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Mirusuvil massacre case : Witness identified his son's body at Point Pedro mortuary

by Indeewara Thilakarathne

"I identified the body of Nadesu Jayachandran at the Point Pedro hospital mortuary on December 26,2000 ", said Viravan Nadesu (47) testifying before the Trial-at-Bar hearing the Mirusuvil massacre in High Court of Colombo yesterday.

The Trial-at-Bar comprised High Court Judges S. I. Imam (President), Sarath Ambepitiya and Kumar Ekaratne.

The Attorney General has framed charges against five soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army attached to the Gajabha regiment of the Saliya Pura camp, Anuradhapura with murder of eight persons and causing injuries to another who were residents of Mirusuwil, Jaffna on December 19, 2000.

According to the indictment, the accused are charged on 19 counts under section 146 to be read with Section 296 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Examined by Senior State Counsel Sarath Jayamanne, the witness Viravan Nadesu said that he had been living in Mirusuvil for about ten years before moving to Kodikaman to avoid shell attacks. He has five children including Nadesu Jayachandran who died in the attack. Although witness fled the village, he used to visit Mirusuvil from time to time to collect firewood and coconuts.

By December 19,2000, witness stayed at Udupitty Old Road in Kodikamam. He said that Sellamuttu Thevakulasingham was his son -in-law. Nadesu Jayachandran accompanied by the witness's son-in-law left for Mirusuvil at 6.00 a.m on December 19, 2000. Jayachandran wore a blue sarong, a yellow T-shirt and carried a knife. They did not return that day.

On the following morning , Viravan Nadesu had gone to meet Ponnadurai.On the way, the witness met Ponnadurai and Ponnadurai Maheswaran whilst riding on a push-cycle on the Varaniya-Kodikaman road. They had told the witness that his son Nadesu Jayachandran and others were captured by the Army.Thereafter the witness went to his Mirusuvil house and met Vilvarasa Selvarani who told him that her husband and two children were also in army custody.

Viravan Nadesu then visited Ushan and Kodikamam Civil House (an army camp) and Baraniya camp.

He said that he gave a statement to police on January 4 ,2001.

Cross-examined by Defence Counsel Anil Silva , Viravan said that the knife his son carried with him to Mirusuvil was not a double-edged one.The witness admitted that there were soldiers at his Mirusuvil house when he visited there.The army told him that his son and son-in-law would have been captured by the army at Farm area and would be released .

Re-examined by State Counsel Sarath Jayamanne, the witness said he identified his son's body from the face which was partially covered with soil.

P. K. D. Mithraratne, Mahinda Lokuge with Anil Silva appeared for the five accused while D. W. Abayakoon P.C. with Chandrapala Kumarage, K. S. Ratnavale, K. Shanmugalingam, V. Punitharan and M. Remadius appeared for the aggrieved party. Senior State Counsel Sarath Jayamanna, N. Marasinghe, State Counsel Sanjeeva Dissanayaka and Chetiya Gunasekara appeared for the prosecution.

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