Anti-Tamil pogroms and killings
15 December 1955 Ceylon is admitted to the United Nations, after a 7-year wait, along with 15 other nations.
5th June 1956 On 5th June 1956, the date the 'Sinhala Only' Bill was introduced by (Prime Minister) Bandaranaike in the House (of Parliament), as an act of protest, Chelvanayakam, the leader of the Federal Party, led a party of 300 Tamil volunteers and staged a sit down Satyagraha (peaceful protest) of the kind popularised by Mahatma Gandhi in the days of the Indian freedom struggle.
06 June 1956 The “Sinhala only” official language Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Prime Minister Bandaranaike. At Galle Face Green overlooking the Parliament building, over 200 Tamil volunteers led by 12 Tamil Members of Parliament were staging a non-violent protest (Satyagraha) was attacked by a Sinhalese mob and stoned and assaulted non-violence demonstrators.
Rioting spreads in the city with Tamils being manhandled in buses, trains and on the streets. Among the victims were two Tamil lawyers, A.C.Nadaraja and S.Sharvananda (later Chief Juseice of Sri Lanka –1986). They are pulled out of the car in which they were travelling and attacked by a mob. Indian Tamil shops are attacked and looted. More serious disturbances occur in the Eastern Province, in Batticaloa, Trincomalee and in Gal Oya valley, where a large number of deaths are reported. In 10 days of sporadic rioting, an estimated 150 persons are killed, the majority of the victims being Tamils. This marks the beginning of the phase in the island’s history when Tamils are subject to physical violence.
22 May 1958 Anti-Tamil riots break out in the island's history.
At Vavuniya (160 miles north of Colombo), murders four of them, assaults and robs the rest. in Polonnaruwa and Hingurakgoda, where Tamils are cut down with home-made swords, grass-cutting knives or clubbed to death or burnt alive. Nearly a 100 believed killed in Polonnaruwa alone on the night of 25 May. Riots spread to all parts of the island. 28 May At Panadura, south of Colombo, a mob attacks a Hindu Sivan Temple, pulls out the officiating Brahmin priest, pours petrol on him, and burns him alive. Elsewhere in Colombo, the rioting gets worse.
The government requisitions five British ships and a French ship to take 9,426 Tamil refugees from Colombo to Jaffna, out of an estimated 12,000 men, women and children herded in temporary refugee camps. The operation, directed by the Ceylon Navy, is carried out in two stages during the nights of June 2-3 and 5-6, under conditions of complete secrecy.
25 May 1958 On the night of May 25, 1958, one of the most heinous crimes in the history of Ceylon was carried out. Almost simultaneously, on the Government farms at Polonnaruwa and Hingurakgoda, the thugs struck remorselessly. The Tamil labourers In the Polonnaruwa sugar-cane plantation fled when they saw the enemy approaching and hid In the sugar-cane bushes. The goondas wasted no time. They set the sugar cane alight and flushed out the Tamils. As they came out screaming, men, women and children were cut down with home-made swards, grass cutting knives and katties, or pulped under heavy clubs.
20 February 1961 The Satyagraha proper is limited to approved volunteers of the Federal Party who are strictly forbidden from any form of violence either by deed or word, even under grave provocation; but the tremendous enthusiasm generated by this resistance movement among all sections of the people, gives the impression of a popular uprising, resulting in an initial sharp reaction from the government. On the morning of the 20th at 7.30 am, when around 200 volunteers led by Federal Party leader S J V Chelvanayakam, squat opposite all entrances to the Jaffna Kachcheri (the provincial secretariat), a huge crowd gathers filling the streets, pavements and all approaches.
A bomb and stones are thrown at the Satyagrahis in front of the Jaffna Kachcheri causing severe injuries to them.
April 18, The special train carrying the soldiers arrives in Jaffna at 2.30 am, and the troops are promptly moved into the sprawling secretariat grounds through the rear, while about 200 Satyagrahis, nearly 90 of them women, unaware of developments, tired from the day’s fasting and prayers in the hot sun, are yet squatting or stretched out at the Kachcheri entrances. Some of them are in deep slumber. While usually there are thousands of supporters fringing the Satyagrahis during the day, there are hardly any at that hour of the night.
The crackdown begins. Some police officers emerge first, approach two MPs A Amirthalingam and V Dharmalingam, who had been keeping watch, and inform them that they had been instructed to take them into custody under the Emergency Regulations. The MPs submit without protest and Mrs Amirthalingam is also taken into custody. Thereafter, an estimated 500 army men, some of them carrying rifles, swoop on the passive Satyagrahis, attack them with rifle butts, belts and clubs. The sleeping volunteers wake up groaning and writhing in pain. They are trampled with boots, kicked, and dragged away from the entrances. Proctor S Nadarajah, one of the joint secretaries of the Federal Party sustains head and shoulder injuries, his clothes drenched in blood. Another Congress MP for Udupiddy, M Sivasithamparam who, fearing assault on the women Satyagrahis, stands with his arms stretched out and is himself attacked and sustains injuries on his face, shoulders and arms. The soldiers go berserk and attack everything on sight. They pull down the Federal Party “Post office” structure, smash up cars and bicycles parked in the vicinity, ripping tyres with the bayonets, and ramming the windscreens.
Although all news from the Northern and Eastern provinces are strictly censored, government statements allege that resistance continued in these province and that it sometimes took violent forms, whereas in fact strict non-violence is observed by the Tamils before the proclamation of the Emergency.
