The K Point alias the Eliyakanda Torture Chamber
Posted on March 3rd, 2017

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge  

In 1988 the JVP launched its 2nd insurrection against President Premadasa’s regime. The rebels and the security forces were responsible for gross violation of human rights during this period. The JVP insurrection claimed more than 60,000 lives. A large number of youth were arrested in connection with anti-government activities. The suspects were kept in numerous detention centers.

Eliyakanda camp (in Matara District) became one of the detention centers and it was well-known for its inhuman handling of the detainees. It was also known as the K (killing) point. Mr. Rohitha Munasinge’s book titled ‘Eliyakanda wada kandawura (Eliyakanda Torture Camp the Killing Point) published in 2000’ gives firsthand narration of torturing methods and merciless behaviour of the K point guards. Mr. Rohitha Munasinge who was a detainee in this center underwent torture and also witnessed horrific events. He is now living in France.

According to Rohitha Munasinge the guards of the K point unleashed extreme brutality on the suspects. They used sledge hammers to beat prisoners. When a prisoner was hit on the head with a sledge hammer he falls down and then goes in to seizure with violent body movements says Rohitha Munasinge who witnessed such events. For sadistic amusement the guards named two of such sledge hammers as ‘Loku Molaya’ (Large Brain) and ‘Podi Molaya’ (Small Brain). If a detainee was found with a relatively minor offence he was hit with the small brain or the small sledge hammer on the occipital region of the skull. For a big offence they used Large Brain or the big sledge hammer to hit on the parietal region of the skull. When a victim falls and starts convulsions the guards became very excited and gathered to observe it. They called it ‘break dance’.

The inmates were kept for long hours without giving water. When they were given food the detainees had to eat everything within ten seconds. If any food were remained on the plate after the 10th second the victims were beaten with clubs.

The Guards of the K Point

The K point guards were under educated youth who joined the Army low ranks during the height of the Eelam War. In 1989 the JVP issued an announcement to the armed forces members to resign from the military and they further said that those who disobey the order would suffer heavily. Several family members of the soldiers were killed after this notification and the soldiers became extremely hostile towards the rebels. They hated the JVP suspects and tortured them repeatedly.

Mr. Rohitha Munasinge says that many of the K-Point guards sexually molested the under aged suspects mostly the school boys those who were arrested for pasting JVP posters. Some guards openly talked about their atrocious acts and killings and boasted in front of others. However he describes on one remarkable guard who was kind to the prisoners. He had a minor disability in his right arm following a burn injury and he was less cruel to the suspects. When he was on guard he allowed the prisoners to have their meals without pressing for time. Once another guard tried to torture the prisoners unnecessarily he became so annoyed and pointed his gun at him. But on one occasion when he saw prisoners were talking to each other disobeying orders he became angry and flogged the prisoners with his leather belt.

According to another detainee there was a senior K –Point guard who was fond of cutting throats of the prisoners with a sharp razor blade. Often he behaved like a savage and inflicted pain on prisoners. When he was in a joyful mood he used to play music and dance.

The K Point Guard Who Suffered from Malignant PTSD

Private xx2 worked as a guard at the K -Point during the 88/89 insurrection period. He used to physically beat the inmates, used to burn them with lighted cigarettes, pushed the genitals of the victims inside the drawer of a table then close the drawer causing them enormous pain, and sometimes conducted executions. He worked in the K -Point for about a year and half then got a transfer.

From 1992- 1993 his mental health started fading. He could hear the voices of his victims, their shouting in pain. Private xx2 had intense rage and as a result of repeated physical abuse, his wife and children left him. Several times, he tried to commit suicide. In 2002, he was diagnosed with PTSD after a series of psychological assessments and detailed clinical interviews.

Private xx2 had intrusions, nightmares, phobias, ideas of reference, hallucinations and various other trauma related symptoms. He was severely abusing alcohol in order to forget the events that occurred at the K -Point.  His recollections of the K -Point concurred with many descriptions given in the book ‘Eliyakanda Wada Kandawura (The Eliyakand Torture Camp)’ by Mr. Rohitha Munasinge. When Private xx2 was asked the color of the double cab vehicle in which they disposed dead bodies he gave the correct answer. This yellow color vehicle was vividly described in the book by the author.

