Back to Main Page History Briefing Statements Bulletins Reports Special Reports Publications Links


Appendix 1


(From David Savage of the Australian Federal Police attached to IIGEP)


NAME:                       RAMASAMY SHANMUGARAJ

DATE OF BIRTH:     24 September 1964

ADDRESS:                Foreign Country

OCCUPATION:         Former Senior Police Constable,


DATE:                        31 May 2008


1.      My name is. My NIC number is 642681451 V.  I am a Sri Lanka Tamil and a Hindu. I achieved year 10 at school to the level of GCE O Level.  I speak, read and write Tamil and Sinhala fluently and I also speak, read and write some English, although I am not fluent in that language. I am married and have four children.  My family and I have resided in a foreign country since March 2008, prior to that we lived in Ragala, Halgranoya.  Prior to joining the Sri Lanka Police Force, I was a clerk for five years at the National Estate Workers’ Union in Ragala.

2.      I have never had any affiliation with any political organization, either with any of the government political parties nor have I ever been involved with the LTTE.

3.      My family and I left Sri Lanka in March 2008 to reside in a foreign country because members of the Sri Lanka Police Force, on a number of occasions, threatened my life and the lives of my family if I told the truth about the events that I witnessed in August 2006 at the Action Contra La Faim (ACF) compound in Muttur.  I will describe these threats in more detail later in my statement.

4.      At the time I left Sri Lanka I was a police officer in the Sri Lanka Police Force with the rank of Senior Police Constable.  I had officially been promoted to Sergeant but had not assumed my duties as such by the time I left Sri Lanka.  My Police Identity number is 59533. I was a member of the Police Force for 17 years.

I commenced duty on the 1st of July 1991.  My last posting was to Nuwara Eliya Police Head Quarters, from where I was also out-posted to other stations, including Norton Bridge for special duties. When I joined the Police Force I received and completed Basic Police Training and Weapons Training in T-56 machine guns, SLR automatic rifles, shotguns, rifles and handguns. I am also trained in basic police radio communications.

5.      My first posting was Ruwanwella from January 1992 for one year where I performed normal police patrol duties.  My next posting was Nuwara Eliya from January 1993 for six years where I performed normal police patrol duties, traffic duties, and checkpoint duties.  In March 1999 I was transferred to the Intelligence Unit of the Police Force and operated in Colombo Fort and Wellawatta.  Generally speaking, my duties required that I operated covertly in an attempt to collect information on criminals and terrorists, including the LTTE.  I would report the information I collected to the Officer in Charge of the respective Police Stations. During the two year period that I was so posted, I also performed normal police duties in those locations.

6.      I was transferred in 2003 to the Muttur Police Station in Trincomalee Division. For the first two years in the Muttur area I performed normal police duties and then in 2005 I was assigned as a Magistrate’s Court Officer in Muttur. In 2005 I came to know Magistrate Manikkawasagar GANESHARAJAH. He was a Tamil and during the course of our professional relationship I came to trust and respect him. In approximately February 2006 I was reassigned to normal police duties at Muttur until approximately September 2006. I was then transferred to the Uppuweli Police Station of the Trincomalee Police Division until December 2007.  While there I was attached to the Minor Offences Branch.

7.      While I was working in the Muttur Magistrates Court under the Magistrate GANESHARAJAH, my daily function at the Muttur Court was to act as the Court officer. My duties would include arranging the order of cases to appear before the Magistrate and organizing the Charge Sheets for the Magistrate. I recorded in the Court Record book all rulings and judgments that the Magistrate made.

At the completion of the Court I would give these recorded judgments and rulings to the Registrar of the Court.

8.      Throughout my police career I have also acted as an interpreter because most of the population in the areas I served was Muslim and Tamil and most of the Police were Sinhalese and only spoke Sinhala.

9.      While I was stationed in Muttur I lived in the barracks of the Muttur Main Police Station. 

10.  While serving in Muttur I noticed several NGO’s operating in the Muttur area.  This was mainly after the Tsunami which came in late 2004. One of the NGO’s that was operating there was called Action Contra La Faim or ACF. It was involved in helping the Tsunami affected people in Muttur.

