Investigate Indian War Crimes in Sri Lanka : RAPE of Tamil Women
Posted on February 1st, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

 In 2013 Indian Prime Minister decided to vote against Sri Lanka in Geneva because of India’s concern for the ‘dignity” and ‘self-respect’ of Sri Lankan Tamils. In 2014 that changed to India not wanting to hurt Tamil sentiment before elections (Indian elections). But what did India do to the ‘self-respect’ ‘dignity’ of these Tamil women from 1987-1990 during the 3 ½ years when Indian Army (IPKF) were raping up to an estimated 4000 or more Tamil women, killing and looting the entire Northern peninsula so much so that they became known not as the Indian Peace Keeping Force but the Innocent People Killing Force. With India so concerned about accountability we think it opportune that investigations MUST cover India’s war crimes in Sri Lanka.

 In what can be described as a rehearsal or a prelude as to what Sri Lanka’s Tamils can expect falling prey to the bogey of being concerned for the Tamils, India is using this as a slogan to fool Sri Lanka’s Tamils in a bigger quest to annex Sri Lanka’s North to India in a bid that meets approval by the West for India is all but in their pocket. An annexed North Sri Lanka would mean a bonus for both India and the West in terms of their own geopolitical interests but it would be a greater achievement for the West who are drawing up plans to balkanize India and run breakaway new states through their puppets.

 Having said that we return to the issue of War Crimes and the hyped up ‘international investigation’ calls with India pretending it had no part to play in creating the LTTE. Having trained Tamil youth in India, India today pretends it had nothing to do with what LTTE monster did eventually. Thereafter, LTTE having killed India’s own Prime Minister, the Indians still has no remorse about continuing ties with the LTTE but pretending to the world it did not. If India is suffering amnesia which we think it is, it is no better a time to unearth India’s dirty past and the claims of rape are not by Sinhalese but by Tamils themselves.

 Quote:

I was shocked, saddened and angered when I read the news item on 17 March 2004 in Sri Lanka Media, that a memorial is to be erected in Colombo for the Indian Peace Keeping Force – IPKF soldiers who died in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 2000. The simple fact of the matter is that a foreign country, with designs of becoming a regional superpower, maneuvered to send its Army here as Peace Keepers but massacred thousands of innocent Tamil civilians, raped the women and plundered valuables.If memorials are to be erected, then it should be for innocent civilians massacred by the IPKF. 

Quote:

 So wrote T. Somasekaram, Retired Surveyor General of Sri Lanka.

 Then there is the Amnesty International report

“Several dozen Tamil women, some of whom needed hospital treatment, testified that they were raped by IPKF personnel. A local magistrate in the north reportedly found the IPKF had been responsible for seven cases of rape in December.” – Amnesty International Annual Report, 1988 for period January to December 1987

“The Indian Army has court martialled four of its men serving in the Jaffna peninsula for rape, a senior Indian military officer said here yesterday…He also conceded that several complaints of theft had been made against Indian soldiers. ‘The Indian army are not angels. We are not devils either. We are just human’ Brigadier Kahlon said when pressed for details. ‘Rape happens even in the West’.” – Sri Lanka Sun, 15 January 1988

“Two Indian soldiers serving in Batticaloa are to be court martialled for rape, authoritative sources in Batticaloa said yesterday… The two soldiers to be court martialled, allegedly raped two girls during a cordon and search operation at Ariyampathi on Friday” – Sri Lanka Sun, 19 January 1988

 Many female bodies were found inside Ashok Hotel where IPKF were occupying along with Tamil paramilitaries working for the Indian army.

 Even the Indian Sunday Observer carried details of IPKF rape, murder and looting

“A number of Indian soldiers face dismissal from military service besides rigorous imprisonment for committing excesses, including raping of women and looting of civilian property while deployed for peace­keeping role in Sri Lanka, it is learnt.

So far, the government (INDIAN) had denied that the IPKF soldiers had committed any excesses. The denials came in the wake of allegations by human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, a few months ago. The instances were kept under wraps by the army authorities who, however, did initiate punitive action against the guilty. But legal experts feel that the manner in which the army has handled the whole issue raises vital points of law which may not stand the scrutiny of Indian law courts later.

