Remembering the brutal killing of over 700 police officers | Daily News

30th anniversary

Remembering the brutal killing of over 700 police officers

In 1990, a mass murder of Sri Lankan police officers took place on June 11. Terrorists of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the world’s most ruthless terrorist organisation, murdered around 700 unarmed police officers in the Eastern Province. Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of this barbaric act of the LTTE terrorists. This was a black day for the Sri Lanka Police. This is one of the biggest war crimes committed by the LTTE.     

On June 11, 1990, at about 6:00 am, LTTE terrorists surrounded the Batticaloa police station and abducted three policemen. About an hour later, around 250 armed LTTE terrorists occupied the police station. Then Sinhalese police officers along with their families were sent to the airport. Tamil police officers and their families were taken to St Mary’s Church. The acting Officer-in-Charge and four other policemen were detained.  The LTTE terrorists also removed Rs. 45 million in cash, gold jewellery, 109 T56 rifles, 77 T84S rifles, 28 light machine guns, 29 self-loading rifles, 65 sub machine guns, 78 .303 rifles and 78 SAR 80 guns from the police station.

The LTTE terrorists ordered all police stations in the Eastern Province to be vacated by 2:30 pm or face the consequences. Inspector General of Police Ernest Perera instructed the police officers to surrender, at the request of the then President. They laid down their arms after being promised safe conduct and subsequent release.

Then the Sinhalese officers were sent to the Army or Air Force camps, while Tamil officers were accommodated at schools. Meanwhile, the LTTE terrorists abducted 899 officers. About 125 were able to escape. The prisoners were taken to the Vinayagapuram and Trincomalee jungles. Once they had arrived, the LTTE terrorists lined up the officers, tied their hands behind their backs and shot them dead. In all, 774 police officers died in the shooting.

But not all the officers complied at once. The OIC of Kalmunai police station refused to surrender and kept on fighting with the LTTE terrorists  from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. He protested insisting that they “would be tortured, if not killed (if they surrendered).” During that period, he repeatedly requested air support and artillery support, but was denied. At about 5:20 pm, the IGP contacted the OIC and ordered him to cease firing and surrender. When they had laid down their arms, the LTTE terrorists took over and all communications with the Colombo Police headquarters were lost. Then the LTTE terrorists took them to the Thirukkovil jungles and executed them.

In Kalmunai, the LTTE terrorists also fired at an Army convoy, killing 10 Army soldiers. It was reported that 324 police officers who died were Sinhalese and Muslims. All of them were taken to the Thirukkovil jungles by the LTTE terrorists, blindfolded, with hands tied, made to lie down on the ground, and shot.

At the time of this massacre, the LTTE’s peace delegation comprising Jude, an LTTE communication specialist, and two military wing terrorists were at Hilton Hotel, Colombo. Then they were moved to a military camp in Kalutara, under heavy security of the Special Task Force. They were returned to the LTTE a few days later without any harm. According to Major General Sarath Munasinghe’s book, A Soldiers Version, the LTTE radio operator Jude had a message from Prabhakaran: "Whatever happens, ensure that the money offered is brought with you,” the message read.

Thirty years ago on a day like today, around 700 Sinhalese and Muslim families lost their beloved husbands, brothers and fathers. The barbaric act of the LTTE terrorists took their loved ones away from them forever. Thirty years have gone. What about the families of those murdered police officers? Maybe their parents are very old by now. Maybe some of them are no more. Their wives are aged by now. The children of those police officers are adults by now. But all of them are still living with this bitter memory. 

There were some popular words which were used during the past five years from 2015 to 2019. Those are ‘accountability’, ‘missing persons’, ‘compensation’, ‘war crimes’ and many more. Did those who were using those words day and night contact any family which suffered due to crimes such as this committed by the terrorists? Did they try to pay compensation? Did they find out who committed the real war crimes? Did the government which governed the country from 2015 to 2019 do anything about the real victims of these numerous war crimes committed by terrorists? Did anyone go to Geneva demanding justice for the families of those who died?

The word ‘reconciliation’ came into the limelight especially before 2005 and after January 2015. The word is used by many knowing or unknowing the real meaning of this word. The real meaning of this word is ‘the restoration of friendly relations’. But unfortunately, the so-called scholars and other politically affiliated individuals who made close friendships with the political leaders of Sri Lanka fabricated a new meaning for this word ‘reconciliation’ which is totally the opposite of the real meaning of this word. The fabricated new meaning given to the word ‘reconciliation’ was ‘finding faults of Sinhala Buddhists’.

The main objective of giving this new meaning to the word ‘reconciliation’ was making money for NGOs. The so-called ‘peacemakers’ got huge amounts of funds. All they needed to do was find fault with every move of the majority community. They banned words such as ‘nationalism’, ‘national security’ and ‘Bhikkus’. The new fabricated meaning of the word was used all the time to ill-treat, discriminate and antagonise the majority community in Sri Lanka. It was openly done by the governments appointed by them. Unfortunately, it took a long time for the majority Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lankans to realise this bitter truth. They realised this bitter truth and showed that realisation to the entire world on November 16, 2019.

Add new comment