Veeramunai tense after killings
[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Veeramunai, a Tamil village about 35 kilometers south of Batticaloa, in the Ampara district, is reported to be tense today following the retaliatory killing of two youths last night by armed persons alleged to be Muslim home guards.
The Sri Lankan Police in Sammanthurai, the Muslim town adjacent to Veeramunai, claim that two Muslim home guards assigned to protect a transformer in the area were attacked around 9.45 p.m. last night by the Liberation Tigers.
One home guard was killed while the other had taken to his heels, according to Police sources. The LTTE had removed a T-56 automatic and 9 cases of ammunition.
An hour later, according to residents of Veeramunai, a group of armed persons, alleged to be colleagues of the dead homeguard, had stormed a Tamil house near the Sammanthurai-Veeramunai border and had killed two youths who were there.
The dead youths have been identified as Rasaiah Ananthan, 20 and K. Navaneethan 19. Both are related, said sources in Veeramunai.
The bodies of the two boys are yet to be released from the Akkaraippattu hospital (about 25 kilometers further southeast).
But the funeral of the homeguard has created a tense atmosphere say sources. Several residents of Veeramunai have sought temporary safety in Karaithivu they said.
Veeramunai has been severely affected in the past by anti-Tamil violence instigated by Muslim homeguards and militant jihad groups in Sammanthurai.
The growing town of Sammanthurai was a large predominantly Tamil village thirty years ago. Most of the paddy lands in the area were in the hands of Tamil landlords called 'Podiyar'.