The story of Private xx2 and his brutal experience as a guard at the K -Point recounts that the torture is a doubled edged sword that can harm not only the victims but the perpetrators too.

5 Responses to “The K Point alias the Eliyakanda Torture Chamber”

  1. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe ordered and witnessed the execution of hundreds of innocent young men from Kelaniya area including prominent human rights lawyer Wijedasa Liyanarachchi who died as a result in September 1988, in his illegal torture centre maintained by the police Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) headed by Douglas Peiris who was directly responsible for the torture at the Batalanda Housing Scheme, during the height of the People’s Liberation Front (JVP) insurrection between 1988 and 1990 which was confirmed by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry which comprised retired judges. Since Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe committed these horrendous crimes in Batalanda, Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe had to abandon not only his electorate of Biyagama, but also the Gampaha District. Since these murders Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe is an MP without an electorate – thanks to his uncle Junius Richard Jeyawardene’s constitution. Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe recruited a convicted killer and hardcore criminal Gonawala Sunil as his secretary. Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe’s secretary Gonawala Sunil went around killing and intimidating people Ranil Wickremesinghe wanted to be silenced. When Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe was the education minister, officials at the education ministry used to call Gonawala Sunil as Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe’s husband. Gonawala Sunil is one of the earliest criminal gang leaders in Sri Lankan underworld. Gonawala Sunil had major connections with the UNP government at that time. Gonawala Sunil was convicted of the murder, and was serving in prison when he was famously released on a presidential pardon given by President Junius Richard Jayewardene just before the 1982 presidential election. Gonawala Sunil was involved in the massacre of 53 prisoners at Welikada Prison in 1983 and gang raping a 14 year old girl in 1982.

    Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe’s corruption in “LH Plantations” has been highlighted with excruciating details by his very close friend Mangala Pinsiri Samaraweera.

    Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe’s very close family members own several media outlets which promote Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe and help to prolong Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe’s political survival.

    Aberrant leadership of Ranil Shriyan Wickramasinghe in UNP that was once patriotic and national but is now reduced to a servile and vocal outfit beholden to foreign powers and agencies that are hellbent on destablizing Sri Lanka. Ranil Shriyan Wickremesinghe’s manifesto is always paving the way for mortgaging Sri Lanka to international community, World Bank, IMF and the multinational corporations.

  2. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Eliyakande Torture Camp has an interesting account of a meeting between some Ruhuna undergrads occupying the Matara Teachers’ Training College converted into a university hostel and Rohitha Munasinghe during his visit to the abandoned torture chamber two decades later. They tell him that the place is haunted and they have heard some strange noises emanating from that place at night.

    Rohitha Munasingha’s book looks somewhat hurriedly written. It must have been a cathartic experience for him. However, he has narrated his story forcefully. Badraji Mahinda Jayatilaka, a multi-faceted personality, is no stranger in Sri Lankan literary circles. He is fluent in English, but as for the translation in question he is not at his literary best. This usually happens to some good writers when they undertake translations or other writing assignments and race against time to meet deadlines. Perhaps, he will be able to improve the text which needs some tightening and cleaning, when the next edition is put out. However, his prose facilitates the swift flow of Rohitha Munasinghe’s narrative.

    Overall, Eliyakande Torture Camp is a very good read which casts a lurid light on a dark period in Sri Lanka’s post Independence political history.

    Eliyakanda looks a crayoned picture on a cerulean canvass. Its rugged, wind-ravaged bluffs rapidly descend to a craggy shoreline and a restless sea shimmers like an emerald in the setting sun. The Dondra lighthouse towers in a distance above dense palm tops majestically against an azure sky parading skeins of playful cumulus. Rumbustious children gambol and paddle in the foam-filled shallows heedless of calls from their anxious mothers. Young couples reluctantly furl their parasols which have hitherto shielded them from the prying eyes of inquisitive passersby, slowly rise to their unwilling feet, brush the powdery sand off their crumpled raiment and fade lithely into silhouettes.
    A weary township readies for its nightly rest.

    Matara is quite an eyeful at any time of the day. Yet, it looks so much prettier when swathed in moon rays pirouetting on the perky ripples of comely Nilwala. Nothing pleases a southerner more than a nightly stroll along the flaxen seashore while everyone else is in a blissful slumber.

    On moonlit nights Eliyakanda beckons. But, behind its magnificent facade lies a dark secret unknown to many.

