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Chronology of LTTE terror: - Part 49

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.

Tuesday August 14, 1990:

Death count tops 173

Death carnage in Eravur:

The official death toll released yesterday by the Security Forces for the Eravur massacre of Muslims on Saturday night stood at 173:115 men, 27 women and 31 children.

Another report reaching Colombo on Monday morning said 15 Sinhala fishermen died and at least seven were injured when the LTTE attacked their lorry on the Padaviya-Pullamuddai road. More details on this incident were awaited.

The Daily News reported yesterday that the on-the- spot death toll given the media by Brig. A.M.U. Seneviratne on Sunday was 105, while the people of Eravur claimed by Sunday afternoon that it was 119. We also reported that an exact death count was not possible.

Rumours that there were Sinhala and Tamils among those killed at Eravur have not been confirmed upto last morning by the Defence Ministry.

Yesterday’s security situation report has however released the official count at 173, a figure which far exceeded the Kattankudy mosque killings where no women and young children were victims.

In the Samanthurai Police area, terrorists attacked Muslim farmers working in a paddy field on Sunday, killing four and injuring ten. Soon thereafter at Weeramunai in the same area, some Muslims attacked the Hindu Kovil housing Tamil refugees, killing 21 and injuring 30.

The injured from both incidents have been admitted to the Ampara and Samanthurai hospitals. Also admitted to the Ampara hospital on Sunday were six STF personnel who were injured in a confrontation with terrorists near the 212th Milepost on the Pottuvil-Thirukovil road.

A Security Force patrol sent on a clearing operation from the Talaimannar detachment on Sunday also came under heavy LTTE resistance. Six soldiers of the Fourth Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment lost their lives, and four were injured in the skirmish.

The dead were yesterday named as Cpl. S. Wasantha and Pvts. P.G.P. Wijesena, L.A.G.D. Perera, M.K.S. Jayalal, J.P.P. Perera and A.D.S. Alahakoon.

At Atambagaskade in the Vavuniya area, one civilian was killed and two others injured when a group of terrorists attacked the village on Sunday. Identical figures for dead and injured were reported from Mamaduwa, also in the Vavuniya area, when civilians got caught in the crossfire between terrorists and the Security Forces.

The Navy on Sunday blasted an LTTE fibre glass dinghy off the Chundikulam coast, destroying it and its occupants, the exact number of whom were not known.

LTTE terrorists on the run but kill hundreds of civilians

The Kattankudy mosque massacre and the killing orgy of Muslims in Eruvur with the critically injured later dying took a toll of 175 civilians among them 27 women and 31 children.

The LTTE now also under attack by the Sri Lankan armed forces especially in the north were taking all available opportunity to sidetrack the government forces and police and engage in night raids on the most helpless villages, often subsistence farmers who occupied the remote villages that were often far away from the towns or major villages where there were the police and home guards.

Critically injured in hospital

Now on September 19 a group of about 25 -30 LTTE terrorists came to a fishermen’s village, Vellamundala in Puttalam and by nightfall killed 40 villagers including women and children. Most of them were hacked to death and afterwards the terrorist group torched all the houses, most of them thatched with kadjan.

It was reported that the critically injured children were thrown into the blazing fires where they were burnt to death.

Though the army on hearing the tragedy rushed to the area, the LTTE had set up landmines on the way to the village preventing anyone coming to the village and the terrorists disappeared into the night after committing the brutal crime.

The LTTE next chose a small farmers village Gajabapura in Welioya and by nightfall killed 12 villagers including six of the same family.

The army was attacking most of the LTTE positions in the north and on September 24 it was reported that the terrorists who were fleeing had set a number of houses around the Kankesanturai Cement Factory.

All efforts at trying to negotiate a settlement with the LTTE terrorists were failing and increasingly they were proving that their main objective of killing all Sinhalese and Muslims living in most parts of the north and east had remained unchanged from the very beginning.

All such exercises like the 13th Amendment to the constitution and establishing a provincial council for devolution of power were not measures that had in the slightest degree changed the views and attitude of the LTTE who perhaps believed that they could achieve their objective of a separate state one day, sooner or later.

Wednesday September 26, 1990:

Tigers massacre Padaviya civilians

Around one hundred heavily armed Tigers raided a Sinhala settlement at Gajabapura, Padaviya on Monday night and it is believed that an unknown number of villagers were brutally massacred.

Arson among the terror tacticts of the LTTE

Initial reports said six villagers were killed (four from the same family) and 12 wounded.

Sources said that troops were advancing to the scene cautiously as the area leading to the village has been heavily mined by the Tigers.

Tigers were firing at the advancing troops from the nearby jungles, military sources said.

According to the Police the Tigers are reported to have attacked this village shortly after 9.00 p.m. on Monday.

Military sources said that a joint Army-Police operation was launched immediately to clear the area and apprehend the attackers.

In separate incidents on Monday in the North and East seven Tigers were shot dead by the Security Forces. Four of them were killed at Vasavilan, two at Chennakkady in Batticaloa and the other at Kattankudi.

Tigers have burnt several houses in the KKS cement factory area, a report from KKS said.

The Elephant Pass Army detachment came under sporadic mortar fire on Monday night. However, no troop casualties were reported.

Friday, September 21, 1990:

Tigers storm village, massacre 40 civilians

Tigers stormed the fishing village of Wellemundal, North West of Puttalam on Wednesday evening and massacred nearly forty villagers including men, women and children.

Security sources said that around thirty to forty Tigers are believed to have taken part in this brutal massacre.

Reports said that some of the critically wounded children had been thrown into the raging fires of the houses torched by the attackers.

Sources said that five villagers who escaped the massacre were rescued by the Navy late night on Wednesday. Another four had escaped making their way into the jungles.

Troops rushed into the scene from the Elavankulam camp. Troop movements were slowed as anti-personnel mines were buried in the area, sources said.

A Colombo datelined Reuter report quoting military sources said troops from a nearby Army camp, who tried to reach the village, were hampered by hundreds of landmines laid by the Tigers. Troops later approached the village by boat along the coast.

They said two villagers trying to flee in a fishing boat were rescued by a Navy vessel, four fled to the nearby Army camp at Eluvankulam and another with stab injuries had gone to a hospital.

Monday, September 24, 1990:

Tigers ambush jeep, kill nine soldiers

Nine soldiers of the Sri Lanka army engineers including a sergeant were killed and two other soldiers injured when the truck they were travelling in was ambushed by a group of LTTE terrorists between Welikanda and Sinhapura in the Welikanda police area on Saturday morning.

The soldiers from the Sinhapura army camp were on a road clearing operation to Welikanda and were returning to their camp when they were ambushed with hand grenades and rifle fire at about 10.30 a.m. Saturday. The Sergeant killed was P. H. Susantha.

In another incident on Saturday nigh Caskarage William Singho (65) and his unmarried daughter Caskarage Sudharma (23) were shot at the Old Colony by a group of six unidentified person whom Polonnaruwa police believe to be subversive elements.

The group had gone to William Singho’s shop and demanded the keys to his safe at about 7.30 p.m. Saturday. He and his daughter, who were the only persons present at the time, were gunned down when he shouted for help.

The father and daughter later succumbed to their injuries at the Polonnaruwa hospital.

The Hingurakgoda police are conducting investigations under OIC Janak Gunatilleke.


Tomorrow: More killings in East

Yesterday: Tigers mow down 105 Muslims



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