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Lest we forget- Which month isn’t black for Sri Lanka?

Ramanie de Zoysa

November 84- Kent and Dollar Farms massacres:

The massacres took place on November 30, 1984, in two small farming villages in the district of Mullativu in north-eastern Sri Lanka. At Dollar farm, 33 Sinhalese were murdered and several others were injured in the shooting carried out by the cadres of LTTE. On the same day at Kent farm, another 29 Sinhalese civilians were massacred, thus increasing the total death toll to 62. Among the civilian casualties were men, women and children. The LTTE cadres used submachine guns, automatic rifles and hand grenades to kill civilians. Survivors also reported that LTTE cadres had killed children by bashing their heads against walls. Pregnant mothers’ wombs were slit open and the faetus ripped out and destroyed.

This incident was designed to provoke massive retaliation by the Sinhalese majority against the Tamils in order to strengthen the LTTE's position among the Tamil people and the international community. However, the Sinhala people did not respond in kind but conducted themselves with extraordinary restraint.

The numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Sinhala people to gain mileage to further personal or communal propaganda or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Sinhala person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Sinhala person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds using this incident.

May 84- Sri Maha Bodhi massacre:

The Anuradhapura massacre took place on May 14, 1984 in which LTTE cadres massacred 146 Sinhalese men, women and children in Anuradhapura. The LTTE hijacked a bus and entered Anuradhapura. As the LTTE cadres entered the main bus station, they opened fire indiscriminately with automatic weapons killing and wounding many civilians who were waiting for buses. LTTE cadres then drove to the Buddhist Sri Maha Bobhi shrine and gunned down nuns, monks and civilians as they prayed inside the Buddhist shrine. Before they withdrew, the LTTE cadres entered the national park of Wilpattu and killed 18 Sinhalese in the forest reserve.

This incident was designed to provoke massive retaliation by the Sinhalese majority against the Tamils in order to strengthen the LTTE's position among the Tamil people and the international community. However, the Sinhala people did not respond in kind but conducted themselves with extraordinary restraint.

Once again, the numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Sinhala people to gain mileage to further personal or communal gains or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Sinhala person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Sinhala person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds.

August 1990- Kattankudi massacre of Muslims

Gun-carrying Tamil Tiger terrorists swooped on Muslim prayers inside the holy Kattankudy mosque and butchered 103 Muslim civilians including over 25 small children. On Friday August 4, 1990 over three hundred Muslims, men and boys, were prostrate in prayer at the Meera Jumma Mosque, fifty yards from the Kandy Batticaloa Road. None of them were armed.

It was seven twenty in the evening and the town of Katankudi was lit up. The prayers went on when there was a power cut throwing the mosque into darkness.

A stones throw away from the Meera Jumma is the smaller Hussainya Mosque. There was a smaller gathering of approximately forty people here - prostrate in prayer too. The power cut had been effected by the large group of LTTE cadres on their murderous mission.

According to eye witnesses the raiders were dressed in battle fatigues, others in sarongs and tee shirts. They drove up in several white Hiace vans - armed LTTE cadres.

The numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Muslim people to gain mileage to further personal or communal gains or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Muslim person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Muslim person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds.

June 2007 – Arantalawa massacre of Buddhist monks

The bloody massacre and the brutal mutilation of 33 young monks and their mentor Chief Priest Ven. Hegoda Indrasara at Arantalawa in Amparai, by the ruthless and bloodthirsty LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorists has no parallel in history.

The time was 7.15 in the morning of June 2nd 1987. The young monks had just boarded a bus from the Mahavapi temple with their mentor seated in front and were on their way on a pilgrimage to Kelaniya temple. Having just passed Nuwaratenna when they reached Arantalawa the bus driver P. G. Samarapala noticed some wooden logs placed across the road obstructing their path. Sensing danger the driver began to turn the bus when all of a sudden a group of about 20 Tiger terrorists clad in commando military fatigues emerged from the jungle thicket brandishing swords, knives and machine guns. Two Tigers boarded the bus and gave the driver orders to drive into a jungle path. There was pin drop silence until they reached a thick growth of teak trees.

