2ND LEAD (CORRECTION)

Kokkaddichchoalai massacre of 65 Tamil civilians remembered

[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 January 2011, 12:13 GMT]
The twenty fourth annual remembrance of Kokkaddichchoalai massacre was held Friday in Batticaloa. The Sri Lanka Army, which is almost all Sinhalese, killed 65 Tamil civilians in a prawn farm located about 10 km off west of Batticaloa city on 28 January 1987. The SLA burnt down the farm and huts where Tamil laborers were staying.

A former president, late S. Premadasa, appointed a Presidential Commission to inquire into the massacre on a request made by the then Batticaloa district parliamentarian late Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, who was assassinated later in 2005.

Premadasa-appointed PC held its inquiry in to the massacre at Batticaloa Air Force base in Valaiyi'ravu for ‘security reasons’.

Relatives of several victims gave evidence at the inquiry.

The Presidential Commission in its findings reported to the government that the killing was carried out by the soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army.

But the government instead of punishing the soldiers involved in the crime had given promotions to them and transferred them to various stations in the island.

The appointment of presidential commissions to inquire into crimes and massacres of Tamil civilians carried by the state security forces has been introduced in the country since the then President J.R.Jayawardene as a ploy to divert the attention of the international community and local pressure.

Several presidential commissions including one to inquire into Kokkaddichchoalai massacre of 65 Tamils civilians were appointed and later dead without any result. Now the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) which is to conclude is also being viewed as one of these by the civil society sources in Batticaloa.


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