  as  the
Jaffna Duty-Free shop.

     Yogi's speech should not be treated in isolation. In 1887, a
little over a century ago, Sir Ponnampalam Ramanathan, an eminent
Tamil leader,  published a paper arguing precisely the same thing
- that  Muslims are Tamils by nationality and Mohamedan by faith.
This paper gave much offence and a paper in response to this  was
published in 1907 by Mr.  N.I.L.A.  Azeez,  a Muslim intellectual
and religious leader. It is evident that for over a hundred years
the  Tamils  have largely refused to respect Muslim feelings  and
self-perceptions. A common nationality, in the wider sense, needs
to  be  worked for and not imposed by fiat.  A Ceylonese  or  Sri
Lankan nationality was once a possibility,  but it was not worked

     The  following  note,   compiled  from  published  material,
attempts  to  shed some light on the rich history of the  diverse
communities that consist the Muslims of Ceylon.
The  continual use of the term 'Muslim' to describe  those  whose
right  of abode,  or businesses,  or land,  or lives,  are  under
attack  is confusing.  In some contexts it can be taken to  imply
that  communities  such as the Moors and Malays,  who are  almost
entirely or mostly Muslim by religion, do not have a  distinctive
Sri Lankan identity or even Sri Lankan identity as the Sri Lankan
Tamils  and Sinhalese do.  A century ago,  in  1885,  Ponnambalam
Ramanathan 'explained' in a paper he wrote for, the Royal Asiatic
Society,  that the Tamil speaking Sri Lankan Muslims were  Tamils
by  Nationality.   This  simplistic  and  incorrect  view  caused
offence.  Understandably so, even if Ramanathan was not intending
to be insulting or racist.  But what has recently been said about
and done to the Moors of the North and East by the LTTE and their
supporters  is  insulting  and  racist.   It  is  also  based  on

     The  great  majority  of Sri Lankan Muslims  are  Sri  Lanka
Moors. Moreover, most of the Sri Lankan Malays are Muslims. As in
the  case  of those who are lumped together as Sinhalese  or  Sri
Lankan  Tamils or Burghers,  the formation of  these  communities
took  a  long period,  and is a complex unity of  many  elements:
different waves of immigration, intermarriage, and conversion. It
has  been suggested that the origins of what came to be called in
Sinhala  Yonnu  (Marakalla)  and  in  Tamil  Chonakar  (i.e.  the
'Moors')  were  Arab immigrants from Southwest Asia  in  the  8th
Century, or earlier. For at least a thousand years they have been
an  important  part of Sri Lanka's history as Moors,  and not  as
Tamils or Sinhalese. Their settlement in and economic development
of the Northwest coastal region, for example, may have given them
a  more important role than the Tamils played in what came to  be

     The  Moors  also  were prominent in the  resistance  to  the
Portuguese forces when they attempted their conquest.  They  lost
much  of  the influence and prosperity they had enjoyed  in  pre-
colonial  times.  When the Sri Lankans of the coastal areas  came
under  Dutch  rule in the middle of the 17th Century,  the  Moors
were persecuted by the Dutch rulers and some of them migrated  to
the areas under Kandyan rule.  No doubt the fact that among their
new  subjects  this community,  carrying  on  extensive  commerce
independently and successfully between foreign countries and both
the  coastal  communities and the Kandyan kingdom made  them  the
rivals  of the Dutch traders.  Before the Dutch,  and even during
their  rule,  the  indigenous  community  which  developed  urban
centres most in Sri Lanka were the Moors.

     The  different  ethnic  groups and  nationalities  who  have
composed the people of Sri Lanka for over a millenium,  and since
then,  they have had different characteristics and ways of  life.
They lived tolerating one another's religions and cultural diffe
rences. The language spoken before the 16th Century were only two
- Sinhala  and  Tamil.  This was because the settlers who  became
Moors intermarried with the local population,  and their  descen
dants adopted the language of their mothers.

     The relations between the Moors and the Tamils in  different
parts of Sri Lanka - the North,  the East,  the North West etc. -
at  different  times is complex.  But at a time when there  is  a
struggle  on to end oppression and domination of any ethnic group
or nation by any other,  it is important for Tamils to resist any
attempt to deny the Muslims' separate identity,  rights of  domi
cile,  economic security,  and right to life by groups which have
greater  military or political power.  The Moors and Malays  were
victims of colonialism,  like the rest of us.  Since Independence
they,  like  the  Sri Lankan Tamils and the Hill country  Tamils,
have tried to achieve the security and peace they need.

6.3  The_Character_of_Leadership_in_the_East

     6.3.1  The Politics of cap Turning:myth & reality
     Too  often political arrangements for the East are discussed
by people who do not understand the delicate communal  relations,
their fears,  their historcial experience and the manner in which
leadership  has  been exercised.  Seldom is any thought given  to
uniting the communities and give them the confidence to  co-exist
without  feeling  threatened.  Constitutional  arrangements  with
separate Muslim units violate the economic realities of the East.
The  matter of SInhalese colonisation also links with the control
of  water  resources crucial to  Tamils  and  Muslims.  SInhalese
chauvinist politics which dominates the parliament aims at Sinha
lising  the  East  and hence does not look  beyond  opposing  the
North-East  merger.  Northern Tamils see the East through the pan
Tamil  ideology rooted in Jaffna looking to a monolithic  leader
ship,  and prone to see dissent as treachery. To them the East is
an  exasperating enigma.  The Colombo based Muslim leadership  to
serve its own power interests of patronage under major  Sinhalese
dominated  parties  tends  to place barriers between  Tamils  and
Muslims in the East.  Examining the manner in which leadership is
exercised in the East,  gives us some insight into their peculiar

     In the 1950's when the Tamils in the East were a more robust
community,  the  pan Tamil appeal of the Federal Party caught  on
rapidly in the East.  It also had a large number of Muslim  adhe
rents.  This  ideology came to be challenged by the weakening  of
the  Tamil  community.  The small Tamil middle class in the  East
because  of  its  professional bias had a tendency  to  drift  to
Colombo.  The Muslim community was becoming stronger through  in
creasing  prosperity in trade and agriculture.  Sinhalese coloni
sation was another factor in creating insecurity.

     When the Tamils were more confident of themselves, there was
much contempt for Muslim MP's who got elected on Tamil votes  and
then changed over to the ruling party. The term 'Thoppi  Piratti'
(Turning  the  inside of the cap out) became a term  of  contempt
associated with Muslims. That prevented any deeper examination of
such conduct. As Tamils became a weaker and less confident commu
nity,  the  same  phenomenon overtook many leaders of  the  Tamil
community  who  made a virtue of similar conduct.  But  the  same
disparaging  epithets were not applied to them with  the  similar
     Early Muslim examples were Kariappar and Mustafa.  Prominent
examples  on  the  Tamil side were  Kanagaratnam  and  Rajadurai,
elected MP for Pottuvil and Batticaloa respectively in 1977. Like
in many cases of crossing over islandwide, there was much contro
versy connected with personal difficulties surrounding Kanagarat
nam's   crossing from the TULF into the UNP.  But his  subsequent
actions earned much local praise and others followed his example.
It  was an area where Tamils were feeling increasingly threatened
and isolated, in respect of land, opportunities and security.

     Although most articulate Tamils in the area subscribe to pan
Tamil  sentiments  and  regard the realisation of  an  autonomous
Tamil  homeland as being necessary for their long term  survival,
pressing  immediate problems push them tactically into  different
courses.  In  the  Amparai district many Tamils looked  upon  the
creation  of Tamil AGA's divisions to safeguard  themselves  from
perceived Muslim encroachments on land, and the creation of local
hospitals  and  schools  as difficulties in travel  and  security
increased,  as  absolutely urgent.  These could be obtained  only
when  the MP representing them was with  the  governemnt.  People
were  forced  to think along these lines because the  process  of
government   was  flawed  and  discrimination  against  Tamils  a

     A  resident of Thirukkovil who is a TULF  sympathiser  said,
"Although many of us sympathise with the TULF,  what Kanagaratnam
did  has been justified by events.  A Sinhalese MP in the govern
ment may have done much more for his area,  using ministerial and
corporation funds.  Kanagaratnam and Ranganayaki Pathmanthan, his
sister,  brought  us schools,  irrigation and  hospitals  through
administering  the MP's developemnt allocation honestly.  For  us
having  an MP who was Tamil was very important.  Once an indepen
dent  Tamil  contestant who had a good chance  of  winning,  lost
narrowly  because  key personages in the village  worked  against
him, canvassing for a Muslim member who got elected. When it came
to  jobs,  the few influential persons who worked for the  Muslim
member were able to secure jobs for their relatives.  But  others
in the village were left in the cold.  I had passed my A.  Levels
and  my family was financially desperate.  I could not afford  to
enter  university.  I had to approach the MP through agents,  was
sent here and there,  to no avail. It was Kanagaratnam who later,
upon election obtained jobs for many in the village. But he never
let down the Tamil cause."

     An  elder  in  Karaitivu who had  attended  the  Trincomalee
Federal  Party  convention in 1956,  later  associated  him  with
Kanagaratnam  and became a UNP member of the Amparai DDC in 1981.
He reflected on his role with satisfaction,  "We have the sea  on
one side and on the other 3 sides we are surrounded by the Muslim
villages of Sainthamaruthu (N),  Samanthaurai(W) and Nintavur(S).
For our security and well being,  we needed an AGA's division,  a
school  where our  children could study up to university entrance
instead of going to Kalmunai,  and a hospital.  Thank god,  these
were obtained when Kanagaratnam    was MP.  We created the  Tamil
AGA's  divisions  of Karaittivu and Aladi Vembu in  Akkaraipattu.
Where  would we have been without these during the  recent  trou
bles? If we did not have a hospital, whatever would have happened
to  injured Tamil civilians?  I have retired from public life.  I
can now go away with the satisfaction that I did my part."

     He added significantly,"Mind you, I never let down the Tamil
cause.  Even  as a DDC member of the UNP,  I always spoke up  for
Tamil.  When Paul Nallayayagam reported an atrocity where the STF
had rounded up and killed a large number of Tamil youth,  he  was
put  on trial.  I testified as a witness and despite my UNP asso
ciation,  the police were looking for me in Colombo and I had  to
be  in hiding".  Thus behind the politics of 'cap  turning',  one
could find instances of genuine sacrifice and nobility.

