REQUEST TO PROBE INTO THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND WAR CRIMES COMMITTED BY THE INDIAN PEACE KEEPING FORCE IN SRI LANKA IN 1987-1990
Mr Salil Shetty,
Secretary General-Amnesty International
Dear Mr. Salil Shetty,
REQUEST TO PROBE INTO THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND WAR CRIMES COMMITTED BY THE INDIAN PEACE KEEPING FORCE IN SRI LANKA IN 1987-1990.
At an interview with the Mr Shamindra Ferdinando the Deputy Editor of the ‘Island’ news paper of Sri Lanka on 4 April 2017 you have said that if credible evidence is available, AI will probe into the HR violations committed by the IPKF in Sri Lanka between 1987- 1990.
We give below a few instances of HR violations which can be considered as war crimes if examined technically for you to probe further and a statement to that effect will be welcome by the public whose demand for such a probe has failed to attract the due attention of reputed organizations such as the AI even though the subject has been discussed repeatedly.
(1) By Old Jaffna Man- details with names etc
The Indian Army came with the designation Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) but when they left it was felt that they were a Indian People Killing Force. There were no people to send
them off in Trincomalee and no one to receive them when they landed in
Civilians Massacred by IPKF
Jaffna Hospital:- Perhaps the worst atrocity committed by the IPKF was the massacre of 68 innocent civilians inside the Jaffna Teaching Hospital in Oct. 1987….The IPKF coming in pursuit entered the Jaffna hospital, and shot people indiscriminately. A niece was a doctor serving there at that time and
escaped by crawling on all fours to escape detection by the IPKF soldiers. This information was provided by her. She has migrated to New Zealand with her family and is safe and doing well there.
The names of the people massacred are:- Dr. A. Sivapathasuntheram, Dr. M. K. Ganesharatnam, Dr. Parimelalahar, Mrs. Vadivelu, Matron, Mrs. Leelawathie, Nurse, Mrs. Sivapakiam, Nurse, Mrs. Ramanathan, Nurse, Mr. Shanmugalingam, Ambulance Driver, Mr. Kanagalingam, Telephone Operator, Mr. Krishnarajah, Works Supervisor, Mr. Selvarajah, Works Supervisor, Eleven (11) Minor employees and forty six (46) patients. One of the doctors killed was a Consultant Paediatrician and he was coming down the stairs wearing his cloak and with his stethoscope. When he saw the Indian soldier, he shouted Doctor, but Was shot down.
Duraiswamy brothers :- On the way to the hospital, the soldiers passed the ancestral home of late Sir Waithilingarn Duraisamy, Speaker in the State Council. Two of his sons, retired and past 70 years, were residing in their ancestral home next to the Jaffna Clock Tower. One was R. Duraiswamy (SLAS) Retd. Secretary. Ministry of Local Government and M. Duraiwswamy Retd. Staff Officer Bank of Ceylon. Both were shot and killed.
Sivasubramaniam Family:- Mr. S. Sivasubramaniam, retired Director of Irrigation (now designated Director General), his wife, Mrs. Sivasubramaniam, retired teacher and their only son, a brilliant boy who had studied at St. John’s College, scored 4A’s in the GCE (AL) and was in the second year of Medical College.Mr. Sivasubramaniam was a personal friend, a quiet soft spoken gentleman, brilliant in his professional field. His entire family was erased from the face of the earth.
Chief Justice Sharvananda’s sister and her family :– Chief Justice S. Sharvananda’s sister, her husband, son and two domestic helpers were shot dead. Justice Sharvananda, far from attending his sister’s funeral, did not even know for over one week that his sister and family had perished. There
was blanket censorship over what was being done to the Tamils in Jaffna.Other Civilians Killed in Jaffna:- Prof. P. Chandrasekeram, University of Jaffna, Dr. R. W. Crossette Thambiah (must have been 80 at the time), Dr. Selvaratnam Former DMO Maskeliya, Dr. S. Pararajasingham JMO, L. F. M. Samuel Rtd. Teacher (St. Thomas College, Mt. Lavinia & Royal College, Colombo – older Thomians and Royalists might remember him), K. J. Sambanthar Retd. DLO & Asst. Land Commissioner, Jaffna, Mrs. S. Sivanandaraja (mother), Mohanraj (son) Technical Officer, Irrigation Dept., Mrs. Krishnam, Mrs. M. Sebastiampillai, Mrs. N. R. Thuriappa, Mrs. V. Ruthiralingam, C. S. Aaron.
