Execution-style killings of students in Vavuniya, a war crime - TNA

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 November 2006, 09:15 GMT]
The Parliamentary Group of the Tamil National Alliance, condemning the execution style killing of four students of Agricultural Farm School by the Sri Lanka Army Saturday morning in Vavuniya where ten students including six girls were also wounded, said it was a serious war crime to be added to a long list of war crimes that targeted innocent Tamil civilians in NorthEast, the area of historical habitat of the Tamil people. Four key members of the the TNA, 2 MPs, an ex-MP and a to-be-nominated MP, have been assassinated during the past 2 years. The alliance consists 22 members of Parliament of the 23 Tamil members elected from the NorthEast.

Full text of the TNA press release follows:

19 November 2006
PRESS RELEASE

On 18 November 2006, at about 10.30 am, the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) Army personnel had approached the premises of the Agriculture Farm School in Thandikulam, Vavuniya from several fronts firing in the air with live ammunition. Several students dressed in uniform were engaged in Practicals at the time. On hearing the firing the students had taken cover by lying flat on the ground.

On entering the school premises, members of the GOSL’s Army had ordered the students to stand up. At this point, one student Ramachandran Atchuthan, had stood up and explained that all those present were students of the said school and had no connection whatsoever to an earlier claymore mine attack that had been carried out on a Sri Lanka Army vehicle. At this stage the GOSL Army personnel shot Atchuthan in the head at point blank range. Subsequently three other students, Gopinath of Trincomalee, Rizwan Mohammed of Batticaloa and Sinthujan of Vavuniya were also shot in execution style killings. The GOSL Army personnel then proceeded to open fire randomly at the remaining students, grievously wounding ten students of whom six were girls.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) condemns in the strongest possible terms this heinous crime committed by the GOSL’s Armed Forces against innocent Tamil civilians. This is yet another crime in a very long list of such crimes that have deliberately and systematically targeted innocent Tamil civilians. These are War Crimes of the most serious nature.

The TNA wishes to point out that the GOSL Armed Forces are over 99% Sinhalese, and are openly hostile to the Tamil people. The Tamil people look upon the GOSL armed forced as an Army of Occupation and have every reason to fear that the massacre of Tamil civilians will continue for as long as the GOSL Armed Forces continue to occupy the areas of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking people.


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