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What happened in Mutur?
What happened in Valaichenai?

An Undistorted Account in Factual Sequence Report Prepared by : MIC-Sri Lanka

The Tamil Christians in the [1]Mutur area planted crosses in the lands belonging to Muslims which led to chaotic situation. Consequently, 2000 Muslims were made refugees instantly. Yet, there was no evidence whatsoever that the LTTE office was damaged by the Muslims. However, the LTTE put the blame on the Muslims and taking this for an excuse they made a big showdown and, in the process, ran amok setting fire to houses and shops belonging to the Muslims and attacking the innocent Muslim souls severely.

(According to a recent article from an Indian journal and reproduced in a local Sunday newspaper, the VHP of India has been running welfare centres in Jaffna and Trincomalee for displaced Hindu mothers and children. Hence it cannot be deducted of their hand in planting the seed for eternal communal disharmony in Sri Lanka, particularly in the northeast.)

In order to express sympathy with the Mutur Muslims, the Muslims of the Ampara District observed hartal (works stoppages) on 27. 6. 2002. Naturally, the Muslims of Batticaloa District fell in line with the Muslims of Ampara District. When the hartal was being observed in the Valaichenai Town and its satellite areas, the tigers exhibiting their might ordered the Muslim shop-keepers and traders to open their shops and business places.

Since this attempt failed, they set fire to a Muslim shop. When the Muslims tried to drive away the cadres with stones, the LTTE started lobbing grenades and shooting at the Muslims indiscriminately killing instantaneously 3 innocent Muslims Anver (40), Sahabdeen (40) and Saleem (13). Another 42 Muslims were severely injured. They were rushed to the Polannaruwa Hospital where two persons succumbed to their injuries.

In a separate incident three Muslim fish-mongers who were taking their stock of fish for sale were waylaid at the [2]Karuvakerney border village and abducted. They were attacked with clubs and knives and their bicycles, too were set alight. The fish mongers are now being treated at the Polannaruwa Hospital.

Further, the two Muslim cooks Inudeen (26) and Sanudeen (20) who went to the Tamil area for their trade were abducted, hacked to death and buried. The police having discovered the spot where the bodied had been buried, took five Muslims with them to exhume the bodies to hand-over them for decent burial. The LTTE laid down a condition that the five Muslims who accompanied the police should be handed over to them first if they were to give the bodies back and refused.

27 June 2002: 4.00 p.m.

The enraged Muslim youths who witnessed the brutal killing of their brothers with guns started throwing stones at the LTTE cadres. The Tamil civilians whom the LTTE had with them torched the shops of the Muslims and most of the 110 shops were razed to the grounds with nothing salvageable.

The total loss is estimated to be 15 billion rupees. Seven Tamil shops were damaged, too in the process.

There has been no news so far about the fate of another thirteen Muslim sundry paddy field labourers, three Muslims from [3]Pulmoddai who were on travel and drapers and haberdashers who went into the Tamil area on their usual business round.

28.6.2002 Chemmannaodai Incident

It was a Friday. When the Muslims living in the [4]Chemmannodai border Village in the Oddaimavadi area reached the village's Thaqva Jummah Mosque, the armed mob threw 5 grenades at the direction of the mosque. This incident which happened at around 12.45 p.m left seven Muslims seriously injured. The grenade throwing incident on mosque-bound Muslims took place just a few minutes prior to the peace meeting that had been organized at the Valaichenai [5]Pradeshiya Sabah (Town Council). The peace meeting was (to be) attended by Major-general Tennakoon, Ministers Noordeen Mashoor, Athaullah, Abdul Cader and the former MP Ali Zahir Moulana who visited Valaichenai to assess the damage and destruction. Of the five grenades thrown, only three exploded. The condition of one of the injured was critical. Eventually, the injured named Mubarack who was fighting for his life died at the Polannaruwa Hospital. After this grenade incident there exists fear and tension throughout Oddmavadi-Miravodai region.

28.6.2002 Evening

Following the grenade attack at around 12.45p.m the government security forces were sent to the area. A peace meeting also was held at the Pradeshiya Sabah where a decision was taken to have a peace committee comprising 30 Muslim and Tamil leading citizens of the area. Even though efforts were being made to restore peace, the LTTE and the Tamil extremists who did not care two hoots for them continued to run on rampage indulging in all sorts of violence. During the night on 28th June 2002, they have attacked and destroyed 7 motorized fishing boats belonging to Muslims.

This incident caused panic among the Muslim people of the entire area.