The most serious case relates to an incident which occurred on November 21, 1987 near Trincomalee when Naik Baldev Singh of the 270 Engines a’ Regiment ran berserk and killed seven civilians and injured another four by indiscriminate firing from his services rifle. He committed this crime following the death of his brothers law during a combing operation the previous day.”

In Sri Lanka, the reports read thus:

“The Indian Army has court martialled four of its men serving in the Jaffna peninsula for rape, a senior Indian military officer said here yesterday…He also conceded that several complaints of theft had been made against Indian soldiers. ‘The Indian army are not angels. We are not devils either. We are just human’ Brigadier Kahlon said when pressed for details. ‘Rape happens even in the West’.” – Sri Lanka Sun, 15 January 1988

“Two Indian soldiers serving in Batticaloa are to be court martialled for rape, authoritative sources in Batticaloa said yesterday… The two soldiers to be court martialled, allegedly raped two girls during a cordon and search operation at Ariyampathi on Friday” – Sri Lanka Sun, 19 January 1988

Section 124 of the Indian Army Act provides that ‘Any person subject to this Act who commits any offence may be tried and punished for such offence in any place whatever’ ” this clearly establishes that in the even an investigation is held against Indian War crimes in Sri Lanka, Indian army can be charged and court martialled in Sri Lanka itself.

A handful of actions had to be taken in view of the public outrage. That India took action depicts the nature of the rapes that would have taken place pressurizing the Indian Government to take action.

The charges against Indian Army soldiers include rape, sodomy and looting of civilian property.

Latur Lal and Babu Lal of 12 Grenadiers had raped a married woman at Karavedi during Operation Pawan on 27 May 1988.

Khem Raj Meena of 12 Grenadiers raped a marrie women when conducting cordon and search in a house in Thunnalai South (Point Pedro, Jaffna) 1 February 1988

Kamal Singh of 14 Sikh Light Infantry raped a woman of village Iddaikkurichy ” 17 Dec 1987

A Mani, a barber of 93 Field Regiment raped an unmarried woman near Kodikaman 24 Dec 1987

Naik Kulwant Singh of 16 Sikh regiment committed theft of gold jewellery in a house in Mandaitivu 13 Jan 1988.

Naik Banwari Lal faced charges over molesting a woman at Kathai on 25 Dec 1987

Havildar Badan Singh of the infantry brigade committed sodomy on 4 male activists of LTTE in Jan 1988 during detention.

Numerous other jawans have also faced charges of indulging in sexual relations with women while frisking them at Vishwamadu village 11 April 1988 during Operation Viraat. The court of inquiry however claimed that the 4 complainants were ‘women of easy virtue’ and their grouse was that they had not paid for their services!

With India tagging behind the West foolishly thinking India is being treated on equal terms tries to hide its own skeletons it is time that the Sri Lankan Government cease being the good neighbour for we see no reciprocation from the Government of India despite many Indians openly making their positions clear that India should refrain from antagonizing neighbors.  Yet, we have a history of antagonism as well as covert operations by India and what gets everyone in Sri Lanka upset is because India is attempting to hide its own role in creating the LTTE monster. An investigation of this would also help us discover if this chapter had the influence of Western elements as well given Indian-UK links to the attack on the Golden Temple.

However, with the US and Allies so concerned about ‘Accountability’ it is no better a time than now that the world came to know OFFICIALLY how India took groups of student Sri Lankan Tamils to India and trained them on handling arms, gave them money and provided them intelligence on how to attack and who to attack and that is the beginning of the LTTE story ” it had nothing whatsoever to do with 1983 riots because the training of these Tamil youth in India started well before 1983. There are many historical gaps that need to be cleared and in deed an investigation into India’s War Crimes in Sri Lanka is a good start for arming terrorists goes down as state funded terrorism which is prohibited under UN.

9 Responses to “Investigate Indian War Crimes in Sri Lanka : RAPE of Tamil Women”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    “In 2014 that changed to India not wanting to hurt Tamil sentiment before elections (Indian elections)”. New Delhi does not need the Tamil vote to win the elections. In fact New Delhi does not need the entire Dravidian vote to win the elections. The entire populations of these states are as follows: Andhra Pradesh (84 million), Tamil Nadu (72 Million), Karnataka (53 million) and Kerala (34 million) or the total being: 243 million. That is counting every human being in those states and it does not take into account whether they qualify to vote or not (children, those who will not vote, those who are disabled and cannot for some reason vote).