     Whenever  there  is a feeling of beleagueredness,  one  does
find such politics.  If we go back to the period which saw Muslim
MP's crossing the floor,  we find similar pressures at  work.  In
the 50's and 60's,  the Eastern Muslims saw themselves a backward
community  in  respect of the Tamils,  and felt that  they  would
remain  at a disadvantage if they remained in the opposition with
the  Tamils.  The  governments who wanted the MP's  to  crossover
understood  this  and used it.  This practice became a  means  of
obtaining  better services,  better schools and even having  good
teachers transferred to these schools. In the end the Tamils were
left  feeling that the Muslims had gained an advantage  at  their

     The  feeling  of  beleagueredness among Tamils led  to  twin
reactions.  One was a move to seek government patronage to offset
the  Muslims'  perceived advantage.  The other  was  the  growing
explosive militancy.

     It  may  also be noted that when leaders of Muslim  villages
like  Eravur and Kattankudy negotiated with the LTTE  early  last
year,  their  aim  in the first instance to secure  the  distinct
economic  interests of their immediate community (Eravur depended
largely on farming,  while Kattankudy on trade).  But in  talking
about the rights of the broader Muslim commnity, they presented a
common front.

6.3.2Sitting_on_a_powder_Keg :

     Behind  politics  of this kind lies a feeling  of  fatalism,
weakness  and  paranoia.  Each community felt that its world  was
contracting, it could not trust the other and that it had to grab
whatever it could and save it for the future.  The cruciality  of
carving  up an AGA's division corresponded to putting up a barbed
wire fence to prevent the world from contracting further  through
alien  advance.  The end result was that brokers of power in  the
East became parties from outside, from whom patronage was sought.
Whether  it  was the Sri Lankan government or the  LTTE,  a  more
recent arrival,  they had the common aim of keeping the people of
the East divided for their purposes.

     When  a  weak people seeks patronage from a  powerful  force
that  it  cannot influence,  and whose overall purpose would  not
tolerate  the liberty of the people,the result is bound to  be  a
feeling  of humiliation and anger among a large section.  However
well founded the expedient sought by Kanagaratnam's ilk,  he  was
identified  with a government bent on destroying the  feasibility
of a Tamil homeland and marginalising the Tamils.  It raised many
moral questions. Even though the Muslim MP's in the East belonged
to  one of the main Southern parties,  there was skepticism among
the  Muslims  that the government meant  well  by  them.  Indeed,
several Muslim youth joined the Tamil militancy.

     Likewise  when Muslim leaders sought accommodation with  the
LTTE in return for securing basic Muslim rights,  it gave rise to
anger  and serious reservations among Muslims.  There were  moral
issues  overlooked.  Was the LTTE which was incapable of recogni
sing the democratic rights of Tamils,  going to respect the right
of Muslims to have independent organisations presiding over their
religious  and cultural life?  Within a few weeks of its  arrival
the LTTE showed a repressive face towards Muslims. A Muslim elder
in Kattankudy,  said, pointing to some of his younger colleagues,
"When I was talking to the LTTE,  I had serious misunderstandings
with them".

     In the process of this politics,  we have on the one hand  a
set  of leaders who seek to avert trouble and bloodshed by despe
rately seeking compromises that cannot be had,  and on the  other
hand a trend towards an explosive militancy.

     A  Muslim  leader pointed to current peace talks  at  police
stations as signifying the enfeeblement of both communities. Each
side  would ordinarily pour out a list of grievances against  the
other. Having security officials presiding places a natural inhi
bition  against pointing to the chief culprit.  The leader  said,
"We  have  become  so small that we can only talk  about  others'
faults. If we change the exercise to one of talking about our own
faults and misdeeds, it may then turn out to be more productive".

     The  East is caught in a vice between the government's ulti
mate aim of Sinhalese colonisation and the Tigers' bid for  power
at any cost. Both these are self defeating. The explosive potency
of  the Tamil militancy in the East is a corollary to the  power
lessness  of  the  people.  The same process could  overtake  the
Muslims.  It is a fatal error to gloat over another's feeling  of

     This  is why we have called the Sinhalese chauvinist program
of  colonisation a mad policy with serious reprecussions for  the
     The origin of problems in the East owed to flawed gevernment
and the intrusion of patronage in the sharing of resources. Those
who  burn night oil in the academic exercise of trying to  decide
the ownership  of the East by reference to historical  antiquity,
are divorced from ground realities. Their emotive enthusiasm will
only contribute towards the disintegration of the nation. They do
not  even  see the gravity of the humiliation of  their  national
army despite its brutal endeavours.

     A  national  policy  towards the East should  first  aim  at
giving  confidence to the Tamils and Muslims,  and allow  common
sense  to smoothen out their intertwined lives.  A policy of land
settlement and its present momentum should be halted and  censen
sus must be reached to handle the effects of the past.


     There  is  a very big land question in the Amparai  District
that pertains to state sponsored colonisation of Sinhalese.  (See
Ch.  2 and Ch. 8 of Report No.5). This matter straddles the ques
tions of land ownership in Sinhalese areas,  state ideology,  and
the tendency towards multi-nationalisation of  agriculture.  This
problem  poses  a grave threat to the existence and  security  of
Tamils and Muslims in the area. There is also a less serious land
question  that has raised tempers and has kept Tamils and Muslims
apart  in this area,  obscuring the common danger faced by  both.
This sketch tries to explain the problem.  It needs to be  under
stood  so that the accretion of myths can be cast aside and  some
agreement reached.

6.4.1The_Beginnings: In keeping with the Jaffna model, the Tamils
here  oriented  their values towards educational  qualifications,
government  jobs  and the professions.  For those  who  made  it,
career  advancement  first  moving to Batticaloa  town  and  then
settling  down in Colombo.  There was no development in the East,
as  in  many Sinhalese provinces.  Those  with  high  educational
attainments were rare in the East in comparison with Jaffna.  The
Tamils  in  the East thus lost most of those persons  who  should
have  given strength and stability to the community.  It was much
later  when  their physical security was threatened  that  Tamils
came to realise the importance of securing land,  to the point of
making it a political issue.

     But  for much of the time until the 60's,  the  transfer  of
land to Muslims was peaceful, legal and uncontroversial. The kind
of  thing  said by a Tamil political leader is commonly heard  in
the Amparai District:  "My father in law had nine children and 30
acres of paddy land.  He employed a Muslim cultivator,  whose two
sons  worked with him.  The second son used to do  bird  watching
from  dawn until about 9.00 a.m.  He would then catch fish in the
lagoon for sale. He started going to school late and just managed
to pass his SSC.  Both sons are doing well now. The second fellow
became  a  school  teacher and owns paddy lands and  a  fleet  of
lorries.  My  father in law has sold all his paddy land  and  has
nothing. He says with satisfaction that three of his children are
graduates  (who have now left the district) and that he has  set
tled his children. Only he does not say how much he drank".

     The  one  incident  of major violence in the  50's  was  the
rioting in Sammanthurai in 1954,  that began with a minor private

     As  we had mentioned in Special Report No.  3,  the  growing
economic  power of a section of the Muslims set certain trends in
motion,  which looked at rationally would have been innocuous. It
resulted in prejudices and stereotypes which were used by politi
cians to consolidate themselves.  The Jaffna dominated poltics of
the  Tamils  never  understood the richness  of  two  communities
coexisting  in  the East.  Its role was divisive  and  encouraged
animosities.  Ulitmately all militant groups that were a  product
of  Tamil  politcs,  did  mete out collective punishment  to  the

     To  place  the current position of the  Eastern  Muslims  in
perspective,  it  may  be useful to compare it with the  position
occupied  by  the Islanders in the social  life  of  Jaffna.  The
offshore  Islanders in Jaffna,  used to perils of sailing in  the
past,  have  been  traders for centuries.  In recent times  their
influence  had  spread  all the way from Jaffna  town  to  Galle.
Because  of  their wealth,  they have been buying  up  chunks  of
residential  property in Jaffna,  and in consequence of the dowry
system have secured professional bridegrooms from other parts  of
Jaffna  for  their daughters.  By this,  there has been  a  shift
towards greater interest in education. Their political outlook as
reflected  in  voting patterns is pragmatic rather than  nationa
list.  Their success resulted in prejudice and sterotyping. There
were  even sections in Jaffna who referred to what the  Islanders
suffered  during the army operation last August as deserved  pun
ishment.  While the Islanders were similar to Eastern Muslims  in
their dominance in trade,  they belonged to the same ethnic group
as the other Jaffna Tamils. Nevertheless, they came in for strong
emotions and unfair accusations.

     But  there  were some basic unmistakable trends in the  East
which were closely linked to the economic and social  orientation
of the two communities. The Tamil middle class had weak ties with
the land. The Muslims on the other hand were firmly rooted to the
land  on which they built their economic life and in  consequence
became influential.

6.4.2The_1960's_and_after:  When a section of Muslims became eco
nomically  active,  there  was  a natural wish on their  part  to
advance educationally and socially. A Muslim leadership represen
ting the above section, similar to that obtaining in other commu
nities,  tended  to be shortsighted,  and was not very  sensitive
about  making  the Tamils feel insecure.  In a period  which  was
becoming politically charged, the government was only too glad to
use its power to divide the Tamils and Muslims.  The fact is that
for reasons justifiable or otherwise, Kariappar, a Muslim leader,
who was elected MP for Kalmunai in 1956 on a Federal Party ticket
with  Tamil votes,  crossed over to the government  side  shortly
afterwards.  Tamil  feelings  were  so high that  when  Kariappar
subsequently went by train to Batticaloa,  he was prevented  from
entering.  There  then followed a colourful exchange of words and
much unpleasantness.

     It  was from this period that myth started getting mixed  up
with  reality,  leading to a tendency to put different  construc
tions on even legitimate advantages gained by Muslims.  The cause
was  the intrusion of state patronage,  which placed Tamils at  a
disadvantage. The feeling of being psychologically at a disadvan
tage was perhaps more significant than the material disadvantage.
It  induces a tendency towards resignation.  It makes people  sit
back and complain rather than take stock and organise.

     Against  the  background of the government  and  the  police
tending  to  be increasingly anti-Tamil,  the list of Tamil  com
plaints  grew.  They  saw themselves at a  disadvantage  whenever
there  were local disputes.  They felt that Muslims were  getting
unfair advantage in education and services.  Whether the  Muslims
on the whole gained through state patronage is doubted by Muslims
themselves.  From  the west,  state colonisation by Sinhalese was
going on.  Through state manipulation Muslims lost land in places
like Ingurana.  Kondavedduvan,  a predominently Muslim settlement
in the Gal oya scheme was eventually lost.

