2ND LEAD (Update)

Tamil man murdered in Polonnaruwa, Sinhala farmers exploit poverty-stricken Tamils

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 25 July 2018, 19:24 GMT]
A Sinhala farmer at Welikanda of the Polonnaruwa district in the North Central Province has allegedly beaten to death a Tamil houseworker, who hailed from Vaazhaich-cheanai of Batticaloa district in the Eastern Province. The Sinhala authorities in Polonnaruwa have managed to suppress the news of the brutal incident from the focus of the Tamil politicians, the journalists and the rights activists for almost three months. This week, the Mathivathy, the wife of the 35-year-old victim, Pathmanathan Muruguppillai, revealed the details to Tamil rights activists in Batticaloa. Pathmanathan was a father of three. After the time of the LTTE, the poverty-stricken sections of Tamils in Batticaloa are being treated much worse than second-class citizens as there is nobody to defend their interests, the rights activists who are looking into the case since Tuesday, told TamilNet on Wednesday.

Pathamanathan, a poverty-stricken Tamil from Murugkan-koayil Road in Chungkaan-kea'ni village, located 30 km north of Batticaloa city in the Koa'ra'laip-pattu (Vaazhaich-cheanai) division, was a houseworker at Welikanda, which is situated 34 km southwest of his village in the neighbouring Polonnaruwa district.

A Sinhala farmer, known as ‘Kalu Mahaththaya’ employed him for eight years. Pathmanathan's work was to take care of Kalu Mahaththaya's cattle. He comes home only to bring his earnings and to see his family. His wife also uses to visit him occasionally.

On 20th of April, Kalu Mahaththaya's neighbour, known as ‘Rubber Mahaththaya’, came in a motorbike and picked Pathmanathan up where he was residing, according to a relative of Pathmanathan,l who was also employed in the same area.

Rubber Mahaththaya had a cricket bat with him. He complained that Kalu Maththaya's cattle had entered his farmland and destroyed the vegetation. He took Pathmanathan in his motorbike to Welikanda.

Next day, Pathmanathan's wife got a message from the relative, who was asking Mathivathy to come and check the whereabouts of her missing husband.

When Mahivathy went there and inquired Kalu Mahaththaya and started to search for her husband, they came across a suspicious locality in the farmland of Rubber Mahaththaya, where the body of the slain houseworker was found dumped.

SL Police from Welikanda sent the body to Polonnaruwa Hospital for a medical post-mortem to determine the cause of death on the next day. A day later, the SL Police handed over Pathmanathan's body to Mathivathy with the condition that she should not be opening the casket.

Although the SL Police filed a case at the Circuit Court of Mannampitiya, there was no progress. Mathivathy has no idea of the findings of the autopsy.


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