Kumarapuram massacre victims remembered
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 February 2004, 16:43 GMT]
The seventh death anniversary of twenty-four Tamil civilians, including fourteen children, who were massacred by a group of soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army in Kumarapuram, in the Muttur division of the Trincomalee district, on February 11, 1996, was held Wednesday. In the 1996 massacre, another thirty Tamil civilians were seriously wounded, human rights sources said.
Kumarapuram, a hamlet in the Kiliveddy area, which lies about 32 km south of Trincomalee town, comes under the administrative limit of the Muttur Divisional Secretariat.
On the evening of 11th February 1996, at about 5 p.m., two SLA soldiers were found dead with gunshot injuries at the 58th milepost junction on the Kiliveddy-Muttur road, which leads to the Kumarapuram village, located half a mile from the scene.
On receipt of information about this incident, a group of SLA soldiers entered Kumarapuram, firing at random. Thereafter soldiers ordered all civilians to come out of their dwellings and lined them up for questioning. Then soldiers started mercilessly beating them irrespective of their gender and age. Two Tamil girls were gang-raped by several security personnel and later killed. On the spot, 12 males, 13 females and 13 small children were killed at night, sources said.
The next day, February 12,1996, volunteers hearing of the massacre rushed to the village and found 24 bodies, which were later brought to the Muttur hospital where the inquests were held. On the Magistrate’s order, bodies were buried with the assistance of non-governmental organizations, sources said.
58th junction at Kumarapuram village.
Of the injured, 4 were taken to the Serunuwara hospital and the remaining 26 were taken to the Trincomalee hospital for emergency treatment.
Relatives of those killed in the massacre are still struggling to lead normal lives without a permanent income and necessary assistance from the authorities concerned, civil sources said.
The breakdown by age group of those massacred by the SLA is as follows: 3 infants below age 5, 3 children aged 5-10, 8 children aged 11-20, 6 persons aged 21-30, 2 persons 31-40 and 2 persons above 50.
A group of twenty soldiers was arrested by the Police immediately after the massacre but only nine of them had been indicted by the Attorney General with the murder of 24 Tamil civilians. The case against the accused soldiers is still pending in the Eastern High Court awaiting trial, legal sources said.
Kumarapuram village buildings destroyed by war