Deep penetration group kills one, takes three

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 May 2001, 17:44 GMT]
One civilian was killed and three were reported missing in an attack by a Sri Lanka army Deep Penetration team near Mathurankerni Kulam, 70 kilometres north of Batticaloa, Tuesday around 10 a.m. Yoganathan Kesavarajah, 24, had gone to chop firewood when he was shot dead by the SLA’s special penetration group. His wife is pregnant with their first child, relatives said. The three persons who are reported missing, had gone to collect honey in the jungles near Mathurankerni Kulam. Relatives said that the three were abducted by two SLA deep penetration teams.

The village officer of Mathurankerni Kulam reported the death of Yoganathan Kesavarajah to the Valaichenai Police Tuesday.

Residents of the village who came to Valaichenai Tuesday said that they had run to the spot where the SLA deep penetration team had opened fire on Yoganathan Kesavarajah when they heard gunfire. The soldiers of the team had attacked them and had retreated when more people from the village has rushed to the spot upon hearing the tussle.

The missing civilians whom relatives say were abducted by the SLA deep penetration team are:

Murugan Mangleswaran, 24

Ramalingam Subramaniam, 26

Velmurugu Selvarajah, 20

Special deep penetration teams of the SLA regularly infiltrate the large hinterland in Batticaloa’s northern sector from the Sinhala majority district of Polannaruwa to interdict the LTTE’s mobility in these parts and to search and destroy the organisation’s supply and training camps.

On 2 April 2001 five civilians were abducted by a SLA deep penetration team near Kattumurivu Kulam in the same area.

Later on 25 April nine civilians, including three women who were engaged in Chena cultivation (slash and burn) were arrested in Kaaverikulam, which lies close to Kattumurivu Kulam and Mathurankerni Kulam.

The hinterlands of the Batticaloa district’s northern sector are large and are contiguous with the Polannaruwa district. The SLA regularly sends into this region special deep penetration teams to harass and assassinate senior members of the Liberation Tigers who run training and logistical bases here.

Several cases were reported last year by former MP for Batticaloa north, Mr. K. Thurairajasingham, in which many civilians had been abducted or killed by the deep penetration teams of the Sri Lanka army.

 

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