11.   The ACF was very welcome by the Tamil people because of their work in assisting the Muttur people after the Tsunami. There had been some resentment by the Muslim population in Muttur against the ACF because the Muslims believed that the ACF and other aid groups were favouring the Tamils in Muttur. The Muslims believed that all Tamils were LTTE sympathizers, and they claimed that the LTTE would often demand money from them.  From my interaction with both the Tamil and Muslims in Muttur I did not believe that the ACF were in fact favouring the Tamils. I had in fact seen the ACF assisting both Muslims and Tamils alike. I often passed the ACF office on Abdul Cassim Road when I was riding my bicycle to the hospital and other places in the area.  While I did not know the ACF people by their names, we would recognize each other and acknowledge each other with a smile or a wave when we saw each other. I thought they were doing good work for all the people of Muttur.

12.  The Sri Lankan security forces in Muttur seemed to have respect for the ACF and there were no problems between them and the ACF while they were in Muttur up until the end of July or early August 2006.

13.  While I was posted in Muttur up until 1 August 2006 the LTTE had not attacked Muttur Town, although there had been small incidents in the area.

14.  At the time of the attack on Muttur by the LTTE in late July or early August 2006, I was stationed at the main Muttur Police Station. My main role was to man a guard room, there were 4 of these and nine or ten bunkers, and we would be allocated different Guard Rooms to man at different times.  I was a supervisor of a Guard Room and, at times when no incidents were occurring, the bunkers were not manned. However, the junior security such as Home Guards would be supervised to patrol and check on the area of responsibility which included several bunkers to ensure they were operational.

15.  I also had additional roles and responsibilities which included working with the Sri Lanka Army on security duty. This consisted of checking premises and vehicles for any arms or chemicals that could be used for constructing explosives. Intelligence led investigations were conducted on suspects and new comers in and around the Muttur Town. When these suspects were located we conducted searches of the identified suspects and their vehicles and houses for anything suspicious. These activities were conducted under the Emergency Regulations. These Army officers were members of the regular Army forces from the Kaddaiparichan Army Camp at the edge of Muttur.

16.  The Muttur Home Guard consisted of local men and women who were voluntarily recruited by the government to perform security duties in their home town. The Home Guard underwent 2 weeks of weapons training by the Army. They did not receive any other training like the Police, such as training in rules, regulations and behaviour. These Home Guards were always under the command of the Police.  The Home Guards are issued with weapons at the start of each of their shifts by the Police.  The type of weapon, its serial number and the name of the Home Guard were entered in the Weapons Register in Muttur. It was the responsibility of the Officer in Charge of the Armoury, Sergeant SOORIYAKUMARA, to record these details. At the end of their respective shifts, all of the Home Guards had to return their weapons and have this recorded in the Weapons Register.

17.  When Sergeant SOORIYAKUMARA was not on duty this responsibility became the responsibility of the acting Weapons Register, PC NILANTHA. The OIC of the Muttur Police, IP RANAWEERA, had the overall responsibility for all of the Home Guards.

18.  The Home Guards were only issued a T-56, which fire a 7.62 calibre bullet. The Police were also issued with T-56’s or different weapons such as LMG’s, SLR’s, T-80’s, and pistols, the most common for a Police officer is  theT-56.

19.   The Police who were based in the Police Barracks could keep their weapons with them.  However, those who resided outside the Police Barracks had to return their weapons at the completion of their shift. The police had a specific firearm issued to them and they received the same one for each duty, however the Home Guards were issued with any T 56 at random at the beginning of each of their shifts.  The type of weapon and its serial number issued to a Police officer were also recorded in the Weapons Register.

20.   The Home Guards in Muttur were almost all Muslims, there were only a few Sinhalese, and no Tamils were recruited into the Home Guard. Even though there were posts vacant, the OIC would not allow Tamils to join the Home Guard in case they were LTTE sympathizers.

21.  In my estimation the population in Muttur in July 2006 was made up of approximately 80% Muslim, 15% Tamil and about 5% Sinhala.

22.  In the Muttur area there was about 200 Police Officers. There were approximately 150 Sinhala, 45 Muslim and 5 Tamils. All of the senior officers were Sinhala, the highest ranked Muslim in Muttur was a Sergeant, and the highest ranked Tamil was also a Sergeant.

23.  About one month prior to the LTTE attack on Muttur at the end of July or early August 2006, all of the Police attended a weekly class held every Saturday. The OIC of Muttur Police, IP RANAWEERA informed us that intelligence indicated that an attack by the LTTE against Muttur was expected at any time.

As a result of this information, some Police officers were tasked with being a reaction force. Therefore, should an attack occur, someone would ring a bell as a warning and this reaction force would go to the appropriate places to defend the Main Police Station. No additional security forces were brought into Muttur at that time in order to help defend. Our daily duties remained unchanged.

