Chronology Of Ltte Terror
- Part 47
From the Daily News Archives:
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
preceding events. 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.
[Monday 6, Aug 1990]
Over 140 Muslims die in LTTE carnage
The death-toll from Friday’s massacres at the mosques at Kattankudy
had risen to at least 140 yesterday with more fatalities expected among
those lying seriously wounded, according to reports reaching Colombo.
Security and medical sources were unable to disclose the exact number of
fatalities, but confirmed that the minimum stood at 140 by noon
The LTTE is reported to have given this civilian Muslim population an
ultimatum to leave Kattankudy or face the same fate.
On Saturday, 116 bodies of the hapless victims of this bloody
massacre were laid to rest in a common grave amidst mourners who were
dumbstruck with grief. They were joined by a special Presidential
delegation to the funeral rites, which comprised Minister of Trade and
Shipping A.R. Munsoor, State Minister of Foreign Affairs John Ameratunga,
State Minister of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs A.H.M. Azwer,
and MPs M.A. Abdul Majeed and Halim Ishak.
Doctors were yesterday battling to save the lives of those critically
wounded in the shooting, security sources said, but expected that the
death-toll would rise in the next 24 hours.
President Premadasa has ordered full security to be provided to
Kattankudy, a one-square-mile town sandwiched between two Tamil
villages, and the sea and lagoon on the Eastern coastline. Meanwhile,
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader M.H.M. Ashraff said on Saturday that
the Muslim community would be wiped out by the LTTE Tigers unless the
Government took drastic action.
A Security Forces report from Talaimannar on Saturday indicated that
the run of refugees to Tamil Nadu has now taken a new turn. The Sri
Lanka Navy has apprehended two Indian trawlers off the sand banks there
with an undisclosed number of Tamil refugees on board.
Security sources were tight-lipped about who the vessels belonged to,
but admitted to having detained eight Indian crew members and the two
At Palaly, troops killed one terrorist and destroyed three houses
occupied by the Tigers just 300 metres from the camp’s perimeter.
Heavy Tiger casualties were also reported by Air Force pilots
providing air support to troops in the Chinnakulam area of Vavuniya,
where Sgt. L.R. Jayathilake Banda and Lance Cpl. L. Ananda of the 4th
Gemunu Regiment lost their lives in an encounter with the rebels.
Seven other Security Force personnel were reported wounded in this
incident. The Mullaitivu detachment also came under LTTE mortar, RPG and
grenade fire for about three hours on Friday night, but there were no
A flash report from Periyapalana near Trincomalee received while this
is being written says that the bodies of three more Muslims have been
discovered by the Security Forces during a cordon and search operation.
Details were not disclosed.
[Friday July 27, 1990]
Tiger massacres on N-E border
Tighter security for vulnerable villages
security of Sinhala villages on the boundary of the Northern and Eastern
Provinces is being beefed up following the massacre of 48 villagers by
the LTTE terrorists since Tuesday, Minister of State for Defence Ranjan
He told the weekly press briefing that the massacres were at Tammanne
Elawaka in Medawachchiya - 20; Wan-ela Oya in Trincomalee - 12, Maduru
Oya right bank - 8 and at Tahmminna in the Aralagamvila, Polonnaruwa -
Security sources said that the Army and the STF have launched an
operation in the areas in which killings occurred in an effort to get at
Minister Wijeratne said: “The Tiger terrorists who are being hunted
by the Security Forces have started to murder innocent civilians. We
will put an end to this soon by strengthening the security of the
He said in all these attacks the terrorists had come in military type
uniforms and had used automatics, knives and iron rods on their victims.
In the massacre at Elawaka, a village 14 kilometres off Medawachchiya
town, about 100 terrorists entered the village about 1.30 a.m. yesterday
and shot and hacked the villagers.
Twenty including five children were brutally murdered. Three
seriously injured children were later admitted to the Anuradhapura
Hospital. The killers burn some of the bodies.
At Wan-ela the terrorists had killed 12 Sinhalese villagers who had
gone into the forest to cut firewood, the Minister said.
