Chronology Of Ltte Terror - Part 30
From the Daily News
When the euphoria of victory dies down, and
together with it the media hype ceases, when the guns do not rattle and
boom anymore and the sky, the land and the sea become calm and serene,
when tranquillity reigns through it is natural to live in the present
moment and forget the past. But one cannot live in the present without a
past. Nor can one envision the future discarding the experience of the
Hence the Daily News is serialising the
Chronicle of LTTE Terror taken from our own archives which would remind
our readers how it all began.
An awareness of the chronology of terror would
help us prevent the recurrence of such terror and frustrate any attempts
by misguided elements to repeat history to suit their evil designs. It
was not simple terror. Nor was terror sporadic.
It was all pre-planned, pre-determined,
well-calculated terror. The victims were innocent people. Though it is
too many innumerate we would like to recall the major episodes in the
Chronology of Terror.
[Saturday April 18, 1987]
Three buses waylaid on Habarana - Trinco Road:
Terrorists massacre over 100 civilians
Horror-struck people looking at the site of the blast
Over a hundred bus passengers believed to belong to all communities
were killed yesterday in the worst terrorist massacre in recent months
when three buses travelling along the Habarana - Trincomalee Road were
stopped near Kitulotuwa between the 123rd and 129th milepost and the
passengers shot dead in cold blood.
A military spokesman said last night that 107 persons including women
and children were dead and over 60 injured.
“They stopped the buses, lined-up the passengers and mowed them down.
It was a terrible business”, the spokesman said.
He said that two of the buses were coming from Trincomalee and one
going there. There was no clear information on whether the vehicles
belonged to the CTB or were private coaches or both.
But a later police report said that all three vehicles were private
buses, some carrying passengers from Colombo to Trincomalee.
Another report said that a fourth vehicle - a private car - had also
been stopped and the people in it killed. This was confirmed by a police
report. The spokesman said that the casualties had been moved to
Habarana and some to Anuradhapura. At least two helicopters were
deployed for this work and the. Air Force Avro too was pressed into
“Everything that can be done is being done. It’s being raining and
this hampered the rescue effort”, the spokesman said.
The first report received by the authorities in Colombo said that
between 50 to 60 persons had been killed, the majority of them being
The attack came on the seventh day of the unilateral ceasefire
announced by the Government.
A number of the victims were believed to be people travelling at the
end of the New Year holiday.
[Tuesday, April 21, 1987]
Sunday’s double: 15 villagers killed at Jayanthipura, officer lost
Terrorists attack village and police station
The government yesterday extended the curfew in the Trincomalee
district as terrorists struck again, killing at least 15 civilians -
five men, five women, four young girls and a boy - in an Eastern village
on Sunday night.
An official spokesman said that the LTTE gang which gunned down 126
passengers at Kituluttuwa on Good Friday, was believed responsible for
the pre-dawn raid on the Jayanthipura village, North of Kantalai.
However, the home-guards engaged the attackers and terrorists
retreated with their wounded, the Government media centre said. It said
the troops have launched a massive hunt for the killers, who are led by
an area leader of the LTTE known as ‘Pulendran.’
The curfew reintroduced at 6 p.m. on Sunday will continue until 6.00
a.m. today, the Government said.
In a special Government communique, the centre said: “The savage
brutality and murderous nature of these attacks show that the LTTE
terrorists are now cornered and have resorted to mass murder in a last
“It is also an attempt to drive away traditional Sinhala peasants
from Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa and Amparai districts.
“The possibility of innocent Sinhala and Tamil villagers being
subject to attack in the days to come was pronounced by National
Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali, at a press conference on April
The possibility of such attacks was predicted on the basis of
anticipated moves of the LTTE and information obtained from intelligence
Commenting on the two massacres, the Centre said the fact that
Sinhalese passengers, including two-month-old babies, were separated
from the others and mowed down by gunfire, brands this as a typical LTTE
These mass murders were comparable to the massacre of 150 Sinhala
devotees at Anuradhapura in May 1985. “Of course the genocide of Tamil
youth by the LTTE also needs to be mentioned here,” the Centre said.