24.  One day prior to the LTTE attack on Muttur which occurred at the end of July or the beginning of August 2006, IP RANAWEERA left for Trincomalee. This left Inspector Abeywardne as the Acting OIC.  This is was what normally occurred when the OIC was absent.

25.  The Muttur Telecom Police Post in Muttur Town was under the command of Sgt. RATNAYAKE. He had six or seven Police or Home Guards under his command to protect telecommunications. There were no army commando units in the area prior to the attack. These Police and Home Guards occupied the building immediately beside the tower. I had been to this location on many occasions prior to the attack and I had never seen a sign that stated ‘1st Commandos B Group’. I have not been to that location since the LTTE attack ended in August 2006.

26.  During the daytime prior to the attack on Muttur, I was tasked with checking vehicles which were going to the Sampur area, past the Kaddaiparichan Army Camp.  There were no incidents and I finished my duty at 4 pm.  I returned to the Police Barracks at the Main Police Station. At 7 pm we were called to ‘Stand To’ by the Acting OIC Abeywardne. He stated that information was just received indicating a possibility that the LTTE would attack Police Station, Telecom Post, Pachenoor, Thopoor and the Kaddaiparichan Army Camp. He stated that we would move to ‘Stand To’, which was the pre-arranged response in case of an attack. No one was allowed to stay in the barracks and we were assigned to guard posts and bunkers to protect the Police Station. There were no instructions to protect the town or the civilian population from an attack. I was allocated Guard Post No. 10 under the command of Sub Inspector Jayasena. Those Police Officers who were more experienced with weapons were issued the heavier weapons such as LMG’s, SLR’s, and AK 47’s to protect the post.

The night duty shift officers were tasked to stay awake and observe while those who had done day shift, like me, could sleep.  I was armed with a T 56.

27.  The Guard Post 10 looked out over the lagoon and about 2kms on the other side of the lagoon there was an LTTE controlled area called IRALKULI. About 2 am on the morning of the 1st day of the attack, I was woken up and told that the LTTE was attacking the Army at the Kaddaiparichan Camp and that we had to be ready to counter an attack on the Police Post if one occurred.

28.  I could hear the attack as the LTTE attacked Muttur. It was a very serious attack and the LTTE used mortars, other heavy weapons, LMG’s and small arms such as T 56’s to attack. However, I did not know exactly what was occurring as the communications had been cut at the commencement of the attack.

29.  There were a number of Police who were coming into the Police Station around 9 AM on the morning of the 1st day of the attack. I saw SI SARATHCHANDRA come in to the Station.  He had been in the Town Police Post close to the Post Office and the Telecom Police Post, which is about 1km from the Police Station. Many of the police had run from the Town Police Post, leaving insufficient officers to defend it. I saw SI SARATHCHANDRA come with a Muslim Police officer, named Eliyas, and with some Muslim Home Guards. They must have entered between bunker 7 and 8 as it was impossible to come through the front gate at that time as the area was exposed to the LTTE at IRALKULI.  I didn’t talk to SARATHCHANDRA at that time.

30.   Around 11 AM, the LTTE first attacked the Main Police Station itself by shooting in its general direction.  Many of the bullets went over top of the bunkers and trees.  I was involved in the armed defence of the Police Station. About one and one half hours after SI SARATHCHANDRA arrived; Magistrate GANESHARAJAH was also brought by his Police guards from the town where he sought refuge in the Police Station. The shooting was diminishing as the LTTE were not coming under fire, so the actual shooting was becoming less.

I was informed that the LTTE had taken over the Telecom Police Post and tower so I moved to bunker number 7 where I could see LTTE cadres quite clearly the up in the tower.

31.  Acting OIC ABAYWARDNE told us not to shoot at the LTTE cadres up in the tower as it might provoke them to attack the Police Station. At that time there were only about 30 Police officers left to defend the Station, as about 25 or 30 of the Muslim Home Guards and Police had deserted their posts, changed into civilian clothes and tried to hide amongst the population. One Police Officer named ANSAR had even handed his rifle over to me before he ran away.

32.  The Telecommunications Tower was a very strategic location because from the tower the LTTE could control all operations in Muttur, directing including mortar and artillery fire into the town and the Station. All of the Police were very concerned about this because it made the Station and its defenses very vulnerable.  All the Police were talking about this and the likelihood of an imminent attack on the Station. Despite receiving instructions from Trincomalee Command to conserve ammunition, the Police rapidly expended their ammunition by shooting blindly at suspected LTTE positions, even though we were not under direct attack.