    Rohitha Munasinghe’s Eliyakanda Torture Camp (K-Point) is a first person narrative of absolute horror; he shocks us with a gripping story of his harrowing experience in a torture chamber on Eliyakanda towards the tail end of the JVP’s second abortive uprising (1987-1990) which plunged the South into a bloodbath.

    A sense of guilt began to prick our conscience; he shouldn’t have waited so long to write about that wonderful book about a bloody conflict and its disastrous fallout which he had had a ringside view of as an undergrad.

    Munasinghe’s story begins with his arrest by the army in the aftermath of the capture and execution in captivity of the founder leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Rohana Wijeweera in 1989. He tells us about the ‘extraordinary rendition’ of him and other JVP suspects to the Eliyakanda Killing Point (K-Point), where they were all tortured and some of them put to a violent death.

    REohitha Munasinghe gives us a tour of the dreadful torture camp, where suspects are clubbed to death and burnt. In appallingly squalid cells diseases carry off quite a few bags of bones.

    Suspects captured and brought to the K-point at the height of JVP terror were less ‘fortunate’ than Rohitha Munasinghe. None of them returned home. They were subjected to far more savage forms of torture. One method was to insert a piece of rusty barbed wire into a suspect’s rectum with the help of a PVC pipe, which is then taken out, causing him to die a slow, agonizing death.

    Rohitha Munasinghe, who cut his teeth on politics as a young JVPer but became disillusioned, uses his narrative, especially the section thereof dealing with his stay at a rehabilitation camp prior to his release, to discuss some socio-political issues. However, his book does not shed much light on the heinous crimes the southern terrorists perpetrated against hapless civilians caught in the nutcracker of terror and counter terror. Not that he has chosen to prescind that aspect of the conflict. Arguably, he could have used the K-Point as a peg to venture far afield and survey some broader issues from the point of view of a disillusioned ex-revolutionary and victim of state terror. Perhaps, he could still do so––maybe in a sequel to the present book.

    Death-dealing JVP sparrow units armed with an assortment of weapons like luparas (shotguns with shortened barrels), galkatas (locally produced single-barrel guns) and T-katas (sawn-off T-56 assault rifles) and small firearms unleashed hell. They ordered boycotts, work stoppages and protests at gunpoint and dissent was suppressed in the most brutal manner. Unarmed civilians who dared exercise their franchise in defiance of the southern terrorists’ calls for polls boycotts had their heads blown off or limbs severed at the hands of JVP death squads, some of whose victims were burnt alive.

    Trade unionists who defied JVP orders were gunned down in broad daylight. Finally, Wijeweera’s shock troops became so cocky with the Premadasa government begging for negotiations and the economy teetering on verge of collapse that they trained their guns on the family members of the police and the armed forces. The rest is history.

    However, Rohitha Munasinghe takes a critical look at the fate of the children the JVP craftily lured into joining its ranks and used to put up posters and deliver the much-dreaded ‘chits’ ordering the closure of shops etc. Young boys who were captured and brought to the Eliyakanda camp were sexually abused by soldiers almost every night, he tells us.

    Then opposition heavyweights including Chief Minister of the Western Province Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Mangala Samaraweera and S. B. Dissanayke, dug out a mass grave on the mist-clad summit of Suriyakanda, which came to be dubbed the Mountain of Death. The skeletal remains of over one dozen schoolboys from the Embilipitiya Maha Vidyalaya, abducted, tortured, murdered and buried were found in a deep pit. Bootlaces used to truss up the victims were still there. The exhumation proved to be a tedious task.

    At several places near Pelmadulla rotting corpses were removed from nearby cemeteries and dumped on the roadside by pro-government thugs as a warning. Worse, cattle bones had been put into the partially dug up mass grave. However, digging continued without any untoward incident and more human bones were found; all of them were taken to the Embilipitiya Court under magisterial supervision and subsequently sent for forensic examination.

    The killers of the students including some military personnel and a school principal were arrested, tried for murder and sentenced to jail.

  3. Christie Says:

    The JVP is the Sinhala terrorist arm of the Indian Empire. More than 100,000 Sinhalese dead. Indian Empire is very happy with the outcome. Their agents have even written books about it. JVP killed Sinhalese and Sinhalese JVP got killed. There were Indian colonial parasites who were in the movement and they killed many Sinhala JVP youth. Most of the killings in Malay Nadu and in surrounding areas the killers were Indian Colonial Parasites.