31 May – 4 June 1981 Sinhalese police and army go on the rampage burning parts of the city of Jaffna. Hundreds of shops are reduced to ashes and the Jaffna market square is set on flame. They burn the party office of the Tamil United Liberation Front and the house of the Jaffna MP V Yogeswaran. On 1 June, the police and army assault civilians on the road. They burn the Jaffna public library with its 90,000 volumes and rare documents, and irreplaceable manuscripts on the history and culture of the Tamils. They also burn the press of Eelanadu, which is the only Tamil daily in the Tamil areas. On 2 June, the army and police continue to burn shops in many areas in the peninsula. On the same day, after Emergency is declared and curfew is imposed in Jaffna, the army kill two persons. On 3 and 4 June, the army kill five persons including one in the office of the MP for Nallur. On the 4 June, four Members of Parliament are arrested “for no apparent reasonSinhalese police and army go on the rampage burning parts of the city of Jaffna. Hundreds of shops are reduced to ashes and the Jaffna market square is set on flame. They burn the party office of the Tamil United Liberation Front and the house of the Jaffna MP V Yogeswaran. On 1 June, the police and army assault civilians on the road. They burn the Jaffna public library with its 90,000 volumes and rare documents, and irreplaceable manuscripts on the history and culture of the Tamils. They also burn the press of Eelanadu, which is the only Tamil daily in the Tamil areas. On 2 June, the army and police continue to burn shops in many areas in the peninsula. On the same day, after Emergency is declared and curfew is imposed in Jaffna, the army kill two persons. On 3 and 4 June, the army kill five persons including one in the office of the MP for Nallur. On the 4 June, four Members of Parliament are arrested “for no apparent reason ” and later released. Several other Tamils are also arrested.
10-14 August Violence spreads to the entire country from 10 August and the Tamils become victims of mass murder, assaults, hacking, burning, looting and raping and other forms of genocidal attacks. In Amparai many houses belonging to the Tamils are burned by Sinhalese mobs assisted by the security forces. A large number of shops are also burned and 500 Tamils are made refugees. Violence is particularly directed against the plantation workers. Thugs attack 43 estates in the Ratnapura area. The line rooms are looted and burnt and thousands of Plantation Tamils become refugees. Many Tamils are also killed in the violence and over 40,000 Tamils are made refugees. On 14 August, President Jayewardene admits that the violence in the Ratnapura area has been an organised one. A joint statement issued by the Movement for Inter-Racial Justice and Equality (MIRJE), signed by opposition parties, trade unions and civil rights organisations, states: “There is good reason to suspect that persons in powerful positions have been behind the instigation, organisation and planning of this campaign of violence.”
23 July 1983 Anti-Tamil riots and massacres take place in Colombo and other Sinhalese areas. The world witnesses the worst violence against the Tamils in Sri Lankan history, which had been planned and executed by elements within the government. Enormous damage is caused to Tamil-owned property. The cost of reconstruction is estimated at Rs. 133 million. But this is quite apart from the cost of human lives and the untold suffering caused in purely human terms for many people who are innocent men, women and children.
Tamils in the South flee to their homeland in the North. Over 3,000 Tamils are killed. Many are burnt alive. Over 150,000 become refugees. Hundreds of Tamils flee to neighbouring India and the West. The Indian government speaks out in support of the Tamils.
27-28 July WELIKADE PRISON MASSACRE: Sinhalese prisoners murder 53 Tamil political prisoners in Welikade prison, a maximum-security prison in Colombo with the connivance of the Sinhalese prison guards. The magisterial enquiry conducted immediately after the massacre returns a verdict of homicide. However, no person responsible for the killings is identified and the case is closed. The government rejects demands by international human rights organisations to hold independent judicial investigations into the prison massacres. It is suspected that the massacres were ordered by National Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali.
02 December 1984 Cheddikulam massacres - 27 Tamils killedOn 2nd December, members of the security forces randomly killed at least 27 Tamils in the area of Cheddikulam and Chemamadu in the Vanni area.
August 1984 More than 400 Tamil civilians were arbitrarily killed or extrajudicially executed by members of the security forces. Throughout August, several people are killed or injured by Sri Lankan navy shelling of coastal towns in Polikandy, Point Pedro and Valvettiturai in the Jaffna peninsula; attacks also wipe out whole settlements and leave thousands of Tamil refugees.
11 August Sixteen Tamils are killed when six men wearing khaki trousers armed with sub-machine guns stop a private coach on the route between Colombo and Jaffna, and call out all male passengers, lining them up and shoot them.
2 December MASSACRE AT OTHIYAMALAI: In retaliation to the raid by the LTTE on Sinhalese settlers in Kent and Dollar Farms, army personnel go to Othiyamalai, a village near these farms, take away 27 Tamils from their homes at dawn, all males, to the village community centre and shoot them dead with their hands tied behind. Five others, all around 50 years of age, are put on the trailor of a tractor [No. 25 SRI 6511] and taken to the Kent Farm and shot dead.
