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UTHR (Jaffna) in association with PAX CHRISTI

Special Report No. 2

 

OPERATION MAJOR (OPERATION FORT):

The Sri Lankan military operation in the

islands off Jaffna August End 1990

   

PREFCE

The Operation

Information Given to Civilians

The Army’s Conduct

Militant Casualties

The People

A Note on Civilian Casualties

Norms to be Observed

How the Muslims stood up for the Tamil civilians at Chatti

Chatty Mosque

Mandaithivu

  PREFCE

The military operation reported here was conducted in the islands adjacent to and west of the Jaffna peninsula. Besides relieving the besieged Jaffna Fort, it is regarded as preliminary to the conquest of the Jaffna peninsula which in normal times has a population of 800,000. It now also holds a refugee population numbering several hundreds of thousands from outlying areas where a guerilla war is going on.

The urgency of producing this report arose from concern over the fate of the civilian popula ion in the peninsula resulting from what happened during the military operation that we are dealing with. The Eastern experience combined with prejudices of Jaffna amongst troops are causes for great concern. We are convinced that the army officers were under instructions to be mindful of the safety of civilians. Several army officers did indeed show remarkable concern. The islands were sparsely populated. The resistance was minimal in comparison with what had been expected. In spite of these factors conducive towards a smooth operation about 125 civilians were killed. This is a large figure when compared with the same army’s Operation Liberation in 1987 a full scale, fiercely fought operation in comparatively populated areas. The death toll was then put at 300—700.                                                                                                                       

Operation Major is examined with a view to provide information that will help pressure groups to avert what threatens to be a colossal tragedy. Those awaiting their fate in. the peninsula have lost all hope. They do not see hope in a negotiated settlement, no hope in the present stalemate and no hope in the Sri Lankan army’s conquest. Both sides in their propaganda have helped to create an impression that civilians are being armed— a dangerous impression where soldiers are concerned. There is no organization to guide the civilians. Mines are being laid in the demolished areas of Jaffna town, which will only delay the army, cause casualties and create anger that will be assuaged on civilians. Going by past performance, the LTTE will pretend to the last minute that they will stay and fight to prevent the army’s entry. Civilians in the meantime have been prevented from moving out of the peninsula for safety — despite which people pay heavy prices to go to India or Vavuniya.

The information presented here was collected mainly by PAX CHRISTI. A more complete report is under preparation. This being a provisional report, we present the information in a raw unedited form, with some names deleted for the safety of informants.[Top]

The Operation

The operation began on August 22nd with 1,500—2,000 troops being landed on Paruthiaddaippu on Kayts Island, from Karainagar. The area having been deserted for about 2 months, t.’e troops spent most of the day looting. So low key was the resistance and so bad the information given to the civilians, that except for the bombing and helicopter firing, there were few signs of a major military operation. Ironically, it was people who heard All India Radio on the 23rd afternoon who came to know definitely that a curfew had been imposed. When they tried to .leave for refugee camps, they found themselves unable to do so because of helicopters shooting from the air at anyone seen moving. Troops were suddenly upon civilians hiding in their homes and air raid shelters. This was the main cause of civilian deaths.

During the succeeding days, the army crossed the Alaipiddy causeway and entered Mandaitj.vu (Leyden Island), which has a 2—mile long causeway leading to Jaffna Fort on the mainland.[Top]

Information Given to Civilians

The information given to civilians regarding the imposition of the curfew was vague and ad—hoc. Leaflets were dropped in a few places which simply said that there is curfew in your area. The date and the informant were not specified. In Kayts Island only people in a corner near Karainagar got the notices. There was no organization to guide the people or to pass information. The Tigers gave the impression that the army will not be allowed

in. They even prevented people from g6Thg to the mainland through the Arali harbor.

