War crimes ignored in East, focus urged on ‘killings’ at Eastern University

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 14 December 2010, 07:09 GMT]
While the war raged in Vanni war front, Sri Lanka Army deployed paramilitary operatives with close link to Rajapaksa quarters in Colombo, killing a female hostel warden and two female Tamil students from Vanni at the Eastern University in February and March 2009, journalists from Batticaloa said citing information from ex-paramilitary personnel and naming a key operative in Vaazhaichcheanai in Batticaloa with close links to Rajapaksa's cabinet as the man who carried out the orders from the top. In the meantime, a 54-year-old man from Paa'ndiruppu linked to Iniyapaarathi, the most feared operative of Karuna group, was found dead Friday hanging inside a building used by the group earlier.

Police officer of Kalmunai crime division, S.M.Sadak said the recovered dead person on Friday was identified as Selliah Premadasan. Meanwhile, residents of the area alleged that Mr. Premadasan earlier collaborated with Iniyaparathy, who has also been a presidential coordinator of Mr. Rajapaksa in Ampaa'rai while committing serious crimes.

Journalists in Batticaloa, who on Monday cited information from ex-paramilitary personnel, blamed lack of international focus on the killings that have taken place at the Eastern University.

Naming a paramilitary operative from Vaazhaichcheanai in Batticaloa, as being pointed by ex-paramilitary personnel as the person who received instructions from Sri Lankan military authorities to 'get rid of' the students from Vanni at the EUSL, the journalists said the new information explained the intention behind the mysterious deaths at the Eastern University during February and March of 2009.

The paramilitary man from Vaazhaichcheanai was appointed by Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan to 'look after' the education sector under the directives of the Sri Lankan military intelligence in Batticaloa. There were similar operatives with others areas of responsibilities, the journalists further said.

The mysterious killings of Vanni students at the Eastern University took place while Muralitharan joined the SLFP and his operatives met high-ranking defence officials in Colombo and the Sri Lankan president. There were also reports in media at that time that the Karuna group had handed over its weapons to the Sri Lankan government.

On February 23, 2009, 28-year-old Marimuthu Premalatha, the woman hostel warden in the Eastern University, a native of Chiththaa’ndi, died under mysterious circumstances and her body was recovered from her room.

According to the new information, the paramilitary operative appointed by Karuna to look after education sector, had visited Ms Premalatha on that date with a group armed men, demanding her to allow the armed personnel to inspect the girls from Vanni studying at the university. When the warden refused such access, she was killed by the group, the ex-paramilitary men have told the reporters.

The key operative also forced the medical authorities to report the cause of the death as suicide. Premalatha's family has denounced the reports of suicide saying it was a killing.

On February 26, three days after the mysterious death of the hostel warden, a 23-year-old female student from Vanni, Nirusha Thanabalasingam, a first year student at the Arts Faculty was found dead. Reports were released to media suggesting that the girl had hanged herself to death. However, strong suspicions were raised on the circumstances, as the case followed the mysterious death of the hostel warden.

One month later, on 22 March, a 25-year-old female student from Puthukkudiyiruppu of Mullaiththeevu district, Sutharsana Raveendran, studying her third year at the Eastern University was found dead, burned or burnt to death.

The key operative has had meetings with the zonal directors, divisional directors, members of teaching community and the management of the eastern University during the period of the crimes committed at the EUSL, the journalists said adding that the operative, at a later time, also worked for Ameer Ali, who contested as a candidate of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the Kalkudaa electorate in the Batticaloa district during the last general election.


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