    Indian Empire do the same within India in Assam, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh and the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

  4. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist Batalande Wadakaya pol pot r@nil wickramaSinhalakiller managed
    to get rid of over 150,000 Sinhalese. During the catholic-run UNPatriotic party’s BHEESHANA SAMAYA, the
    UNPatriotic xxxx managed to kill 50,000+ pretending to put down an insurgency. They didn’t bother to rehabilitate
    like Sirima B did. What for? When their aim was to cull Sinhalese population. They managed to make Sinhalese
    police and tri forces personnel become unimaginably brutal their own people. How did they do it? Crafty jaathi
    dhrohee thambi mudiyanselage jr showed the way. Get the UNPatriotic party’s pathalayin to kill police/tri forces
    family members and credit it to jaathiya vinashakarana party aka jvp. That simple. Traitor thambi mudiyanselage
    jr was not just an alugosuwa to Sinhalese, he was a crafty old fox as well.

    Then catholic-run UNPatriotic party dragged the war by their catholic buddy hitler mala paharan’s catholic tigers of
    tamil drealam for 30 long years. UNPatriotics pretended the terrorists were invincible and let them kill over 100,000 Sinhalese, including
    Buddhist monks, men, women, children and police/tri forces personnel. Even after Sri Maha Bodhi massacre,
    Aranthalawa Bikku massacre, Sri Dalada Maligawa attack. Catholic run UNPatriotics were just pretended they
    were fighting. Alugosu (to Sinhalese only) lk porisada even gave weapons to the catholic tigers to kill tri forces/
    police personnel. Then lk porisadaya sent 600 policemen to catholic tigers’ bullet. Nobody bothered to criticise since it was by the catholic run UNPatriotic party. Then Batalande Wadakaya gave half the country to his catholic buddy hitler mala paharan on a
    plate in 2005 with the CFA. Still no catholic drealam in Sri Lanka. Then he sent millennium city intelligent officers
    to catholic tigers of tamil drealam’s bullet. Nobody noticed the connection! Sinhala modayas were mara ninde. They even
    sent their def sec. tinass fdo to see catholic drealam ‘foreign minister’ tamil sellan with apples and grapes. That’s how absurd they fought
    the war sacrificing Sinhalese lives! How contemptible? Who cares? That was their attitude since Sinhala modayas couldn’t make the connection. To this day some
    Sinhala modayas don’t get it. No wonder these two legged creatures are called Sinhala modayas. Traitor chief
    die hard catholic token Buddhist Batalande Wadakaya pol pot r@nil wickramaSinhalakiller knows he is in a fools’
    paradise. So he keeps destroying Sri Lanka, Sinhalese race and Buddhism. He has no off spring. So why bother
    to safeguard anything for future?

    Traitor chief die hard catholic (he was born to the number one catholic family in Sri Lanka, surprise,
    surprise, he is a Buddhist, a token Buddhist. How convenient? Wolf in sheep’s clothing! A very very dangerous wolf.
    But millions of Sinhala modayas were, including thibbotte bathgotte devidathathara, ambare damilaya etc. etc. hood
    winked by his adapated religion of convenience.) token Buddhist Batalande Wadakaya pol pot r@nil wickrama
    Sinhalakiller at his devastating-best to destroy Sri Lanka, Sinhalese race and Buddhism to please his ardent
    supporters tamil, mussies, catholics and the catholic west. He knows he is above the law in Sri Lanka, thanks
    christian west and catholic-run media in Sri Lanka. So he carries on regardless and now plan to destroy Sri Lanka
    for good by breaking up Mother Lanka. Meanwhile Sinhala modayas still revere the monster!

  5. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Some interesting articles you can’t see in so called Buddhist Sri Lanka (on paper).

    http://ltte-christian-ties.blogspot.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV6_o9txURc

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/08/05/christianizing-of-sri-lanka-unps-betrayal-of-buddhism/

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/05/27/ranil-wickremasinghes-new-unp-3/

    http://www.lankagrid.com/soma-thero/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_eJ1gX_fuU

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/09/26/ltte-terrorism-church-links-can-someone-explain-these-photos/

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