Remains of Padahuthurai victims laid to rest
[TamilNet, Friday, 05 January 2007, 01:02 GMT]
Hundreds of civilians, religious leaders and civil representatives bade farewell to 13 of the 16 civilian victims killed Tuesday in Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombardment at the Mother Velankanni Church at Nochchikuda, Wednesday, sources in Mannar said.
The remains were kept at the Government School at Illuppaikkadavai and taken in procession to Mulankavil town Wednesday morning. The caskets were brought to Mother Velankanni Church for funeral service and laid to rest at Nochchikudah burial site Wednesday noon.
Rev. Fr. M. X. Karunaratnam, Chairperson of the North East Secretariat of Human Rights (NESoHR), and Rev. Fr. James Pathinathar addressed the mourners at the church.
Liberation Tigers Deputy Political Head, S. Thangan, also took part in the funeral service.
"One may wonder whether this indiscriminate killings of innocent people is the will of God. Man was created by God to live in peace, happiness and freedom. Denying freedom to anyone cannot be the will of God. To survive in this world one has to be strong. We must learn to strengthen ourselves in unity and face any hardships to gain our freedom. Let us pledge ourselves to fight for our freedom and happiness as we pay our deepest love and respect for the innocent lives robbed so cruelly," said Rev. Fr. James Pathinathar in his address.
S. Thangan said that the Padahuthurai killings of innocent civilians is another action by Colombo that exposes the agenda of ethnic cleansing of Tamils in strategic areas in northeast by the present government and its armed forces.
In a letter sent to the Secretary General of the United Nation on Wednesday, Rev. Fr. M. X. Karunaratnam, Chairperson of the North East Secretariat of Human Rights, said Padahuthurai was a sheltering hamlet for refugees from Navanthurai Jaffna who fled due to Sri Lanka military atrocities in the mid nintees. As the former Parish Priest in Navanthurai Fr Karunaratnam used to visit Padahuthurai often to attend to the livelihood needs and to human rights matters, the letter said.