By N. Logathayalan –
During Sri Lanka’s civil war, several thousands of Tamils were taken away by Sri Lankan forces and by those working for them; others were surrendered to the forces by their families and removed, never to be heard of again. Government is yet to respond even about those handed over to it.
These tens of thousands of disappearances are now well known to the world. Yet, what exactly happened to them is known only to those who disappeared them and those who gave the orders for that. We do not know how many were killed and how many are in custody except through the UN Report that says that 40,000 persons were killed.
The Current Political Imbroglio
These are times when the two major parties are claiming the premiership. Each promises to solve the problems of the Tamils but many Tamils say their idea of a solution is to eliminate Tamil presence from Sri Lanka. Tamil arguments on whom to side with, centre around under whom they would have a chance for a solution to their problems. To their credit, the more important, only valid constitutional positions in this debate are upheld by the TNA leader Mr. R. Sampanthan. He was telling at his meeting on 5 Nov. with President Sirisena on the long list of broken promises
This article is to report evidence that has newly emerged that the governments before and after 2015 have lied about holding political prisoners, and that Tamil claims that the government holds political prisoners are very true.
Jeeva, LTTE Fighter
Tamil organizations have a long list of persons who were taken away by the army, and are still not heard of. We have ferreted out evidence affirmed by witnesses that there is at least one person who has been secretively held prisoner since on 2 July 1995, proving the governments to have been lying. The entire government machinery including the Head of State could not see him in the prison system?
Thuraisingham Jeeva is from Mulliyavalai in the Mullaitivu District. He was born in 1970. He left the LTTE at some point and got married to Mullairanee and entered the trading business to make ends meet. He would travel regularly to Vavuniya to buy goods to be sold in the Vanni, and would return home.
However, one day he did not return home after travelling to Vavuniya. As such his wife Mullairanee, fearing something seriously amiss, joined by her mother, father and brothers searched here and there for him without any success.
Jeeva’s father lost his life in the last war in Mullivaikal and her mother died in the Resettlement Centre at Menik Farm in Chettikulam without proper treatment. One of their two children also died of brain fever during the war for lack of medicines. Mullairanee now lives in Mulliyavalai in Mullaitivu district with her second child, working as a labourer.
Jeeva was 26 years old when he went missing. Twenty three years later, news of him reached Mullairanee when she had given up all hope and had no more energy to look for him.
Then suddenly one day, “Your husband is in the Anuradhapura jail” said a Mullaitivu man who had been with him in jail. This man had been convicted of illegally transporting trees and jailed. From his jailhouse he had been taken to Anuradhapura jail for a few days to do some labour. Their common Mullaitivu origins got him speaking to Jeeva who had communicated his family details and home address. After his release he contacted Mullairanee through Jeeva’s brother Ananthi.
Mullairanee thought it was a cruel trick for some nefarious purpose. Eventually, after hearing the correct date of disappearance, 23 years-old family details etc. she began to take the news seriously. The now hopeful Mullairanee went to the Human Rights Commission in October and filed a report working through translators calling for Jeeva’s release. The HRC officer also got very energized and asked Mullairanee to come with the fellow prisoner who had seen Jeeva. On 26 October 2018 the man had gone to HRC with the documents showing where in Anuradhapura he had been held and testifying how they had met, and the conversations that had transpired.
Jeeva’s second child, a female, was a seven-month old infant when Jeeva disappeared. She is a 23-year young lady today. She is t with trembling with expectation to see her father for the first time since she cannot remember him.
2009 Disappearances: LTTE’s Vinayahan
Evidence is now emerging of those disappeared in 2009 while their presence in custody was denied by our governments. Vinayahan was a top LTTE Intelligence-wing Commander who took off to India just weeks before the war ended. His wife and three children crossed military lines around 18 March 2009 and vanished. In 2016 his wife and three children were brought to her parents’ house in Varani by the army and dropped off. Their house where Vinayahan worked and lived in Kilinochchi is occupied by the forces. The three children had not been provided with schooling for 7 years. The youngest cannot read or write.
Like this a few more who are missing are known to be hidden in various places. Soldiers are offering to release them for large sums of money. These incidents are occurring from the time they disappeared to this day. There are those who have offered money and got their loved ones released while others have been cheated.
Early this year, in the Kilinochchi District’s Thiruvai Aaru, an offer was successfully made to release a detainee on payment of money. Details on sums paid are available but we have been asked not to release them because of fears for their safety.
Mullairanee adds, “It was in this state that after searching far and wide for Jeeva without success that I went to Vavuniya to seek Jeeva. There some members of PLOTE told me that he was taken away because of his involvement in the Central Bank bombing.” This cannot be she says because Jeeva was arrested in 1995 while the Bank was bombed in 1996. Is this false suspicion what makes the government keep Jeeva locked up to this day in revenge?
Mullairanee is certain that those responsible for the kidnapping of Jeeva are of the PLOTE which had Vavuniya as its base and worked in close collaboration in unlawful activities with the army. Even at the time of Jeeva’s kidnapping, PLOTE members in Vavuniya, she says, confided in her that the PLOTE was behind the abduction and she should go to the White House in Vavuniya (where the PLOTE leaders were holed up). On this basis she went to the White House to ask for Jeeva, but they had threateningly responded, “Who told you we took him? Bring them to us to see if this is true.” Mullairanee says she did not want what happened to her befalling the wife of her witness so she did not reveal the name of her witness.
Last Link to Sri Lanka
The intellectual climate is wanting. Matching Donald Trump, President Sirisena insulted PM Wickremesignhe calling him a butterfly – the allegory being to Monarch Butterlies which tend to be homosexual. He cannot work with butterflies he says. In saying he will “not allow ‘war heroes’ to be prosecuted for alleged war crimes” which included necrophilia, the President seems unable to see that he is expressing a preference for necrophilia over gay sex. Our politicians for defend our murderous and necrophillic troops (whose war time atrocities are widely available on the internet and in Geneva) calling them our “National Heroes,” should be locked up for encouraging separation. They are in violation of the constitutional provision 157A(1) that
“No person shall, directly or indirectly in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.”
I say they encourage separatism by engendering in Tamil minds the thought
“What have I to do with this rotten bunch that encourages through impunity our large scale murder and necrophilia on our women’s corpses after murdering them?”
My last link with a decent Sri Lanka without wishing for separation rests not on our Sinhalese leaders but on those soldiers who released the photo evidence of our troops’ bestiality to the UNHRC for punishment.
They are the last hope for Sri Lanka.
N. Logathayalan, Jaffna Municipal Council Member