Urumpirai:- A. Subramanium Attorney at Law, Mr. & Mrs. Pancharatnam, Rtd. Teachers, K. Navaratnam Rtd. Divisional Supdt. of Post Offices, S. Nadarajah, Formerly SLBC, Tamil Service, P. Arooran , M. Nadaraja, S. Rasanayagam Rtd. Credit Controller CCC Ltd.
Anaikoddai:- Mrs. M. Weerasegaram Pillai, (Mother), Pillai Yasotha Weerasegararn (Daughter), Mrs. S. Thanapalasingham (Mother) Miss N. Thanapalasingham. (Daughter) S. Kulasegerampillai, Retd. Station Master, Mrs. M. Arumugam Mrs. R. Gnanamuttu, A. Candappu Rtd. State Officer, S. Selvaranee.
Pirampadi, Kokuvil etc.:- A large number of civilians were killed in Pirampadi and Kokuvil and
buried in mass graves. The whole matter requires a book to do full justice. Among those who managed to escape was late Justice K. Palakidner, who was then High Court judge Jaffna, his wife and two daughters.
My village :- From Oct. 10, 1987, we lost all contact with our relatives who lived in Jaffna, among them my wife’s 71 year old mother, her sisters and their children, my close friends from my boyhood days in Jaffna. For twenty one (21) days, there was a continuous curfew imposed by the IPKF with half an hour’s notice. The local and foreign media were completely cut off from the scene of operations and terrible things – yes, I use words carefully, TERRIBLE THINGS, were done to the Tamils in Jaffna.
Eighty-year-old Mrs. Thambimuttu was a refugee inside the temple. But an old lady cannot easily adjust to conditions inside a tightly packed temple – and Hindu temples do not have toilet facilities, as devotees are expected to come in a ‘clean’ state. So she went, before dawn, to her home within 250
metres of the temple for her morning ablutions. She was walking back feebly, with the aid of a walking stick and holding a flickering lamp, and was within 50 metres of the temple when she was shot by the Indian soldiers, from a school they were occupying. They discovered who they had killed and set fire to the body where it lay, using a tyre. ..
(2) Quoted from QUORA- JUST A FEW NAMES OF TAMIL CIVILIANS KILLED BY “IPKF”
Dr A. Sivapathasuntheram, Dr M.K. Ganesharatnam, Dr Parimelalahar, Mrs Vadivelu, Mrs Leelawathie, Mrs Sivapakiam, Mrs Ramanathan, Mr Shanmugalingam, Mr Kanagalingam, Mr Krishnarajah, Mr Selvarajah, R. Duraiswamy (SLAS) Retd. Secretary, Ministry of Local Government. M. Duraiwswamy Retd. Staff Officer Bank of Ceylon, Mr. S. Sivasubramaniam, retired Director of Irrigation, Mrs. Sivasubramaniam, his retired teacher wife and their only son, Prof. P. Chandrasekeram, University of Jaffna, Dr R.W. Crossette Thambiah, Dr Selvaratnam Former DMO Maskeliya, Dr S. Pararajasingham J.M.O, L.F.M. Samuel Rtd. Teacher (St. Thomas College, Mt. Lavinia & Royal College), K.J. Sambanthar Retd. DLO & Asst. Land Commissioner, Jaffna, Mrs S. Sivanandaraja (mother), Mohanraj (son) Technical Officer, Irrigation .Dept, Mrs Kishnam, Mrs M. Sebastiampillai, Mrs N.R. Thuriappa, Mrs V. Ruthiralingam, C.S. Aaron, A. Subramanium Attorney at Law, Mr & Mrs Pancharatnam, Rtd. Teachers, K. Navaratnam Rtd. Divisional Supdt. of Post Offices, S. Nadarajah, Formerly SLBC, Tamil Service, P. Arooran , M. Nadaraja, S. Rasanayagam Rtd. Credit Controller CCC Ltd., Mrs M. Weerasegaram Pillai, (Mother), Pillai Yasotha Weerasegaram (Daughter), Mrs S. Thanapalasingham (Mother) Miss N. Thanapalasingham (Daughter) S. Kulasegerampillai, Retd. Station Master, Mrs M. Arumugam (sister of Senator S.Nadesan), Mrs R. Gnanamuttu , A. Candappu Rtd. State Officer, S. Selvaranee, S. Shanmugasuntharam, Electrician, Jaffna Municipal Council, S. Thambiah, (father of T. Sabaratnam), Mrs. Thambimuttu, Kannan Iyer… and thousands more…
(3) Immigration Review Board –Canada
The report says AI makes no mention of abuse committed by IPKF against Tamil women
Human rights abuses against young Tamil females by the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) [LKA0935]
Prior to the signing of the Indo-Sri Lankan Peace Accord on 29 July 1987, there were numerous allegations of the rape of Tamil women by the Sri Lankan security forces. In most instances, these alleged rapes appear to have occurred in the context of large-scale military operations against Tamil militants in which villagers became the victims of excesses committed by Sinhalese soldiers. [ D.B.S. Jeyaraj, “Sri Lanka: A Time of Troubles,” in Frontline, (Madras: The Hindu, 23 March – 5 April 1985), pp. 33 & 44.]