33.  When I found out that the magistrate came into the Police Station I went to see him. He was in the OIC bunker, number 8, which was heavily fortified and partially underground. The other bunkers were not very well fortified and did not have any coverage to protect from above. When I saw the Magistrate inside Bunker number 8, I had a conversation with him and I then gave him my transistor radio as he was a very well respected man and he did not have one so he could hear news from the outside world. At this time there had been no reinforcements from Trincomalee as the jetty was blocked, and the LTTE were attacking it.

34.  The Police who were equipped and trained to fire the mortars from our mortar positions had run away leaving only untrained Police to man the mortars. They were firing blindly and many of their mortars fell into the sea well short of the LTTE positions.

35.  On the second day of the attack there was small arms fire coming from suspected LTTE positions. Police fired back at those positions in the hope of shooting them but because the LTTE were firing from 2kms away it was too far to be accurate with a rifle.

36.  On the second day of the attack on Muttur mortars fell at 3 points inside the Main Police Station.  They landed near Bunkers 3, 7, and 9. There were some minor injuries sustained, and at this time we were almost totally out of ammunition. This occurred at approximately 2 PM on the 1st day.

37.  The attack on the town of Muttur was very serious and many people were killed, including a Police Sergeant and four other officers who were attached to Police posts in the area were injured.  There were also 10 or 15 civilians from both the Muslim and Tamil communities killed in the fighting in and around the Muttur town and the jetty.

38.  In addition to the Police defending the Main Police Station, there were the Home Guards who came to seek refuge there. The names of the Home Guards that came into the Station that I knew were Muslims by the name of JEHANGIR, MOHAMMED, and NIYAZ. I had known JEHANGIR for a period of two years, while I was posted in Muttur.  Jehangir was about 30 years of age and lived in the area called Neiydal Nagar in Muttur Town, about half a kilometer from the Hospital and the ACF Office. He was not wearing his Home Guard uniform when he came into the compound, but this was not unusual as he did not generally wear his Home Guard uniform.  Jehangir was restricted in the weapons that he would be issued due to his past bad behaviour and only when an occasion warranted it he would be issued with a T-56.  He generally was only trusted to clean and sweep the Police Station. On this occasion, as we were under attack, Jehangir had a rifle as everyone was issued firearms for the defense of the Station.

39.   Jehangir spoke Tamil but was not fluent in Sinhala. Jehangir was known amongst the Police as being very anti-LTTE and anti-Tamil.  He gathered information against the LTTE and was targeted by the LTTE for his activities.

40.  As a result he was very violent against the Tamil population in general as he considered all Tamils as supporters of the LTTE and treated them as such. I had spoken to many members of the Muttur population, Muslims and Tamils alike, who had told me of his violence towards the Tamil civilians.

41.  I had been told by some of the Muslim youths in Muttur that Jehangir was responsible for abducting and raping some of the Tamil girls in Muttur. Some of these girls had complained to police without naming Jehangir. He was known within the Police in Muttur as being a very bad and violent man and was investigated by the Police for some of these sexual assaults. He was on occasion kept under detention at the Station for these offences. These offences were never

referred to the Magistrate because Jehangir often provided the Police with information about the LTTE so they did not want him prosecuted.

42.  A number of people in the Muttur community told me that Jehangir was responsible for killing some Tamil people who were collecting firewood in the jungle.  These crimes had been reported to police as I acted as an interpreter for the STF Inspector who was investigating these cases. Magistrate Ganesharajah, although not officially informed of Jehangir’s crimes, was aware of them as he had told me about them while I was working with him and had asked me what I knew about Jehangir. Even Muslims in Muttur were reluctant to report about Jehangir’s activities as he was a member of Jihad and they feared that he would destroy them and their families if they spoke out against him. 

43.  Jehangir was quite cunning as he would provide the police with information about the LTTE, even if it was not true, in order to make himself appear valuable to the Police. Whenever the Police were considering prosecuting him for crimes, he would pretend that he was a little crazy. Even OIC Ranaweera and Abeywardne knew what he was like, but did not take any action against him. In general, the Police did not trust Jehangir or consider him honest and trustworthy but they tolerated him for the information he would provide about the LTTE.

44.  MOHAMMED was a Home Guard form Muttur Town.  I had also known him for the whole period I had been in Muttur.  Mohammed was 26 or 27 years old. I think he lived in Anachenai in Muttur Town and he is married with children. He was wearing his Home Guard uniform when he came into the Main Police Station. He was also issued a T-56 rifle when he arrived. He was considered to be a good man, although he would always do what he was told and often if Jehangir told him to do something he would as he was intimidated by him. Jehangir would sometime threaten to bomb his house. Civilians and others were in fear of Jehangir because he was supported by the Jihad group and the security forces.