"Give us all the money you have', was the order of the Tiger leader. The bus conductor N.V. Jinadasa surrendered every cent he had. Ven. Indrasara then pleaded "You'd better kill me but please don't harm these young ones', pointing to the young pupil monks. Then a thundering voice rent the air, "Wettida" which means cut them. Instantly a sword fell sharply on the neck of Ven. Indrasara severing it in two. When the second sword was falling on Ratnayake, a young monk Punjhasara rushed forward and interceded not to kill his father. Immediately a shot rang out smashing the young monk's head. Then two terrorists began to cut and chop the young monks and two other Tigers began shooting all the monks at random. Howls of pain and wailings of misery rent the jungle air but all pleadings were of no avail.

In fleeting moments the bus was drenched with pools of hot young blood of the samaneras who were like lambs taken to a slaughter house. Some little monks hid under the seats and very few were left alive to tell the sad story. When the corpses of the 33 monks was lined in a row, it was like several buds of yellow Ahala plucked out before they even flower.

This heinous incident was designed to provoke massive retaliation by the Sinhalese majority against the Tamils in order to strengthen the LTTE's position among the Tamil people and the international community. However, the Sinhala people did not respond in kind but conducted themselves with extraordinary restraint.

The numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Sinhala people to gain mileage to further personal or communal propaganda or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Sinhala person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Sinhala person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds using this incident.

May 1995- Kallarawa massacre:

The Kallarawa massacre was carried out by the LTTE at a small fishing village called Kallarawa located on the Eastern seaboard of Sri Lanka. Kallarawa is located 35 kilometers away from Trincomalee town.

The LTTE cadres massacred 42 Sinhalese men, women and children. All the remaining civilian survivors fled the village after this incident leading to its depopulation. However survivors from the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities have returned to Kallarawa under the protection of the Sri Lankan Army.

This heinous incident was designed to provoke massive retaliation by the Sinhalese majority against the Tamils in order to strengthen the LTTE's position among the Tamil people and the international community. However, the Sinhala people did not respond in kind but conducted themselves with extraordinary restraint.

The numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Sinhala people to gain mileage to further personal or communal propaganda or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Sinhala person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Sinhala person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds using this incident.

October 1991- the Palliyagodella massacre of Muslims:

The Palliyagodella massacre was one of the largest massacre of Muslim civilians by the LTTE to date where they massacred 109 Muslim men, women and children. The Palliyagodella villagers had asked the Sri Lankan military for protection from LTTE extortion. The Sri Lankan forces issued shotguns to the Muslim villagers but these were inadequate to beat off LTTE attacks. Female LTTE cadres and child soldiers were involved in this attack.

The numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Muslim people to gain mileage to further personal or communal gains or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Muslim person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Muslim person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds.

October 1995 Eastern Sri Lanka massacres

120 civilians were killed in various incidents by the LTTE.

These heinous acts were designed to provoke massive retaliation by the Sinhalese majority against the Tamils in order to strengthen the LTTE's position among the Tamil people and the international community. However, the Sinhala people did not respond in kind but conducted themselves with extraordinary restraint.

The numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Sinhala people to gain mileage to further personal or communal propaganda or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Sinhala person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Sinhala person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds using this incident.

September 1999- Gonagala massacre:

The LTTE carried out the Gongala Massacre on September 18, 1999, in the small village of Gonagala, located in the Ampara District of Sri Lanka. According to reports, over 50 men, women and children were hacked to death in the middle of the night.

These murders gained notoriety because, unlike previous attacks, most of the LTTE cadres who took part in it were women. According to survivors, there was a significant presence of female cadres among the 75 LTTE cadres who took part in the killings.

The incident occurred in the early morning of September 18, 1999, at the 31 Colony in Ampara. The LTTE cadres first entered Gonagala village and hacked to death 50 Sinhalese civilians, most of them in their sleep. A middle aged man who had tried to protect himself had his hand severed and skull pulverised. After the attack, the hacked bodies of children lay in pools of blood in the cots where they had been sleeping.

The LTTE cadres then moved from the Gonagala settlement to two neighboring ones, where they killed four more civilians, before making good their exit.[

One survivor, Herath Mudiyansalege Premasiri, a 29-year-old farmer, gave a description of the events that happened around him.

"We finished late and went to bed. There were about 15 of us, relatives and friends who came to help us for the alms-giving. I was sleeping alone in my room. Around 2 am I heard a group of people banging on the door. They later broke into the house."

