Amnesty USA urges action on Sri Lanka disappearances

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 July 2003, 21:03 GMT]
Amnesty International USA, through its Human Rights Action Center, urges the Sri Lanka government to "Prosecute Security Forces Responsible for 'Disappearances' and calls on the public worldwide to write to the President and Prime Mininster of Sri Lanka citing several cases of Tamils who disappeared during 1996-1997 occupation of Jaffna by the Sri Lanka security forces.

The following are exerpts from the sample letter the Amnesty recommends public to include as examples of crimes committed by the Sri Lanka security forces.

"At about 5:30 P.M. on September 9, 1990, armed soldiers in uniform and some in civilian dress, all from the Boys Town army camp, arrested over 160 Tamil villagers from Saturukondan and three other villages in Batticaloa District. The majority of those taken were older people and children. Among the 68 children taken were Natkunasingam Sivathisini, a three-year-old girl, and Venuraj, her four-year-old brother. The Sri Lankan government denies any knowledge of any of these villagers; they remain "disappeared" to this date.

"The following seven young Tamil men from Jaffna district were all detained by the Sri Lankan Army on July 19, 1996 and remain "disappeared" to this date:

Amnesty photos
Ketheeswaran Kathiravetpillai, 31 years old, from Kalavanam, Chunnakam East, Chunnakam, was arrested at Maravanpulo.
Amnesty photos
Jesuthas Stalin Jeeva, 22 years old, from Navatkuli East, Thatchanthoppu, was arrested at St. Anthony's Church in Navatkuli.
Amnesty photos
Ravindran Ponnan, a 28-year-old driver from Kaithady South, Kaithady, was arrested at Maravanpulavu
Amnesty photos
Paramanathan Thaveswaran, a 21-year-old welder from Koyilakandy, Kaithady, was arrested during a cordon and search operation.

Amnesty photos
Kannathasan Ponnambalam, a 21-year-old carpenter from Thatchanthoppu, was arrested at Navatkuli.
Amnesty photos
Pusparasa Kanthaiya, a 28-year-old carpenter from Navatkuli East, Kaithady, was arrested at Koyilakandy during a cordon and search operation.
Amnesty photos
Sinnathamby Thiruvarudchchelvam, 21 years old, from Koyilakandy, Kaithady, was arrested at Kaithady.

"Mary Gorretty Mariathas, an 18-year-old student from 396 Hospital Road, Jaffna, "disappeared" after being arrested during a cordon and seach operation on August 16, 1996. She was taken into custody at Arul Ashram, Temple Road, Jaffna at around 10:00 A.M. that day, along with five other persons. There were two witnesses to her arrest. She remains "disappeared" to this day.

Amnesty photos
"Constantin Mary Sounthie, a housewife from 15/3 David road, Jaffna, was "disappeared" after being arrested at 9.45 P.M on August 8, 1996, reportedly by Army personnel from the Guru Nagar camp."

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