ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 11 , 2007
Vol. 41 - No 41

Mystery bodies: Once again it’s who killed whom

By Asif Fuard

Controversy still surrounds the bodies that were discovered within the space of a week at Muthurajawela and Thirappane in Anuradhpura, while abductions continue unabated in various parts of the country.

Newly appointed Deputy Inspector General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) D.W Prathapasinghe told The Sunday Times that he has appointed two teams to assist the local police in the investigations of the Anuradhapura and Muthurajawela incidents.

“There has been a major infiltration of LTTE cadres into the Karuna faction and vice versa recently. The CID is trying to ascertain if these killings could have had anything to do with this infiltration,” DIG Prathapasinghe said.

Muthurajawela: Villagers at the site of the charred bodies

Last Saturday five decomposed bodies were recovered in the swamps of Muthurajawela between the boundaries of Kandana and Pamunugama. The bodies were bullet riddled and the faces blind folded and disfigured. The bodies were first discovered by a boy who was flying his kite close to the marshy lands of Muthurajawela. The string of the kite had got entangled on a tree near the swamp. When the boy went up to retrieve the kite he had stepped on a body. He later saw a hand sticking out of the swamp.

The preliminary investigation by the Pamunugama police revealed that the killers had submerged the bodies in the marshy bog that is shrouded by trees and bushes.

Police also said an intelligence operative for the Karuna faction also known as Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) had identified the bodies as members of their organization.

The bodies were identified as Karanasingham Suresh from Karadiyanaru, Subramaniam Prabhakaran from Karadiyanaru, Siva Prakashan Madiruban from Kokkadicholai, Kandasamy Vellayan from Kanankuda and Ponnaia Kamalkarthik from Unnichchimalai.

The leader of the Karuna faction Vinayagamoorthy Muralidaran alias Karuna told The Sunday Times over the telephone from his base in Batticaloa that seven members had come to Colombo from Batticaloa in the last week of February and he believed it was five of them who had been killed while the other two had been abducted by the LTTE. “The LTTE has been behind the regular killings and abductions of our members and supporters. These seven people were facing threats from the LTTE. So we got them down to Colombo to find them jobs in the middle-east where they could live safely,” Karuna said.

The two who Karuna claims have been abducted by the LTTE have been identified as Raj Kumar from Unnichchimalai and Prathipan from Kanankuda.

But, investigators were probing whether there were other motives behind the killings amidst speculation that those killed were LTTE cadres who had infiltrated the Karuna faction.

The Sunday Times learns that the two people who have reportedly been kidnapped by the LTTE are now in the Karadiyanaru Tiger intelligence camp commanded by a Tiger rebel leader identified as Keerthi.

Following the recovery of the five bodies in Muthurajawela, five more charred bodies were found in the Anuradhapura district on Tuesday. The CID is investigating the killings while no-one has yet come forward to identify the bodies.

Initial investigations revealed that the five youth had been shot, their bodies burnt on tyres and dumped the previous night on the side of Thiruwila Road in Sembukulam area in Anuradhapura.

Meanwhile the Human Rights Commission says it has received complaints of more than 100 abductions and disappearances in the country in the past two months. The majority of these abductions have taken place in Colombo, Batticaloa and the Jaffna peninsula. The 2006 Annual Report on Human Rights issued last Tuesday by the United States Department of State noted that human rights in Sri Lanka have declined during the last year.

The report stated that the government's respect for the human rights of its citizens declined mainly due to the breakdown of the 2002 ceasefire agreement which only remains on paper.

“During the year violations of the CFA increased in frequency and seriousness, leading to a de facto breakdown of the agreement, which technically remained in force. Credible sources reported human rights problems, including unlawful killings by government agents, high profile killings by unknown perpetrators, politically motivated killings by paramilitary forces associated with the government and the LTTE, and disappearances,” it stated.

“The LTTE continued to control large sections of the north and east and engaged in politically motivated killings; suicide attacks; disappearances; torture; arbitrary arrest and detention; denial of fair public trial; arbitrary interference with privacy; denial of freedom of speech, press, and of assembly and association; and the recruitment of child soldiers,” it stated.

Last year the Sri Lanka government appointed a presidential commission of inquiry to investigate some selected serious human rights violations that took place in the recent past. However the commission has not compiled a final report on the issue yet.

Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella at his weekly defence briefing on Wednesday said 452 suspects had been taken in for questioning since October last year under the Public Security Ordinance. Among them are 15 soldiers, three deserters, and five policemen, one who has been interdicted by the Police Department.

Among the 452 arrested are 372 Tamils, 61 Sinhalese and 19 Muslims. Some of these suspects include Grama Niladharis, Home Guards and underworld figures as well.

The Terrorist Investigations Department and the Criminal Investigations Department are trying to ascertain whether these suspects have any links to the recent abductions, extrajudicial killings and whether they had any links with the LTTE.


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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.