"Restrain armed forces from killing civilians," TNA urges Rajapakse

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 August 2006, 11:26 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Friday wrote to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse urging him to restrain the Sri Lanka armed forces from killing innocent Tamil civilians, and to ensure proper action is taken against those responsible for such crimes.

The letter sent by Mr.R.Sampanthan, parliamentary group leader of the TNA to Mr. Rajapakse on the killing of 17 Aid workers in Muthur follows:

Seventeen Tamil speaking persons, 16 Tamils and one Muslim (13 males and four females), have been shot and killed by the armed forces at Muthur on Friday August4th. 16 of them are youth, one is an elderly person.

The LTTE withdrew from Muthur area on the midnight of Thursday August 3rd.

The Armed forces entered the Muthur area on Friday the 4th morning. The massacre took place at the hands of the Armed forces on the morning of Friday the 4th.

These Tamil speaking persons worked with an International Non-Governmental Organization "Action Contre la Faim" which functioned in the Trincomalee district. The organization was in touch with them by Radio contact regularly on Tuesday the 1st, Wednesday the 2nd, Thursday the 3rd and until 7 a.m on Friday the 4th. After that the youth could not be contacted. They had been shot and killed. The Post Mortem Reports reveal that all 17 persons were killed consequent to gun shot injuries.

These persons normally returned to Trincomalee every evening from Muthur. They could not do so on this visit, in view of the heavy artillery shelling and the confrontation between the Armed Forces and the LTTE.

These persons were all unarmed Tamil civilians engaged in legitimate duties.

You will not deny that this yet another instance of naked state terrorism, as in the case of murder of 5 Tamil students at Trincomalee in January.

These persons hail from families in Trincomalee.

You cannot be unaware that Tamil speaking youth are discriminated against in the matter of employment in the public services. Though the Tamil speaking people are around 25% of the population, and adequately qualified, they do not have even 10% employment in public services. Non-governmental organizations working in the North-East provide them with some measure of employment and succour.

You are aware that there are forces in this country that are against international non-governmental organizations working in the North East. Was this an attack both against the Tamil speaking youth and also the non-governmental organizations? Was this meant to prevent the Tamil people from receiving the assistance of non-governmental organizations?

These are matters of grave concern.

Though bullets were recovered from the bodies of the students killed in January, and though proper investigations could have resulted in the recovery of the guns from which those bullets were fired and thence to the identity of the assailant-the investigations have been deliberately botched so as to cover up the crime, though both you and the Inspector General of Police assured me that the investigations will be properly carried out and the assailants brought to justice.

When reputed journalist D.Sivaram was murdered, I urged that there should be impartial international involvement in the investigation. That was not accepted. There is no doubt that the present proceedings will end in a fiasco, primarily due to lack of proper investigations.

We have to urge that there be competent impartial international participation in the investigations pertaining to this heinous crime relating to seventeen Tamil speaking persons.

I consider it my duty to bring this massacre to your notice, as we fear that the killings of Tamil speaking people particularly Tamil civilians will continue. We urge you to restrain the Armed Forces from killing innocent Tamil civilians, and ensure that peoper action is taken against those responsible for this crime.


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