Vankalaipadu SLN commander gives evidence in Pesalai killings

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 July 2006, 13:32 GMT]
Mannar Additional Magistrate Mr.T.J.Pirapaharan Friday ordered the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of Talaimannar Police to record the statement of the Commanding Officer of the Sunny Village Naval Detachment and to produce Lieutenant Commander Rohana Dissanayake of Sunny Village SLN camp on the next date of inquiry. The Additional Magistrate made the above directive at the conclusion of the evidence of Lieutenant Dissanayake Santhana Lakshman Dissanayake, commanding officer of Vankalaipadu Navy camp, legal sources said.

The magisterial inquest proceedings into the killing of an old woman inside the Church of Our Lady of Victory in Pesalai and five fishermen on seashore on June 17 commenced Friday morning in Mannar Magistrate Court, legal sources said. Independent reports have widely accused Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) soldiers of the crime. About forty civilians who sought refuge in the church also sustained injuries in the attack.

Talaimannar Police OIC and Chief Inspector Mr.H.M.Jayatilake led the evidence at the inquest. Lieutenant Dissanayake Santhana Lakshman Dissanayake, commanding officer of Vankalaipadu Navy camp said in his evidence that Lieutenant Commander Rohana Dissanayake of Sunny Village SLN camp had visited the witness on June 17 in the Vankalaipadu naval camp. Thereafter the acting Magistrate instructed the Talaimannar Police OIC to submit a report including the names of four SLN soldiers of the Sunny Village naval camp who visited the Vankalaipadu naval camp accompanying Lieutenant Commander Rohana Dissanayake. The court further directed the Talaimannar Police OIC to produce the numbers of the motorbikes used by naval personnel and the name of the naval officer in charge of the vehicles on the next date of inquiry, legal sources said.

The court further instructed the Talaimannar Police OIC to submit another report containing details of motor bikes and other vehicles used by the Vankalaipadu navy camp on the particular date. Talaimannar Police was instructed to furnish the names of SLN soldiers who used those vehicles on the date of violence, legal sources said.

Further inquiry into the inquest proceedings was put off for July 13.

Counsels K.S.Ratnavel, E.Guyas Beldano and B.Denislaran appeared for the aggrieved parties, legal sources said.

Security was tightened around the Mannar Magistrate court building, sources said.

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