VAVUNIYA ARMY CAMP MASSACRE: A statement by the Ministry of National Security claims that there was an attack on the Vavuniya army camp and that 40 detainees were killed by the army in the course of an escape attempt. This version is doubted in the light of evidence that a group of soldiers collected 11 men from their living quarters, who were employees of the Irrigation Department and another 18 more from the village of Chemamadu near Vavuniya in their army vehicles. The people taken have disappeared. In response to inquiries made by the Deputy Director of irrigation and the Government Agent of Vavuniya, the Co-ordinating Officer of the armed forces of Vavuniya says that none from the army had gone to Chemamadu or the Irrigation Department quarters nor had anyone from there been arrested. It is suspected that the people taken away by the army were shot dead within the army camp.
Members of the security forces randomly kill at least 27 Tamils in the area of Cheddikulam and Chemamadu in the Vanni area in retaliation for massacres committed by Tamil Tigers on Kent and Dollar Farms. In another incident, around 100 Tamils are arrested by the army in the surrounding villages and killed in the Iratperiyakulam Army Camp near Vavuniya.
4 December MANNAR MASSACRE: A soldier dies when a landmine explodes near Murunkan in the Mannar District. The security forces retaliate and massacre 106 Tamil civilians.
31 December During the whole year, 10,600 Tamils are taken into custody. Widespread torture is used by the army and the police Special Task Force (STF) resulting in several deaths in custody.
29 April 1985 Ariyalai massacre: more than 60 people killed. On the 29th April 1985, the Army personnel attached to Navatkuli camp entered the village of Ariyalai about 3 kilometres from Jaffna city and rampaged the whole village. In this mad frenzy of military terror, more than 60 people including women and children were senselessly slaughtered. Hundreds of houses were set ablaze.
12-14 April 1985 Muslims attack Tamils in Karaitivu in the Batticaloa District with the help of Special Task Force (STF). The STF provides fire-power to demolish houses and property. Nearly 3,000 Muslim youths are alleged to have participated in the attack. Participation of the Israeli intelligence services to drive a wedge between the Tamil and Muslim communities is alleged.
9 May 1985 VALVETTITURAI MASSACRE: The security forces take around 75 persons from the villages of Udupiddy, Polikandy and Valvettiturai and kill them in two places near Valvettiturai Hospital, in retaliation for the killing of an Army Major by Tamil guerrillas. In one incident, at a bathing ghat, 12 young men are lined, their hands tied behind their backs and shot at point blank range. In another incident, young men, with their hands tied, are herded into a community centre at Urani and the building is blown up with explosives, killing everyone instantly. Although the government promises to investigate into these killings, there is no information as to whether an investigation has taken place, and if so, the outcome.
15 May 1985 KUMUDINI BOAT MASSACRE: Fourty-eight Tamil passengers including women and children on a ferry boat from Delft to Nainativu, two islands off the western coast of Jaffna peninsula, are killed by Navy personnel.
15 May 1985 Sri Lankan Navy personnel attacked a ferry carrying tamil passengers from Delft to kurikadduvan and massacred about 46 people. It was savage and ruthless massacre. The Navy men used axes, swords, knives and crowbars and hacked to death all passengers including all women and children.
16-18 May THAMBILUVIL MASSACRE: Sixty three young Tamils, in the age group of 18-25, are arrested and massacred in the Batticaloa area between 16 and 18 May 1985, some of them after being tortured. Among these, four young Tamils are forced from the village of Ilupadichchenai by the Special Task Force (STF) personnel, beaten and taken to Koduwamadu and shot dead. On 17 May, twenty three young men are taken by STF personnel from the village of Natpiddimunai and others from nearby villages in six jeeps and a lorry to a lonely beach about 400 yards north of a cemetry in Kalmunai. They are ordered to dig separate graves and asked to line up in front of them and shot dead. Acid is poured over the faces of the bodies to make identification difficult. On 18 May, STF personnel return to the beach dig up the bodies and transport them to Punanai where they are cremated in secrecy. The Daily Telegraph of London publishes a detailed report on 25 May 1985 on this incident. The government denies the incident and brings charges against the chairman of the Kalmunai Citizen’s Committee, Nallainayagam, who had taken the complaints to the local police, alleging he spread false rumours. He is acquitted of all charges by the High Court of Colombo in July 1986, but government officials repeatedly deny the incident despite evidence to the contrary.
17 May 1985 60 young Tamils were killed in Thambiluvil. On 17th May, an estimated 60 young Tamils were killed in Thambiluvil by members of the Special Task Forces!
31 May1985 37 Tamil youths killed. On 31 May, 37 young Tamil men were taken into custody and shot dead after security forces went on a rampage in Thanganagar, Kiliveddy in Trincomalee in the course of which they looted and set fire to all the properties.
31 May KILIVEDDY MASSACRE: Thirty seven young Tamil men are taken into custody and shot dead after a security force rampage in Thanganagar, Kiliveddy in Trincomalee in the course of which they loot and set fire to property.
8 July The security forces massacre Tamils in Vavuniya and Trincomalee while the Thimpu talks are in progress. The Tamil delegations withdraw from the negotiations.
16 August VAVUNIYA MASSACRE: Nearly 200 Tamil people are killed in an Army rampage in Vavuniya city in indiscriminate shooting, following a mis-timed landmine attack on Sri Lankan troops by the Tamil guerrillas.
16 August 1985 200 Tamil civilians killed. On 16th August, an estimated 200 Tamil people were killed when the Army went on the rampage in Vavuniya, looting and shooting indiscriminately. Several houses and shops were also burnt by the forces!
