Inquest into Valaichenai killing

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 May 1999, 10:07 GMT]
"My son went to collect his identity card which the Sri Lanka Army had confiscated in the morning. After a short while I heard the sound of a gunshot. Later I came to know that my son had been shot dead. He is innocent", said the Sellathurai Mani, 50, mother of Kanthalingam Jeyarajah, while testifying at the inquest held yesterday.

Kanthalingam Jeyarajah, 23, was shot dead by the Sri Lanka Army personnel at the cemetery sentry point in Valaichenai town, 32 km. north of Batticaloa, on Tuesday.

"My son had no contact with any groups. It is ridiculous that the army is claiming now that my son had attempted to lob a grenade at them and that they had found a grenade on his possession", the mother said.

"My son had completed the GCE (O/L). But he did not continue with his studies due to poverty. He was working as an electrician."

"His income was not enough. He had made arrangement to go to Middle-East and work there."

"This tragic incident happened while he was waiting for the visa to travel to Middle-East," the mother went on to say.

The inquest was held by the coroner, S.Karalasingham, at the Valaichenai Hospital.

The Sri Lanka Army personnel, Range Jeevalakmal, 24, who shot him said at the inquest that he was at the sentry with another SLA soldier, Sunil.

He said a youth tried to throw a grenade at the sentry. We grabbed the grenade from him, shot and killed him.

The coroner returned a verdict of homicide at Jeyarajah's inquest.

Meanwhile in a press release issued by the Ministry of Defence yesterday said " On 18 May 1999, 2.30 p.m. in general area Valaichchenai, troops at a check point detected a suspicious movement of a person, when challenged by troops, suspect tried to throw a hand grenade and was engaged with small arms. The suspect was killed and troops recovered 01 hand grenade from the scene."


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