Six villagers killed by homeguard

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 August 1999, 14:18 GMT]
A military trained home guard in the Sinhala settlement of Padaviya, south west of the district border between Trincomalee and Mullaithivu, shot six persons over a love affair last night before killing himself.

Sources in the area said that the body guard had gone to his girl friend's house in the settlement last night to see her armed with his Sri Lanka Army issued rifle.

A dispute had arisen at the house between the homeguard and the girl's parents.

The argument had led to a tussle in which the girl's people had assaulted the homeguard.

Meanwhile, some neighbours had come to stop the quarrel.

The homeguard angered by the assault had opened fire on the neighbours, killing four men and two women. The he had shot himself dead.

The homeguards are a paramilitary force drawn mostly from Sinhala villages close to the Tamil border in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.

They are trained, armed and deployed under the direct supervision of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA).

They are issued with Self Loading Rifles (SLRs) and repeater shotguns after a brief and sometimes ad hoc training by the SLA.

NGO's working in Sinhala border villages have alleged that the homeguards are a law unto themselves and responsible for much of the rape, murder and arson in these areas.

 

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