4-11 September MURUGAPURI MASSACRE: Home Guards with armed thugs go on rampage, looting houses and shops in the Murugapuri village in Trincomalee District on September 4 and 5 September. On 7, 8 and 9 September, the airforce indiscriminately straff the village while soldiers set shops and houses on fire, to force people on to the streets. Several people are reported killed in the air attack and others flee into jungles. On September 10, when people go to recover the dead bodies, armed Home Guards and thugs fire shots preventing them from removing the bodies.
16 September OPERATION NILAVELI: Fourty six Tamil refugees including women and children are killed in an operation by the security forces in which 12 armoured vehicles, 6 tanks, 2 helicopters and gunboats take part, allegedly against Tamil guerrillas. At the time of the operation, Nilaveli is full of Tamil refugees from other villages around Mullaitivu and Trincomalee, who had come seeking safety following violence by security forces, home guards and armed Sinhalese settlers. The 12-hour offensive results in several hotels, including Pilot, Rainbow and Varatharajah hotels, and several hundred houses being reduced to ashes. Independent reports subsequently suggest that the number of dead could be well over 150.
27October 1985 . On 27 November 1985, an unspecified number of Sri Lankan soldiers in the company of Home Guards (Sinhalese civilians armed by the Sri Lankan government) entered four adjoining villages in the Trincomalee district in a "search and destroy" operation and killed 22 Tamil civilians and burnt down 165 homes.
8-11 November MUTHUR MASSACRE: A four-day search and distroy operation in some villages at Muthur in the eastern Trincomalee District by the security forces ends with over 30 Tamils dead, 80 persons missing and hundreds of houses set ablaze. The State-owned Daily News of 11 November 1985 reports: “At least 33 terrorists were killed and 80 captured when the security forces raided four separatist hideouts in the Eastern Province in three days, a government spokesman said yesterday”.
13 November BATTICALOA LAKE ROAD MASSACRE: Five police commandos travelling in a jeep are injured in a Tamil guerrilla landmine attack on Lake Road in Batticaloa town. A group of police Commandos arrives at the scene within ten minutes of the incident and round-up civilians from the area, particularly those living along Suriya Lane and Angel Road. The arrested men are asked to run and the commandos shoot them dead. The members of the Ceasfire Monitoring Committee who are hearing evidence of ceasfire violations at Batticaloa town at the time of the incident visit the scene and hear the evidence. Nine persons are reported killed in the incident.
16 November BATTICALOA BAR ROAD MASSACRE: Four policemen die in a landmine explosion on Bar Road in Batticaloa town. A group of Police Special Task Force (STF) men visting the scene soon after the incident set fire to shops and houses including a timber depot and shoot dead nine civilians while others flee. In their evidence to the Ceasfire Monitoring Committee, the security services claim that the nine civilians died in ‘crossfire’ during a clash between the forces and Tamil guerrillas immediately after the explosion of the landmine.
27 November 1985 Sri Lankan security forces cordoned off the coastal village of Mandur in Batticaloa on 27 November 1985. The search operation, in which armour, helicopter gunships and an unspecified number of troops were used, left 24 Tamil fishermen shot dead and many more missing.
27 November MANDUR MASSACRE: In retaliation to the kidnapping of a Buddhist monk by the Tamil militants, a large number of security forces, using heavy aromoured vehicles and helicopter gunships, cordon off the coastal village of Mandur in Batticaloa District and leave 24 fishermen dead. Many more are feared missing. Nineteen bodies, washed ashore, are subsequently identified and cremated.
SAMPOOR MASSACRE: An unspecified number of soldiers in the company of Home Guards enter four adjoining villages, Kaddaiparichchan, Chemaiyur, Kadalkaraichenai and Sampur, in Trincomalee District in a ‘search and destroy’ operation, killing civilians and burning down houses. Many more are rounded-up and taken away by the soldiers. Some of the arrested persons are taken to the sea beach by the Navy personnel and shot dead at close range, having asked to sit on one side of the plastic boat carrying the soldiers to the Navy gun boat anchored at sea.
19 January 1986 IRUTHAYAPURAM MASSACRE: the Special Task Force in Iruthayapuram in Batticaloa District shoots dead 24 Tamil civilians during a search operation.
19 January 1986 Iruthayapuram Massacre: 24 Tamil civilians were killed. More than 24 Tamil civilians were killed by the Sri Lankan ruthless forces in the little, quite village, Iruthayapuram. This terror incident took in a respond to an attack carried out by Tamil militants to SL forces which killed two policemen!
KILINOCHCHI MASSACRE: Twelve Tamil civilians are shot dead and several others injured as soldiers indiscriminately fire at an estimated 75 passengers waiting to board a train at the Kilinochchi railway station in northern Sri Lanka.
19 February UDUMBANKULAM MASSACRE: Members of security forces enter paddy fields in Udumbankulam situated adjoining the village of Thangavelauthapuram at Thirukovil in the Easter Province at about 7 am on 19 February, some in camouflage uniform and others in blue uniform carrying weapons, and kill about 60 persons working in the fields.
19 February 1986 Udumpankulam massacre – 60 innocents killed. Sri Lankan police commandos rounded up as many as 60 Tamil farm workers from a paddy field at Udumpankulam and shot them dead.
