Use video to identify Chemmani mass grave - MSI

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 September 1998, 19:43 GMT]
The Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam (MSI-people's power movement) of Jaffna sent the Sri Lankan President a letter today suggesting that Corporal R.D Somaratna Rajapaksha of the SL Army who was sentenced to death in the Krishanthy Kumarasamy rape and murder case, should be made to identify on video tape the location of the mass grave in Chemmani.

Chemmani is alleged to be a place where the bodies of hundreds of people who "disappeared" whilst in military custody in Jaffna have been clandestinely buried. Corporal R. D. Somaratna revealed in the Krishanthy murder trial that the bodies of 300 or 400 people were buried in the Chemmani area in Jaffna.

The MSI said in its letter that the government has delayed bringing over Rajapaksha to Jaffna to identify the grave because of security reasons and this has now given rise to the fear among the people of Jaffna that something untoward might happen to him to cover up the mass murder.

The MSI says that in these circumstances, it makes the following recommendations on the question of the Chemmani mass grave.

An area 1.5 kilometers in radius, covering the Chemmani Road - Kandy Road, should be filmed on video.

This video tape should be played to Rajapaksha so that he can identify the spot where the mass grave was covered.

That Rajapaksha should be recorded on video watching the video of the Chemmani area and identifying the mass grave on that video.

That Rajapaksha's statement should also be recorded on video tape once he identifies the mass grave.

The MSI's letter is a follow up to another one it had sent earlier on Sept.3, to the President on the Chemmani mass grave. The MSI letter is signed by Mr.C.V.K Sivagnanam (President) and A.Mylvaganam (secretary).

Meanwhile, SLA sources at Palaly said that the Human Rights Commission (Jaffna) had written to the Jaffna Sri Lankan security forces commander Maj.Gen.Lionel Balagalle that the Chemmani area should be provided protection in view of any possible attempt to destroy evidence of the mass grave.

The sources said that Maj.Gen. Balagalle had asked the Deputy Inspector General of Police for the North to deploy Policemen to guard the area.


Related Articles:
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25.08.98   'Chemmani graves' soldier treated
17.08.98   Parents of Disappeared Demand Investigation
03.08.98   Exhume Chemmani graves - Amnesty
13.07.98   Mass graves found - paper
08.07.98   'Excavate mass graves' - NGO Consortium
06.07.98   Accused rapist alleges mass graves in Jaffna
05.07.98   Amnesty commends sentences, appeals for clemency
03.07.98   Death sentence for Krishanthi accused
18.03.98   Krishanthi case accused escape police custody

 

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