The date was 10.09.1986. In the early hours of the day 31 fishermen Kurunagar, a small village close to Jaffna town went in the boat ” Thooya Oli” popularly known locally as ” Philipu Padavu” for beach seine net fishing in the coast of Manadatheevu an island off Jaffna.
They never dreamed that they are on their final fishing day.
By 8.00 a.m. Gurunagar was filled with wailings of the relatives of the 31 fishermen for news had reached them that their kins had been massacred by blue clad monsters on the shores of Mandai theevu.
The 30 bodies were brought with much difficulties to the Kurunagar Community Centre. Later the 31st body was brought. It was a great trajedy to Kurunagar where people were closely related to each other.
Some had been shot. Some hacked. All the bodies bore marks of the killings. Several families had more than one member killed.
Uthayakumar, Donas, Pawn, Esthaky, Muthuchchamy, Xaviour, Kopal,Jeyakanthan, Jeyabalan,Julius, Baby, Paby, Dominic,Patrick, Fernando, Mariyanayagam,Anthonypillai,Thavam,Pious, Duke, Rasakumar,Veno, Mahendran, Tharcisius, Kunchu,Saminathar,Babian, John,Rames,’Mantheevu’, and Rasa laid their lives as innocent victims at the alter the Liberation struggle.
31 coffins lined the aisle of Kurunagar St.James Church which after religious worship were taken in the same procession and burried in a long, mass grave.
Their deaths were commemorated today at the memorial tower errected near Kurunagar Community Centre attended by priests, relatives and friends.
The original tower was destroyed by the Armed forces and a piece of that tower is lying near the present one in grim and the current one which was reconstructed by the Kurunagar Fishing Development Society declared open on 10.06.2004 by Rev.Fr.Joseph Jeyaseelan.