Jaffna hospital observes 26th year of IPKF massacre

Donating modern scanners to the X-ray division of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital, the Indian government had recently requested the administration of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital to do away with the memorial site situated within the hospital, but the employees were firm in refusing to erase the memory of 21 doctors, nurses and other medical staff together with 46 patients were slain by the so-called Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in one of the brutal massacres witnessed in Jaffna when the invading Indian military was at war with the LTTE in 1987. The medical staff and the kith and kin of the victims, who remembered their co-workers, patients and family members on Monday, demanded a public apology from the Government of India.

While having the audacity to ask Eezham Tamils to raze down the memorial of civilians in the Jaffna hospital, New Delhi dignitaries visiting the island nowadays make it a new ritual to pay ‘homage’ at the memorials for the IPKF in Colombo and Jaffna.

The war crimes committed by the IPKF on Eezham Tamil civilians are yet to be brought under international investigations.

New Delhi bigwigs visiting Jaffna paying ‘homage’ at the IPKF memorial built at Palaali, inside the Sinhala Military Zone of occupying Colombo, is an arrogant and insulting show of New Delhi on its partnership and complicity in the occupation of the country of Eezham Tamils and in their genocide, commented a social activist who was at the hospital memorial event.

Meanwhile, a doctor who did not wish to be named, shared the memories of the hospital massacre with the journalists who were present at the memorial site in the hospital on Monday:

“The soldiers of the so-called Indian Peace Keeping Force that entered the X-ray room of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital on 21 October 1987 dragged our medical staff, including senior doctors, one by one, and opened fire on them brutally slaying them as I was witnessing the unfolding massacre as I was hiding away from the Indian soldiers. I will never forget the Indian atrocity committed on us. It is not possible to repress the traumatic memory of the scene where all my senior doctors under whom I started my career being brutally killed,” the doctor said.

This year, the medical staff members, who escaped the massacre, retired eyewitnesses and the kith and kin of the medical workers slain by the IPKF, also spoke on the need for a Mu’l’livaaykkaal Remembrance site in Jaffna.

135 people were killed at the massacre in Jaffna Hospital on that ill-fated day, according to affidavits gathered by North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESoHR). The human rights body of Eezham Tamils under the Tamil de-facto State, had published the names of 60 persons slain in the massacre in its report ‘IPKF massacres of Tamils in Sri Lanka’.

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