Meanwhile, terrorists also launched a mortar and RPG attack on
Oddusudan Police station, in the Mullaitivu district, on Sunday night,
killing a police officer. Troops retaliated with mortars and RPGs, the
[Wednesday, April 22, 1987]
One hundred feared dead in Pettah bomb blast
*Scores injured, private buses wrecked
A powerful bomb exploded in the heart of Pettah at 5 p.m. yesterday
killing at least 100 persons and injuring a like number. Police believe
the explosion took place in the Central Bus Station (CBS) area.
The bomb was set off here
The explosion occurred when the area was crowded with office workers
returning to their homes. The worst hit were the private coaches parked
opposite the CBS building, some of which were reduced to charred metal
hulks. A Mitsubishi Lancer car parked opposite the CBS building was seen
Eye witnesses said the area was teeming with office workers and the
buses were packed to capacity at the time of the blast.
The CBS building housing a bank, several cafes and shops suffered
extensive damage. Fire engines which rushed to the scene were attempting
to put out the resulting blaze at the time of going to press.
Police said the casualty toll among pavement hawkers outside the CBS
building was heavy.
Public co-operation was extended to the police and security forces
who had to transport the injured to hospital. Several private coaches
parked in the vicinity also rushed to the scene and took the injured to
Ambulances from the Fire Brigade, Red Cross, General Hospital, police
and the armed forces also rushed to the scene and transported the
injured and the dead with the assistance of the public.
The central bus station which was cleared within minutes of the
explosion was strewn with glass from shattered at the time, windows on
the upper floors.
Eventhough most offices were closed, eye witnesses said there were
people inside the bank building. However, there was no indication as to
the number who would have been inside the building at the time of the
Official sources said that the bomb appeared to be the work of EROS
which works closely with the LTTE. EROS was considered responsible for
the rash of bombings in and near Colombo last May, beginning with the
blasting of the AirLanka Tristar.
Gory carnage of killing innocent civilians
It was a Good Friday, April 17,1987. A week before that the
government had declared unilateral ceasefire as a measure to bring the
murderous separatist terrorist groups to the negotiation table to
discuss an India backed settlement to the so-called ethnic problem.
On this day when the Christian citizens of the country were at prayer
and retreat two buses were travelling from Tricomalee to the South and
one bus was going in the opposite direction.
Between the 123 and 129 mileposts on the Trinco-Habarana Road there
is a deserted place usually without any human beings seen on the road
called Kitulotuwa. When the buses from Trincomalee arrived at this place
they saw some armed persons wearing a large number in uniforms, some
standing on the road.
The buses stopped and the passengers were ordered out and lined up
first. They were next relieved of their cash and any gold jewellery and
were mowed down by the group of terrorists. Nearly 90 civilians, women
and children among them were all killed. Those who hid in fear in the
buses were also killed by the terrorists – LTTE – after relieving them
of their cash and valuables.
The next bus coming from the opposite direction too was stopped and a
similar fate awaited the passengers including women and children and
when the gory carnage of killing innocent civilians – women and children
not spared – was over 130 people had died and another 60 were injured.
Among the dead were also 30 servicemen in civvies who were coming home
Among those who survived were two young men who had saved themselves
by mere chance. One was Nimal Jayasinghe, a 24 year old youth who had
also hidden with some other passengers in a bus. Fortunately he was in
the rear of the bus and when the terrorists spraying bullets on the
passengers came into the bus some who got shot fell on him while he was
ducking. He said he pretended to be dead and held on to a four year old
girl who too had not been injured.
He whispered in the girl’s ear telling her not to move and the two
escaped. Yet another young man Sarath Ranasinghe too followed the act
put on by Jayasinghe and crept under a seat where a number of dead
bodies had fallen and also escaped death.
The Kitulothuwa massacre of civilians including women and children
came to be known as the Good Friday Massacre but it proved something
that most media persons of the day had not noticed. For the LTTE leader
Prabhakaran who was born a Hindu and was later converted a Christian had
not cared a straw for Good Friday that was one of the holiest day of the
Therefore all those optimists including the godfathers of the
separatist terrorists could only be called those living in a fool’s
paradise if they thought the bloodthirsty terrorists could be made to
reason then or later.
Tomorrow - Pettah bomb – evidence points to EROS