6.4.3A_Tamil_Perception_from_Kalmunai:  Nowhere are feelings more
high than in the area around Kalmunai. In what follows we give in
the  form  of a statement what was said by a  retired  government
servant living in Kalmunai and a few others from the area:

     In  1948,  the Kalmunai electorate consisted of  (1)  Periya
Kallar,  (2) Maruthamunai (Periyanilawanai), (3) Thurainilawanai,
(4) Pandiruppu,  (5) Kalmunai, (6) Sainthamaruthu, (7) Karaitivu,
(8)  Natpiddimunai and (9) Senaikudiyiruppu.  1,  3,  4 & 7  were
predominantly  Tamil.  The rest were mixed.  Then this electorate
was numerically more or less balanced and was capable of  return
ing  either a Tamil or a Muslim MP.  In 1948 people were not  too
concerned  whether a contestant was Tamil or Muslim.  They rather
looked  to social standing.  In 1948  Kariappar,  a  Muslim,  was
contested by Kanapathipillai,  a retired Tamil civil servant from
Karaitivu.  but  Kariappar held the prestigious colonial title of
Wanniyar Mudaliyar. Thus even Karaitivu largely voted for Kariap
par, who was elected.

     Sensing perhaps a growth in communal rivalry, Kariappar used
his  influence  to  make Kalmunai a secure Muslim  seat  when  an
electoral  commission  set about  redemarcating  electorates.  If
justice  was  being done,  the precedent set  in  the  Batticaloa
electorate  should  have been followed in Kalmunai,  making it  a
multi-member constituency capable of returning a Muslim in  addi
tion  to  a  Tamil.  But what was done could not have  beem  more
disadvantageous for the Tamils.  The Tamil areas of Thurainilava
nai  and  Periyakallar  were joined to the  Tamil  electorate  of
Paddiruppu (Kaluwanchikudy) to the north,  and the sizeable Tamil
area of Karaitivu was joined to the predominantly Muslim  electo
rate of Nintavur.  Henceforward Kalmunai was incapable of return
ing  a  Tamil member,  and the stage was set for politcs  with  a
communal colouring.

     In  Kalmunai town itself things steadily moved to the disad
vantage of Tamils.  Public land passed into the hands of Muslims.
Where  the Kalmunai Mosque stands was once public land housing  a
Tamil colony. The colony was displaced when the Local Board (Town
Council)  took  it over as though for a public  cause,  and  some
years later sold it for building a Mosque.  But on the other hand
when  the  new Kalmunai courts were  built,  private  Tamil  land
belonging to Thambirajah,  the former Paddiruppu MP,  in Division
4, was taken over.

     Sainthamaruthu  (between Kalmunai and Karaitivu) once had  a
sizeable Tamil community,  that is now no more, although the area
is  still called the Tamil Division.  Zahira College and  Mohamed
Balika  Viyalayam  now stand on land once owned  by  Tamils.  Six
Hindu  temples in the area were destroyed.  Tamils had  sold  the
land cheap and had gone away after the 1967 communal violence.

     During these same disturbances many Tamils in Kalmunai Divi
sion 3 (Divisions 1, 2 & 3 used to be Tamil. Central Division was
mixed) boardering the Muslim area sold their land and went  away.
Muslims  have  now  taken over about half of  Division  3.  Those
persons displaced mostly resettled in Pandiruppu, Onththachchima
dam and Aralpattai.

     Amman  Kovil Road in Division 3 has now been renamed  Mosque
Rd.  The Tamils in Division 3 suffered again during the  troubles
of 1986 when the STF was in control.  On 10  August 1986, the 300
year  old  Sri Tharavai Sithivinayagar Temple was  smashed.  This
temple is endowed with paddy fields in Kalmunaikudy.  This temple
was  rebuilt and was broken down again during the  current  trou

     The  Kalmunai Town Council once had a Tamil majority.  After
Kalmunaikudy  was  attached to Kalmunai,  the Tamils are  in  the
minority.  Following the damage done to Division 3 in 1986, NORAD
through  the YMCA rebuilt 300 houses at the rate  of  Rs.15,000/-
each.  Each  house was 15 ft by 10 ft with a 5ft verandah.  These
houses  have  now  largely  been  destroyed  during  the  current

     Right now Gravel Kuli (pit),  a piece of public land in  the
Tamil section of Central Division, is being given over for Muslim
settlement.  This  would  put a lot of pressure on Tamils in  the

     Now  the  Tamils have decided that even if they  are  chased
away by violence, they are not going to sell their land.

     On  the way from Karaitivu to Akkaraipattu,  there  are  the
villages of Nintavur, Attapallam, Oluvil, Thiraikerni, Palamunai,
Meenodaikaddu and Addalachchenai.  Startaing from Attapallam, the
alternating  villages were Tamil farming villages.  Many of these
Tamil villagers sold their lands to Muslims and left because they
were  constantly  having trouble in getting a fair share  of  the
water  resources and did not stand much of a chance when it  came
to disputes. There are now no Tamils left in Meenodaikaddu.

6.4.4Truth_and_Fiction: It is not hard to imagine the effect such
stories  would have had on the younger generation which  grew  up
hearing them. Those from the East who joined the militancy in the
early  80's did so largely to defend the Tamils against the  Sin
hala  state.  As  the militancy degenerated,  all groups  started
giving  vent  to anti-Muslim feelings.  The LTTE  now  uses  such
feelings for recruitment in the East,  following recent events in
areas such as Kalmunai.

     What then is the truth?  We have pointed out that there  was
an  established trend towards a transfer of property from  Tamils
to Muslims, which was due to no fault of the Muslims. At the same
time  with  state patronage favouring the muslims,  it is  under
standable  that some Muslims would have made criminal use of  it.
This is not something specific to one community. The use of thugs
and bribed policemen in settling disputes and to cheat the  help
less  has  been practiced all the way from Pt.  Pedro  to  Dondra
Head.  Like with people anywhere else, many sensible Muslims were
against  such acquisition of property.  While the whole thing  is
difficult  to  quantify,  while talking to Tamils themselves  one
gets  the  feeling that the criminal use of influence  is  easily

     There  are  certain  factors to  consider.  Much  more  than
Tamils,  Muslims tend to live in clusters.  If they have a  field
faraway, they do not put up a house there. They would travel from
their  cluster  village.  Thus their wanting to acquire  property
close  to  their settlement is  understandable.  They  were  then
willing  to pay a price much above what a Tamil buyer would  have

     Muslims in Kalmunai were a trading community.  It would have
been natural for them to acquire property in Kalmunai or Saintha
maruthu.  As residential areas these places are crowded and unin
viting  in comparison with Tamil places such as Kallar or Thiruk
kovil.  It  is hardly worth living in Kalmunai unless one  is  in
trade  or  in a profession.  Most Tamils in Kalmunai were  either
labourers or low ranking government servants.  If they could sell
off  and go somewhere where land was cheap and they  could  farm,
that ought to be welcomed. This appears to have happened.

     Looking  at  the  whole thing it is hard  to  maintain  that
Tamils  have  lost.  When big land holders sold land to  Muslims,
they  often left the province.  When those living in shanties  in
Kalmunai left, they became economically more productive elsewhere
in the region. If we are looking towards a healthier relationship
and  a  healthier politics,  it is best to  understand  the  past
episode  and concentrate on rectifying political mistakes.  There
is still land in the East for those who have not.

     The  political leader we quoted at the beginning said  quite
aptly,  that if the Tamils in the East are to have a future, they
must  produce  and they must take to trade.  Also  they  need  to
create an economic base that will make it possible for those with
educational attainments to remain in the East. Our politics needs
to  be  in  such a direction as to secure these  while  having  a
fraternal relationship with the Muslims.

     We  have lots of people producing inefficiently without pro
per marketing facilities. These people need irrigation, transport
and  a marketing infrastructure.  By  comparison,  the  Sinhalese
settled  on  the Gal Oya scheme were given  everthing,  including

     The  Muslims  have a healthy respect for Tamils  and  admire
their attainments in education and culture.  Even Eastern Muslims
valued education in Jaffna.  Generosity on the part of the Tamils
will certainly be reciprocated. Our politics should have used our
assets  to  good effect.  Instead we have pursued a  politics  of
destruction,  trying  to humiliate Sinhalese  and  Muslims,  turn
Jaffna  into  an  educational and cultural desert,  and  use  the
Eastern Tamils with their frustrations and anxieties as  expenda
ble fuel, towards an unattainable goal.


     Introduction  :  In what follows we will present some repre
sentative  opinions of Muslims in the East who have  thought  se
riously  about current problems.  What came out of  conversations
with a number of Muslims is scattered throughout this report.  As
many Tamils, particularly those outside the East often carelessly
believe,  it  is far from being the case that Muslims are lording
it  over  the Tamils.  Muslims are on  the  contrary  frightened,
anxious  and  their  economic  life has been to  a  large  extent
stalled. Traders too are finding it tough. Because the fields are
idle, people have no buying power. Muslims have been compelled by
circumstances  to seek protection from the armed forces  whenever
there are festive gatherings in the local Mosque.  In the case of
Muslim homeguards, it is often fear rather than belligerence that
drives them.

     We  spoke to a retired school principal,  much respected  by
Tamils  and now in trade,  whose brother had been killed  by  the
LTTE while supervising his paddy field. He was gracious enough to
say,  "We have always been,  and still stand for the Tamil cause.
But not for the kind of thing we see now." Another Muslim who has
maintained close ties with Tamils was an Inspector of Schools for
English teaching, who retired prematurely because he is unable to
travel in Tamil areas. He was having second thoughts about remai
ning in Akkaraipattu and felt depressed.  The building of his new
house was stalled,  because the builders were Tamil and they were
afraid  of  working in his location.  One hears  many stories  of
this  kind.  The bomb blast in Akkaraipattu in late March  was  a
grim  reminder of the ever present mindless menace that kills and
poisons minds.

     1.  The first person whose views are presented is a  retired
graduate teacher in science.  At his present age of 50, he is now
in  trade.  Coming  from  a family that was prominent  in  Muslim
politics,  he was keenly aware of the issues. None in the younger
generation,  he said,  took to politics because they did not have
the  drive.  He called himself a lifelong student who  wished  to
learn  about things.  It was rather unforseen to walk into a shop
off a dusty street in Akkaraipattu and have a long  philosophical
discussion.  One is struck by the ties of family and of belonging
which bind many educated Muslims to their soil.  Emigration which
is  now  a strong driving force amongst the Tamil  middle  class,
seldom crossed their minds.  They appear content to make a modest
living at home.

     Our  interlocutor  like  many educated Muslims  had  a  deep
knowledge  of Indian philosophy and his world view was influenced
by it.  He believed that when we quarrel,  we are made to  suffer
because  the driving forece behind the universe wants us to learn
something.  Time,  he said,  would vindicate and resolve  issues.
Without  understanding the natural drift of things,  we fight for
lost causes and dissipate our energy.  Some people make a  highly
strung  cause out of putting women back where they were centuries
ago.  But the direction is already set.  Unlike 20 years ago,  we
now  accept women professionals and it does not hurt  us.  Tamils
and  Muslims  have lived together for centuries and  despite  the
occasional  set back,  they would continue to live  together  and
profit  from  each other.  But social relations and patterns  are
changing.  Muslims  having been educationally backward are  being
educated by Tamils.  The Tamil caste system is breaking up, chan
ging economic and social relations.  We must make sure that we do
not  become  emotional and expend energy on causes  which  future
generations would condemn.

