Colombo version of Nelliady killings false, says TNA

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 May 2006, 14:19 GMT]
The Parliamentary group of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in a letter sent to all foreign missions in Sri Lanka said that the Sri Lanka Government's version of the killings of seven youths in Nelliady, that the youths were "cadres belonging to the LTTE, and were killed in retaliatory fire immediately after the attack on the Military Camp," was false as there is evidence that youths were in bar during the time of the grenade attack on the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp.

Full text of the letter sent to all heads of Foreign Missions follows:

AN URGENT APPEAL

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is compelled to write to you taking into consideration the current situation faced by the Tamil civilians of the Northeast.

You will be aware that on 04/05/2006 at about 2pm, seven individuals from “Raja” Village who were traveling in two three-wheelers were killed by the Sri Lankan Government’s Military actions. The Sri Lankan Government’s official version of this incident has been that these individual were involved in a grenade attack on the Sri Lanka Military Camp situated in Nelliyadi. Further, the Sri Lankan Government has made out that these seven individuals are cadres belonging to the LTTE, and were killed in retaliatory fire immediately after the attack on the Military Camp.

The TNA wishes to state with all responsibility that the Sri Lankan Government’s version of the incident is false for the following reason:-

1. The seven individuals who were killed by the actions of the Sri Lankan Military were not LTTE cadres, but innocent civilians. The details of the seven civilians are as follows:
  • Selverajah Suman (22yrs)
  • Veluppillai Nimalan (21yrs)
  • Nagaratnam Naguleswaran (18yrs)
  • Balachandran Krishanthan (18yrs)
  • Thamotharampillai Sharmilan (17yrs)
  • Naratnarajah Nesannah (19yrs)
  • Subramanium Subash (19yrs)
2. The grenade attack on the Military Camp had taken place over 20 minutes prior to the killing of the seven civilians. There is absolutely no connection between the attack on the Military Camp and the seven civilians that were killed. In fact all seven civilians had been at a bar in Nelliyadi and were on their way to a private party for which they had to cross a Police Station and a Military Camp when they were targeted.

The TNA wishes to emphatically state that the killing of the seven individuals was a clear act of revenge by the Sri Lankan Military on innocent civilians and not Military action against the attackers of the Military Camp as the Government has make out.

You are well aware that this is not the first time that the Sri Lankan Military has indiscriminately carried out, or helped to carry out extra-judicial killings of innocent civilians. Since the last round of talks in Geneva in February 2006, there have been well over one hundred civilians that have been killed. Some of the incidents that clearly stand out are:-
  • The over 20 Tamil civilians killed in the anti-Tamil pogroms in Trincomalee;
  • The 5 civilians executed in Puttur;
  • The attack on Uthayan newspaper;
  • The assassination of Mr. V. Vigneswaran, the TNA National List nominee, and
  • Mr. A Senthilnathan Vice-President of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress and TNA leading candidate for the Vavuniya UC.
It also should be noted even prior to the Geneva talks in February 2006 the TNA senior Member of Parliament Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham was assassinated. Further, 5 students were executed in Trincomalee. All these incidents are clearly attributable to the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, its Paramilitary Groups, and to Sinhala mobs aided and abetted by the same.

As elected Members of Parliament of the Northeast, we find the willful targeting and extra-judicial killings of innocent Tamil civilians as a systematic effort by the Sri Lankan Government to collectively terrorize the Tamils into submission to the dictates of the Sri Lankan Government. We have taken up our concerns with the Government at every conceivable level, including the President, Defence Secretary, and the Government’s area Military Commanders but to no avail.

As a last resort we earnestly appeal to you to use your good offices with the Sri Lankan Government to bring an immediate end to this abhorrent practice.

TNA Parliamentary Group

 

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