3RD LEAD

Eight civilians feared killed in Thenmaradchi, blood trace, clothes found

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 May 2006, 06:36 GMT]
Villagers who went searching for eight missing youths in Manthuvil East in Thenmaradchi, Jaffna, found blood trace, pieces of clothes, 3 identity cards and at least 6 empty cases of bullets Sunday morning. Eight young men who went to Seerani Kelakkai temple in Manthuvil East, around 7 km northeast of Chavakachcheri are reported missing. A teacher and general secretary of the temple trustee board, and four students were among the victims who are feared dead. Fear has gripped the entire Kelakkai village.

Kelakkai villagers rushed to the Amman temple (Kelakkai Seerani Amman) site after noting an unusual movement of a Buffel APC vehicle around 4:00 a.m. Sunday.

The temple and the villagers were about to celebrate the fifth and final day of the grand Kumbabishekam festival being observed at the site. The vcitms were staying at the temple to protect the valuables at the festival temple.

More than 8 gunshots were heard around 1:10 a.m. Sunday, according to the villagers.

Pieces of clothes were seen among the bushes near the temple and 3 identity cards with blood trace were discovered between the temple chariot and the temple.

Blood trace between the temple chariot and the temple, were covered with sand. Bootprints are seen

Sri Lanka Army soldiers use to come to the temple site regularly around 7:00 p.m., villagers said stressing that the Sri Lanka Army was fully aware of the festival.

On Saturday night, the soldiers also came to the site around 10:00 p.m., temple sources said.

Meanwhile, the villagers report a Jeep movement around 1:00 a.m. in the area, few minutes before they heard gunshots.

At 4:00 a.m. in the morning, another unusual movement was observed. A Buffel APC, and a Jeep with SLA soldiers, who came to the temple site stayed there for more than 30 minutes at the crime scene.

The names of the civilians feared dead and reported missing:

  1. Rasanyagampillai Sivananthamoorthy, 35, the General Secretary of the Temple Management Board and a teacher.
  2. Markandu Pushpakanthan, 26, a temple board member
  3. Kandasamy Parimelalakan, 29
  4. Ramachandran Rasakumar, 24
  5. Ponnambalam Parthipan, 22
  6. Vaikundavasan Vaikundakumar, 22
  7. Selvaratnam Sivananthan, 22
  8. Ratnam Thayaroopan, 22


All victims are from the Kelakkai village in Manthuvil East.

Chavakacheri Police said they have registered a complaint on the incident.

One week ago, Sri Lanka Army soldiers had warned a group of civilians who were sleeping at the temple after festival preparations.

S. Kajendran, Jaffna district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian said that the villagers had registered suspicious movement of a Jeep after the warning issued by the soldiers.

The Scandinavian Ceasefire monitors have recently expressed fear that Sri Lankan Government forces, were involved in extrajudicial killings of civilians. The monitors who said that the conviction was based on observation and inquiries on the ground, were later pressurized by the Sri Lankan Government for expressing such fear in their statement.

 

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