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Government Gazette

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 yesterday.

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 trawlers.

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 casualties reported.

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

The 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 Wijeratne said.

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 - 8.

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 the killers.

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 villages.”

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 Wijeratne said.

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 overcome.

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 the military.

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 days?

Mr. Wijeratne said Jaffna would be captured. That was a matter of time.

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 said.

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 Puttalam.

[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 farmers.

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 drenching the

Civilians looking at the devastation caused by the LTTE. File photo

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 there.

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 mosque.

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 prayers regularly.

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 attack.

Tomorrow - More civilians killed in the East

Yesterday - 400 policemen killed



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