The people were left to react instinctively and thus stayed at home and under air raid bunkers. In Mandaithivu the people did not have the time or opportunity to leave their home. There was constant shelling from gunboats as well as helicopter straffing.[Top]

The Army’s Conduct

Generally the units which came first with the high ranking officials were decent and a strenuous attempt to maintain discipline was evident. This was often true of the first three units which arrived. The fourth and fifth were usually ill behaved and resorted to widespread looting — mainly jewellery.

Some of them went into refugee camps and took away males aged between 15 — 35 as human shields. This too varied from Major to Major. Some took them as prisoners rather than as human shields, and have at times shown remarkable concern over their well being. There have been cases where prisoners identified as LTTE supporters were killed.[Top]

Militant Casualties

The highest casualties among the LTTE resulted in Mandaithevu (Leyden Island). The group that was sent to this area consisted of youth mainly from Batticaloa and Trincomalee, who had been brought in very recently and had little knowledge of the terrain. Until the last minute the LTTE behaved as though nothing had happened and prevented the people from leaving. About 49 of. the newly inducted cadre were either killed or committed suicide taking cyanide. Those who had personal knowledge of cadre from the Eastern province had reported much suppressed anger.[Top]

The People

Most people had no advance knowledge that they had to go to churches and temples for refuge. It was often after the army had come in that they had to leave everything and run to these places. Those who had been released or had escaped after being taken in by the army are still showing posttraumatic effects. From many of their stories there have been cases were the army officers had shown concern over their well-being. But overall their lives were hanging on a thin thread. They are now very unsure of the future, having lost all hopes in living. They want to leave Jaffna as soon as possible and are prepared to take all the risks involved in going to India or to the South.

The approximate casualties are as follows:

Kayts — 31 dead; Naranthanai — 26; Velanai —10; Saravanai — 8.

 The exact numbers are not yet known for Mankumban, Mandaithevu and Allaipiddy. The death toll in Mankumban and Allaipiddy is reportedly low, as the army did not’ go into the interior. The death toll at Mandaithevu may be as high as 50. The casualties due to aerial bombing in the Jaffna district during Operation Major numbered about 23. -[Top]

A Note on Civilian Casualties

Despite & visible concern among many army officers to avoid civilian casualties, there

-           appear to have been two main reasons for the high number of civilian deaths. The first is the administrative failure on the part of the government and secondly the effect of government propaganda on the brutalized rank and file. As we have shown in our earlier reports, press reports of the conflict have given the impression that it is a war against Tamils. The LTTE has also tried hard to give an impression that it is total war and have

been pushing civilians to identify with them. By far the greatest response on the part of the civilians is to either avoid the Tigers or flee.

Particularly recent statements in the southern press that the Tigers are arming the civilians is bound to create conditions where arbitrary killings can be rationalized.

The administrative failures are even more serious. People in this country have become immune to irresponsible statements from politicians, which would have led to public calls for the government to resign in any democratic country. The Minister, for Defense said in Parliament that he would evacuate the population of Jaffna to a refugee camp in Vavuniya ,leading to panic and uncertainty among the civilians. Several weeks later a Defense. Ministry spokesman told a press conference& that this was not the government’s intention.

The President repeatedly gives much publicized assurances to delegations of Tamil leaders that Tamil civilians would be protected and issues orders to that effect. But there is no respite on the ground in killings of Tamil civilians by. government troops., leave alone by anybody else. The carelessness over informing the islanders is an administrative failure that must be seen in the light of this tradition, reflecting both incompetence arid lack of concern.

Norms to be Observed

We request our friends to bring pressure on the government. to observe these minimal norms:

(i)         Give proper instruction to the people using all the means available. Notices are not enough.

Proper information should be given through the national radio. Quite often the people in Jaffna were not sure whether there is a curfew on or not.

(ii)        Action must be taken to punish those indulging in looting and killing civilians.

During Operation Major there have been several - instances where people have been killed in public view, on the fancy of a soldier without the latter being subject to any impediment or restraint from his superiors. There must be civilian officers with the army who will respond positively to complaints.

(iii)       There should be no use of civilians as human shields.

(iv)       There should be a stop to indiscriminate use of air power and the straffing of civilians.

