23 years after the cold-blooded massacre of 184 Tamil civilians including infants, children and women by SL Army at Chaththurukko’ndaan village in the Batticaloa district, the kith and kin of the victims held a remembrance meeting on 09 September and offered their respects to the victims.
On September 9, 1990, the SLA soldiers had surrounded the all four villages Chaththurukko’ndaan, Panichchaiyadi, Pi’l’laiyaaradi and Kokkuvil. Around 184 villagers from these villagers were taken to the Army camp. The soldiers then ruthlessly murdered them by shooting, slaying and burning them alive inside the Chaththurukko’ndaan army camp.
Three month old infants N Venudas, S Priya, four month old infant A Venuja and five children under the age of one, 42 under the age of 10 were among those who were bludgeoned to death. Atleast 28 persons over 68 years of age and nine pregnant women were also brutally killed by the SL Army forces.
The brutal massacre took place around 8.00 p.m. Those who managed to survive deposed in front of a judicial commission where they reported that the soldiers had first shot and slew the victims. Those who did not die in the shooting and slaying were burnt to death.
38 of the dead were from Chaththurukko’ndaan village, 37 from Panichchaiyadi, 62 from Pi’l’laiyaaradi and 47 from Kokkuvil.
A 3-member judicial commission headed by Justice Mr.K.Balakidnar was appointed to investigate into the massacre and the commission concluded that Chaththurukko’ndaan Army camp soldiers were responsible for the massacre.
However, 23 years after the brutal bloodshed, not even a single soldier has been punished for the crime. The Officer of the army camp at that time Captain Varnakulasooriya and other soldiers in the massacre incident were not merely left unpunished but were given promotion and transferred to other camps.
Memories of a horrific bloodshed however refused to die, even after decades. Even as renewed fears of Sinhala chauvinism grip the Tamils, the relatives of the victims of Chaththurukko’ndaan massacre quietly remembered them, by paying floral tributes at the memorial.