45.  NIYAZ was also a Home Guard. He was a good man without prejudice against Tamils or Muslims and would treat all people equally. He was 27 or 28 years old and lived in an area near the Main Police Station, close to the Telecom Tower, called Nadutheevu. He was married with two children. He always wore a Home

Guard uniform on duty and when he came into the Main Police Station that day he was wearing his uniform, he had also been issued with a T-56 rifle.

46.  During the attack by the LTTE on Muttur, members of the population kept contacting the Main Police Station to tell us what was happening in the town during the attack. This was recorded in the Telephone Register Book or TR as it was known by the Police. I was personally unaware of whether there were civilians still in Muttur Town after the initial attack.

47.  On the morning of the 2nd day I heard some of the Muslim boys talking and they said that the elder brother of Jehangir had been killed by the LTTE during the attack. I saw Jehangir when he entered the Police Station on the morning of the 2nd day of the attack. Jehangir was crying and he appeared to be furious, and I  saw and heard Jehangir  shouting out aloud:


Jehangir shouted this very loudly and it was heard by many Police officers who were in the area. I told Jehangir to cool down, and that what the LTTE did was wrong and we will all get together and attack the LTTE. Jehangir told me that as I was from the South, and different from the LTTE Tamils, I should take leave and go home as he was going to wipe out all of the Tamils in Muttur. I became afraid that he may harm me so I retreated to the barracks as Jehangir remained very angry.

48.  On the day of the big attack on the main police station one Sergeant was killed and another two Police were injured during the attack. After the attack had stopped, we were all very scared and thought that the LTTE could attack us again and we did not have much ammunition left and needed to be reinforcements. We all gathered in the Telephone Room to try and work out what to do. We were all panicking as we did not know what to do. Some wanted to run away while others wanted to try to escape into the sea.  Abeywardne was pleading with the Police and Home Guards not to run away that he would get the Commandos to help us.

49.  PC Punchinilame called the Inspector General of Police. We were all gathered around when he told the IGP


      The IGP replied:


However, no reinforcements came until later on the following day. (3rd)

50.  When the attacks stopped we saw the LTTE retreating towards IRULKULI and they had moved from their observation post in the Telecom Tower. The Police discussed amongst ourselves whether the LTTE were still in Muttur Town and we believed that they had left.  This belief was further reinforced when later the Commando’s arrived and the OIC arrived by sea that it was safe now as otherwise they would not have been able to land.  It is also my experience that LTTE Cadres would not stay to confront the Commando’s and Special Forces and would leave.

51.  On the day after the big attack on the Main Police Station the OIC Ranaweera returned from Trincomalee. The attack had gone quiet and there was no further shooting. They arrived on a gunboat and it came to the Lagoon I could see it arrive from my post. He was with the ASP MULLERIYA. The Commando’s arrived at the Jetty, and they came in through the back door of the Police Station near guard post number 9. They brought with them a lot of ammunition as we had almost run out of it and we did not have enough to continue the defense of the Station. The OIC told me that the Army Commandos were coming and not to fire in the direction of the beach as they are not LTTE but were Commandos.  I saw that they were wearing camouflage clothing like the army commandos do. They were carrying heavy weapons with their weapons in their hands. The Commandos also had military radio communication sets with them. Inside the Police Station in

the Telephone Room the Police had a Motorola Communication set to communicate with the Military.

52.  I had spoken to some of the Commandos when they came to the bunkers.  They told us that they had come from Trincomalee, to relieve us but they had come originally from Colombo.

53.  When the Commandos arrived some of them climbed up the ‘OP’ point which is a tower about 25-30 feet high located between Post 10 and the main gate. This OP point had been abandoned during the battle as it was vulnerable and had been shot at and was in fact damaged. I have been up the OP point previously. It was designed to observe movements on the IRALKULI side of the lagoon.

54.  During the battle it was not manned as when an officer had tried to climb it he had come under fire from the IRALKULI side and the OP point did not afford any protection. From the OP you also could see some of Trincomalee and some of Muttur Town.

55.  When the Commandos arrived in the OP they called in artillery from Trincomalee to hit IRALKULI and SAMPUR areas where the LTTE had retreated. Some of the shells also fell in Muttur Town near the bank and also near the Hospital.

56.  At the same time as the Commandos arrived, a group of Special Forces, or ‘SF’ as they are known arrived. They had longer hair than the Commandos and a black cloth covering their heads. I did not speak to any of the SF people, only the Commandos.