30.06.2002

Ministers Melinda Moragoda and Jayalath Jayawardena visited to inspect the consequences in Valaichenai where violence and mayhem was unleashed. They appealed to the people to restrain calm and ordered the security forces to take whatever measures necessary to maintain law and order. Just half an hour after the ministers left for Colombo the LTTE have driven away with them a herd of cattle worth Rs 80,000/-. This has happened right in the presence of the police and the army. No action whatsoever was taken against this. Despite the power the army do have to open fire at anyone who indulge or incite violence, they have not exercised it. This is causing a lot of fear, panic and doubt in the minds of the people living in the area.

False Propaganda and the Dual Face of the LTTE

The media, the Tamil politicians of all shades and those who claim are responsible for LTTE have got together in unison to sweep under the carpet the atrocities committed against the Muslims. It has been proved beyond any doubt that it was the LTTE that physically participated in the attacks and orchestrated them. The proof was the weapons used during the rampage of violence and arson on Muslim lives and properties. The mobs indulging in the atrocities have liberally used weapons such as hand grenades, motor bombs and heavy arms. Either one of the mobs must have been the LTTE cadres or the LTTE must have operated the mobs from behind. There is no justification whatsoever for the ordinary Tamils to possess these weapons.

During the curfew was in force in the Kalkudah District, most of the incidents of violence have taken place before the very eyes of the security forces and the police. The members of the police and army who were on duty have unreservedly agreed that there was link between the mobs and the LTTE. The army sources have been very explicit that they were unable to do anything against the LTTE as long as the clauses in the MoU were in force.

The Valaichenai incidents clearly indicate that the LTTE is all out to stage yet another ethnic cleansing of the Muslims taking advantage of the ceasefire agreement.

Having orchestrated everything, the political Office of the LTTE in the Trincomalee District has appealed to the people of both communities to be in peace and be wary about the harmful forces indulging in violence. They are using the term "harmful forces" with the express purpose to hide their own sinister actions.

In the meanwhile, the Tamil dailies and electronic media have been beating about the bush to hide the brutal and unjustified attacks on the Muslims staged by the LTTE and the Tamil armed gangs in Valaichenai. The Tamil net has portrayed contrasting picture. The incidents have been distorted, twisted and they were nothing but lies - outright lies. It is deplorable that the Tamilnet stories are rekindling the ethnic feelings even further. The story that ten Tamil women have been abducted by Islamic extremists has been deliberately fabricated in order to divert the attention of the people away from the conspirators of the violence. The people of Sri Lanka and the international community must take a serious note of this fib.

The Tamil dailies such as Veerakesari and Thinakkural have been publishing biased and cock-eyed versions of the facts making every effort to protect the Tamil criminals giving convenient justifications. If told in the folk language, the said newspapers publish stories knotting the bald head and the knee. They knead the news without pointing the fingers at the true offenders. They exercise utmost caution to this aspect. This has been the definite pattern on the part of these particular newspapers whenever incidents of this nature take place. Muslims must be wary about this kind of hostile attitude of the newspapers. All this have been staged under the pretext that it was the Muslims who removed the crosses found in the hilltop in the Mutur town. It is a deliberate accusation on Muslims which still remains unproved.

The current situation of the Muslims is more than pitiable. The hands of the government security forces have been tied through the so-called MoU and they unable to prevent the continued violence on the Muslims and the losses to lives and properties. Paradoxically, the LTTE make appeals to the Muslims to be patient while unleashing violence on them (Muslims) through their (LTTE's) armed cadres. Behind the screen they incite Tamil civilians too. Deplorably, the media in general have been publishing distorted and twisted versions of actual happenings against the Muslims and but the versions are comfortable and advantageous to the Tamils. With no any temporary arrangement or organization on their own, the innocent Muslims have been pushed to a corner in which they live in extreme fear thinking about what is going to happen to them next.

Damage, Destruction and Loss of Lives


27. 6. 2002
3 Killed on the spot - Anver (40), Sahabdeen (40), Saleem (13)
1 person Succumbed to the injury at Hospital
42 Injured
2 Abducted and Killed in the Tamil Areas - Inudeen (26), Sanudeen (20)
Arson 110 shops (Total loss 15 billion rupees)
3 Abducted While on travel
13 Abducted When on business

28/06/200
6 Injured
1 Killed
7 Boats Destroyed

30/6/2002
Driven 07 heads of cattle worth Rs 80,000

At the time of finishing this, we have received a report on the final toll of the shops burnt and yet another death.

Altogether 254 shops have been (large, medium and small) burnt down. An injured person named Fareed who was transferred to General Hospital, Kandy has succumbed to his injuries.

Following is the latest position on the death toll:

8 dead so far. Fate of the abducted *16 Muslims not known and it is presumed they too would have been killed

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[1] A Muslim - Tamil village in the Trincomalee District in the Eastern Province

[2] A hamlet between Oddamavadi and Valaichenai

[3] A village in the Eastern Province where a Graphite Factory is located

[4] A satellite village in Oddamavadi

[5] Local Government Office

 


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