Chronology Of Ltte Terror - Part 34
From the Daily News Archives:
euphoria of victory dies down, and together with it the media hype
ceases, when the guns do not rattle and boom anymore and the sky, the
land and the sea become calm and serene, when tranquillity reigns
through it is natural to live in the present moment and forget the past.
But one cannot live in the present without a past. Nor can one envision
the future discarding the experience of the preceding events.
Hence the Daily
News is serialising the Chronicle of LTTE Terror taken from our own
archives which would remind our readers how it all began. An awareness
of the chronology of terror would help us prevent the recurrence of such
terror and frustrate any attempts by misguided elements to repeat
history to suit their evil designs. It was not simple terror. Nor was
It was all
pre-planned, pre-determined, well-calculated terror. The victims were
innocent people. Though it is too many innumerate we would like to
recall the major episodes in the Chronology of Terror.
LTTE earns strongest condemnation of the US
Yet another dark episode in the country’s ethnic conflict was the
brutal cold blooded slaying of eight army personnel held hostage by the
LTTE in Jaffna, in retaliation for the mass suicide of prominent Tiger
leaders who were captured by the Sri Lankan Navy at mid sea off the
Northern shores. Not stopping there enraged tiger cadres went on a
killing spree murdering two policemen at VVT and burning their bodies
while brutally gunning down two Senior Officials of Lanka Cement, the
Cement Corporation’s subsidiary in KKS.
A woman mourning for her relative Velayuthan Sureshkumar.
Passing down of malevolence.
This was an episode that shocked the civilised world and brought into
sharp focus the perverted mindset of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran
who had no compunction in ordering the massacres of unarmed servicemen
and defenceless civilians. This was the first known instance where the
LTTE massacred captured servicemen in their custody a trait that was to
unfold in its most brutal and gory detail in the months and years to
At the time nowhere in contemporary conflicts that raged between
Governments and rebel forces the world over was such a heinous crime
reported which perhaps earned for the LTTE the tag as the most ruthless
and bloodthirsty terrorist organisation in the world.
The hapless soldiers in custody were not even allowed contact with
their relatives but were lined up and mercilessly gunned down on the
orders of Prabhakaran on October 5, 1987 that triggered off events which
for the first time since the Indo-Lanka Accord brought out the IPKF to
battle the Tigers.
The mass killings of the LTTE also earned the strongest condemnation
of the US which urged India to put an end to the killing of civilians.
This massacre even made the hitherto most gruesome attacks carried
against defenceless civilians pale into insignificance for its cold
The mass killing sprees of civilians by the LTTE during this period
reached an all-time high which even prompted the TULF and the ALL Ceylon
Tamil Congress well known Tiger surrogates to call a halt to the these
massacres. In addition an LTTE office in Batticaloa was burnt by
outraged people in a clear demonstration of the growing horror and
resentment of the people of the group’s brutality during the preceding
But the unending killing spree was to continue with whole villages
and hamlets being wiped out with a maniacal fury on the orders of the
Tiger leader retaliating to loss of his top military commanders.
The LTTE leader was obviously smarting by the loss of its frontline
leaders such as Kumarappan and Pullendran, the latter responsible for
leading many a Tiger massacre.
Twelve LTTEers were captured on the high seas off the North by the
Sri Lankan Navy. It was certainly a prize catch as they comprised the
cream of the LTTE fighters and the National Security Minister Lalith
Athulathmudali was determined not to let go of the opportunity despite
Indian pressure for their release in keeping with an on going ceasefire
following the Peace Accord.
Wednesday October 7, 1987
Soldier hostages, Lanka Cement chiefs, police,
brutally killed for mass suicide by LTTE cadres:
Murderous revenge by Tigers in Jaffna
Eight soldiers held prisoner in Jaffna by the LTTE for the past
several months were brutally murdered and their bodies dumped near the
Jaffna bus stand early yesterday morning, in bus stand early yesterday
morning, in an apparent reaction to the cyanide suicides of a dozen LTTE
cadres the previous day, military sources said.
The LTTE soldiers cheering for a dreamland.
In what observers regarded as a clear attempt by the Tigers to
sabotage the peace accord, the LTTE also went on a killing spree,
murdering two policemen at Velvettiturai and burning their bodies and
also brutally murdering two senior officials of Lanka Cement, the Cement
Corporation’s subsidiary at Kankesanturai.
This was followed up by an attack yesterday morning on a roadblock at
Vavuniya, when a policeman was killed. Military sources said the
previous evening an army vehicle diving from Point Pedro to
Velvettiturai had been fired at and four soldiers were critically
injured. They had been flown to Sri Jayewardenepura for emergency
The soldiers the LTTE murdered had been taken prisoner at the Pannai
causeway on March 23 and during the attack on the Jaffna
telecommunications building on June 6. Negotiations had been on to
obtain their release via a prisoner swap.
The Lanka, Cement officials, Mr. M. D. J. S. Jayamanne (50), the
company’s general manager, and Mr. Gamini Gajanayake (30), the deputy
general manager had been gunned down at the Kankesanturai factory as
they routinely inspected the production facility.
Mr. Jayamanne was a mechanical engineer who had served the Cement
Corporation at its Puttalam factory as its works manager, before moving
to Lanka Cement at Kankesanturai.