He survived by hiding under his bed, but 14 other people who stayed at his home on that day were killed by LTTE cadres.

Another resident of the village, who was a home guard, had been on duty at a checkpoint further away. When he returned home in the morning, he found his pregnant wife, two children (ages six and eight), his father, mother, sister and brother-in-law dead.

This heinous incident was designed to provoke massive retaliation by the Sinhalese majority against the Tamils in order to strengthen the LTTE's position among the Tamil people and the international community. However, the Sinhala people did not respond in kind but conducted themselves with extraordinary restraint.

The numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Sinhala people to gain mileage to further personal or communal propaganda or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Sinhala person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Sinhala person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds using this incident.

April 2006- Gomarankadawala, Kalyanapura massacres:

LTTE terrorists killed and kidnapped six Sinhala farmers. The murders took place in Kallampaththuwa, Gomarankadawala in the district of Trincomalee at 4.50 PM on the 23rd April 2006. "The farmers were working in their paddy fields when they were taken and shot," said military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe adding that the LTTE is trying to create a backlash among communities. Four of the victims were students of the Gomarankadawala Maha Viddyalaya. The victims were: 1. Abeseenage Aruna shantha, Age 19 , Student; 2. Rupasinhege Eranda Sandaruwan Rupasingha, Age 17 , Student; 3. Dissanayakage Lalith Kumara Dissanayake, Age 16 , Student; 4. Ariyawanshage Ajith Kumara, Age 19 , Student; 5. Dinapalage Wasantha Kumara, Age 29, Farmer; 6. Muthubandage Chaminda Prashantha bandara, Age 27 , Village Guard; According to the eye witnesses, the LTTE terrorists escaped towards the Namal Waththa Tamil village and according to villages, the terrorists gang consist of 16- 18 age carders.

This heinous incident was designed to provoke massive retaliation by the Sinhalese majority against the Tamils in order to strengthen the LTTE's position among the Tamil people and the international community. However, the Sinhala people did not respond in kind but conducted themselves with extraordinary restraint.

The numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Sinhala people to gain mileage to further personal or communal propaganda or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Sinhala person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Sinhala person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds using this incident.

May 2006- Welikanda massacre:

The twelve workers who were killed and the two who escaped death in the alleged Tiger attack at Omadiyamadu in the Welikanda area were engaged in an irrigation canal construction project for the Mahaweli Authority undertaken by a contractor.

The contractor was a businessman from Welikanda named P.G.A. Abeysuriya. Aged 50, he was popularly known as Mahadan Mudalali and was the president of the Traders’ Association there.

On May 29, the workers stopped work as usual around 5.00 pm. Suddenly, around 15 uniformed Tigers, armed with T 56 rifles are said to have surrounded the place.

What happened thereafter was known only to Upali Rajakaruna who escaped death and trudged to the Welikanda Police station and Priyadarshana Wijebandara who was admitted to the Polonnaruwa Hospital.

It was with injured Wijebandara’s tip-off that the security forces could initiate the Welikanda massacre investigations. According to Mr. Wijebandara, the LTTE surrounded them when they were about to get onto the tractor after completion of the day’s work.

“There were all 13 of us, including Mr. Abeysooriya, the contractor. The LTTE took us to Omadiyamadu from Ransaratenna. We were shot after we were made to kneel down, lined up and our hands were tied at the back. I escape after they left the place,” Mr. Wijebandara recollected.

“It was 2.00 pm when I reported for work after returning from my home at Galnewa, where I had gone on leave. Around 4.30 pm when the workers were getting ready to go home, about 15 Tigers came and surrounded the place.

“They tied our hands behind our backs. They did not instill any fear in us. They took our money and asked us how the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government was faring. Then suddenly I was shot and down I went. The blood of the man next to me was all over my body.

“I pretended to be dead. I saw one of my fellow-workers trying to get up and crying in pain. Around 7.00 pm I got up and left the place and walked to a Tamil populated village and from there to Welikanda,” Upali Rajakaruna said.

This heinous incident was designed to provoke massive retaliation by the Sinhalese majority against the Tamils in order to strengthen the LTTE's position among the Tamil people and the international community. However, the Sinhala people did not respond in kind but conducted themselves with extraordinary restraint.

The numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Sinhala people to gain mileage to further personal or communal propaganda or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Sinhala person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Sinhala person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds using this incident.