(v)        There should be no killing of civilians as supporters of. the LTTE.

With civilian functions having passed into the hands of the LTTE, most people have been forced to work-. with the LTTE at one level or another because       of fear. Under the prevailing logic such persons would be killed without even a chance to express their views.

(vi)       Utilize the ICRO and all existing civilian organizations, such as religious organizations, to safeguard the people’s interest & their security.[Top]

How the Muslims stood up for the Tamil civilians at Chatti

During the operation the Chatti Church had to be abandoned after a helicopter opened fire at the church refugee camp, when an LTTE van being chased stopped nearby. Four persons out of 1 ,500 in the refugee camp got killed. The refugees then moved into the Chatti Mosque. When the Army arrived from Mankum¼n and wanted to take some non— Muslims as hostages for a human shield, the mosque elders objected and succeeded in turning away the army officers without giving in to their demand. This incident shows how Tamils and Muslims can have a healthy relationship when not divided by manipulation.

End of preface.[Top]

Mankumban, Allepiddy, Mandaithivu

The Sri Lankan Army had not met much of the expected violence all along the way as they marched into Allepiddy and Mankumban.

From the 24th morning at 6:00 a.m. itself heli and bomber had started firing Mankumban. Murugan Temple was being heavily bombed; most of us were in bunkers. Around 4:00 p.m. we heard Sinhalese being spoken. A good Sinhalese officer called out “All of you come out”. One officer spoke in Sinhalese. One of us spoke in Sinhalese. He asked people to stop crying. “We won’t harm civilians”. So we dared to ask him whether the group that comes behind will harm us? So we trooped behind him two by two and marched the whole North Road and the Chatty Road. He asked us to sit in a circle in a field. Another group came in. One said “We will cut like fowls”, another added jokingly “We will cut you like goats”.

They ordered us to go to Pillaiyar Kovil around 5:30 p.m.; we asked for water. They replied that all the water has been poisoned with cyanide by the LTTE. They gave us 56 food Parcels; then we asked them for light. “Enada light elyadda”? They gave us a candle. Another officer in full white passed us by, he spoke a few nice words; another who wore a red T—shirt and white pants spoke roughly to us. The officer in charge came in and told us “Tie the gate well and inform us in case of any difficulty . My officer is in front1~

Next day 25th ,at 6.30 a.m. an officer who had found out that I was a student asked me “Why are the Tigers fighting for a dry place like this land, which has no water?” He continued “Within half an hour, we will go, you can go back to your houses in two hours”.

A handsome SLA officer came and divided the men from the women. He released all the women and asked the men to come behind including us. They asked the men to stand in front of the Temple and took the TV pictures and photos. The men were divided; in front the men were in 2 sections. They were set three by three. One went along the road, the other through the interior fields. There were more than 50 vehicles. For an hour we walked towards. Allepiddy. When a young boy refused to answer, a soldier held the gun next to his ear and fired from it. Our group avoided the village of Allepiddy as the next one went towards Allepiddy. What happened at Allepiddy is described earlier. 2 hours later we saw the army approaching our group, 250 people from Allepiddy. They were to be used as the human shield. They were asked. to sit separately. Some of the soldiers tried to use us as climbers, a dark boy was used to climb ten trees. A captain came and scolded them. He questioned me., “Did you know the LTTE? Are you see ‘Prabaharan’? Are you supporter of Eelam? Which movement do people support?” He asked me about the University. “Are you a senior or a junior?” I said “I am a fresher”. “Okama seniors are kottiyas” he added. I asked him for some water. He gave me few drops in a bottle cap. Then he gave a11 of us coconuts and added “All don’t misuse our kindness”.

Bulldozers were in action. We were near the old abandoned Aluminium Factory. The ground was being cleared for a permanent Army camp.[Top]

Chatty Mosque

Earlier with heli firing and the killing and wounding ‘of many citizens the Chatty Church had been abandoned. The refugees came into the Mosque refugee camp a kilometer away from Mankumban refugee camp. As the army went into Mankumban and went towards

the        Mosque, they wanted to take some non—Muslims as hostages for a   human shield.
The Mosque elders objected and succeeded in turning   away the army officers without giving into their demand.