57.  The SF spread out around the Police station and planned which areas of the LTTE held territory they would attack, such as Sampur.

58.  I became aware that there were still members of the ACF in Muttur Town. I saw the Telephone Operator, PC Punchinilame, come outside the Telephone Room and went up to the OIC.  He said:

Sir, there is a call from the ACF office in Trincomalee in relation to their people who are still in their Muttur ACF office and they want to talk to you.

I saw the OIC then run towards the Telephone Room. A short time later the OIC came outside the Telephone Room and I heard the OIC say to the ASP:

The ACF are requesting that we provide protection for them as they still have staff in their office.

The ASP talked to the OIC about rescuing the ACF workers and getting them safely back to Trincomalee.

59.  I heard the OIC call the Commandos, who had by this time gone to various points around the perimeter. The Commandos had been trying to lift moral amongst the Police by telling them that they were there to help them.  All of the Police were very frightened as we did not know if the LTTE would attack again.

60.  It was after 1 PM when the OIC called the Commandos and some SF.  In all, about 10 of them came to where the OIC was standing outside the Telephone Room. I saw that that there were two officers in the Commandos. One of them had one star and the other had two stars. I know what the rank means in the Police but I am not sure what it is in the Commandos. I could not hear exactly what the OIC was saying to the Commandos and SF, but he was talking and gesturing to them.

61.  I saw the Home Guard Jehangir there amongst them and two Police officers. One was a bodyguard to OIC RANAWEERA, named Susantha.  The other was the assistant Weapons Manager Nilantha.

62.  While this meeting was underway I moved away because, as a Tamil, I was concerned for my own safety as they did not trust Tamils. If I did not move I would have been told to move away anyway.

63.   After they talked together for about 5 – 7 minutes, the group gathered their weapons around 1 or 1.15 PM and started to move towards the main entrance near bunker no.1. I saw that the Commandos were carrying heavy weapons as were the

SF but I am not familiar with their weapons. Some of them were long with a barrel magazine. Jehangir was carrying a T-56, Susantha was carrying a heavy weapon, maybe a LMG, and Nilantha was carrying a T-56.  Neither of the Commando officers were with the group that left the Station at that time.

64.  Just after the group left the Station, PC Punchinilame ran out of the Telephone Room. He started to say “Sir….”. The OIC at the same time received a call on his mobile telephone and was talking in Sinhala from the conversation that I could hear:

are the LTTE inside the Telecom, ….. near the Hospital ….. in the ACF compound … how many of them ..etc.

65.   I understood it appeared that the OIC was being told that not all LTTE cadres had left the town and that they were in the ACF office at that moment. I was near my bunker when this call came through and it is only about ten metres from the location where the OIC picked up this call.  I do not know who called the OIC with this information.

66.  The OIC then got onto his radio handset. I heard the OIC say:

Susantha, I have received information that the LTTE may be in the ACF office, however I have also received information that it is ACF staff inside the ACF Office, approach carefully. If it is ACF people protect them and bring them back to the Police Station. If it is LTTE you can attack them. Do not be scared of anything if it is LTTE just give them the maximum you can, I will look after you.

67.  I walked to the main gate, by Bunker number 1, as that was the place where you found out the news. When I was there I saw a Muslim man who I had known for a long time but whose name I currently forget. He works for the Ceylon Transport Board and was riding a bicycle from town. When he arrived I asked him what the situation was in town was and if there were any LTTE there.  He said:

How could I come out of town if there were LTTE in the town? There are only some Muslim people, and the ACF people are in their office. I saw some Commandos and Police people walking near the Post Office.

68.  There was then a general consensus amongst the police (no attack had been launched against the Main Police Station for a long time, from my observations from my bunker of LTTE retreating towards Iralkuli and the arrival of the Commandos) that the LTTE had retreated from Muttur Town. In addition, because I believed what the man on the bicycle told me, I decided to leave my position at the Police Station and go into town.  I got onto my bicycle and took my T56 rifle. I wanted to go and see what had happened in town – in particular how much destruction there was.

69.   I left through the main entrance about 20 minutes after the Commando and Police unit had left.  I traveled on the main road into town.  About 15 minutes later, before approaching the hospital, but near the bus stand by the temple, I saw the same Police and Commando unit who had earlier left with Jehangir. They were walking in a direction away from me and turning off the main road to the left and up Abdul Cassim Road where the ACF premises were located. They were walking in a posture which is termed ‘Ready for Action’.  I slowed down and watched them walking towards that intersection, pointing their guns outward and aiming for any enemies that may be around.  They were spread out four feet from each other in combat type formation. All 13 of them turn up Abdul Cassim Road towards the ACF premises. 