June 2006- Kebithigollawa massacre:

The LTTE placed a claymore mine targeting the only daily bus servicing Kebithigollewa carrying innocent civilian passengers, young and old. The massacre occurred on June 15, 2006 when over 60 people were killed.

This heinous incident was designed to provoke massive retaliation by the Sinhalese majority against the Tamils in order to strengthen the LTTE's position among the Tamil people and the international community. However, the Sinhala people did not respond in kind but conducted themselves with extraordinary restraint.

The numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Sinhala people to gain mileage to further personal or communal propaganda or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Sinhala person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Sinhala person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds using this incident.

August 2006

Over 100 Muslim civilians, including women and children were slaughtered by the Tamil Tiger militants on Friday night at Pachchanoor, alleging them as members of the Muslim armed group ‘Jihad.’

According to the report, displaced families were fleeing the fighting in Muttur - the government-held town when the Tigers blocked them at Pachchanoor on Friday night and killed over a 100 "including women, youth and children."

According to the civilians, LTTE cadres armed with sophisticated weapons had blocked the way of the fleeing Muslim civilians as they had been moving towards Serunuwara from Muttur area.

It is now confirmed that Tiger militants detained the fleeing Muslim civilians and slaughtered them mercilessly alleging them as members of the Muslim armed group called “Jihad.”

A group of civilians who managed to escape the slaughter has reported the incident to the military officials.

The numbers killed and wounded in this massacre have never been inflated by the Muslim people to gain mileage to further personal or communal gains or to blacken the name of Tamils in general and no Muslim person has migrated under false pretences to affluent countries using this incident. No Muslim person has carried out self-inflicted damages on their property in order to fraudulently obtain insurance proceeds.

July 83- anti-Tamil riots:

The LTTE attacked and killed 13 State military personnel engaged in day to day duties in Thinnavelly in a bid to press home the point that Sinhala soldiers had no place in the intended Tamil Eelaam in the Northern Province. When the news reached Colombo it was the last straw for the Sinhala citizens who have been enraged by incessant atrocities that were being committed by Tamils for over a decade then who were killing and dispossessing the Sinhalese living in the North in a bid to ethnically cleanse the North. Mostly Sinhala mobs rampaged the city of Colombo killing and torturing Tamils and destroying their property.

No other event in known history has been so unjustly used over and over again to blacken the image of a single race as the so-called “Black July”. No other known event in history has been carefully orchestrated or blown out of proportion to gain undue advantages by a single community as “Black July”. No other known incident in human history is characterized by dishonesty and fraud committed by those very people who claim to stand up for the rights of victims of the incident.

Depending on who you speak to there were between 434 and 10,000 Tamils killed in the July 83 violence. The sheer disparity of the numbers of victims alone is evidence to the amount of distortion and fraud that has now become the trademark of July 83 riots; a fact that distinguishes July 83 from all the atrocities that Tamils have perpetrated on the Sinhalese and Muslims to date. DIG of Police at the time (now retired) Mr. H. M. G. B. Kotakadeniya, writing to the Sri Lankan newspaper Daily News of 15 July 2006 titled “Genocide of 1983 and 'Presidential commission on security lapses’ wrote “the figure (of people killed during the 1983 riots) was around 440 killed in the entire country of which around 150 were Sinhalese who were murdered by Tamil goons”.

It is no secret that a substantial number of ‘burnt and looted Tamil shops’ were engineered by opportunistic Tamils themselves for fraudulent insurance claims. The insurance fraud committed by the Tamils during the ‘darkest hour’ of Nation in July 1983 was widely known to be a significant part of the riots.

Speaking at a meeting to mark the 21st anniversary of the pogrom the then President Mrs Kumaratunga declared “Every citizen in this country should collectively accept the blame and make an apology to the tens of thousands who suffered. I would like to assign to myself that task on behalf of the State of Sri Lanka, the government and on behalf of all of us; all the citizens of Sri Lanka to extend that apology.”

The apology was accompanied by nominal compensation to some of the victims. 72.3 million rupees [$US702,000] was paid to 937 victims at an average of 77,000 rupees [$750] for the injuries and destruction they suffered.

I sincerely thank Wikipaedia and Spur websites which have been the sources of information for this article.

Ramanie de Zoysa

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