The first group began moving towards Mandaithivu. They arrested civilians from various camps numbering nearly 500, marching an human shields in front of the - army. They were -between the ages of 18—40 years. I marched a little behind another from Allaipiddy. An officer told me to. tell those in front that they will be shot if they walk too fast or run. So I fell behind ,telling. the~ civilians who were marching. Then a Catholic officer ‘asked me about the seminary. When I mentioned my stay at Kandy Seminary, my profession of philosophy, he showed interest and told me I could go. I was free after walking only 100 metres. I came back to the Church. One thousand SL Army soldiers

were marching with us. Some of the civilians who marched with us were chained by the hand, three by three. Some were in front, -some were behind the army. The militants opened fire. Militants’ bullets were going above us. Did they sees us, the human shields? Three shells fell near the army lines. The army changed directions.

We had to cross a channel of -salt water hip deep. 2 commanders insisted on being  carried over by Tamil boys. So they did by 6.00p.m. The army       reached South -Mandaithivu and started breaking into houses.

As night fell we were asked to sleep in an abandoned house. This was the. 2nd day we were going without food.

In the morning we were asked to identify 3 dead LTTE militants in uniform. It was

8.30. At 9.00 a.m. they marched us in front of masked men. .4 or 5 innocent people got marked out. They were marched along blind­folded, kicked with boots.

We took turn to Pillaiyar Temple South Road, Manndaithivu main road, Hospital Road. We were asked to  shout “Eelam Vendam” (We do not wont, Eelam). Then half a dozen Tamilyouth who had come along with the army had an identification parade. All married people were released. With the help of afore­mentioned Tamil youths, nearly 250 were released. I was among them. On the way to Allepiddy we met some drunken soldiers. Some of us were assaulted, one was knifed. It was 7.00 p.m. or after. At Allepiddy we were asked to go to Mankumban Camp. So we went off to find 10,000 people gathered there, starving, fainting, sick, fearful. The Govt. Tamil Mixed Mahavidyalaya was turned into an adhoc Refugee Camp, had hardly space for a few, two toilets and no water. Many were out in the open.

-A witness stated Group 3 started moving. Earlier Group 2’ had started moving under Capt. Priyantha. It had no human shield. With Group 3 civilians - were not in front, so we were asked to sit in a house nearby. Tigers fired, a heli appeared. as the LTTE bullets came into the house the army man who was threatening us ran away. Army withdrew to the coast. As Tiger fire came in, a few soldiers had started assaulting some of us. Someone in our group was seriously wounded in the assault - so we lifted him up and carried him in the opposite direction.

As darkness fell we carried him into a house, the helis had left and the bombers had gone. A man directed us into a lane, a jeep rushed by, a woman was crying hysterically because her mother had been shot dead by the army. We walked by to Mankumban, it was 3:00 a.m., 26th of August 1990.[Top]

Mandaithivu

There were rumours that the SLA was advancing. Around twenty—five people mainly old people were inside St. Peter’s RC Church,Mandaithivu.

Most of the people- were at Pillaiyar Temple, some -were in their bunkers, - as buildings offered no safety from shells-and bombs.