His deputy, Mr. Gajanayake was a qualified accountant.
The seventeen Tigers arrested last Saturday by the Sri Lanka Navy off
the Velvettiturai coast, aborad a radar-equipped trawler fitted with
machinerguns, were taken to Palaly base where they had been in custody,
according to police.
A Colombo-datelined AFP report said that they had been allowed
Authoritative official sources said that the 17, including Kumarappa,
the LTTE’s Jaffna commander, and Pulendran, the Trincomalee leader were
to be flown to Colombo, when they had swallowed the cyanide capsules
which had apparently been smuggled in to them. Twelve died in the mass
suicide while five survived.
These sources said the authorities in Colombo had been pressing that
these men be quickly flown down and an aircraft had been sent for them.
But the LTTE had been pushing the IPKF to hold them in Jaffna and
release them. They had claimed they were unarmed and on a fishing
Twelve of those who swallowed the cyanide died, while five lives were
saved. In New Delhi, India said she “deeply regretted the incident”
while discussions were on to secure their release. The Indian spokesman
said that Delhi also regretted the Colombo Government’s decision to fly
them from Jaffna to Colombo while these discussions were proceeding.
The LTTE said the Madras that the 17 arrested had written to
Prabhakaran saying they were prepared for self-annihilation in the
eventuality of their being transported to Colombo.
Meanwhile, according to unconfirmed reports reaching Colombo last
night, a Jaffna resident had said that the bodies of the tow Lanka
Cement officials had been handed over to the General Hospital, Jaffna
and that this was conveyed to the Army camp at Jaffna Fort. In Jaffna
the Tigers were reported to be preparing to launch a satyragraha
campaign. They are reported to have threatened the public to join their
campaign at gunpoint.
Armed terrorists were also reported to be going about in vans,
tractors and buses. They exploded bombs to frighten those who were not
joining their satyragraha campaign.
Swift official reaction to murderous overnight
rampage in which terrorists take 142 lives:
India, Lanka join forces to halt Tiger massacres in EP
The Governments of India and Sri Lanka yesterday reacted swiftly to a
killing spree launched by the LTTE in the Eastern Province, taking steps
for joint patrolling of the affected areas by the Sri Lankan Security
Forces and the IPKF.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army’s Southern Command, Lt.
General Depinder Singh was in Trincomalee yesterday, on the orders of
his government, to co-ordinate operations with the Commander of Sri
Lanka’s Joint Operations Command, General Cyril Ranatunge. Official
said a smoother working arrangement between the two forces has now been
In Batticaloa, which was the hardest hit by the LTTE during the
12-hours ending yesterday morning, the Co-ordinating Officer,
Superintendent of Police Nimal de Silva said: “We are working together,
but I believe more of our men should be involved in the operations.
People with greater knowledge of the terrain, like our Special Task
Force, can be invaluable in the type of fire-fight we will have to
face.” Senior officials stressed that the need of the hour was that the
people of the south should act with wisdom and sanity and ensure that
there was no 1983-style backlash in reaction to the tragic events in the
“The best way the country can help the authorities to restore law and
order in the troubled areas is for people to get about their normal
business without being provoked into the foolishness that the LTTE would
like to see”, one senior official said.
“Any person who commits arson, causes damage to property or hinders
the implementation of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord will be severely
dealt with”, a Government spokesman said.
Over 150 were killed in the Eastern Province in the twelve hours
ending at 8 a.m. yesterday, when LTTE gunmen unleashed a reign of terror
on the province’s residents from Pottuvil in the far south to
Trincomalee and a few miles further north.
Among the dead were six soldiers killed by a landmine at Vakarai on
the borders of the Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa districts. Ten soldiers
were wounded in this attack, three of them critically.
Batticaloa was the worst hit and the death toll in that district
alone was estimated at 85. Forty of the dead were passengers of the
night mail to Colombo, which was attacked and set fire to at the
Batticaloa railway station.
Even LTTE area men were quick to dissociate themselves from the
killings which they lamely blamed on rival groups and the ‘police’.
What they are smarting about most is that the killers were members of
their own group who descended on their districts from outside and left
soon after the bloodshed.
Other areas worst affected were Lahugala, a few miles from Pottuvil,
where a bus was set on fire after its 20 passengers had been killed;
Sagarapura near Padaviya, where 27 farmers were shot dead; a fishing
wadiya in Eravur, where 25 were killed; and Palloruwa, near Vavuniya,
where three died. A later report said that five persons riding
motorcycles had also been murdered by terrorists at Lahugala.
In Batticaloa town, witnesses said the LTTE hit men killed 17 Sinhala
residents who had been living in the area for generations.
The dead included Martin Mudalali and Siripala Mudalali. Martin
Mudalali was a jeweller who had lived in Batticaloa from birth. Siripala
Mudalali was also a resident of long standing. Both were respected
members of the Batticaloa community, residents said.
The LTTE killer squads seemed to have gone into hiding at daybreak,
but they apparently laid a few landmines in lonely stretches of East
Coast road, officials said.
Tomorrow - Killing of Indian paratroopers
Sunday bloodbath in Eastern Province