On the right bank of Maduru Oya they had killed 8 farmers. That was
the work of the terrorist group that had fled into the Toppigala forest
to escape an Army operation, he said.
“They had surfaced on the Maduru Oya right bank and killed innocent
villagers,” the Minister said.
in the Aralagamvila massacre, five members of a family living at the
periphery of the village and three others were killed.
“These acts show that the LTTE is desperate,” the Minister said and
added that in the military front they were being beaten on all sides. We
have secured all towns in the Vavuniya - Elephant Pass axis,” Minister
He said the major operation was in the Vavuniya-Elephant Pass axis.
Around 1,000 soldiers were air grouped at Elephant Pass and they moved
Southward linking the Elephant Pass, Kilinochchi and Makulam camps. He
said the LTTE put up stiff resistance at Paranthan but that was
The next stage is to clear the Tigers from the East and West of the
Vavuniya-Elephant Pass road.
Mr. Wijeratne said they would either clear the Mullaitivu sector or
the Jaffna peninsula.
Question: Which, do you plan to take first?
General Cyril Ranatunga: The option has to be decided on by
Q: Will you capture Jaffna?
Mr. Wijeratne: Of course. Jaffna will be taken.
Q: have you made preparations?
Mr. Wijeratne: Do you think we are playing marbles all these
Mr. Wijeratne said Jaffna would be captured. That was a matter of
In the Trincomalee district there was an incident at Tampalagamam and
mopping up operation is under way.
In the Manner sector there was not much movement. The terrorists have
blown up the railway bridge thus severing all links between the mainland
and Mannar island.
He said the Tiger terrorists who earlier forced young boys to join
their ranks, exerted money from the people, are now collecting two
sovereigns from each family in the North and East. “Why did they want
these sovereigns?” the Minister asked and said they may be trying to
deposit the money in foreign banks.
He said there were 11 desertions from the LTTE. They were mainly
people who were deceived into joining the LTTE on the promise that they
would be inducted into the North-East Province Police service which
would be set up. They are now leaving disillusioned.
There are also others who are deserting the LTTE?” General Ranatunga
He said the LTTE has told the Muslims of Jaffna to leave the
peninsula. Three hundred of them had reached Vavuniya and were sent to
[Thursday July 26, 1990]
Tigers storm Sinhala village, kill 8 civilians
LTTE terrorists stormed a Sinhala settlement at Thamminna,
Aralagamvila Police area in the Polonnaruwa district on Tuesday night
and brutally murdered eight civilians including women and small
children. Another was seriously injured during the attack.
Five of the victims belonged to one family. The other three were
The dead are R. A. Kiribanda (53), K. D. Karunawathi (51), M. M. Dias
(38), Dinesh Dias (5), Dilhani Dias 93), R. P. Ranbanda (22), D. M.
Wijeratne (26) and R. P. Tillekeratne (42).
R. M. Anulawathi the mother of the two children massacred by the
Tigers was rushed to the Anuradhapura hospital and later transferred to
the General Hospital, Kandy. Eye witnesses said the Tigers had stormed
the village clad in army-type uniforms.
[Wednesday July 25, 1990]
Tigers break into mosque, attack refugees
Tigers broke into the mosque at Samanturai on Monday night and
attacked civilians sheltering there.
Two people have been killed and 5 injured. Police headed by SP M. F.
Noordeen cordoned off the area in a search operation.
The attackers are believed to have been trapped in a marshy area in
Allai. Meanwhile, the Samanturai Police station was re-opened yesterday,
the fourth station to be re-established in the area.
The opening ceremony was attended by SP Noordeen, SP Sahabandu and
ASPs Ravi Wijegunawardane and M. J. S. Sabian.
Irreverent attack on Kattankudy mosque
The year 1990 witnessed the ugliest face of the LTTE terrorists who
not only demonstrated the total lack of any human qualities in the acts
they committed against civilians mainly in the east where the
pro-terrorist politicians were trying to win over to their side the
Muslims one of the predominant groups of the east under a political
slogan “Tamil speaking people.”