I was hiding with, my children in the chimney at home said a 42 year old mother of- 6 children. Her husband had gone - to the RC Church for safety with his - 4 year old chubby girl. A first group soldier came in, pinched the little girl on the cheek and went off. A fourth group of soldiers who had chopped down from the heli walked in, pulled P. Jasunayagam 40 yrs., wrenched the little girl from his hand. The little, girl told us “He shot my father twice”. It was inside St. Peter’s Church. There were others killed inside and outside. Next morning on hearing of her husband’s death, she ran to the Church. Her husband’s body was loaded into a lorry at  10:30 a.m. by the army. She begged to be allowed to perform the funeral rites.
She was refused. Others who    died at Mandaithivu (from the Christian community) are:


            N.        Xavier — 28 years
            R.         Sebastiampillai — 33 years
            A.        Thurai — 25 years
            S.         Gnanaseelan — 25 years
            S.         Arokianathar — 50 years
            M.        Soosaipillai — 85 years
            M.        Antonipilai — 80 years
            Savmuvel Chellan —   85years (blind and can’t walk)


            Ramany Navaratnam (Feared   shot after rape)??
            Suresh — 14 years
            Anpalakan — 22 years
            Wijaya Ratnam — 23 years
            Ratnam Jayaseelan — 22 years

The details of the deaths of Hindu civilians are not known yet. May be around 40 a most. [Top]

Operation Major

The Sri Lankan Army’s “Operation Major” for the capture of the Islands of Kayts and Mandaithevu began on the early morning of the 22nd of August. From the Karai Nagar naval base, around 1,500 to 2,000 troops crossed over to Paruthiadaippu on the main land of Kayts.. The shore on which they landed had been deserted for the last two months and so soldiers had a field day looting the houses. The list started with jewellery and ended with fancy items including foreign religious articles. They scouted around the houses in and around the Kayts Jetty. .They entered the house of Mr. Collins, a retired Telecommunications man, spotted an old safe, broke it open, long after when Collins entered the house, only the golden pendant clung to some wooden frame remained, the rest had been removed,

Thursday morning the SLA felt safe to enter St. Mary’s Church area, St. Joseph’s Church area and Sivan Kovil. The people of Kayts were hardly aware that the army had entered the island. The notices dropped by the army from air, had been blown off by. the wind to the Arali coast, only a few found themselves in the hands of some citizens. Word quickly passed, the Tigers gave evasive answer as to the movement and entry of the army. So as usual to remove  a few articles Aladin (1), and Gerald (2), father of a 31. days old baby entered their home area to be gunned down and their bodies were burnt near the 4th house on Mankuli Road. Sabinama (3), Selvamaicam (4) Rasendram (5) ,and Velupillai’s (6) bodies were’ heaped near a pond on Nankuli. Road and burnt..

The leaflets of the army mentioned Suruvil Catholic Church in particular, but by the time information filtered down to the people the bombers and heli’s were in the skies firing away and it was too dangerous and risky for people to move to Suruvil. Who is to blame whom?- At least the - Government which proclaims internationally and nationally the liberation of the Tamil people, from the so—called - “Terrorizing Forces” could have given an early warning to the people through the news broadcast. It would have been a concrete -sign of their  so—called concern for a people caught between the devil and the deep sea.

The- camp Road which is in front of St.Mary’s -Church, Kayts suffered six deaths:

S.M. Packiaraja (7) — 55 years (and his sons)

Joseph Raj(8)   — 22   years.
Jeya Raj (9) — 20 years (and his wife)
Mariamanicam (10) —             49 years(and his daughter)
Inpajothy (ii)     — 14   years

Nesamman (12) — 55 years was- the neighbour of Packiaraja, together with his wife, the three of the aforementioned were shot dead in their home bunker. The children were taken out and shot dead in their compounds. This family tragedy of an unarmed helpless group took place on      the morning of   Wednesday the 22nd.

The following were shot dead and found in various spots of the Kayts area:

Sinnathurai (13)

Selvamanicam (14) — (alias Manamma)

Appu (15) — (Muthu’s husband)

Nagamuthu (16) — (and his son (17))

John (18)

SeivarajaI~ (19)

Aseervatham’s nephew (20)

Ranee Rokesh (21) — 45 years, a sick person, on Thursday 23rd evening, 5:00 p.m. ignorant of the fact that the army had moved in, pius Emanuvel (22) — 35 years and his brother, Justin (James) came to collect some provisions at home , were arrested and shot near Naranthanai AG’s house, half a mile from their home. Pakiaraja (24) — 40 years, a partially demented person who helped at ayurv~dic physician Dr.Singam’s dispensary, was shot dead near the clinic. Pathman. (25), Peter (26) and Senthil’s brother (27). were found -shot to death in a house near the Kayts Cemetery. An unidentified boy of a middle— aged woman (28) was found dead with shot injuries near St. Antony’s Church, Kayts

East. Nahulan Ponnuthurai (29) —        33        years

was looking after his sickly and old mother. As he looked out of the kitchen he was shot to death near Ponnacheri Kadai junction on the Pannai Road, Naranthanai South MPCS building.

