Deserter commits suicide on return to front

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
S. Shanthakumar (27), of Hikkaduwa, a deserter with criminal charges against him, who was arrested and sent to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp at Sittandy, 25 km north of Batticaloa, committed suicide by shooting himself yesterday, said sources in Batticaloa.

This was his second attempt at suicide within a week.

Shanthakumar joined the SLA in 1993 and deserted about a year ago. He was arrested by the Military Police and sent to Sittandy camp last month.

Shanthakumar has been charged with crimes including burglary in various parts of southern Sri Lanka, but no details about his criminal activities are immediately available.

K Thiyagarajah, Acting District Judge, Batticaloa, pronounced a verdict of suicide, after conducting the autopsy at the Batticaloa Hospital.

The suicide comes when the SLA is reported to be rounding up deserters who did not heed the final amnesty given by the Sri Lanka Government to return to service. The amnesty expired at 12:00 midnight on Sunday.

 

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