     This  small digression is meant to illuminate  his  answers.
The  gist of the conversation is presented in question and answer

     Q:  There is a strongly expressed feeling among  Tamils
     in  Kalmunai  that they are being marginalised  by  the

     A:  Of  course there is such a feeling.  But what  lies
     behind  such  feelings is not often  serious.  Here  in
     Akkaraipattu there are such feelings between Muslims in
     Division 2 and those in Division 6. Those in Division 2
     were once of a higher social status.  Those in Division
     6 felt looked down upon and marginalised.  Now those in
     Division  6 have made great advances and are perhaps on
     par   with  those in Division 2.  But they  still  feel
     marginalised. It becomes a hot issue at election times.
     Q:  But, there is a widespread Tamil feeling that their
     residential  and paddy lands were acquired  by  Muslims
     through actual or threatened violence, by unfair means.

     A:  I  know,  such  feelings are very well  articulated
     because  your community had wide access  to  education.
     But  that is changing like everything else because  you
     are teaching us.

     It  is not only here,  but such feelings are also being
     articulated in places like Kandy.  Look,  where do  you
     find Muslims living in isolation? For many reasons they
     live  in  groups or clusters.  For this reason if  they
     wish  to  purchase land and are willing to pay  a  good
     price, is that a crime?

     I  do not agree that Tamils selling land out of fear  was  a
common  phenomenon.  You must look at what happened to the Tamils
who sold their properties in crowded towns such as  Akkaraipattu,
Kalmunai or Sainthamaruthu.  You will find that many of them have
used  that money to purchase more spacious properties  elsewhere.
Is there anything wrong in that?

     It  is  easy enough to look back at something that has  hap
pened,  and put a different construction on it.  In fairness  you
must ask when it happened and why it happened at that time.

     One  part of this complex process is the caste system  among
Tamils.  A  significant number of Tamils living in towns belonged
to  the  service castes.  The paraiahs who acted as  town  criers
later became redundant. They sold their little plots in town, and
took to chena cultivation - that is burning jungles and using  it
as  manure to grow paddy.  After one season of cultivation,  they
moved  on.  They did not level the land and develop  it.  Perhaps
they did not have the money.  Such lands were sold cheap to  Mus
lims who developed the land. The Tamil Vellalas were not interes
ted in such lands because they had their fertile purana (ancient)
fields.  Once  these service castes ran out of chena  land,  they
found it easier to work as labourers for Muslim cultivators. They
were  less acceptable to the Tamil Vellalas,  whereas the Muslims
are a more open society.  Is it not fair to look upon this  rela
tionship  as  one  that mutually benefits the Muslims  and  those
Tamils who now work for them?  Would you call me wicked or  arro
gant for having a servant to work for me?

     You  know that there was a tendency among Tamil Vellalas  to
sell and go where there was white collar work. You may have heard
talk  to  the effect that Muslims were taking  over  Akkaraipattu
town.  you must recognise the contribution made by Muslims to the
economy of the area.  If not for the Muslims,  Akkaraipattu would
have been a town with a dwindling (Tamil) Vellala community.  You
will  see  that  there  is often a different  story  behind  what
appears upsetting on the surface.

     Q:  How  do  you see the present  climate  of  violence
     between Muslims and Tamils?

     A: It is wrong to put the question that way. If we take
     the last 100 years of our co-existence,  there may have
     been  about 10 days of actual violence.  There is occa
     sional friction and it gets ironed out.  Why should  we
     highlight  those 10 days in comparison with the rest of
     those  100 years when we have worked  together,  traded
     and benifitted from our intercourse?  In the process we
     have  both realised greater freedom.  Some  people  may
     advocate  reactionary causes for their power.  But  the
     present  troubles  will pass and time will  resume  its
     normal course towards greater freedom.

     Our  interlocutor also reflected on comparisons between Mus
lims and Tamils. Contrary to myth, he said, the Muslims are not a
disciplined community.  In normal times,  he said, you cannot get
them to agree on a single course of action.

     He  said,  "There is very little orderliness in  the  Muslim
community.  If  you can give the Tamils 50% for orderliness it is
about 10% for Muslims.  Yours is a community with cultural tradi
tions that have evolved over millenia. Whatever order we have, it
is  through  inbibing of this cultural tradition  through  inter-
marrying. The main force in Muslim society is law and dogma. When
these are invoked,  it gives us the strength of the  mob.  Though
potent,  it  peters out fast.  Thus in practice there is a lot of
division and Muslims are incapable of sustained effort towards  a
single goal."

     2.  Our second interlocutor is Eastern Ibrahim, secretary of
the  Amparai  District East Coast Farmers' Association  (ADECFA).
The  significance of this association is that it represents  both
Muslims  as  well as Tamil interests and both Tamils as  well  as
Muslims are active in the association.  His articles,  which  are
factually  informative,  regularly  appear in the Virakesari  and
are  much appreciated by Tamils in the area.  The theme he  advo
cates is the need for Tamils and Muslims to work together against
the  common danger of state aided colonisation.  The name Eastern
comes  from the name of his shop,  now temporarily sited  at  the
Akkaraipattu  central  bus  stand,  and has become more  or  less
official.  A  large  number of Tamils are his customers  for  the
likes of honey,  gingelly oil,  spices and condiments.  Each  one
goes away in the conviction that he or she made a good bargain.

     Q:  You have been strongly highlighting colonisation by
     state as the main threat of Muslims and Tamils.

     A:  The state is determined to make the East Sinhalese.
     Under  such  an ideology,  there will be no  place  for
     Tamils and Muslims.  In the Amparai District itself the
     situation  is  quite alarming.  This was once a  Muslim
     majority  district  with hardly any  Sinhalese  (4%  in
     1920).  The  ratio  of Sinhalese:Muslims:Tamils in  the
     1981  census  was 37:39:24.  The estimate for  1991  is
     47:34:19.  The figures for Tamils includes burghers and
     Tamils of Indian origin.  If this trend continues, Mus
     lims  will only form 26% of the population in the  year

     Keeping  in mind that the rule of law has declined  and
     people are very much at the mercy of violence by power
     ful groups, looked at from another angle, the situation
     is even more alarming.  Take the main truck route  from
     the western border of the district to the coast.  It is
     8  miles from the border to Padiatalawa.  Then 20 miles
     to Maha Oya.  Then 36 miles to Amparai town,  and  then
     another  8 miles to Digavapi.  From there it is only  6
     miles to the coast.  Up to and including Digavapi,  all
     areas are now Sinhalese.

     As  long as Tamils and Muslims are engaged in  fighting
     each  other,  colonisation will go ahead,  and both our
     communities are finished.

     Q:  What  do you have to say about a  widespread  Tamil
     perception that the Muslims have got the better of them
     and that Muslims have acquired land by unfair means?

     A: Generally, Tamils sold land and went away. There was
     occasional  violence,  but I do not think that was very
     significant.  Many Tamil villages,  including Meenodai
     kaddu, next to Addalachchenai, have disappeared because
     the  Tamils  sold the land and went  away.  One  cannot
     point to any significant history of violence,  in  res
     pect of say Meenadaikaddu.

     Q:  Can  you say more about what you have in mind  when
     you advocate Tamils and Muslims working together?

     A:  They  must work together on a common political pro
     gram  with the clear objective of combatting  colonisa
     tion by the state.  This is where I disagree with  much
     of  the politics in the past of both Muslim as well  as
     Tamil groups, including that of the SLMC at present. It
     has been very divisive.

     Though Kariappar was thought to be helping the Muslims,
     what he did was ultimately damaging to the Muslims.  He
     was  angry with the Tamils and the measures he complied
     with hurt the Muslims as well. He advocated the carving
     out  of Amparai District in 1961 from the Eastern  Pro
     vince,  in  the hope of having a Muslim  majority  dis
     trict.  Even  then Kalmunai would have been the natural
     district capital,  as it was the centre of  population,
     had  an administrative infrastructure,  and was readily
     accessible  to most people in the district.  But  there
     were few Muslims in the Civil Service,  and thus Kalmu
     nai  would have normally had a Tamil  Government  Agent
     and  many  of the administrative staff would have  been
     Tamil. Kariappar did not want this. So we ended up with
     the district capital in Amparai town. Thus the adminis
     trative  power  in the district passed  into  Sinhalese
     hands, making state sponsored colonisation much easier.
     In  the district which is largely Tamil speaking it  is
     now very difficult to get work done in Tamil.

     You  know the outcome.  Muslims have now  largely  left
     Kondavedduvan,  a  predominently Muslim village in  the
     Gal Oya scheme. Even Kariappar's lands there were lost.

     You  can see what could happen if Tamils and Muslims do
     not work as brothers.  In the light of this,  trends in
     Tamil militant groups are very distrubing.

     Q: What is your view on the North-East merger?

     A:  A North-East merger is a must.  If we do not have a
     merger, we do not need provincial councils. Without the
     merger the East would be Sinhalese by the year 2000  or
     Q: Can you give your views on the sub-councils that are
     being talked about?

     A: Utter nonsense! These people who talk about them are
     involved  in a theoretical exercise without taking into
     account  ground realities.  Take Akkaraipattu.  If  you
     look out of the shop,  what you see is the bazaar where
     we Muslims do business. This is part of the Tamil AGA's
     division.  But we reside in the Muslim  division.  What
     would a sub-council profit us if we have to live in one
     administrative  district  and have our economy in  ano
     ther?  The  same is true everywhere in the  East.  With
     sub-councils, we may have people living in one adminis
     trative district,  having their paddy fields in another
     and perhaps their water resources in yet another.  That
     would be a nightmare. Those who talk about these things
     should know how we live.

     What  we  need  is  a  single  council  with  Muslim  rights
     specified and respected.

     The  two  perceptions we have presented show that  there  is
still  considerable potential to build good relations on  a  firm
foundation. This also applies at national level. We also see that
ordinary  people  living in a situation can be creative in  their
outlook  and  are  capable  of  valuable  insights  - often  more
profound  than those obtaining in intellectuals who  are  removed
from ground realities.

                            CHAPTER 7


     The material in this chapter was drafted in close  consulta
tion  with  a Human Rights Group the Movement for the Defence  of
Democratic Rights (MDDR),  based in the South,  that is in  close
touch with the areas concerned. The reports on the LTTE massacres
of Sinhalese civilians in Athimale and Niedella were presented by
activists who visited the villages immediately after the attacks.

