Thampalakamam massacre victims remembered

[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 February 2004, 17:23 GMT]
The sixth death anniversary of the killing of eight Tamil civilians including two students by Sri Lankan police on 1st February, 1998, was observed Sunday at Potkerney and Puthukuddiruppu, suburbs of Thampalakamam village in Trincomalee district, sources said. Thampalakamam is located twenty four km off south west of Trincomalee town on Trincomalee-Colombo highway.

The case against the police personnel and several homeguards alleged to have been responsible for the killing is still pending in Kantalai Magistrates Court. The case has made little progress in the last six years, legal sources said.

On 1 February 1998 around six in the morning a group of police personnel of the Thampalakamam police with several home guards entered the suburbs Potkerney and Puthukuddiruppu in the village and took eight civilians into custody when they were staying in a house after watching video show.

The Police did not allow their relatives and parents to see them in the police station. After some hours, residents heard gunshots from the police station and thereafter police informed their higher authorities that they had shot dead eight LTTE cadres while in ambush.

However civil groups brought the matter to the notice of the court that all the eight killed were farmers and students and not LTTE cadres.

At the magisterial inquest the dead were identified as A.Surendran (13), A.Gajendran (17), N.Pavalanathan (29), S.Thiyagarajah (23), M.Janagan (18), K.Sivarajan (23), A.Sekar (32) and P.Kanagasabai. Surendran and Gajendran were brothers and students. Five of the killed were residents of Puthukuddiruppu and the rest were from Potkerney.

Later on representation made to the higher authorities, several police personnel were arrested in connection with these killings and were indicted with the murder. During the non-summary proceedings several witnesses identified the police personnel and home guards who committed the crime.


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