Conflicting claims over man's death
[TamilNet, Friday, 10 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Somasundaram Suthakaran (28), from Palukamam, in the Paduvankarai region which is under the control of the Liberation Tigers was allegedly shot dead at Periyneelavanai, 23 km south-west of Batticaloa around 8:00 a.m. on Sunday April 5, by the Special Task Force (STF) from the Karaitheevu camp, said sources in Batticaloa.
Reports in the press this week, however, quoted the STF as saying that Suthakaran was an informant helping the Sri Lankan security forces and that he was killed by the Liberation Tigers in an ambush whilst travelling with STF troops near Thuraineelavanai.
Mr. Manoharan, the Human Rights Commission representative in the area, made inquiries into the matter, acting on the complaint of Suthakaran's wife.
He was told by S. Nanayakkara, Assistant Superintendent of Police of the Karaitheevu STF camp, that the man was killed by the Liberation Tigers, who had ambushed the vehicle in which he was travelling with a group of STF personnel towards Thuraineelavanai.
The series of events leading up to Suthakaran's death began when he came to the Karaitheevu STF camp to report.
He was under STF orders to do so every other Sunday, after he was questioned by them during a cordon and search operation in Karaitheevu late last year.
When he went to the camp last Sunday, there is evidence that he was told to wear different clothes, photographed, videoed and then taken by the STF to Periyneeelavai and shot, said human rights sources.
ASP Nannayakkara's statement has been contradicted because there was no LTTE ambush in Thuraineelvanai on that day, nor did a unit of the STF go into the area on Sunday.
A similar incident took place in Paandiruppu, near Kalmunai, three months ago when K. Kannan who was also under orders to sign at the camp there, was allegedly shot by the STF, said sources. This killing was also blamed on the LTTE they said.