Three Tamils from border village missing
[TamilNet, Saturday, 09 October 1999, 12:07 GMT]
Three Tamil villagers were reported missing in the south-eastern Ampara districts after being arrested by Sinhala homeguards yesterday, human rights sources said.
The villagers of Malayarkaddu, a Tamil border village in the Ampara district were arrested at Sinnavaththai, the sources said.
On Friday, three Tamil villagers - Seenithamby Sathasivam (42), Somanathan Panchchadcharam (51) and S.Velautham (56) of Malayarkaddu were arrested by homeguards near Sinnawatte in Konagala when they were on their way to collect milk. Thereafter, whereabouts of the three persons were not known, residents of the area said.
Tamil residents of the area fear that the three persons could have been killed as a revenge to the massacre of Sinhala civilians at Konagala on September 18.
The Special Task Force (STF) who is in charge of the security of the village has informed Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, Member of Parliament for the Batticaloa District, that they were unaware of such arrests by homeguards.
Mr. Pararajasingham has brought the disappearance of the three persons to the notice of the Anti Harassment Committee and the Officer-in Charge of the STF camp of the area.
Meanwhile, the Bishop of the Batticaloa-Trincomalee diocese Rt. Rev. Kingsley Swampillai visited the Ampara district yesterday along with several other priests.
He met the villagers of Konagale where over 50 civilians were killed two weeks ago.
Addressing a gathering in the village, the bishop said he condemned the killings of civilians there.
The bishop told the villagers about the killing of 21 civilians in an air strike by the Air Force in Puthukkudiyiruppu.
Violence against civilians, regardless of who the perpetrators are, has to be condemned, the bishop told villagers.
"Problems of the country can not be solved through weapons" the Bishop said.
The Bishop and his team expressed their grief to the villagers assembled at the meeting.
The Chief Incumbent of the Konagala Buddhist Vihare, Rev. Ransagoda Mettasiri Thera, presided.
Rev. Mettasiri Thera made an appeal to those present to extend their whole-hearted support to the authorities to eliminate terrorism from the country.