Valaichenai Schoolboy reported missing

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 May 1999, 21:49 GMT]
The mother of a school boy, M.Thusikaran, attending year six at the Meeravodai Tamil School in Valaichenai, 32 km north of Batticaloa, has informed the school's principle that her son has been missing since Tuesday, May 18.

The principal has informed the Zonal Educational Director, Mr. S.Nakenthiran.

When Thusikaran failed to return from school on Tuesday, his mother sought help from the neighbours.

A school friend told them that Thusikaran had not attended school that day but that he had been seen near an old house.

When the neighbours went there they found his books spread on the floor and military-boot marks nearby. They also found boot-marks on the compound surrounding the house.

But when the school principal contacted the Meeravodai SLA, they had told him that they had not arrested Thusikaran.

Meeravodai is a hamlet 2 km. west of Valaichenai. Tamils and Muslims live in separate parts of the village that are locally known as Meeravodai 'Tamil village' and Meeravodai 'Muslim village'.

The Meeravodai 'Tamil village' was severely affected by military operations in the early 90s. The villagers were forcibly evicted by the Muslim home guards, mainly from the adjoining 'Muslim village', and the SLA.

Nearly 450 families in the village fled to neighbouring villages. Last year a resettlement programme was started. However, only 40 families have so far returned.

The Tamil school is the only functioning institution in the Tamil part of the village and there is a Sri Lankan army camp situated close to the school.

In the adjoining Muslim village there is a Police post that is guarded by Sinhala and Muslim policemen.

The Muslim policemen were formerly part of a para military group known as the Home Guards but were absorbed into the Police ranks between 1996 and 1997.

An Non Governmental Organisation statement at the 47th session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in January 1991 stated that, "since the renewal of the armed conflict on the 11th of June 1990, over 6000 Tamil civilians have been killed by Sri Lanka in the North - East. Over 4000 have been killed in the East alone - around half this number by Government sponsored Muslim Home Guards."

Thagarajah Mahenthiran, one of the civilians thought to have been killed in that period and reported 'missing' since 1990, is the father of the missing schoolboy, M. Thusikaran.

 

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