Akkaraipattu Massacre: more than 90 Tamil civilians were killed!"Upto 80 people mainly Tamil farm workers are said to have been killed and their bodies burned in a massacre in eastern Sri Lanka. The killings happened on Wednesday (19 February 1986), but confirmation of the incident was made only yesterday after community leaders had visited the remote spot near the town of Akkaraipattu, where the farm workers were shot.
AMPARAI MASSACRE: Sixty Tamil farm workers are deliberately shot dead by members of the police, the army and the Home Guards who subsequently loot premises in a nearby village in the eastern Amparai District. The government claims that all the dead are terrorists and a Committee of Inquiry conducts an investigation but its report remains unpublished.
20 March Sixteen Tamil villagers are killed when troops carry out a cordon and search operation at Nedunkerny in Vavuniya District and burn houses, loot shops and shoot at people indiscriminately.
20 March 1986 . At least 16 Tamil civilians, including women and old-age pensioners were killed by troops in the morning of 20 March 1986 during a cordon and ‘search operation’ carried out by the Sri Lankan army in Eeddimurichchan at Nedunkerny, about 26 miles from Vavuniya.
19 May Airforce strikes indiscriminately into densely-populated areas in the Jaffna peninsula, resulting in damage to the 1110-bed Jaffna General Hospital. The strike on the hospital leaves a deep psychic scar on the people of Jaffna and make the hospital staff to take out a procession in Jaffna town to express their sense of outrage.
10 June 1986 . On 10 June 1986, about 31 Tamil fishermen, aged between 13 and 62 set out from Gurunagar, Jaffna at about 5am in a boat named "Thuya Oli" (Holy Light).
20 June 1986 . Thirty four Tamil refugees on a boat bound from Gurunagar, Jaffna to India were shot at by Sri Lankan Navy personnel at Nachchikudah, killing 32. Two people survived the massacre to and managed to swim to safety and relate their experience.
26 June 1986 . On 26 June 1986, a large number of Sri Lankan soldiers drove into Sambaltivu, a village in Trincomalee, to carry out a ‘search operation’, in the course of which at least fifteen Tamil civilians were killed.
28 June 1986 . Sri Lankan security forces personnel tied eight Tamil civilians and executed them in the course of a cordon and search operation in Paranthan on 28 June 1986.
28 June 1986 . The bodies of thirty four Tamil civilians, including a woman were found in the jungle near Thampalakamam in the Trincomalee district. The victims had apparently been abducted by Home Guards (Sinhalese civilians armed by the Sri Lankan government).
13 July 1986 On 13 July 1986, a group of Sri Lankan soldiers launched a cordon and search operation in Adampan, Mannar, in the course of which, many Tamil and (Tamil speaking) Muslim people were killed.
16 July 1986 . At least 44 Tamil civilians, mostly refugees, were deliberately shot and killed when members of the security forces entered the villages of Peruveli and Manalchenai in the Trincomalee district during the early hours of 16 July 1986.
11 November Several military operations against Tamils are carried out during the months of October and November. On 11 November, at least 20 people are killed and a further 21 disappear when security forces rampage through a village in the eastern Batticaloa District. Three Tamil women are raped and killed. More than 2,500 Tamils are held in detention and reports of torture are widespread.
11 November 1986 . At least 20 Tamil civilians were shot and killed and several houses and shops were set on fire when security forces went on a rampage on 11 November 1986 at Periya Pullumumalai, a village in the eastern Batticaloa district.
11 November 1986 20 tamil civilians were killed. On 11 November, 1986, at least 20 people were killed and a further 21 had gone missing when security forces went on a rampage in a village in the Eastern Batticaloa District, during the course of which three Tamil women were raped and killed.
. At least 20 Tamil civilians were shot and killed and several houses and shops were set on fire when security forces went on a rampage on 11 November 1986 at Periya Pullumumalai, a village in the eastern Batticaloa district.
27 January 1987 MAHILADITIVU MASSACRE: More than 80 civilians are shot dead by the police Special Task Force (STF) in Mahiladitivu, a village adjoining Kokkaddicholai in Batticaloa District. The dead bodies are hauled away in tractors and are never recovered.
28 January KOKKADDICHOLAI MASSACRE: Over 150 Tamil civilians are killed at Kokkaddicholai, during a military operation by members of the Special Task Force who attack with helicopter gunships and armoured cars.
28 January 1987 Kokkaddichcholai massacres: over 150 Tamil civilians killed. On January 28, 1987, over 15 0 Tamil civilians were killed at Kokkaddichcholai during a military operation by members of the Special Task Force who attacked with helicopter gunships and armoured cars. Several houses and other properties belong to the Tamils were also destroyed during this cowardly act.
27 May Sri Lankan helicopter-gunships and Avro aircraft bombers continue to pound Jaffna town with 55-kg bombs. Several buildings in the town are destroyed. Windsor and Lido cinemas are razed to the ground and the Jaffna General Hospital also suffers damage. But, Colombo admits that it is no cakewalk for troops through Vadamaratchi. Many soldiers and LTTE cadre die in the fighting.
6 June Within an hour of declaring curfew, bomber aircraft pound Valikamam. Neerveli Kandasamy temple is destroyed and 25 Tamils who have taken refuge in the temple are killed.
21 October 1987 21 October 1987. In the history of Tamils it will come to be regarded as a "dark day". Due to the military offensive started by the IPKF on the 10th day of October 87, many hospitals were not functioning, and there were no transport facilities. There was a tense situation prevailing as many innocent civilians had been either killed or wounded. Jaffna General Hospital was still functioning in midst of hardships.
