Sri Lanka builds police station on Kausalyan’s cemetary

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 November 2007, 13:38 GMT]
Sri Lankan authorities have razed a Tamil Tiger cemetery in the island’s east and built a police station on it, international ceasefire monitors said in a recent report. The Thaandiyadi cemetery, in which large numbers of LTTE cadres, including Mr. E. Kaushalyan, the popular political head of the LTTE in Batticaloa-Amparai district, who was killed by Army-backed paramilitaries whilst traveling through government-controlled territory during the peace process in 2005, has been razed. At least one other LTTE cemetery has had the grave markings razed, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said.

“The SLMM discovered that desecration of the LTTE cemeteries, located partly on state-owned land, has taken place,” the monitors said in their weekly report.

“A police station has been built where the Thaandiyadi cemetery was located, west of Batticaloa.”

“In Pattipalai, also west of Batticaloa, an LTTE cemetery has been tampered with, and all markings of the graves removed,” the SLMM also said.

Following operations to capture territory from the LTTE in the island’s east, the Sri Lankan military has bull dozed at least three more cemeteries in each of the three districts there - Kandalai cemetery in Vaharai, Battlicaloa and the Kanchikudichcharu Cemetery in Amparai this year and the Alankernikulam Cemetery in Sampur, Trincomalee last year.

Amongst the LTTE officials buried in the Thaandiyadi cemetery was Mr. E. Kausalyan, the head of the LTTE’s political division for Batticaloa-Amparai district who was killed in an ambush on their vehicle between the Sri Lanka Army camps at Welikanda and Punanai, northwest of Battialoa in February 2005.

Several other LTTE political cadres and a former Tamil parliamentarian traveling in the van were gunned down, reportedly at point blank range by Army-backed paramilitaries who intercepted the group’s van.

Mr. Kausalyan, then the most senior LTTE official to be killed after the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE signed a cease fire in February 2002, was hailed for his tireless efforts to build harmony between Tamil and Muslim communities in the east.

The UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, condemned the killing of Mr. Kausalyan and his colleagues.

The group was traveling back to the east under Sri Lankan police escort after meetings in Vanni to discuss the plans for rehabilitation in the east in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami, two months earlier. None of the policemen were killed.


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