70.  The first thing that occurred after they turned the corner was about 2 minutes later five commandos, without the black head scarves, came back onto the main road. One positioned himself on the corner of the hospital. Two positioned themselves on the main road in front of the ACF warehouse building and all three of them were facing squarely towards the main road.  The other two walked past and up in behind the far side of the ACF warehouse.  The three on the main road were standing in combat position and chased away a few Muslims who had congregated in front of a building across from the ACF warehouse. I do not know their names.  I stopped my bicycle at the entrance to Abdul Cassim road but did not enter it as I did not want to be involved in their mission ordered by the OIC.

71.  I believed that the LTTE had left the town, because of the reasons I have previously mentioned and the fact that I had not seen any LTTE in the town centre, whether dead or alive and that the Police and the Commandos would take the ACF workers out of their premises so that they could be sent home.  I looked up Abdul Cassim Road and saw the rest of the Commandos and Police approaching and entering the main gate of the ACF premises.  I did not see any ACF workers because of the height of the wall around their premises. The remaining 5 commandos, the two Police and the Home Guard Jehangir all entered the ACF premises.

72.  About 2-3 minutes after they entered, I clearly heard Jehangir shouting out several times in Tamil ordering the ACF people to come out of their office.  I easily recognized his voice.

73.  While standing there, I heard a series of gunshots coming from the ACF premises approximately 2-3 minutes later. There were at least 6 or 7 shots and maybe more. I was immediately very scared for my life and I turned my bicycle and rode as fast as I could to the Main Police Station.  The three commandos, positioned on the main road, briefly looked behind them when the shots rang out behind them but  did not take any further defensive action and returned their attention back to the main road.  However, I was scared because if the shooters were the Commandos and the Police then, as a Tamil, if they knew that I had this information I felt I would be killed. If, in the remote chance, the shooters were the LTTE, I feared I would be killed because I was dressed in a police uniform and armed.

74.  I returned directly to the Main Police Station, again without seeing any LTTE, either living or dead. When I arrived, other police officers asked me about the gunshots.  I pretended I did not know anything about the gunshots and concealed the fact that I was near the ACF premises.  This was for the reasons mentioned before regarding me being a Tamil.  I returned to bunker 10 and worried about what had happened to the ACF workers as I expected something very bad had happened to them and felt sadness that they may have been harmed when they had only come to help the people of Muttur.

75.  Approximately one half hour after I got back to the Main Police Station, Susantha, Nilantha and Home Guard Jehangir returned to the Main Police Station without being accompanied by the commandos or the SF’s with whom they had left with earlier.  I saw  the three of them come in through the main entrance.  They were highly excited and sweating. Jehangir was loudly narrating about the shooting incident at the ACF premises. Many Police officers were present when Jehangir said these things including the OIC.  Jehangir said very proudly that they had killed all of the ACF workers, even though the victims pleaded, knelt and prayed to spare them.

Jehangir also stated that he and the two Police officers had done a good and neat job in wiping them out fully by shooting them in the head.  Jehangir boasted that he personally killed most them.   He stated that he killed them because they were responsible for supplying arms to the LTTE used to kill his elder brother.  He stated that some of the victims, while kneeling, had such mortal fear that they urinated themselves before they were killed. They were also crying and screaming. Susantha and Nilantha did not say anything themselves but Jehangir stated in their presence that they too killed some of the workers.  Neither Susantha nor Nilantha denied doing so.

76.  When Jehangir finished boasting about what he had done, he stated towards me that anyone leaking any of what he stated would be severely dealt with and he would not hesitate to kill them.

77.  As Jehangir was talking about the killing of the ACF workers IP Ranaweera appeared very upset with Jehangir for talking about the killings publicly. He told Jehangir to shut his mouth and go to the barracks. At the same time he said this the OIC put his finger to his own mouth indicating that Jehangir should stop talking. 

78.  Many of the Police who were present seemed very pleased with the news of the killing of the ACF workers and some of them even shook Jehangir’s hands. Shortly after Jehangir went to the barracks and the OIC went to the ASP‘s office.  They both came outside and both the ASP and the OIC looked very happy. 