    Indian candidates running for office in New Delhi need the much larger Hindi or east Indian Bengali vote to win the election. If a candidate wins all of the Dravidian vote but fails to achieve the Northern vote, that person loses. The opposite is equally true. If a candidate loses the entire Dravidian vote but gets the Northern vote, that person wins.

    The feeble excuse of not wanting to “hurt” the Tamil sentiment runs into blatant hypocrisy for New Delhi did not hesitate to break up the Madras presidency to form the other Dravidian States. Only through threats of separatism has New Delhi even paid attention to the “Tamil Vote”. This is a pathetic excuse to continue India’s concept of her sphere of influence over Sri Lanka. This is concept similar to the US “Monroe Doctrine” and like that Doctrine the time has come for this concept to end. India has already lost the proxy war and she will again fail in trying to contain Sri Lanka’s ambitions or to divide Sri Lanka.

    Due to the rapid rise in power of China and Russia, including Pakistan, India’s hegemony is no longer valid. India has far more important issues with China than try to divide Sri Lanka. I guess as usual India has to learn the hard way.

  2. Charles Says:

    It is time to stop being diplomatic we should attack, every one of the Countries that attack in the same way they a

  3. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    The IPKF Operation in Jaffna did not stop with massacres of civilians. A large number of women were raped. The following quotation is taken from Prof Daya Somasundaram’s book Scarred Minds – The Psychological Impact of War on Sri Lankan Tamils. Prof Daya Somasundaram is the Professor of Psychiatry in the University of Jaffna and concurrently Consultant Psychiatrist, General (Teaching Hospital) Jaffna. He was one of the four authors of the book, Broken Palmyrah, which was critical of the LTTE, a co-author of Mental Health in Cambodia, where he served as a Consultant Psychiatrist and Manavadu in Tamil

    Rape by Indian Soldiers

    “From time immemorial, plunder and rape have been considered the spoils of war. A form of ‘psychopathic liberation’ resulting in looting, rape and heavy drinking is reported to follow major stressful events (Kinston and Rosser, 1974). Although the total number of rapes during the Indian army operations are not known, it seemed to reach epidemic proportions. It has been verified that quite a large number, ranging from young girls who had just attained puberty to old women well past the menopause stage, were brutally raped.

    What is said about violence in general is applicable to sexual violence. However, aggressive sexual assault has its own unique characteristics and consequences. Thus,

    Rape is a violent crime in which sexuality is used to express power, anger and aggression, with a core meaning of devaluation, humiliation, sheer terror and most intimate violation of the self for the victim. What is translated to the victim is the life-threatening nature of assault, her helplessness, her loss of control and her experience of herself as an object of the assailants’ rage (Mezy, 1985).

    Rape became common in the context of total war as it obtained in the months of October to December (1987), when all the customary discipline and restraint operative in the army disappeared. As discussed earlier, there appears to have been a policy decision to apply terror in the face of early losses and frustration over the prolongation of the conflict. The public was seen as being too sympathetic to the Tigers, harbouring and helping them against the Indian army. Thus terror became an instrument of control, a punishment for the lack of support and a lesson to the public. The army hierarchical structure worked to allow the jawans to carry out the acts on their behalf, although at times lower-rank officers also vented their pent up frustration in this way. But rape was much more gruesome as it was aimed specifically at women. It was carried out with considerable brutality and impersonality, where the victims were publicly defeminised and destroyed.

    Rape can be seen as a loss-event for the victim where she loses her trust in others, self-respect, sense of security, chastity and virginity, social identity and becomes liable to secondary victimization due to social norms and values. The psychological reactions to rape have been described as a three-stage phenomena with an initial state of ‘shock and disbelief’ with disruption of normal behaviour. This may be followed by feelings of guilt, self-blame, and physical complaints. If the resolution to the psychological trauma is incomplete, long-term consequences include depression (40 per cent of victims), psychosomatic problems, sexual dysfunction, specific rape-related phobias, impaired task performance, social maladjustment and risk of suicide attempts (Mezey, 1985).

