Bodies of returning refugees washed ashore off Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 September 2008, 19:13 GMT]
Seven corpses, including two children, a male and four females had been washed ashore in the last couple of days in the islets of Jaffna. One of four female corpses washed ashore was identified by the victim's brother Thursday as one of the refugees returning from Tamil Nadu, India, triggering fears of boats capsizing in the Palk Strait. People wonder at the circumstances leading to the risky return of refugees from Tamil Nadu at this juncture of war, report sources in Jaffna.

Red coloured talisman threads, given as blessing to devotees in temples, were found tied around the wrists of all the seven corpses.Corpses of two small children were washed ashore within the last 24 hours in the islets of Nedunththeevu while a male corpse was found washed ashore in Pungkudutheevu on Wednesday. The female victim was identified as Poomani Navarathinam, 68, a resident of Chuthumalai, Maanippaay in Valikaamam. Poomani's relatives in Tamil Nadu had notified her brother Theiventhiram in Jaffna of her departure from Tamil Nadu. Mr. Theiventhiram was able to identify his sister from an old scar on her hand and her teeth though the corpse was in a highly decomposed state. Oorkaavattu'rai (Kayts) Magistrate directed the police to hand over Poomani's body to her brother. The corpses other than the one identified may be persons from Mannaar or other districts of Sri Lanka, the police said. The corpses are kept in Jaffna Teaching Hospital mortuary.


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