Tamil Diplomat

Army men took our dear ones : Kins testify to Commission

My husband was taken away by Army men. Nobody else took him. I can tell with certainty that, army men took away my husband, said Sooriyakumar Rathythevi, of Kurumanvelly Batticaloa, while testifying to the  President’s Commission on missing persons.

The inquiries for persons who went missing from Kaluwanchikudy Divisional Secretary’s area, by the President’s Commission for missing persons was commenced at the Kaluwanchikudi Divisional Secretariat hall on Saturday (22). The commission held its public sittings in Batticaloa yesterday. People of the Vellevely and Kaluwanchikudi areas in Batticaloa recorded their testimony here. 324 persons who applied to the commission were called in to testify.

These people were inquired individually and their testimonies recorded by the Commission. The Members of the Commission W.A.T.Ratnayake, H.Sumanapala, Manohari Ramanathan Suranjana Vithyaratyne conducted the inquiries. Following is a summary of information provided by people who gave testimonies here:

Sooriyakumar Rathythevi of Kurumanvelly

Army men came in Army uniform came to our house on 2008.12.08 at around 9.00 p.m. and took away my husband. They promised to release him after inquiries. Only the Army men came. Nobody else came there.

There is an army camp at around 100 m. from our house. They came in a Motor cycle and took my husband. When I tried to follow they drove me away saying to come to the army camp in the morning. When I went to the camp in the morning, they said that, they have not arrested my husband and asked me to go and complain to the police.

When the camp is 100 away, nobody else could come and take my husband. When I went to the army camp I saw the motor bike that took my husband away. When I told them that this is motor cycle on which my husband was taken away they removed the number plates of the Motor cycle. I told this during the Human Rights Commission inquiries also. When inquiries were made while Manawadu was the OIC of the Kaluwanchikudi Police station, I told this.

We cultivate paddy, and live from that income. My husband was not connected to any organization. I have four children. I am undergoing severe difficulties in bringing them up. Appropriate authorities should tell me the fate of my husband. I am living with a hope that, he will come back.

Samythamby Vallipillai of,  Ward 8, Thuraineelavanai.

On 30/06/1990, my son Jeyanthan aged 16 years was getting ready to go to school, when the who was on a house to house search operation, came to our house took away my son. Although I showed them my son’s school equipment and told them that he is a student, they bound his hands behind his back with his own shirt and took. When we tried to run behind them they hit us with sticks. At that time they had taken several people from our village including my son to the Tank area. they arrested 17 youths and released the rest.

When all the mother went to Periya Neelavanai Junction crying, army men standing near Iyupin mill assaulted us with sticks. They put all 17 including my son into a bus with their hand bound behind and took them away in the direction of Karaitheevu. We wrote letters on the same day to the Citizen Committee, District Secretary, and high level Army officers. We went to Amparai and gave an appeal to Minister Ranjan Wijertna. We went all possible places. Finally we went Colombo also and searched for our children.

When we get up in the morning we used to go to Karaitheevu camp. We used to beg to show our children. If your children do not have any connection we will release them they will say. We went every day and we used to stay in that area till the evening. When we walk down to the camp, dead bodies were seen strewn near Kalmunai Murugan Stores. Once we saw dead bodies stacked on a tractor hay heaped on them and burned. There was a heavy foul smell in that area.

I have searched for my son in all Sri Lankan Prisons, and he is nowhere to be found.

Perumlpillai Theivanai – Sinnawathai, Vellevely.

My son who went to school in 1991 has not come back home. I do not know where he had gone or who took him away. Appropriate authorities should get the information on my son to me.

Mrs. Thirunavukkarasu – Periya Poratheevu.

My son who went for mason work in 2006 has not come back home. We searched for him in several places. No information was received on him to date. I have been rendered a mental patient from the day my son went missing. I I am not in a position to speak anything.

Thevappody  – Thetatheevu.

My son who went to work as a Technical Officer in the Puthukudiyiruppu Divisional Office, on 0707/2005 was arrested by LTTE and was jailed. We got the information about this only after 10 days. The Divisional Officer informed us this news. When we went there the Divisional Secretary promised us several times to get my son released but he always cheated us. Finally we went to MP, Kanagaratnam and complained about it. He talked with the Tigers and the arrangements to release my son were made. We did not get the information of the release. Although the Tigers tried to hand over my son to the Divisional Secretary, he refused and consequently my son was put to jail again. The Divisional Secretary pretended to get my son released. A vavuniya youth who was with my son in the prison informed us that, when air attacks were made during the final war, Tigers had opened the prisons and let the prisoners go and my son went into Army Control area. But no information is available on the fate of my son. But, he is alive somewhere.

V.Palanayagi – Periya kallaru

On July 1990, the Army who were coming towards Periyakallaru, took away my brother Kulanayagam. I don’t know whether he who was taken away for inquiries is alive or not. I searched for him for 4 years. After 4 years I was given a death certificate by the Divisional Office. Similarly I lost 2 brother in1985.One brother went missing in March 1985 and the other in December 1985.One is a Government officer. When he was travelling from Batticaloa to Kallaru, he was dragged down from the bus by STF soldiers and was shot dead. Eye witnesses informed us about it. Other brother went to work and went missing. No information is available regarding him.

IMG_0112 IMG_0210 Palanayake RATHITHAVI Thevapodi vallippilay