    In our cultural setting, sexual violence takes on a more serious significance and has a severe psychologically traumatizing effect on the victim and her close relations, including her husband. Chastity is traditionally considered one of the supreme virtues of women, to be safeguarded with the same diligence as their life. The screams and pleading of a young, attractive girl, whom three soldiers were trying to rape at gun point, still echoes in my ears. She fell at their feet and begged, ‘Please, brother, shoot me, but don’t do this…’ Fortunately for her, her pleading got through to an officer who took pity and let her go, after slapping her. A young rape victim in Tinnavelly immediately attempted to commit suicide by jumping into a well.

    Loss of virginity in a young girl even if against her will, meant that she could not aspire to marriage in our society and if already married, there is a good chance that she will be abandoned. All rape victims are socially ostracized and this usually extends to the family also. It is not surprising that rape victims were not forthcoming to report such incidents and usually swallowed the suffering and injury silently.

    These incidents of rape, the lack of protection for women and the rumours that spread, created great fear among the women of Jaffna. The threat to womanhood was very real in the months of October and November. Most women experienced sexual anxiety and felt exposed and vulnerable. Many fled to areas they felt were safe, a large exodus reaching Colombo in December, when transport became available. Those left behind started acting with circumspection by following the well-meant advice of sympathetic, Tamil-speaking jawans of ‘wearing saris, putting poddus and staying indoors’.

    At the beginning, there was lack of action by the commanders, probably because they had to maintain troop morale in a difficult situation during the first two months and rape itself became part of army action. Later, disciplinary action was taken with identification parades and punishment, usually in the form of public thrashing and transfer to another unit. After December the jawans were more discreet and circumspect. By 1988, the higher authorities showed much sensitivity to the issue of rape, probably due to the wide publicity outside Jaffna. They even brought in female police and paramilitary to ally the fears of local women.

    The public outcry and wide publicity of this aspect of the Indians’ occupation that gained momentum from December reflected the deep-rooted feeling of insecurity and the cultural significance of this threat to our women.”

    This ends the quotation from Prof Daya Somasundaram’s book. But there was other evidence as well.

    Inside Ariyalai Temple Inside our village temple, Ariyalai Sri Sithi Vinayagar Kovil, where people had gathered as refugees, young village girls were molested by the Indian soldiers inside the temple. Dr. W. Paramanathan, great grandson of Proctor V. Casipillai who had rebuilt the temple in 1900, after its destruction during the Portugese occupation, was an eye witness. “My blood boiled; but I was helpless” he told me. In fact, being a young man, he was taken out twice to be shot as a Tiger and only the strong pleadings of his aunt Miss K. Charavanamuttu, retired Principal of Vadamarachchy Hindu Ladies College saved his life. Dr. Paramanathan has migrated to the United States and is living there.

    Plunder

    The 21 day curfew proved to be a golden opportunity – in a real golden sense – to the Indian soldiers. They broke into every house, broke open every almyrah and stole the valuables inside. As everyone knows, all Jaffna Tamil Hindu women wear a lot of gold jewellery. When they had to flee at half an hour’s notice, they could not remove all their valuables. When the families returned, they found their gold jewellery, imported watches and Parker pens missing. In 1987, India was still a closed economy and these imported items were not available in India. Not merely the soldiers, even the officers helped themselves. This is what The Island of 22 February 1988 reported.

    “IPKF Major Returning to India Apprehended – Alleged Contraband Jewellery:

    A Major of the IPKF who is said to have returned to India from Jaffna on a month’s holiday is alleged to have been apprehended at Chandigarh airport with having carried jewellery believed to be contraband.

    A news report appearing in the Rani Weekly of January 31, 1988 published in Tamil Nadu state that this Major serving in Jaffna had flown to Madras by plane and then to Chandigarh in Punjab on a month’s holiday. The Police there had searched him like any other passenger and found in his possession “100 sovreigns of jewellery consisting of bangles, broken chains, necklaces etc”

    The story states “The Police suspect that he might have snatched them from Sri Lankan Tamils. But he says they were bought by him. The magazine asks, “If they were bought by him, could the jewellery be broken in pieces?”

    The behaviour of the Indian Army in Jaffna was so atrocious that even Sinhalese politicians were moved to protest. After all, we share this island home. Prime Minister R. Premadasa, Minister of National Security Lalith Athulathmudali, Minister of Rehabilitation Lionel Jayatilleke and Opposition Leader Anura Bandaranaike condemned the atrocities in strong language in Parliament on 21 Jan 1988. Please see Hansard Vol 47, Section 14, Hansard Vol 50, Section 2 . In fact, the Prime Minister spoke of a “79 year old woman having been raped”.

