Court reprimands Vavuniyaa 21-4 Brigade, commends Oamanthai SLA

[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 June 2007, 14:51 GMT]
Vavuniyaa District Magistrate, M. Illancheliyan, in a directive sent to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Vanni region Commanding Officer and the Vanni SLA Commander, referring to the ten killings in one month in Seddiku'lam area in Vavuniyaa district which is under the direct command and presence of the SLA's 21-4 Brigade, said that the responsibility of ensuring the safety of civilians in this area rested entirely on the Commander of the SLA's 21-4 Brigade. The copies of the directive were also sent to Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice and the Attorney General.

The following are selected excerpts from the directive:

Ten civilians have been killed, either shot or knifed, in one month in Cheddiku'lam, Pampaimadu, Poovarasangku'lam areas in Vavuniyaa district. Complaints of these serious criminal acts have not been made to this court in the past from these areas which are under the 21-4 Brigade of the Sri Lanka Army. But now this area has become a killing field, unsafe for the public.

Ensuring the safety of the public in this area is the full responsibility of the Commanding Officer of SLA 21-4 SLA Brigade. Courts inquiries reveal information about the killers moving about in white vans and that the killers are fluent in Sinhalese and Tamil languages.

Why has not a single killer been arrested in an area filled with SLA sentry posts widely located in all areas? How could these killers of ten persons escape without being caught by the SLA? Is it possible to escape unnoticed by the SLA that is present all over in this area? Ten inquiries have been held but not a single killer has been arrested. Are soldiers failing to perform their duties? Or are they not able to arrest the killers? These serious questions arise before the Courts.

Two civilians were abducted and killed in Vaarikkuddiyoor area last week. Complaints have been made on SLA relating to these killings. Why has Cheddiku'lam area has now become a place rife with serious human rights violations?

The Commanding Officer of the 21-4 Brigade, being the officer in charge of Cheddiku'lam area, has the burden to answer these questions. The responsibility of safeguarding the area rests entirely on his shoulders.

Human rights violations have also taken place in Pampaimadu, Poovarasangku'lam and Ira'nai Iiluppaikku'lam areas which are under the control of SLA divisions. This area ranks as the second in terms where the safety of the public is not ensured.

Oamanthai SLA 56th Division functions the best in Vavuniyaa district. Though the soldiers of this division have to engage in direct confrontation with the insurgents, complaints from the people in the area have not been made even of a single civilian being killed in this area during the last 9 months. The Court conveys its commendation to the Commanding Officer of Oamanthai 56th division.

 

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