7.1 The_Borderlands: The following sketch gives an impressionis
tic  picture which it is hoped would clarify current  issues.  We
mentioned  in  Special Report No.3 the existence in the  East  of
what  was known in Survey Department parlance as Park  Countries.
These  were  fertile lands once cultivated and abandoned  to  the
advance  of  the  jungle,  because of war  or  other  calamities,
perhaps  a  millenium  ago.  That was a time when people  had  no
notion  of modern ethnicity and it would be absurd to  term  them
Sinhalese  or  Tamil.  There  have also  been  other  communities
present on the South Eastern seaboard such as those who were
descendents of seafarers presumably from the East Indies (Malaya,
Sumatra, Java), whose culture and religion (animism) were unique.
There are also Gypsies  (Kuravar)  speaking Telugu,  who are now
Roman  Catholic Christians. (See Special Report No.3).
     The  East came under the Kandyan Kingdom which  was  neither
Sinhalese  nor  Tamil in the modern sense.  Although the  Amparai
District  was largely depopulated in recent times,  the state  of
affairs  in some of its purana (ancient) villages give a hint  of
their history. Among these villages are Uhana, Komariya, Bandara
duwa,  Dhamana,  Thottama,  Padugoda, Gonagolla and Inginiyagala.
Barely 40 years ago,people living in these villages were  equally
fluent in Sinhalese  and Tamil, and several of them sported Tamil
names  like  Selladurai and Sellamma.  If not for the  aggressive
interposition  of Sinhalese nationalism,  this state  of  affairs
would have continued and any change would have been healthy.

     To  the  West of Amparai District lies the  Moneragala  Dis
trict,  once  the  rich province of the Kandyan Kingdom known  as
Velassa.  These rice growing peasants took part in the  rebellion
against the newly imposed British crown in 1818.  In quelling the
rebellion,  the British largely depopulated the area. The recolo
nisation  of  this area began under D.S.Senanayake in  the  early
50's.  Colonists  were brought in from hill country villages such
as Welimada and Nuwara Eliya.  The induction of colonists did not
threaten the old residents as there was land.  The latter  rather
prospered  as  traders and had a labour force at their  disposal.
They thus became the local elite.

     Further North, near Kalmunai, the Central Camp colonies were
established  about 1952 to 54.  Colonies 3,16,18,19 and  22  were
largely settled by Sinhalese from the Kegalle District.

     Further  North,  the Trincomalee District was also characte
rised  by a history of human diversity.  Although  the  Sinhalese
population in recent times was very small,  there had been survi
ving  Sinhalese villages,  often closer to the Tamils in  culture
(e.g. women's dress, water pots made of a copper alloy etc) Their
folk memory traces their origin back to Velassa in 1818.  Further
back  in history,  the building of Kantalai tank is attributed to
Agrabodhi,  King of Anuradhapura.  The tank fell into disuse with
the  decline of Anuradhapura  about a millenium  ago.  In  recent
times  Kantalai  was a Tamil speaking village until  colonisation
began around 1952. Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese were given land.
In  recent times the drive for Sinhalisation through  administra
tive means has been more overt.

     Violence  against Tamils in Amparai during 1958 was  largely
by  the employees of the Gal Oya Board rather than by  colonists.
Starting from modest positions, several of these employees became
rich businessmen.  With the commencement of the war of June  1990
the  expulsion  of  Tamils from the Gal Oya  Board  areas  neared

7.2  Massacre_of_Sinhalese_in_Athimala,_Moneragala_District:  At
himale  is a village in Velassa 5 miles west of the Amparai  Dis
trict boundary,  adjoining Pottuvil.  Following massed attacks in
Mannar  and Karainagar,  the LTTE had by indications banked on  a
ceasefire  by  the Sinhalese - Tamil New Year - 13th  April.  The
government  forces  had  signalled their lack of  interest  in  a
ceasefire,  which they suspected to be disadvantageous for  them,
by  resuming  limited bombing in Jaffna,  and firing shells  from
Palaly, killing two women in Colombogam, about the time of festi
vities.  That  Tigers would attack Sinhalese civilians  had  also
been widely anticipated by the government.

     Until  the  terror bombings of 1986,  attacks  on  Sinhalese
civilians  had  been rationalised by regarding colonists  in  the
Tamil  provinces  as a paramilitary arm of  the  government.  The
attack  on Athimale and on other parts of Moneragala lacked  even
this justification. They were simply easy targets.

     Athimale  is  a reasonably well to do farming  village  with
about 350 persons.  It had a police post commanded by a Sargeant,
with  12  men.  For a few days before the incident villagers  had
observed  armed men dressed in shorts and jungle green shirts  in
the  vicinity.  This was conveyed to the police.  The police took
little  notice,  evidently  because false alarms were  a  regular
phenomenon.  On the evening of the 14th April, shortly before the
incident,  a young man reportedly told the police about the  pre
sence  of intruders.  A skeptical policeman gave him a whack  and
sent him off.

     About  5.30  p.m.  a party of armed persons  approached  the
village  along a track leading to it from the jungle.  The  first
persons  they accosted were two young men on bicycles  proceeding
to  look over their rice fields.  they were stopped and hacked to
death. There was no alarm since guns were not fired. Further down
the track the armed prowlers encountered Jayasundera (60), father
of  7,  a respected farmer and village elder and also  a  reputed
snake-bite physician.  He too was similarly done away with. A man
tying his cow met with the same fate.

     By  the time the attackers,  said to be about 20 in  number,
reached the village, it was nightfall. They ignored the first few
huts which were quiet and walked into the 5th where two neighbou
ring  families  had  got together for the festive  evening  meal.
There  were two husbands,  their wives and five children in  all.
The two men were ordered to face the wall and an attacker swung a
sword at them.  One man after receiving an injury,  sprang out of
the  hut before the second blow came.  He ran towards the  police
station.  Alarmed by his screaming, others in the village started
running in panic.  The attackers then proceeded to cut the remai
ning man, mothers and children, in the hut.

     A man from another hut had started running, leading away his
expectant wife and 3 children, the eldest of whom was a boy of 7.
This  family  was accosted by a group of 5 armed men  who  killed
them all.

     The  first hut was set on fire with the dead and  the  dying
inside.  A girl of 5 with a piece of her ear cut and cut injuries
on  her body,  crept out of the burning hut and lay down under  a
papaw tree.  Subsequently, she crept further away. In the morning
other villagers spotting caked blood under the papaw tree,  found
this girl unconscious,  having turned blue during the cold night.
She is now warded in hospital, an orphan.

     Having  finished  their  hacking of  humans,  the  attackers
raided a chicken coop,  and their choppers got to work again. the
headless  chicks were taken away in sacks in addition to  cooking
material such as onions.  The attackers withdrew, evidently in no
hurry,  placing at least 3 Johnny mines at the bends at locations
with a high probability of someone stepping on them.

     The injured man who went to the police,  got there by 8 p.m.
grabbed a gun and threatened to go himself.  The police told  him
that  they could not go just like that and appealed for help from
Siyambalanduwe and Arugam Bay. A police party from the former and
an  STF party from the latter reached Athimale police station  by
midnight.  They  set  off at 4 a.m.  when a Buffel  armoured  car
arrived.  It  was considered too risky without the  armoured  car
because of the mines.

     In  the morning Piyadasa,  the local co-op manager lost  his
leg  after stepping on a mine while walking with the police.  The
search drew a blank.  Later in the day a mine clearing  operation
was done in the area.

     It  has  been  customary for some time now  for  persons  in
isolated  villages  in the area to move into the jungle  for  the

     No one doubts that the attackers were the LTTE,  having free
movement in the jungle belt from Kanjikudichcharu. The mines used
were of the kind normally used by them. After such massacres, the
LTTE  is usually silent,  neither accepting nor denying.  But its
propaganda machinery overseas would argue, using discrepancies in
the  reporting that the government or someone else was  responsi
ble.  Any self-respecting liberation group would not merely  deny
being  responsible for such atrocities,  but would express horror
on  principle and show by its general conduct that its  behaviour
is far superior to the forces opposed to it.

7.3   Kantalai:  In Rajaela (King's Canal),  Colony  94,  in  the
Kantalai  scheme,  people  were out on the streets late into  the
night to observe New Year festivities.  But underneath the convi
viality,  there  was an air of foreboding.  Kantalai lies on  the
Habarana-Trincomalee road.  At each dawn,  route clearing patrols
march along the road between Kantalai and Habarana.  Some of them
are ambushed.  It is only after 8 a.m. that the road is opened to
traffic.  By common consent it is accepted that being on the road
outside town after 4 p.m.  is dangerous.  On normal days the town
is nearly empty by 4 p.m.

     According to village leaders,  they will not be attacked  in
the  immediate  future as there are still settlements  on  either
side of them. Many of these settlers work in cane fields. But one
day,  they  are  sure,  when the adjoining settlements have  been
attacked and dispersed, their turn would come. They are skeptical
about  the ability of the forces to defeat the LTTE.  They  think
the LTTE would survive, and one day the Sinhalese would be pushed
down to Habarana.

     In support of their skepticism,  a villager spoke about  his
having  been  in the police station when a radio message  from  a
police vehicle,  attacked out of town,  was received.  The police
left the station after 20 minutes. By then the attackers had fled
leaving behind two dead policemen.

     The  settlements were formed about 1952/53 and now the third
generation of Sinhalese are living there,  with ties to the  land
which  they  developed for a livelihood.  After some  discussion,
several  of them agreed that the Tamils had a  problem.  But  the
government  had  brought  them there having told them  there  was
land, and moreover, were not after all Tamils living in Sinhalese
areas?  they had never been warned that there would be trouble of
this  kind.  Although they see little hope in  the  future,  they
think  it  is the reponsibility of the government to salvage  the

7.4  The_Abduction_of_Pushparani_Chelliah,_ 19th_April

     Pushparani   (26)  a  final  year  Dental  student  at   the
University of Peradeniya was to sit for her final examinations. A
native of Karaitivu, she left on the 3.30 p.m. bus from Kalmunai,
which started late at 5.00 p.m.  The bus stopped at the STF check
point  at  the  17th  mile post past Amparai  town  and  all  the
passengers  were  asked to get down.  After  being  checked,  the
passengers got inside the bus.  They were asked to get down again
on the pretext that there was a bomb inside. This time Pushparani
was  given a lot of attention.  She was questioned closely  about
her personal details. After a delay of about an hour, the passen
gers  were asked to get inside and be seated.  The bus  was  then
sent off.

     Barely two miles away,  about 9.30 p.m.  the bus was stopped
by  armed  men.  The men got into the bus and made  straight  for
Pushparani who was seated near the rear, and dragged her out. The
driver  was  ordered  to  proceed.   The  bus  then  stopped   at
Siyambalanduwe and a complaint was made to the police.

     Nothing more has been heard of Pushparani.