    To summarise, the Indian Army came here, massacred innocent Tamil civilians, raped our women and plundered our valuables. The acronym IPKF will always stand for Indian People Killing Force where we are concerned. I was collecting this material to submit to the International Criminal Court, when it was about to be set up. Unfortunately, the crimes of the IPKF are time barred; the Court considers only cases after it was set up in July 2002. If not for this time bar, there is enough evidence against the Indian Generals and others higher up to indict them before the Court. Instead of facing the Court, they and former High Commissioner Dixit are writing books and making money out of the tragedy.

    – Dr T. Somasekaram

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    This is something Jaffna Tamils HATE to remember.

    MOST Tamil women IPKF raped were VELLALA women. That was the ONLY time in history they were subjected to such disaster.

    Tamils formed into NIGHT WATCH groups to prevent mass rape of their women in Jaffna. Even Tamil Vellala school girls were not safe from Jawans.

    Around 1989 IPFP carried out house to house Tamil women rape campaign to AVENGE killing of their colleagues by Tamils in war.

    At least 15,000 Tamil women were sexually abused by IPKF. LTTE used some of them to become SUICIDE BOMBERS.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    This is something Jaffna Tamils HATE to remember.

    MOST Tamil women IPKF raped were VELLALA women. That was the ONLY time in history they were subjected to such disaster.

    Tamils formed into NIGHT WATCH groups to prevent mass rape of their women in Jaffna. Even Tamil Vellala school girls were not safe from Jawans.

    Around 1989 IPKF carried out house to house Tamil women rape campaign to AVENGE killing of their colleagues by Tamils in war.

    At least 15,000 Tamil women were sexually abused by IPKF. LTTE used some of them to become SUICIDE BOMBERS.

  6. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    LTTE abused fleeing girls
    http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/3893-ltte-abused-fleeing-girls-.html

  7. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    TRue face of LTTE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZOQ5ZeZsSg

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Our deep sympathies go to the women of the North who suffered one way or another during the IPKF occupation. When wars happen, it is the weakest members of society who suffer the most i.e. women and children. We may say that even when a male soldier dies in battle, it is the living women (mother, wife, sister) left behind who grieves and suffers the loss ….

    What can we do for these women even at this late stage ? Do they children from these incidents of rape …. ? If so, what can be done for these children ?

    Rape is out of control male testosterone in action. Wars make men go emotionally out of control.

    Nalliah says : “Rape is a violent crime in which sexuality is used to express power, anger and aggression, with a core meaning of devaluation, humiliation, sheer terror and most intimate violation of the self for the victim. What is translated to the victim is the life-threatening nature of assault, her helplessness, her loss of control and her experience of herself as an object of the assailants’ rage (Mezy, 1985)”.

    This to me is a description of the entire island of Lanka, the female ‘her’ being the island of Lanka, which seemed ‘raped and torn asunder’ by various external forces. We, who lived in the South at that time (Cold War period), were bewildered by what was going on and due to Press censorship at the time knew very little, or next to nothing. Reasonings many years later exposed two forces from outside as mainly responsible : They are the Cold War politics, of which even India herself was a victim, as well as the Caste issues of the Tamils of Lanka North & Tamil Nadu. Even the previous JVP uprisings were Revolutions/Cold War inspired, the 13-a itself being thrust down on Lanka due to Cold War backed and inspired Separatism.
    Lanka is not the creator of WWs, Cold Wars or Caste wars. So, why fight on Lanka soil ?

    For mutual Protection in the future for both Lanka & INDIA, Sri Lanka should sign a Peace Pact (or Treaty) with INDIA never to get involved in World Wars, Cold Wars or even so called Caste wars of India (not blame Lanka for Indian Caste set up). This is our right as a Democracy and also the right of India as a Democracy. India’s new Modi led govt. will do good for India in the plans for the 100 new Smart cities. Hope reigns for both countries.

    May only Hope, Growth & Joy come to the People of Lanka and India !

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    Add:

    For mutual Protection in the future for both Lanka & INDIA, Sri Lanka should sign a Peace Pact (or Treaty) with INDIA never to get involved in World Wars, Cold Wars or even so called Caste wars of India (not blame Lanka for Indian Caste set up), and REMAIN STRICTLY NON-ALIGNED.

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