The month clearly showed that the LTTE terrorists had no compunction
for the so-called Tamil speaking people when they stormed the Kattankudy
mosque on Friday August 3 at prayer time and gunned down and killed by
lobbing hand grenades over 140 Muslims at prayer in the mosque.
Some of the eyewitnesses who had somehow escaped the horrid carnage
had seen a van loaded with about 25 LTTE cadres armed to the teeth
appear in front of the mosque at prayer time. The leader of the
terrorist group who came to the front entrance of the mosque had asked
for the religious leader of the congregation but it was only a ruse.
Before the leader of the mosque could appear the terrorists lobbed two
hand grenades into it and next started shooting the unarmed men and
children at prayer.
The profaning of a religious place of worship and worst still
Civilians looking at the devastation caused by the LTTE. File
mosque with the blood of the worshiping people was not at all heard
and was not condoned by the Sri Lankan society as we had deep rooted
religious traditions handed down for over three millenniums and even
during a war no Sri Lankan army or even a soldier would dare to kill
anyone inside a place of worship that was sacrosanct in our culture. The
LTTE in this and other attacks on places of worship demonstrated they
had no religion, morals or ethics and would only kill innocent unarmed
people even at prayer.
Even before that the LTTE killed two refugees who had come to a
mosque at Sammanturai for protection and injured another five refugees
Next on July 25 LTTE attacked a remote village Thamminna
nearAralaganwila in the Polonnaruwa killed 8 villagers including two
children and two women. The attack was a night raid and the target as
usual was a remote village where poor and helpless people lived.
Two days later the LTTE killed another fourteen Muslims and
Akkaraipattu. Half that number were shot dead and the other half were
hacked to death by a large group of terrorists who had come to the town.
The government of the day pompously declared that the LTTE was trying
to create enmity between the Tamils and Muslims but it was in fact known
that a Muslim LTTE cadre named Akkram had come with the group of LTTE
terrorists to attack and kill the Muslims at prayer at the Kattankudy
There was very little doubt that the LTTE would kill anyone of any
community or group to gain their own ends and during the 1990 it was
becoming very clear that the LTTE that was now a strong group of
terrorists were trying to keep the Eastern Province under their jackboot
though the powers that be did not even attempt to understand the real
objective of the LTTE.
Tigers threw grenades into mosque before shooting
“As I was coming to this mosque on a push cycle for prayers, a Muslim
Tiger cadre called ‘Banthra’ who was standing outside grabbed my cycle,
slapped me and pushed me into the mosque,” said Abdul Muthalib (20), a
youth who is among the injured in the Kattankudy mosque massacre now
receiving treatment at the Ampara Base Hospital.
Recounting Friday’s grisly slaughter of Muslims by Tiger terrorists,
Muthalib said he was a casual labourer, who visited the mosque for
On Friday, he had to borrow a bicycle from a friend, as he was
already late for prayers.
As he arrived near the mosque ‘Bantra’ who as standing outside
grabbed the cycle, slapped him and almost pushed him inside the mosque.
As the congregation was already kneeling down and engrossed in ‘Isha’
prayers he was unable to warn anyone about the incident.
Muthalib said: “As I too knelt down in prayer, a group of about 25
Tigers some dressed in military type uniforms, others in teeshirts and
shorts and sarongs and shirts encircled the mosque and opened fire after
hurling several grenades inside.
“The people in the congregation stretched on the floor shouting
‘Allah’ ‘Allah’ and that’s all I could recall of the incident.
M. M. Akbar of Kattankudy who is also among the injured warded at the
hospital said as they were about to finish their prayers at the mosque,
a gang of about 25 terrorists alighted from a Hi-Ace van and opened fire
into the mosque. He couldn’t remember what happened next.
H. M. Mustapha (18) of Kattankudy is still at the Meera Jumma mosque,
Kattankudy receiving treatment for injuries sustained in Friday’s
Tomorrow - More civilians killed in the