02 August 1989 . On 2 August 1989, the so called Indian Peace Keeping Force deliberately killed over 50 Tamil civilians in Valvettiturai in the Jaffna Peninsula in a massacre that was later described as India's Mylai.
June 1990 Hundreds of Tamils 'Disappear' after detention by Sri Lanka Hundreds of people in northeastern Sri Lanka have reportedly 'disappeared' after being detained by Sri Lankan security forces since 21 June 1990. Bodies, some of which have been identified as those of prisoners, have been dumped in several places. In Kalmunai, over 70 people were reportedly detained and then 'disappeared' after the soldiers reclaimed the town from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam... Over 30 bodies were dumped in a burnt out shop in Kalmunai, including the body of 23 year old Chandrikumar, who had been earlier taken by the security forces.. In Vavuniya on the 13th or 14th June, government forces reportedly shot and killed defenceless civilians... about 15 bodies were found on the road... hundreds of thousands of people fled their homes as fighting intensified: in early August there were over 300,000 refugees in Jaffna District alone, and fears of food shortages".
01 July 1990 1 civilian killed 6 injured By aerial bombardment on a market in Chunnakkam, a woman was killed and six other civilians were injured.
09 July 1990 . The bodies of Tamil civilians were found dumped in public places in Batticaloa. In Batticaloa town, five bodies were recovered on July 6, and ten more on July 14. Four bodies were found in Kaluvanchikudiyiruppu on July 9.
09 August 1990 16 Tamil civilians were killed in Kovilkulam. Sri Lankan army shot and killed at least 16 Tamil civilians at a place called 9th mile post, Mamadu, Kovilkulam.
Another 8 Tamil Civilians killed by aerial bombardment near mainrailway station in Jaffna.
15 August 1990 90 Tamil civilians were killed in Senkallady. More than 90 Tamil civilians were shot and hacked to death by Muslim homeguards supported by Sri Lankan army. The people were at their homes while the muslim thugs went into this village and massacred them. There were several children and women among the dead.
18 August 1990 20 Tamil civilians were killed in Sorikalmunai. 20 Tamil civilians were killed in this village by Muslim home guards. Tem of them were shot and killed. Another ten were children below the age of 5 months killed in a brutal manner. Their heads were smashed to a Temple wall. These killings were carried out by Muslim homeguards.
91 Tamil civilians were massacred in Veeramunai. Sinhala homeguards supported by the Sri lankan soldiers entered into this village and massacred 91 Tamil civilians, which includes several children under the age of 15 and women. More than 125 people were injured in this brutual incident.
21 August 1990 25 Tamil civilians were killed in Jaffna peninsula. About 25 Tamil civilians were killed when the Sri Lankan airforce flights bombed the area. Several buildings and other properties were badly damaged.
10 September 1990 in Saththurunkondan. On 10 September 1990, over 180 Tamil civilians were butchered by the Sri Lanka army at the Saththurukondan Army Camp in the Batticaloa District. At an inquiry into the massacre, the Officer-in-Charge of the camp, Captain. Gamini Varnakula Sooriya said "On that day no search or arrest was conducted by us". He also reiterated that none of his men even ventured out of the camp on the day of the massacre. The sole survivor of the massacre, Kanthasamy Krishnakumar aged 27, however recounted the chilling facts:
21 September 1990 25 Tamil civilians arrested by special Task Forces disappeared 25 Tamil civilians arrested by special Task Force personnel disappeared without any trace in Karaitheevu.
09 October 1990 10 Tamil civilians were killed in Chavakachcheri, Jaffna. At around 2:30 pm one helicopter fired rockets on the Chavakechcheri market. The dead of 4 included 3 women. Another at least 17 civilians have been injured.
30 October 1990 30 tamil civilians were killed in Kallady etal, Batticoloa. In the villages, Kallady, Aryampathy, Thalankuda, Kirankulam, Puthikutiyiruppu, Army and Muslim homeguards rounded up the villages and took the Tamil men to Arayampathy army camp. The men were tortured and brutally murdered. Their bodies were burnt with the tires put over them.
1990-1994????? Several thousand Tamils, predominantly civilians, are killed after the resumption of the conflict in the north and east in June 1990. Huge numbers of disappearances, exceeding 10,000 cases, are reported and evidenced by burned and mutilated bodies dumped in rivers or lakes or disposed of otherwise. Extra-judicial executions and arbitrary killings as well as deaths resulting from systematic torture occur on a large scale and form an integral part of the anti-insurgency operations of the security forces. A large number of Tamils, particularly young males, are arbitrarily arrested, held in prolonged incommunicado detention and subjected to torture. Numerous cases of rape are reported, among them gang rape by groups of soldiers. The constant deterioration of the situation in terms of personal safety, compounded by the hardships caused by the economic blockade imposed in 1991, result in great numbers of displaced persons, fleeing within the region or abroad. Although two independent commissions of inquiry, one investigating an army massacre of June 1991 and the other investigating disappearances after the date of its creation, are established, no prosecutions resulting in convictions concerning these or other cases are carried out.
3 August 1990 KATTANKUDY MASSACRE: One hundred and thirteen Muslims, including boys are killed during Friday prayers in the Meerajummah mosque using machine guns, allegedly by the LTTE.
11 August ERAVUR MASSACRE: One hundred and ten Muslims, including women and children are killed in their homes while sleeping, allegedly by the LTTE.
