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Jaffna students killed in SLAF bombing remembered

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 September 2003, 16:22 GMT]
Hundreds of parents, teachers, students and well-wishers gathered Monday afternoon at the Puloly Roman Catholic School in the Vadamaradchi division in Jaffna district to commemorate the 8th death anniversary of 40 people, including 26 students, who were killed on 22nd September 1995 in an aerial attack by the Sri Lanka Air Force bombers on the Nagarkovil Maha Vidiyalayam, education sources said.

Principal of the school, Mr.S. Mahendran, presided. At the commencement of the meeting, Vadamaradchchi Zonal Director of Education, Mr. V.T.Selvaretnam, and Vadamaradchchi Education Board head, Mr.S.Thayagan, lit the common flame of sacrifice. Vadamaradchchi divisional political head, Mr.E.Thaya, hoisted the Thamileelam national flag.

The names and ages of the 26 dead children are Tharmalingam Usanthini(13), Markandu Nagalogini(10), Thamotharam Sakunthala(12), R. Regina (11), Pologarajah Thushanthini(14),Ravindran Amirtha(10), Balachandran Rajitha(10),Navaratnasamy Umathevy(12),Suntharalingam Palani(15),Suntharalingam Tharsini(14),Kugasaravanamalai Tharsini(13),Rajeev Gandhi Venu(11),Krishnagopal Thavaseelan (13), Rajaratnam Kavitha(10),Nagamutthu Senthilvel(15),Alfonse Amalaviji(14),Mahalingam Sanmugavadivelan(16),R. Sumithra(10),K. Methini(14),Navamany Mithura(14), Sellam(15),Ragavan(16),Thangarasa Vasanthakumar(06),Mylvaganam Gananathan(14),Ranjithkumar Rajitha(11).

Many in the gatheirng wept openly. Parents of the dead chidlren paid their respects to their loved ones by garlanding their photographs, sources said.

Jaffna university geography lecturer Mr. A.S.Soosai Anandan in his commemoration address asked whether it was justifiable for the international community to blame the LTTE for the alleged recruitment of children to their force while failing to censure the killing of school children by the Sri Lankan government air force bombers during war time, sources said.

He said the Nagarkovil Maha Vidiyalayam, which was destroyed and is now functioning in Puloly RC school, should be transferred to the original site and the high security zone in Nagarkovil should be removed to enable the construction of a memorial tomb in remembrance of the dead students at the site of the aerial bombing, sources said.

The Maruthankerni Divisional Director of Education Mr.P.Ragunathan, Jaffna District Education Board head Mr.Kavianban, Uduthurai Maha Vidiyalayam Principal Mr.S.Ariyakumar, and Vadamaradchi Zonal Director of Education Mr.V.T.Selvaretnam spoke at the meeting.

The keynote address was made by a senior leader of the LTTE, Mr. Amuthab.

Students who were displaced from Palaly, Myliddy, Kankesanthurai, Senthankulam, Vaththirayan, Aliyawallai, Uduthurai and Maruthankerni in Vadamaradchi east attended the commemoration meeting, sources said.


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