Immediately following the signing of the Accord, allegations were made concerning the molestation of Tamil girls by members of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). These allegations increased during the IPKF’s “mopping up” operations after it had successfully taken control of the LTTE stronghold of Jaffna in October 1987. [ William Maclean, “Civilians Risk Gauntlet of Guns to Flee Tamil City,” in The Globe and Mail, [Toronto], 26 October 1987; Amnesty International, Amnesty International Statement on the Situation in Sri Lanka With Respect to the Return of Tamils to Sri Lanka (London: Amnesty International, 1988), p. 2; , Sri Lanka: A Review of Alleged Human Rights Abuses (London: Amnesty International, 1988), p. 11.] In December 1987 a local magistrate reportedly found IPKF personnel guilty in seven cases of rape and in January 1988 an Indian court-martial sentenced four Indian soldiers to one year in prison for raping Tamil women. [Ibid., p. 11.]
The latest Amnesty International report of human rights violations in Sri Lanka makes no mention of instances of abuse committed against Sri Lankan Tamil females by the IPKF. A copy of that report is being forwarded for your information.
 A statement from a Sri Lankan Parliamentarian’s allegations about IPKF’s human rights violations
Paper No. 5819 Dated 10-Nov-2014
By Col. R. Hariharan
Sri Lanka Deputy Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan, known as Karuna Amman in his earlier incarnation as LTTE commander of Batticaloa, accused the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) of rape and killings during its war against the LTTE in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 90.
Speaking in Parliament on November 4, he said the IPKF had raped several Tamil women and also killed Tamils and “there is evidence for that.”
 Rape by Indian Soldiers
The IPKF Operation in Jaffna did not stop with massacres of civilians. A large number of women were raped. The following quotation is taken from Prof. Daya Somasundaram’s book Scarred Minds – The Psychological Impact of War on Sri Lankan Tamils. Prof. Daya Somasundararn is the Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Jaffna.
” Although the total number of rapes during the Indian army operations are not known, it seemed to reach epidemic proportions. It has been verified that quite a large number, ranging from young girls who had just attained puberty to old women well past the menopause stage, were brutally raped.
Rape became common in the context of total war as it obtained in the months of October to December (1987), when all the customary discipline and restraint operative in the army disappeared. The public was seen as being too sympathetic to the Tigers, harbouring and helping them against the Indian army. Thus terror became an instrument of control, a punishment for the lack of support and a lesson to the public.
But rape was much more gruesome as it was aimed specifically at women. It was carried out with considerable brutality and impersonality, where the victims were publicly defeminised and destroyed”
The above constitute some of the HR violations and war crimes committed by the IPKF in Sri Lanka and as AGREED BY YOU AT THE SAID INTERVIEW, PLEASE ARRANGE A METHODIACL PROBE SO THAT AI WILL BE ABLE TO prove beyond any doubt that the IPKF indeed was responsible for the crimes and the AI’s image will be restored in the eyes of discriminating public.
Contrary to your/AI demand for acceptable investigation into SL Defence forces based on the OISL report which depends on evidence said to be “reasonable grounds to believe”- recognized in law as the lowest threshold of proof- the evidence against IPKF is cogent and is of a higher standard of proof.
For more comprehensive documentation of IPKF war crimes please refer to the following websites:-
Is the Indian Peace Keeping Force actually responsible for human rights violations in Sri Lanka?
INDIAN ARMY’S WAR CRIMES – 1987
Commission of Inquiry on Indian War Crimes in Sri Lanka
Studies Find Torture by Indian Troops in Sri Lanka – NYTimes.com
We are awaiting your URGENT response.
Global Sri Lankan Forum