January-June More than 5,000 Tamil people are estimated killed or disappeared in the second half of the year. Victims of extra-judicial executions are reportedly shot, bayoneted, stabbed, hacked or beaten to death and even burned alive. The killings occur on the ground as well as result in attacks from the air. In June alone, hundreds of civilians are shot or stabbed to death by the army or police personnel in several incidents, particularly in the Batticaloa district, and 165 civilians are killed in the second half of June as a result of indiscriminate air bombardment and shelling on residential and non-military targets, such as refugee camps, hospitals and schools.
5 September VANTHARUMOOLAI REFUGEE CAMP MASSACRE: One hundred and fifty eight Tamil villagers from Kiran, Vantharumoolai, Chenkalady and other areas in the east who have sought refuge in the Eastern University campus in Vantharumoolai in the Batticaloa district are taken into custody by security forces on the orders of Brigadier Karunatillake from the refugee camp and are disappeared.
9 September SATHTHURUKKONDAN MASSACRE: In retaliation for the massacre of Muslims in Eravur, Muslim youth assisted by Sri Lankan army attack Tamil villagers around Eravur. Many, including women and children are hacked to death. Others are rounded up and taken to the Sathurukondan Army camp and disappear. One hundred and eighty four civilians are reported to have disappeared.
October ?? In October, 10 Tamil civilians are extra-judicially executed by soldiers at Vellaveli, Batticaloa District. Scores of disappearances in military custody are reported, in particular in Batticaloa District. Over a thousand Tamils are being held under ERs or the PTA and routinely subjected to torture by members of government security forces.
December Moreover, hundreds of Tamils are periodically arrested and screened for connections with the LTTE, resulting in a staggering figure of 13,414 arrests in Colombo alone during 1992.
1995 The army captures Jaffna town in November 1995. Due to press censorship, it is not known how many people died in the course of that military operation which began in July. There are increasingly large number of allegations of extra-judicial and arbitrary executions, resulting from incidents involving aerial bombardment by the Sri Lankan Air Force, naval strafing and shelling from military bases and indiscriminate firing by armed forces personnel which continue to cause numerous civilian casualties, including the bombing of a church compound at Navaly on 9 July, which kills 65 civilians and injurs more than 150. An estimated 40 Tamil civilians are extra-judicially executed in the east. Fifty-five Tamils disappear after being arrested by members of the security forces. The bodies of at least 31 people abducted in Colombo are found in lakes and rivers in the vicinity. An official investigation of the killings finds that the victims were held prisoner, tortured and then killed by strangulation or drowning at the Colombo headquarters of the police Special Task Force (STF.) Twenty-two policemen arrested in connection with the murders are later granted bail and returned to active service. The case is abandoned later. Six hundred Tamils are detained at the end of the year, many of whom are subjected to torture. Several cases of rape are reported during the year, among them the gang-rape of three women by soldiers in the Batticaloa district in January and the rape of Lakshmi Pillai at her home in Trincomalee by two army informants in front of her two sons. Moreover, Tamils complain about search operations and arrests in Colombo and in the Hill Country as well as about repeated harassment and incidents of robbery by police officers.
1995-1997 Several thousand Tamil civilians are killed since the resumption of the war in May 1995. Despite the stated commitment to human rights of the new government under President Chandrika Kumaratunge, the pattern of warfare by means of extra-judicial killings, massacres and disappearances emerges again. Tamils are deliberately killed by government forces and groups operating with its consent. In the year 1996 alone, around 650 Tamils disappear. There is a dramatic increase in the use of torture and Amnesty International documents numerous cases of rape by the security forces. Scores of Tamils, in some instances at least 1,000 people are arbitrarily arrested and detained, in some cases for several years, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Emergency Regulations. The capture of Jaffna by the army, the launching of an intensified war campaign, and the re-imposition of the economic blockade results in starvation, increase in diseases and massive displacement, estimates of the numbers of displaced persons being as high as 825,000. Despite several government measures to prevent human rights violations by security forces, the temporarily imposed censorship on events in the North and East, the remaining in force of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Emergency Regulations, the lack of adherence of members of the security forces to national and international human rights standards, and the apparent lack of government control over sections of the security forces and other groups continue to provide a ready context for grave violations of the fundamental rights of the Tamil people.
9 July 1995 OPERATION LEAP FORWARD: Over 300 Tamils including 13 children are reported killed in shelling and bombing as the Sri Lankan army advance west and south west from Palaly airbase in Operation Leap Forward. Over 200,000 civilians in the area of the offensive flee before the advancing troops.
NAVALY CHURCH MASSACRE: At least 65 Tamils, including women and children are killed and over 150 badly injured when the Sri Lankan air force plane drops bombs on 2,000 frightened civilians crammed into the courtyard of St. Peter and Paul’s Church at Navaly during the government offensive
7 September Leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremasinghe tells parliament that the military manoeure Operation Leap Forward in Jaffna had claimed the lives of 170 civilians seriously injured 420 and displaced 178,335 persons.
12 September OPERATION HANDSHAKE: The troops launch Operation Handshake to elieve Palal airbase from the LTTE’s long range motar attacks. Over 3,000 troops push forward into Valikamam North accompanied by heavy shelling, killing 30 civilians and wounding 50. Over 5,000 people are displaced.