Due to the heavy bombings on Wednesday and Thursday, St. Joseph’s -Church was heavily damaged and 3 houses were fully demolished, nearly 20 houses were partially damaged.

St. Antony’s College buildings were heavily damaged by the mines exploded by the .SLA. From Wednesday onwards the Kayts Govt.Hospital was closed and patient& were transferred to Velanai.[Top]

Military Operation at Narathanai

On Friday 24th morning the army entered Naranthanai which had been. continually bombed from Thursday morning, damaging 6 civilian residences and partially damaging 10.

M.Soosaipillai (32) — 65 years

Winceslaus (33) — 45 years

Pedurupillai (34) — 40 years

The above persons were separated from the women who had been in two bunkers and shot dead. There were 16 in the group. Leo’s son, Justin (35) — 30 years was summoned out of the bunker, the child he was carrying had been orphaned the previous day; it was taken from him and he was shot dead beside the bunker. Ebmo Marianayakam (35) — 14 years old was in his family group of ten. They had taken shelter in the toilet. At 8:15 a first group of soldiers passed by advising the group not to panic. The second group went by. The third group caught the boy and shot him in the . head. When the fourth group came in, the soldier said “Sorry” and -“Why not tell the Tigers that they should think twice before murdering others”. They took a photograph of Ehmo’s dead body. The cruel logic of war is that innocents are made to drown in their own logic by their enemies.

Marian Benedict (37) — 45 years was shot and put in the well near Kojurni, Naranthanai. Two brothers, Arumugam Gunanayakam (38), Arumugam Kirupanayakam, both married, were looking after their invalid mother at Naranthanai East and were taken to a neighbouring field and shot. Former died on the spot and the other was taken to Manipay Hospital.

Another tragic incident occurred when Perinpalam Sivakumar (39) — 18 years and Francis Anton (40) — 23 years were arrested at home, were walked up the fields and were forced to confess that they were Tigers.

After heavy assaults with boots, gun butts, and broken arrack bottles, made them lose consciousness by hitting them with concrete slabs, then threw them into the hay stack and forced another person to hit the hay. They also shot at the occupants of that compound bunker , injuring Mrs. Thirugnanam and Mrs. Kandiah. Mrs. Thirugnanam was later amputated from her knee downwards.

The following persons were also killed in various incidents in and around Naranthanai:

Krishnapillaj. (41) — 80 years

Arumugam (42) — 85 years

Andresu Sellathurai (43) — 52 years

Manuvel (44) — 50 years

Mahadeva Vasanthan (45) — 20 years

Shanmugapillaits son (46)

Ranee (47) — 32 years

David (48)        — 23 years (and his brother, Thevaratnam (49) — 20 years)

Ponn~ah           Marianayagam (50) — 40 years (left his family at AlI.epiddy and was returning home with his jewellery. He was shot dead and his jewellery stolen)

Suresh Kumar (51) — 16 years

These four persons died at Naranthanaj. on 22nd Wednesday morning during the bombing:

David Thurai Rajah (52)

Alfred (53)

Geetha Gibbert (54)

Chelvam (55)

Lucia Gibbert is admitted at Manipay Hospital with serious injuries. Manuvelpillai(56), Naranthanai Annaveethy was shot dead. The one who accompanied him was spared.