7.5  Massacre_at_Niedella,_Moneragala_District:  20th April.  Ru
mours  of an LTTE presence had been about for some  time.  Nimali
Rajapakse (21) a pre-school teacher was at home about 7 p.m, when
her younger sister Malkanthi came running, asking others to hide.
Just  then they heard gunshots from across the field.  From their
experience during the JVP troubles, they recognised the firing of
an automatic.  Once more, after a long interval, they took off to
hide in the bushes with some of their close relatives,  until  it
was  past dawn.  The attackers had come from the direction of the
river.  The occupants of the first house, P.R. Gunapala, his wife
and two children (5 & 3) escaped by climbing a tamarind tree.  In
the next house 75 yards away,  two children Thakshila (5) and her
brother  Ratnayake (2 1/2) were beheaded.  Their father  escaped,
but the mother is warded in Badulla hospital with a neck  injury.
Those in the following house escaped by hiding inside the well.

     From  the  house across the stream from Nimali's they  first
heard hammering on the walls followed by the screams of a mother,
"Oh!  my children,  Oh! my children". Then silence. It was disco
vered later that the mother and three children, Radhika Priyantha
(6), Dhanushka Sampath (4) and Surangi (2 1/2) had been killed.

     M.M.Dharmasena (30),  a farmer,  thinking that the noises he
heard were firecrakers,  went out to investigate about 7.30  p.m.
Hearing a gunshot from the neighbouring gem merchant's house,  he
ran back home. His wife, who had already hidden with her children
inside bushes,  called softly to him. They lay hidden until dawn.
The  horn of the car next door was sounded for about 20  minutes,
which alerted many.

     Dharmasena's brother escaped while his wife and two children
had been beheaded. His brother went back to the scene and let out
a loud cry.  He ran into the jungles when someone shined a torch.
The  wife's gold chain was taken,  while the children's  earrings
had been removed by tearing the ears.

     W.M.  Premasiri (25),  cultivator, had a similar experience.
He  lay  hidden with a group of 30.  He first took the firing  to
have come from the army.  When it was quiet, his brother Jayatil
leke went home to investigate,  when he was chased by two  women.
He  escaped into the jungle losing his clothes on the way.  About
12.30 a.m.  three vehicles,  which they took to be army vehicles,
sounded their horns.  No one risked leaving their hiding  places.
The vehicles went away.  The attackers were said to be dressed in
military type uniforms.

     In  the  morning Premasiri found 6 shiny empty shells and  a
katty (traditional knife,  used for lopping branches).  Nine per
sons,  including 3 women and 5 children,  who were gathered in  a
house  for  a ceremony had been killed by cutting blows aimed  at
the  back of their necks.  An ear on one side was also  cut.  The
attackers had removed chillies,  flour and torch batteries. Anan
da,  who was hidden with A.M.  Punchibanda (30),  his wife and  4
children,  went  towards  his house on a Land Master  tractor  to
check on his family. He was shot dead on the way.

     The attackers also killed Kuruwita Mudalali,  at whose house
they had stopped to drink tea.

     The  22 human victims were buried in a mass grave at 3  p.m.
the  following day in coffins brought by the STF.  Included among
the victims were two new born calves that were beheaded.

     Prior  to the burial,  15 soldiers had come in  two  trucks.
Some officers in a jeep were driving up and down.  About 2 p.m. a
red car arrived with its horn blaring. Then the car left followed
by  the  military party.  The frightened villagers were  left  to
cremate  the  dead  with whatever flammable material  they  could

     Who_was_behind_the_massacre?:  In  7.2  we referred  to  the
confusion  and panic prevailing in the area.  When the  villagers
were probed about details such as times and juxtapositions, there
was  confusion.  Persons  in the village claim that some  of  the
attackers  spoke  fluent Sinhalese.  The gem  merchant  had  been
individually summoned,  it is said, by an attacker who spoke good
Sinhalese. The attackers had come in two or three groups, some of
whom it appears,  were women. Nimali Rajapakse, for instance, who
says  she heard one of the attackers say in Sinhalese,  "There is
no one in this house," maintains that some of the attackers  must
have  known the village.  This is also the opinion of Dharmasena,
who  adds  that even villagers sometimes lose their  way  in  the

     The  attackers  appear to have been around until 3  a.m.  at
least.  This time, the army and police had come shortly after the
police  at Okkampitiya were alerted - just after  mid-night.  But
there  was no confrontation.  The attackers had looted food  sup
plies needed for jungle survival.  amongst the incongruous things
they  did,  in  one house they took the  women's  and  children's
clothes, but left the men's clothes strewn about.

     One  indication  that  the Tigers were  involved  was  their
standard signing off by strewing Johnny Battas (soap sized  mines
that  blow  off  the foot that treads one - a  Tiger  invention).
Several  of them were discovered in the mine clearing  operation,
including  two  in Nimali's garden.  The person who went  to  the
Okkampitiya  police and returned with 4 policemen  at  mid-night,
had  stepped on a Johnny mine and is now in Badulla hospital with
an amputated foot.  This man           is a full time SLFP worker
who  offered  to walk ahead of the policemen as the  latter  were
afraid.  This is of significance in view of allegations hinted at
by the government,  suggesting that the SLFP was playing a sinis
ter role and creating a scare.

     Though the people strongly suspect the Tigers, there is also
much confusion.  One story in the village holds that a JVP killer
from the village had told the police upon arrest, that there is a
combined party of 250 JVP and LTTE in the jungle.  The  villagers
are  themselves cynical about everyone.  When the JVP  insurgency
was  on,  the village was suspect.  Some of the shot guns in  the
village were taken away by the JVP. The police then retrieved the

     The_aftermath:  Panic  was  rife in the Moneragala  district
after the massacre. As it was, many villagers were spending their
nights  in the jungles.  As soon as the news reached  Okkampitiya
the following morning,  the shops closed instantly.  A Tamil  boy
raised by Sinhalese who had said that he had seen someone running
off into the jungle,  was taken away by the STF, despite pleading
by his Sinhalese family.

     At Buttala,  at 4 p.m.  (21st),  a crowd of 5000 gathered at
the police station in search of protection. Two Tamils travelling
in a bus were pulled out and assaulted.  Unconfirmed reports said
that  Tamil  workers  at  the Pelwatte  Sugar  Factory  had  been

     "The Island" of 25th April,  said,  quoting a police spokes
man,  that  two Tamil tea estate workers were killed by a mob  at
Badalkumbara  on the 22nd night,  and that line rooms occupied by
Tamil labourers were burnt at Badalkumbara and neighbouring  Ram
bukkana.  It added: "Unconfirmed reports indicated that an undis
closed  number of Tamil workers had been seriously  injured...  A
large  number  of  Tamils living in the area  had  sought  police
protection  fearing  further attacks,  the officials  said."  The
report further said that no further incidents were reported after
Monday  night  and that the police were intensely patrolling  the
area.  A  military spokesman in Colombo was quoted as  confirming
the communal unrest, but adding that the police had the situation
under control.

     For the villagers in Niyadella itself there was no assurance
of any further protection beyond the promise of shotguns from the
Chief  Minister  of Uva.  In terms of its  present  military  and
political framework,  the government had no answer.  In a further
twist  to  the  developing tragedy,  the Hill Country  Tamils  of
Indian origin,  appear to be getting dragged into this mess invo
luntarily.  Dinesh Watawana,  writing in the Sunday Times of 28th
April,  quotes  a  defence official in Colombo  as  saying  that:
"About  30 suspected LTTE terrorists were believed to be mingling
with  estate labourers disguising themselves as  estate  workers.
The  killers believed to be in groups of twos and threes are said
to be hiding in different estates.  With their weapons hidden  in
nearby jungles, the terrorists have, on several occasions, assem
bled together with weapons to attack Sinhala villages."

     "The  recent  attacks on civilians were not  in  operational
areas.  This  shows  that a group of terrorists have  infiltrated
into Sinhala areas to create havoc," a military official said.

     A  senior STF official in the area was more forthright  when
he told a very responsible person that they did not believe  that
the  attack  was conducted by the LTTE.   He suspected  that  the
attackers were estate Tamils.

     The  STF's reasons for saying that are understandable.  They
have more or less maintained that areas under their control  have
been  cleared of the LTTE.  If otherwise,  their peculiar methods
and professional competence will be put into question. The recent
attacks  on estate Tamils in the area must raise  the  disturbing
question  of what kind of security they would enjoy in the  light
of such suspicions becoming common currency.

     We know from past experience and the progress of the current
war, that the methods of the government forces can only result in
hopeless deterioration, adding to alienation and intensification.

          Further_Reports_of_Attacks_on_Estate_Tamils:  At  11.00
p.m.  on 24th April,  12 attackers entered an estate owned by the
Edna group in Kumbukkanna, in the Parawilawatte division, and set
fire to 14 line rooms built by workers themselves,  and a further
4 constructed by Edna group.  32 workers were injured. The estate
is 6 miles from Okkampitiya.

     1500  up  country Tamils live in an estate  in  Srigalawatte
formerly  owned by the Upali group and presently under  Janavasa.
Since  there is no work on the estate,  the community depends  on
150  workers  who  travel to Moneragala town to do a  variety  of
menial work,  as seasonal workers.  100 of them were attacked and
had  to spend 3 days in the jungle without food  before  trekking
back home. The community is now without means.

     100 seasonal workers used to go from Koslanda estate to work
in  sugar can fields owned by the Pelwatte Sugar  Company.  These
workers were beaten and had to shelter in the jungle.

     A  south  based  human rights group which visited  these  up
country  Tamils with the aim of providing relief,  was unable  to
confirm reports of killings.  The Ceylon Workers Congress visited
the Edna group estate in Kumbukkana.

                            CHAPTER 8


8.1  Early_motivations:  The colonisation issue with its  accumu
lated  destructive  inertia  has become a major  bugbear  of  Sri
Lankan politics.  The blind vigour with which the rival claims of
Sinhalese  and Tamil nationalisms were pursued have set in motion
other  phenomena which have further distorted the stated aims  of
the  conflicting parties.  The claim of Sinhalese nationalism  in
its  extreme form held that the whole country is sacred  to  Bud
dhism  and  belonged to its vanguard,  the Sinhalese.  All  other
inhabitants of Ceylon were aliens who had to be subjugated,  lest
they  exceed their rights as guests living at the  sufferance  of
the Sinhalese.  Whatever the original intentions of the colonisa
tion programme, from its early times the aim that there should be
no  territory  that could be called Tamil,  became a part of  its
conscious agenda.  The following excerpt from a speech attributed
to Ceylon's first Prime Minister,  D.S.Senanayake,  addressed  to
colonists  in  Padaviya,  is  self-explanatory:  "Today  you  are
brought  here  and given a plot of land.  You have been  uprooted
from  your  village.  You are like a piece of  driftwood  in  the
ocean;  but  remember that one day the whole country will look up
to you. The final battle for the Sinhala people will be fought on
the plains of Padaviya. You are men and women who will carry this
island's destiny on your shoulders.  Those who are attempting  to
divide this country will have to reckon with you. The country may
forget you for a few years,  but one day very soon they will look
up to you as the last bastion of the Sinhala."

