Madhu inquest held
[TamilNet, Monday, 22 November 1999, 13:09 GMT]
"I found my four children dead when I recovered from the shock caused by the shell explosion" said Chandramohan Suhandini in her evidence at the inquest into the death of 37 refugees, including 13 children at the Madhu Church on Saturday Nov.20. The inquest was held this morning before Mannar district judge Manickavasagar Ilancheliyan at his official residence.
Suhandini said in her evidence that she and her children were at the chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus after having dinner.
"There was heavy firing around the temple around 8 p.m". "The firing continued for hours and I went to sleep with my children because the army in the church precincts told us not leave the chapel earlier in the evening".
"Later that night around 10 p.m. we saw a shell exploding ahead of the banyan tree in front of the church. Everyone got up at this, and crying out in fear, huddled in a corner of the church. The next shell fell on the spot where every one had run for cover. I did not know what happened afterwards. Later when I recovered from the shock, I found my four children dead among the bodies of those killed." said Suhandini in her evidence before the judge today.
The bodies of her four children were taken to her home at Katkuli, a suburb of Vavuniya town , this evening on the instructions of the Mannar judge. The bodies of twenty seven refugees at the Mannar hospital and six at the Vavuniya hospital were taken to Madhu late this afternoon.
The following persons also gave evidence at the inquest today about the circumstances of the massacre of the refugees in the Madhu church on Saturday.
9.The village officer (Grama Sevaka) for Madhu Athony Sebamalai Talmeira
10.The village officer for Palampiddy A.S Immanuel.