Though I could not hear what they were saying, they were having a conversation and were gesturing and smiling. Then the OIC and ASP went into the barracks where Jehangir had gone.  After a while the ASP came outside and announced to the other police


79.  No-one spoke directly to me about what I had witnessed and there was only the general warning given to all of the Police by Jehangir. There was an investigation into the attack on the Police Station which was conducted by a IP from Trincomalee.  He was a Muslim named Zavihir.  He only asked me questions about the attack on the Police Station by the LTTE. He did not ask me anything about the ACF killings. IP Zavihir did conduct investigations into the ACF killings and he spoke to Jehangir although I do not know what was said. I did not tell Zavihir about the killings as both he and Jehangir were Muslims and Muttur was a Muslim town. I felt that if I had spoken about the killings I too would have been killed as Jehangir had already killed 17 innocent people. It was a very dangerous situation for me that was prevailing at that time.

80.   The same night as the killings, the police in the Police Station started to spread the story amongst the police that it was the LTTE that had killed the ACF workers before they left Muttur.  This became the ‘story’ even though all the Police had heard Jehangir telling them that he and the other Police and Commandos had in fact killed them.

81.  A number of times I wanted to tell the Magistrate who was a Tamil about the killings I came very close to doing so but I did not have the courage.  I felt that if I did tell the Magistrate that I knew what had occurred the Magistrate would have tried to have seen that justice was done as he is a good man. As a result, I would have been identified as a witness and Jehangir and the others who were involved in the killing would have known about me and I would have been in danger of being killed.

82.  In the days and weeks after the killings, when I was doing my police work in Muttur, many of the Muslim people told me that the ACF were very fair and did not differentiate between the Muslim and Tamil community so the LTTE would not have killed them.  They stated that they knew that it was members of the Police who had killed the ACF staff, and that if I didn’t know who it was now, I soon would. 

83.  One of the Muslim Home Guards who lived in the same village as Jehangir, told me that Jehangir had been telling everyone in his village that he had killed the ACF workers. I believed him, as I knew that Jehangir could not help himself from telling what he had done, as he was known to have a big mouth.

84.  Prior to July 2006, I had tried to be transferred from Muttur back to where my family lived. However, on each occasion my transfer had been rejected. Several weeks after the killing of the ACF workers, I was transferred to Uppuweli, in Trincomalee.  I was surprised by this transfer and I went and asked the OIC why this had occurred. He refused to discuss this with me. I felt that the transfer was because I was a risk to the Police for the information I knew about the ACF killings.  All of the Tamil Police officers were transferred from Muttur about this same time.

85.  In September 2007 a message came to the Police Station in Nuwara Eliya where I was then stationed.  It was written in Sinhala and stated that I was required to attend the BMICH (the BMICH Convention Centre) for the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the killing of the 17 ACF workers. I asked some Police why I would have been required to attend. I was afraid in my heart that the Commission knew that I was a witness and I would be in danger.

86.  On the day that I was to give evidence at the Commission, I arrived at the Commission’s premises about 8.30 am. I came along with a Trincomalee Police officer who is the bodyguard of the Magistrate. Some of the Commission staff were Police but were wearing civilian clothes. I was told to attend the Commission’s Investigation Unit Office in order to provide a statement to investigators as to what I had witnessed during the time the ACF workers were killed.

87.  While inside the Commission’s Investigation Office, a large man introduced himself to me as an ASP.  He was Sinhalese and he spoke to me in Sinhala. There were about 4 or 5 other Commission staff in the room with us. The ASP then told these people to leave.  After they left the room he locked the door and he said to me:


88.  Even though I knew it was a threat he spoke in a nice way.  I understood that what he meant was that as long as long as I supported the Police story that the LTTE were responsible for the murders of the 17 ACF workers, my family and I would be protected.

89.  I understood that this was a threat and that I had to lie to Commission’s investigators and later the same day in open session of the Commission itself in order to prevent both my family and me from being killed. I then gave evidence to the Commission that I knew nothing about the case and in fact I volunteered evidence that it was not the police that were responsible for the killings but the LTTE in order to protect my family and myself.

90.  It has been necessary for me to leave Sri Lanka, because for me to tell the truth about what happened to the ACF workers that were killed in Muttur would have caused severe risk to me and my family if we had remained in Sri Lanka.

91.  I told all the above information to a certified and experienced Tamil interpreter who translated what I said in Tamil, into English and then read back this English language statement to me in the Tamil language.

92.  This statement is true and correct and there was no threat promise or inducement held out to me to make this statement.

Ramasamy Shanmugaraj

Next | Previous |

Home | History | Briefings | Statements | Bulletins | Reports | Special Reports | Publications | Links
Copyright © UTHR 2001