     The  excerpt quoted by M.H.  Gunaratna was related to him by
Davinda Senanayake,  D.S's grandson.  The exactness of the quota
tion may be in question, as D.S.  appears to be addressing modern
sensibilities rather than ones current in his time. However, what
his grandson understood of his motivations is  significant.  (The
quotation is from p.201 of 'For a Sovereign State',  by M.H.Guna
ratna, Sarvodaya Publications).

     Hidden  below the violent rhetoric of this ideology was also
a defensive aspect,  talked about by apologists for the ideology.
The  Sinhalese  Buddhist elite saw  in  neighbouring  India,  the
vision  of  which  was dominated by the large southern  state  of
Tamil Nadu,  a potential menace.  they saw in Indian merchants in
Colombo,  Tamil  government servants and other  professionals  in
Sinhalese  areas,  and  even in the hapless plantation labour  of
Indian origin,  an alien conspiracy to disinherit the  Sinhalese.
As  Sinhalese scholars have themselves written,  the ideology ap
pealed  to different sections of Sinhalese at  different  levels.
The Sinhalese elite who came from the merchant class felt threat
ened by competition from indian rivals who established themselves
under the mobility provided by British Empire. The ire of Kandyan
peasants who often lived in poverty at the edges of British owned
estates,  was directed against the ill treated labour from India.
The  lack  of economic development,  and a large number of  young
chasing limited government jobs,  further exacerbated the growing
communalism.  If in a Sinhalese village,  the station master, the
medical  practitioner and the post master happened to be  Tamils,
they  would have appeared very powerful in the  village  context,
while  being of little importance overall.  All these ingredients
helped  fuel myths that motivated the ideology.  In the train  of
this massive emotional force, the land owning class in the South,
the owners of large estates and those whose positions depended on
these,  found  in  colonisation of Tamil areas a ready  means  of
obviating  the natural demand for restructuring the  agricultural
economy of the South.

     With developing trends in the world economy, the maintenance
of  large estates producing cash crops using  necessarily  poorly
paid  labour,  was becoming outmoded,  particularly when a  large
quantity  of foreign exchange was spent on importing food.  There
was thus a need for a long term national policy to dismantle  all
except  the adequately profitable estates,  and transfer lands to
food production by individual farmers. To the vested interests in
the  plantation economy,  colonisation appeared a neat  way  out,
which  also tied up with the thrust of Sinhalese nationalism.  It
is no co-incidence that many of the early Sinhalese colonists  in
Amparai were drawn from areas such as Welimada,  Nuwara Eliya and
Kegalle, where the plantation economy was dominant.

     The  former  Mossad officer,  Ostrovsky says on p.68 of  his
controversial book,'By Way of Deception': "The Sri Lankan govern
ment was worried about unrest among it wanted to
split them up somewhat by moving them from one side of the island
to  the other".  This is not something that Ostrovsky would  have
easily  imagined.  The theme was familiar to Israeli's  who  were
establishing  para  military  colonies of Shepardim Jews  on  the
Palestinian West Bank. We are not saying as alleged by Ostrovsky,
that  the Mahaveli project was a fraud designed to  obtain  large
international loans for other than agricultural and developmental
purposes.  But  the  author  of 'For a Sovereign State'  gives  a
detailed account of the Mahaveli Ministry's covert involvement in
the  Maduru Oya settlement,  the extent of Israeli influence  re
mains an open question.

8.2   Tamil_Reactions:  Economic developments during the  British
colonial  period saw the integration of Ceylon into  an  economic
whole with a network of roads and railways.  Consequently, people
from  all  communities left their places of origin in  search  of
economic  opportunities.  Many  Tamils became established in  the
South.  Likewise Sinhalese became established in the  North-East.
In  Jaffna  itself,  Sinhalese became renowned as carpenters  and
bakers.  The Tamils had tended to look upon the whole country  as
places  in which to live and work.  The Tamil voters rejected the
newly  formed Federal Party in the 1952 elections.  It was to  be
another  two  decades before its leader  Chelvanayakam  would  be
acclaimed a prophet.  The incipient colonisation schemes were not
taken  seriously  at that time.  In contrast with 5 years  later,
there was an increasing demand in Jaffna schools for the teaching
of Sinhalese as well as Sinhalese teachers.

     It was the 1956 election campaign based on the Sinhala  Only
that  gave the Federal Party its predicted legitimacy.  The  1958
communal  riots saw the first wave of mass exodus of Tamils  from
the South.  With this,  the concept of a Tamil Homeland which had
not  existed  in  1952 had come of age.  In its  train  came  the
concept of a Tamil Nation held together chiefly by the experience
of common oppression.

     This  fruit of their own actions further incensed the Sinha
lese ruling class. Government policy was now consciously directed
towards breaking the concept of a Tamil nation through  colonisa
tion.  In  the  course of reorganising the administration in  the
1960's,  the Eastern province became divided into three  adminis
trative  districts - Trincomalee,  Batticaloa and Amparai.  It is
significant that although Tamils were in the majority in  Trinco
malee at that time, it has never had a Tamil Government Agent.

     The adoption of separation as a slogan by Tamil nationalists
and  increasing  involvement of the state in anti-Tamil  violence
marked the spiralling escalation of the ideological conflict.

     On  the one hand while Tamils were in fact becoming  weaker,
those  wielding  state  power started seeing  Tamil  conspiracies
everywhere.  M.H.  Gunaratna,  a  planter who held  an  important
position in the Mahaveli Ministry,  describes in his 'For a Sove
reign  State',  how  Tamils  holding  government  positions  were
viewed.  State power was thus channelled into what were viewed as
counter conspiracies against Tamils.

     The  Tamils  on  the other hand experienced  the  oppressive
reality  of  state power from discrimination  against  Tamils  in
university  admissions  in 1972,  subsequently heightened by  the
1983  violence and its aftermath.  By its  clumsy  handling,  the
state  not only destroyed the economic and emotional  foundations
of  one  nation,  but gave the notion of the Tamil Nation with  a
National  Homeland a new moral legitimacy.  What was  worse,  the
notions' adoption as a tool by India, gave it an invincibility.

8.3  The_Flaw

     The  Tamil nationalists felt a powerful emotional  drive  to
root  the concept of the Tamil homeland in historical  antiquity.
They thus simplified the complex history of comings and goings of
waves of diverse migrants over the centuries,  the shifting boun
daries  of ancient kingdoms,  and posited instead a Tamil kingdom
which it was claimed had existed from ancient times.  One of  the
main  planks of the argument was that the early British  colonial
administration  and  several other colonial writers had  regarded
Ceylon to have been made of 3 distinct regions, two Sinhalese and
one  Tamil,  the latter covering more or less the present  North-
East. Between Sinhalese and Tamil academics, there arose a parti
san  argument  on this point,  which had little  relevance  to  a
modern problem.

     On  the other hand the Tamil Left largely wanted the coloni
sation  issue addressed from the perspective of the needs of  the
people  concerned,  than from that of historical abstraction.  By
the  early  80's  most of them were swallowed up  by  the  rising
nationalist  tide - many becoming ideologues for the  nationalist

     The  emotional  needs of nationalism and its  insistence  on
simple dogmatic historical assertion,  resulted in a fatal trend.
These needs also led to the destructive concepts of alien, intru
der,  purity etc. It placed the Muslims, although Tamil speaking,
in an insecure position. There was also a new ambivalence towards
Sinhalese, even when they had lived in the North-East for genera
tions and were integrated into local life.

     Had the manner of colonisation by the state been  challenged
from a human rights standpoint,  it would have united the Tamils,
Muslims and Sinhalese in the East.  But the contradictions in the
nationalist approach left it open to attack.  By 1984,  the state
with its resources and manipulative ability,  was in the business
of fomenting Tamil-Muslim enmity.

     The  current  spate  of barbarity against civilians  is  the
logical outcome of the two contending nationalisms,  where extre
mists  with  a similar mental outlook have gained  ascendency  on
both sides.

8.4  The_Current_War

     It  has  been widely commented upon that the current war  is
also  characterised  far  less by military ingenuity  than  by  a
series of massacres and counter massacres. The LTTE's provacative
actions  were meant as we have observed,  not to protect  Tamils,
but rather to enhance its destructive capacity using the  state's
barbarity.  The  manner in which the government forces have  been
used  points  to the same ideology at work with  its  accumulated
inertia which needed no explicit planning.

     During  the  week following the outbreak of  hostilities  on
11th  June 1990,  Tamils were attacked and expelled from  Amparai
town and the interior villages about the Gal Oya Scheme. Once the
forces  were in control,  the next stage of expulsions took place
in  August.  Muslim home guards were set up to attack  the  Tamil
refugee  camps  at Veeramunai and Sorikalmumai.  The Tamils  were
thus  expelled  from the next line of Tamil villages  in  Central
Camp, to the eastern seaboard.

     In the Trincomalee district, there is once again a situation
where  a  draconian regime prevails.  People are scared  to  talk
about the disappeared. No one has dared to keep records. No young
Tamils are living outside town.  Those outside have fled as refu
gees to the North and to India.  Any young person coming back  is
very likely to disappear.

     Significantly,  the  army  brigadier  who was in  charge  of
Trincomalee at the outbreak of war and enjoyed public confidence,
was  immediately  replaced by Lucky  Wijeratne.  The  latter  was
killed in a landmine explosion. The brigadier currently in charge
of  Trincomalee  was previously in Mannar where about  9  persons
arrested  by the army in Talaimannar disappeared.  This became  a
major  issue as India and the UNHCR were preparing to use  Mannar
to receive refugees who had fled to Inda. The brigadier's talents
were then considered better suited for Trincomalee.

     The  emerging pattern is broadly consistent with the  agenda
sketched  out  in 'For a Sovereign State'.  These people  are  so
blind that they do not see recent history repeating itself.  They
are once more making a case for an Indian role.

8.5  The_LTTE_and_Tamil_interests: The LTTE is now waging its war
with  recruits  who are the product of tragic  circumstances  and
deceit.  They have no creative outlook or any perspective of  the
long term interests of Tamils.  Their anti-Sinhalese, anti-Muslim
or anti-state gut feelings are simply used in a destructive orgy.
Under such circumstances massacres come naturally. It is also the
LTTE's  experience  that it is such conduct that  the  government
will be responsive to.  For it frustrates the government by expo
sing  its inability to protect Sinhalese civilians.  This  brings
about legitimacy for such actions,  as many Tamils begin to argue
that  only  such massacres press the government to think about  a
political solution.