As the military operation started on Friday the 24th ,most of the people were at home. Kasipillai Subramaniam (57) — 55 years was a victim of the artillery shell of the SLA fired into his home. Nadarajah Kumarasamy

(58) — 35 years was shot dead in the bunker. Nagamma (59) — 59 years was shot dead at the same time between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00

p.m. inside, the tobacco drying oven. Three (60, 61, 62) unknown persons were shot dead in a lane of East Saravanai (Karappian) in front of Prakash Pavanam. Wimalan Chellathurai (63), Dharmalingam Ratha (64) were killed there.

Military Operation at Velanai

At Velanai) near Navalady Kulam

Krishnapillai Rahuseelan (65)

Inpanayagam Jeyanthan (66)

Subramaniam Mathialakan (67)

Balasubramaniam Vishnu (68)

Another young man from llandaitheevu (69)

Another estate youth from Vavuniya (70) all between the ages of 20 — 30 were shot and knifed to death.

Nagalingam Kulam Thurai’s son Chevanthi and her husband were also shot to death.

Chatti Church Tncident

The Church had become an adhoc refugee camp and there were 1,500 refugees.. from all over the island of Kayts. There were three priests and four nuns of the Holy Trinity Family Order. A LTTE van was being chased by a SL Army helicopter. The Tigers parked the van a along the Chruch compound wall and ran into the Church. The Ti area leader had been wounded. The heli fired into the van then turned the guns into the Church where the people had gathered for shelter. Four people died and several were injured. It was between 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.

Rosie (Bishop L.R. Anthony’s sister – 67 years)

Manavel Ponnan A child and a young man — 20 years

Six were injured including Mangalam’s son;

Newman, Sylvester — 14 years; Vijayan—16 years

Walten — 16 years; Nelson — 9 years; Valentine

—        12 years.

The people began leaving Chatti. An army instruction had asked them to go to Suruvil Annai Mary Matha Kovil and had warned that they were not responsible for the safety of those who leave by boats.[Top]

Air Force Attacks in Vadauiarachi Area

12.8.90            — The target in Yakkarai (Karaveddy East)     was attacked by bombers        at 5:30p.m.     The house near to the target was damaged. Nobody was injured. The target was also not damaged. Fifteen minutes later the bombers left, there was artillery shelling from Palaly Army Camp.

21.8.90            — A target in Pullalai (Puloly) was attacked by bombers and a helicopter It was about 6:00 in the morning.

The first bomb dropped into a Palmyrah grove where a 35 year old woman died instantly and later her child escaped with injuries. There were only two militants in the area and they escaped. The target was already destroyed. Some of the bombs fell on a small house which is near the hospital.

24.8.90            — There was a wide spread grenade attack by the helicopters in Vadamarachi. This particular kind of grenade is put inside jam bottles and dropped.

25.8.90                        — At 9:30 a.m. two bombers came over Nelliady Town and shelled two rockets at the people gathered around the market place. The first one blasted on the Nelliady—Jaffna Road just in front of the market. Seven people died on the spot. Twenty to thirty people were injured (later two succumbed to their injuries). The injured were taken to the Point Pedro Base Hospital and later taken to Manipay. The surgical team was not present there at that moment. Most of them who died were street vendors and those who had come to shop. There weren’t any vehicles or boys in military uniform when the attack took place. The people had not expected any attack since the curfew had been lifted(according to SLBC)in Point Pedro for unloading the food ship and they naturally thought Nelliady also where the curfew was to be lifted.

29.8.90-          Bombing in Udupiddy.

31.8.90            — Once again bombing  at Yakkarai.  A helicopter came and bombed a house in front of Yakkarai Pillaiyar Temple. The first two bombs fell on the house and on paddy fields close by. A husband and wife died in this incident. The wife (a teacher) who went into the house seeing the bombers approaching, died immediately. The husband (principal) who was chopping wood in the garden died on the way to the hospital. Their son escaped with injuries. The target, 200 yards away from the house, had been marked by the bombers two weeks ahead but they had missed the mark.[Top]


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Copyright © UTHR 2001