STF fire on demonstration - 5 killed, 15 wounded

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 October 2002, 18:06 GMT]
Five civilians were killed and fifteen were wounded when commandos of the Special Task Force, an elite wing of the Sri Lankan armed forces, opened fire on a public protest at Kanjirankudah, 84 kilometres south of Batticaloa, around 6.30 p.m. Wednesday. The shooting followed tension in Tamil areas in Sri Lanka’s southeastern coast after word spread that two members of the Liberation Tigers were severely assaulted by the STF and had been admitted to hospital.

The bodies of several civilians could not be recovered from the scene of the shooting until late, sources said.

The head of the LTTE’s political division for the Pottuvil area, Mr. M. Visuvanathan and a Tiger activist, Mr. Christy Rajah were travelling in a tractor when some commandos of the STF stopped them at the Kanjirankudah camp, which is by the main road on the island’s southeastern coast around 10.30 a.m. Wednesday morning. The commandos had started assaulting the driver and Mr. Rajah when they had got down from the tractor to find out why they had been stopped.

Mr. Visuvanathan had then intervened and informed the STF personnel who were assaulting them that he was an LTTE official and that they were transporting some material for constructing a memorial.

The STF commandos told him that they knew he was from the LTTE and that is why they were assaulting the driver and Mr. Rajah, according to Mr. Visuvanathan . Thereafter they had severely beaten him up too with the handle of a mammoty.

The two LTTE members were seriously injured in the STF assault and had to be admitted to the Thirukkovil hospital for treatment.

Tensions ran high in the Tamil villages of the Ampara district as word spread that the STF had assaulted LTTE activists. Protests erupted in many places while shops and government offices were closed early.

Later in the day about five hundred people from the village of Vinayagapuram went in a procession to demonstrate in front of the Kanjirankudah STF camp against the assault.

Tensions were further exacerbated in the Vinayagapuram area because the STF at Kanjirankudah was perceived as the main perpetrators of the total ban on cultivation here last year. Thousands of farmers faced ruin when the STF barred them from entering the rice-producing region south of Kanjirankudah after they had ploughed and sown their fields.

A stand off developed between the people from Vinayagapuram and the STF during the demonstration in front of the camp.

Sources said that STF commandos had then opened fire on the crowd, killing five and wounding fifteen. Reports from the area earlier in the evening said that the bodies of two civilians who were shot dead were lying near the camp.

 

Latest 15 Reports
19.10.19 23:31  
Pentagon steps up maritime defence trade with India, UK seeks IOR opportunities
18.10.19 23:43   Photo
Monk backing Gotabhaya wants Tamil owners to stay away from their lands in interior Batticaloa
17.10.19 19:14   Photo
SL Police resorts to violence in grabbing lands of Tamil fishers in Batticaloa North
16.10.19 23:19   Photo
Chennai Connect and Eezham Tamils reminding Tamil Nadu to assert Tamil geopolitics
15.10.19 23:50  
Colombo destroys dairy-farming economy of Eezham Tamils in Batticaloa
14.10.19 23:48   Photo
Tamil parties in North-East stipulate ‘acid test’ terms to SL presidential candidates
13.10.19 22:15   Photo
SL Governor's latest land grab poses danger to archaeological traces of Eezham Tamils
12.10.19 22:23   Photo
Monks step up campaign against Muslims, want to carve out Sinhala colony in Ampaa'rai
11.10.19 22:07   Photo
Vote for Self-Determination, reject major candidates for more effective boycott
10.10.19 23:31   Photo
SL Police intensifies restrictions on Saiva devotees at disputed ‘chaitya’ hilltop in East
09.10.19 20:17  
Indian Coast Guard trespassed into waters off Jaffna, 18 fishers detained since 03 October
08.10.19 18:43  
Divisional Secretary, TNA MPs must act to release Chegnchoalai lands: civil activist
07.10.19 23:12   Photo
Heinous act by HRCSL: former orphans of Chegnchoalai on the brink of losing lands
06.10.19 12:21  
EPDP joins Jaffna protest against desecration of Neeraaviyadi temple
05.10.19 22:06  
Families inheriting lands from parents refused of land registration in Moothoor East
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=7610