22 September NAGARKOVIL MASSACRE: Hours after the imposition of military censorship on press reporting, air crafts bomb a school yard crammed with 750 children on their lunch break, as part of the Operation handshake killing 34 and seriously wounding over 150 others. Tw surgeons from French medical agency Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) work through the night at Point pedro’s Manthakai hospital carrying out 22 amputations, four cases of both egs. Ten of the amputees are children under 12. The Censorship is again lifted on 21 December.
6 December PUTHUKKUDYIRUPPU MASSACRE: Thirty Tamils travelling in a bus near Puthukkudiyiruppu are killed by the Sri Lankan Special Task Fore (STF) police commandos following an LTTE attack on thir camp.
11 February 1996 KUMARAPURAM MASSACRE: In a deliberate attack on civilians by the army in Kumarapuram, 24 Tamils, including 13 women, one of whom was also raped, and seven children, are killed and 25 wounded. A military court finds 14 soldiers guilty of the killings who are subsequently charged by the Attorney General with murder and attempted murder. By the end of the year, they had not come to trial before the High Court.
16 March NACHCHIKUDAH MASSACRE: Following sinking of three naval vessels by the Sea Tigers 3km north of Pallimunai on Mannar Island and killing 16 sailors on 15 March two Ml-17 helicopters in retaliation attack Nachchikudah in Mannar at dawn killing 15 refugees and injuring 57.
7 September On 7 September, student Krishanthy Kumarasamy disappears in Jaffna. Her body is later found in a shallow grave, together with the bodies of her mother, brother and a neighbour who had been searching for her. She is gang-raped by nine soldiers before being killed after being detained at a checkpoint. The accused soldiers are brought before the magistrate’s court in Colombo and charged with rape and murder. In November, Five police and army personnel are arrested for the rape and murder of Rajini Velayuthapillai in Jaffna. Continuing harassment of women, including abduction and rape, at army checkpoints, in particular in the Jaffna district, are reported. One hundred and fifty cases of rape committed by soldiers are documented in 1996 alone.
1 February 1997 THAMPALAKAMAM MASSACRE: Six Tamils attending a house warming party at Pokkuruni in Thampalakamam, 12 miles south-east of Trincomalee town, and two other villagers are massacred by by police and Home Guards inside a police post. Among those killed were two students. Around 3,5000 people go on demonstration in Kantalai protesting police attemp to pressure witnesses to sign statements claiming those killed were LTTE cardre.
January-June 1997 In the first half of the year, extrajudicial executions, arbitrary killings and disappearances continue to occur on a large scale. At least 16 Tamil civilians are killed by army or navy personnel in various incidents on the Jaffna peninsula between January and May. In March alone, 10 Tamils are killed in the army-controlled towns of Vavuniya and Batticaloa which indicate death squads active in the area. According to Kilinochchi government secretariat records released in December 1997, 73 civilians who went into Army controlled areas from LTTE held territory, between July 1996 and May 1997 to inspect their houses go missing. There is a startling increase in gang-rape, involuntary disappearances in the Northeast and in Colombo and in cases of extra-judicial executions. Moreover, 1,700 Tamil youth are held in detention in March. Gang rape is committed in several cases, the worst of which results in the death of Amparai resident Murugeasapillai Koneswari who is killed by a grenade inserted into her vagina.
25 January 1998 In repraisal, angry crowd attacked the Selvavinayagar hindu temple, half mile west and smashed icons of Hindu gods. The crowd also burnt down the temple chariot of the Muthumariamman temple at Gurudeniya, six miles southeast of kandy town. Ten Tamil-owened homes and shops were also attacked and damaged. The attempt to burn down the Hindu Maha Sabhai Cultural Centre was averted by the police.
10 June SUTHANTHIRAPURAM MASSACRE: The Sri Lankan airforce bomb Suthanthirapuram in Mullaitivu District on June 10, killing 25 civilians and injuring 52 others.
3 July One of the soldiers Somaratne Rajapakse makes the statement to the court that they only buried bodies but they did not commit te crimes. He discloses that he can identify a mass grave at Chemmani, Jaffna where nearly 400 bodies lie buried. This statement corroborates the Amnesty International report that 600-700 people disappeared from Jaffna during the 18 month period following the capture of Jaffna by the Government forces.
A request for the extension of the “Human Rights Disappearnce Commission” is made by TULF. Subject to preesure from the international community, Tamil organisations and local Tamil politicians, the goernment concede and begins the probe. After being referred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Joint Commission (with the Human Rights Commission) prepares to begin exhumation of the grave. London based human rights agency Amnesty International says that it is imperative that evidence be properly collected and preserved for future use in court.
September SRI LANKAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION APPEALS FOR ASSISTANCE: The Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission appeals to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), Mary Robinson for forensic assistance, after an accused in the Krishathy Kumarasamy murder case claims that he knew the location at Chemmani in Jaffna where the bodies of 400 Tamils murdered in custody are buried.
The Government refuses to give permission to the UNHCHR to send forensic experts, but invites Amnesty International who refuses to participate in the investigation without guarantee of security.
6 January 2000 ATTACK ON TAMIL PRISONERS: Two Tamil detainees A Jesudasan and S Srikumar are shot dead by prison guards during clashes on 6 and 7 January in Kalutara prison. The Sinhalese inmates in Welikade prison carry out attacks on 56 Tamil women detainees on 29 January and three of them are seriously injured.