Reports block compensation claims

[TamilNet, Monday, 16 November 1998, 20:00 GMT]
Families of civilians who are shot dead by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) and are hence, as a rule, accounted for as terrorists by the Sri Lankan Police cannot obtain compensation and have to face difficulties said several divisional secretaries in Batticaloa at a meeting today with the Presidential Commission to inquire into disappearances.

The Commission met with the Batticaloa Government Agent (GA) and the 12 divisional secretaries (DS - formerly Assistant government agents) of the district today at the Batticaloa Kachcheri to discuss human rights issues.

The divisional secretaries pointed out that even if approval for compensation for civilians killed by the army is ultimately obtained it is rejected by the district's SLA commanding officer who is also the chief administrator of civilians affairs in the region. He does so because he bases his decision on the reports of his troops who have been involved in the killings.

Many families of civilians shot dead by the SLA and described as terrorist in the Police reports have been severely affected by this problem the divisional secretaries said.

Later the Commission met Batticaloa Peace Committee. Members of the Peace committee pointed out that no follow up action has been taken by the government on the findings of the Presidential Commission on disappearances so far despite the positive identification of SLA officers involved in massacres of civilians in Batticaloa and the recording of all evidence relating to the killings.

More than 6200 civilians, including women and children, were killed, according to local parliamentarians and human rights activists, in Batticaloa when the SLA moved into district and consolidated its hold on it in 1990-91.


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