10th Anniversary of STF murder of Trincomalee Tamil students

[TamilNet, Saturday, 02 January 2016, 02:36 GMT]
Dr Kasippillai Manoharan and four other families will be commemorating the tenth anniversary of the murder of their sons extra-judicially executed by the Special Task force (STF) of the Sri Lanka Government on the 2nd January 2006. The high school students, all then nearly 20-years old, were spending an afternoon at a seafront in Trincomalee when the allegedly planned crime took place. Dr Manoharan told TamilNet that while he is disappointed with the Western powers who are acquiescing with Colombo to impose 'victor's justice' in SriLanka, he will continue to fight to seek justice for his son, and expressed his appreciation to the support he has received from individuals and organizations for his work.

Dr Manoharan said he has no faith in any investigations Sri Lanka Government takes on the students' murders, and only an internationally organized investigation will provide the justice he seeks.

Dr Manoharan reiterated that the STF officers Kapila Jayasekera and Vas Perera, part of the STF contingent sent to Trincomalee on the orders of the Defence Secretary and President's sibling, Gothabaya Rajapakse, and Udawatte Weerakody, a naval officer, were key players in the planning and execution of the murders.

Another key player in the massacre is alleged to be the Sinhala extremist and former DIG, H. Kotagadeniya, now reported to be residing in the U.S.

Culpability chart
Culpability chart
The STF team was sent to Trincomalee with the approval of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse before Christmas 2005, and Kotagadeniya was acting as an advisor to the Defence Ministry in Police matters. "Judging by events there is hardly any doubt that the attack on the students in a public place was conceived as teaching the Tamils a lesson...If not the details, the general form of the atrocity was planned at the highest level," the Rights organization UTHR concluded in its investigations. (UTHR, 1/2/10, pg. 14)

A commission of inquiry was established in November 2006 to investigate the incident along with 11 other deaths. However, the commission report, delivered directly to the Sri Lanka's President, was never made public.

No thorough investigation has ever been conducted and no one has been brought to justice for Ragihar’s murder, according to Amnesty's report.

"[T]he murder of the five young boys in Trincomalee became an early symbol of the legacy of impunity that would plague the Sri Lankan Government, both in its execution of the final war to defeat the LTTE and the continued suppression of legitimate dissent both during and after the war," Financial Times (FT) wrote on the murder.

In a classified memo written by US's Sri Lanka Ambassador Robert Blake in October 2006 to Washington, ten months after the extra-judicial execution of five students, Basil Rajapakse, another Presidential sibling, had told Ambassador Blake that Special Task Force (STF) was responsible for the killings, according a Wikileaks document.

The names and the dates of birth of the five students killed at the big harbor town are: (i) Manoharan Ragihar, DoB 22.09.1985, (ii) Yogarajah Hemachchandra, DoB 04.03.1985, (iii) Logitharajah Rohan, DoB 07.04.1985, (iv) Thangathurai Sivanantha, DoB 06.04.1985, and (v) Shanmugarajah Gajendran, DoB 16.09.1985.


Related Articles:
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05.07.13   Twelve STF arrested for 2006 killing of five Trinco students
17.03.13   Kapila Jeyasekara, alleged killer of Trinco-5 students, appo..
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12.03.12   Dr. Manoharan rejects Colombo's proposal, demands release of..
29.01.12   STF killed Trinco students, Basil Rajapakse told Blake
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14.04.11   SLA killed my son - Dr. Manoharan
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External Links:
UTHR: Unfinished Business of the Five Students and ACF Cases – A Time to call the Bluff
UTHR: Official Secrets and Blind Justice: Fourth Anniversary of the Trinco Five Students’ Case
UTHR: The Five Students Case in Trincomalee
Wikileaks: Candid statements from Basil Rajapakse
UTHR: A Bullet for a Fig Leaf

 

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