Child killed in deadly game

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Weerasingham Selvarajah, 28, a leader in the main para-military group operating with the Sri Lankan army in Batticaloa was killed in his house in Thimilatheevu a suburb of this eastern town this afternoon when a grenade, the clip of which he had playfully removed to amuse his 3 year old daughter, went off. The little girl was also killed on the spot. Weerasingham's wife was seriously wounded in the explosion.

The dead person who is generally known as Thalavai Rajah was one of the key figures in the Razeek Group which operates with the SLA against the Liberation Tigers in the Batticaloa district.

Many cadres of the group are paid soldiers of the Sri Lankan army and others go under the rubrick 'National Auxiliary Force of the SLA'.

Weerasingham had been inebriated at the time of his death which, according to Sri Lankan Police sources in Batticaloa town, was the reason he was careless with the grenade.

Drunkenness among cadres of the Razeek group has led to several problems with the public and the Sri Lankan armed forces in recent times, said Police sources.

They pointed out the fact that there are three illegal liquor outlets operating under the auspices of the Razeek group in Batticaloa and run by former EPRLF cadres, Paskaran, Ravi (of Pandiruppu) and Vaiththi (of Santhiveli). (The Razeek group is an off shoot of the EPRLF).

The army provides the group a regular quota of cigarettes which are given wholesale to these shops.

The shops, according to the Police sources, supply arrack and beer to the cadres on credit which is deducted from their salaries by Razeek (the leader of the group) on pay day every month. (Their salaries are in accordance with regular army pay) This has given rise to drinking problems among many in the group the Police sources said.


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