     But the resulting process cannot be so simple.  It also sets
in  motion so many other corrosive trends.  It certainly enhances
the  Sinhalese chauvinist position.  The chauvinists would  argue
that  they were always right about the Tamils being  calculating,
deceitful  and evil intentioned,  and that the only way  to  deal
with  them  is to crush them.  Unless a political party  is  very
mature and farsighted,  and able to rise above such a destructive
tide,  it  will also  be sucked in.  We can see this in the SLFP.
Last  August it showed some signs of understanding the plight  of
ordinary Tamils.  In its recent statements it is not thinking  of
the Tamils at all. It is rather playing the accustomed chauvinist
card,  calling for more support for the armed forces.  The LTTE's
actions  thus cannot lead to a healthy political process.  In the
meantime its very destructiveness is eliminating the socio-econo
mic base for the Tamil struggle.

     Very  often  Tamil intellectuals are  harsh  with  Sinhalese
human rights activists charging them of ineffectiveness, indiffe
rence and even communalism.  Whatever the justification, in seve
ral concrete instances,  groups that sincerely try to put forward
the  Tamil case to Sinhalese villagers are frustrated by  actions
inspired by Tamil chauvinism.  The brother of a woman activist in
Niedella  was one of the victims of the LTTE massacre reported in
Chapter 7. She, in her distress, exclaimed that she was not going
to  talk  about understanding Tamils  again.  By  destroying  the
possibility  of human communication,  it is Sinhalese  chauvinism
that is reinforced.

     The LTTE's actions thus actually serve to distort the wishes
of Tamils. From our extensive conversations with Easterners, they
are not saying that they do not want Sinhalese living there.  Nor
are  they  saying  that the agricultural potential  of  the  East
should  not be developed.  They have lived happily with Sinhalese
and would welcome Sinhalese coming there and contributing to  the
economy under healthy conditions, in the normal course of events.
What  they are opposed to is ideologically motivated colonisation
by the state backed by explicit and implicit violence.

     The  Tigers' brutal massacres give the  opposite  impression
that  Sinhalese  have no right to live in the East.  This  drives
Sinhalese  in turn to ignore Tamil fears and see the  problem  in
terms  of the simple question,  'If Tamils can live in the South,
why  should we be killed for living in the North-East?' The  per
ceived unreasonableness of the Tamils once again enhances  Sinha
lese chauvinist ideology.

     Whichever  way one looks at it,  we see that the only way to
unfold  this developing tragedy is to break the hold of  politics
based  on Sinhalese and Tamil chauvinism,  which are locked  into
each other.

                           APPENDIX 1


                         (PRESS SUMMARY)

     The  Civil  Rights  Movement in  a  recent  statement  draws
attention to the agreement on human rights arrived at between the
government  and  the armed opposition of El  Salvador,  with  the
mediation of the Secretary General of the UN.

     The   agreement   also  covers  such  subjects   as   arrest
procedures,  preventing  enforced disappearances and  abductions,
prohibiting   incommunicado   detention,   prohibiting   torture,
ensuring  habeas  corpus,  freedom  of the press and  freedom  of

     The  Agreement provides for monitoring by the  UN.  What  is
remarkable  is  not only that such an agreement has been  reached
while  the  parties  are still at war,  but  that  the  Secretary
General  of  the  UN is now seeking to  implement  the  agreement
before a cease-fire is negotiated;  an operation for which, as he
himself states,  "no precedent exists in the annals of the United

     Meanwhile,   negotiations  with  UN  participation  continue
between  the  parties on a number of other issues  including  the
armed  forces,   the  judicial  system,  constitutional  reforms,
economic  and  social  questions and  monitoring  by  the  United
Nations.  Important progress on electoral reform has been made by
an Inter Party Commission.

     These developments illustrate dramatically the importance of
the  role that a neutral body such as the UN Secretary  General's
office can play in a situation of civil war.

                           APPENDIX 11


     A statement issued by the Council of Hindu Organisations and
signed  by  its president Yogendra Doraiswamy and  its  secretary
S.P. Nadarajah was published in the Island of 11th April 1991. In
prefatory comments it stated :

     "On  June  11th 1990 renewed fighting suddenly  erupted
     between the Government of Sri Lanka and the L.T.T.E. in
     the  North-East  province.   No  public  statement  was
     issued, either by the Government or the L.T.T.E., as to
     the  issues  discussed and the points  of  disagreement
     during   the  fifteen  months  of  warm   and   cordial
     relationship that preceded the renewed conflict.

     Nine months have passed and there is no indication of a
     cessation  of hostilities.  Destruction of persons  and
     property  is taking place on a large scale.  Though the
     Government  had announced at the outset that  this  war
     was  not  against  the  Tamils  but  only  against  the
     L.T.T.E.  every  month innocent civilians are dying  by
     the  score  and a large number of public buildings  and
     private houses are being destroyed.  Refugees numbering
     one  million  are eking out an existence in  very  poor
     living conditions.

     Normal life is at a standstill and people are suffering
     great  hardships  and  untold  misery.  The  North-East
     province is turning into a waste land, a scorched earth
     and many people are leaving the area in desperation".

Proposals:  The  following proposals were then put forward  after
arguing that present troubles are largely a result of the failure
to implement the Indo-Lanka Accord.

     "As  advocates  of  a united  Sri  Lanka,  where  every
     citizen should enjoy freedom,  equality and justice, we
     wish to suggest a package of proposals to alleviate the
     situation in the North-East province and restore  peace
     and normalcy. The Government of Sri Lanka:-

     1)  to announce an immediate cessation of  hostilities.
     the L.T.T.E. to respond positively.

     2) to ensure that sufficient supplies of food, fuel and
     medicines  are  sent  regularly  to  the  International
     Committee  of the Red Cross,  who in co-ordination with
     the Government Agent, will distribute them.

     3)  to announce that it would fully  implement  without
     delay the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement of July 29th 1987.

     4)  to  nominate an Interim Council for the  North-East
     province  in  Consultation with the  parties  who  were
     elected  to  the  North-East  Provincial  Council.  The
     Interim   Council   should   proportionately   comprise
     representatives  of  parties elected at the  Provincial
     Council elections.  The L.T.T.E.  should be invited  to
     join.  Subjects  assigned to the Interim Council should
     also include law and  order,  education,  health,  land
     development, relief and rehabilitation of refugees. The
     Interim  Council  should function till  the  Provincial
     Council   comes  into  being  after  a  free  and  fair

     5) to initiative negotiations with the  L.T.T.E.  after
     the cessation of hostilities takes effect.  This should
     lead  to laying down of arms and reciprocal measures by
     the  Government.  A practical approach is necessary  in
     this regard.  The Government of Sri Lanka is the  other
     party  to this conflict and cannot expect to  supervise
     or  monitor the cessation of hostilities and the laying
     down of arms.  A neutral force is, therefore, necessary
     for this purpose.  An Indian Peace Keeping Force  could
     be  invited for this operation as India guaranteed  the
     Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement of July 29th 1987. If India is
     unable  to send a Peace Keeping Force,  then a friendly
     country like Canada,  Australia, Sweden or Norway could
     be approached. Arms should be laid down by all militant
     groups,    home    guards   and    private    militias.
     Simultaneosly,  the  Sri Lankan Government should close
     down  all security forces camps established since  1977
     and  the security forces in the remaining camps  should
     be  confined  to their barracks.  This applies  to  the
     North-East  province.  It  was with  the  1977  General
     Elections  that  the  fight for Eelam started  and  the
     T.U.L.F.  was returned in large numbers on this ticket.
     The  Government  took counter measures by  opening  new
     camps and sending large contingents of security  forces
     to the North. The status quo ante should be restored as
     at 1977.

     The  Police should maintain law and order as in  normal
     times   and  early  action  should  be  taken  to  hold
     Provincial  Council elections.  Opportunity  should  be
     given  to the Provincial Government and the Council  to
     function  without let or hindrance.  The Peace  Keeping
     Force  should remain till the Provincial Government had
     been in office for a period of three years.

     Any  issue like the question of linkage of  the  former
     Northern and Eastern provinces, may be raised after the
     Provincial  Government  had  been in office  for  three
     years.  Such questions could be settled by negotiations
     between  the  Centre  and  the  North-East   Provincial
     Government.  Time  will  play  a role  in  viewing  the
     problem in its correct perspective."

     The  appeal  concluded by requesting the government and  the
LTTE  to come up with the necessary courage and statesmanship  to
overcome  mutual suspicion and distrust created by long years  of
bitter conflict. It added :

     "We  have made these proposals in the  firm  conviction
     that their implementation would not only restore peace,
     human  rights  and democratic  institutions,  but  also
     would set in motion a process which would create mutual
     trust and understanding between the two peoples".

                    DISAPPEARANCES IN MANNAR

     About mid-night on 20th January (0000 hrs 21st),  some vehi
cles  approached  Talaimannar village.  Subsequently  there  were
knocks  on several house doors.  Those who opened the doors  were
blinded by torches flashed by the intruders.  After looking  over
the inmates,  certain persons pointed out were taken.  The others
were threatened to remain silent, and the intruders left. In all,
nine persons,  including one woman,  were taken.  After dawn, the
villagers went to the army camp at Talaimannar Pier,  1 1/2 miles
away. The army denied any knowledge of the incident.

     The  officer-in-charge of the camp was known by his nickname
Chamakkoli (Mid-night Cock) because of his habit of being  active
at mid-night. Previously in late December, the entire village had
been ordered to assemble at the local church at mid-night. No one
was  then taken.  The Brigadier then in charge of Mannar made  no
bones  about  his  inclinations.   During  his  public  relations
exercises  he  used  to  boast about knowing  how  to  deal  with
terrorists,  and  how  he had presided over the killing  of  3000
terrorists  where  he had been posted in the deep  South,  during
recent JVP troubles.  NGO's were warned to be careful and that he
had  seen  from  a  helicopter,  their  vehicles  being  used  by
terrorists. Given the sensitive nature of Mannar as a prospective
refugee  settlement,   following  the  disappearances,  concerted
pressure  from  NGOs resulted in the  Brigadier's  transfer  - to

     The   Officer-in-Charge   at  Talaimannar  Pier   was   also
transferred.  The  new  OIC  visited  the  village  and  gave  an
assurance that such unfortunate things will not happen again, and
wanted  the  villagers to report if anything  happened.  The  new
Brigadier gave similar assurances to the public and promised  the
families that he would inquire into the fates of those taken.

     So  far  the families have been told nothing despite  having
applied  through various channels,  including the  ICRC.  Leading
persons  who  knew  those taken are convinced that  they  had  no
involvement with the LTTE, but only may have had relatives in the