1 June, 2020

Blog

Mirusuvil Massacre – Accused Pardoned; No Reparations For Victims’ Families

On March 26, 2020, President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa granted a presidential pardon and released convicted death row prisoner and mass murderer, former Army Staff Sergeant R. M. Sunil Ratnayake. While the country is on lockdown due to COVID-19, the President has seized this opportunity to deal a lethal blow to the rule of law to show that military perpetrators of heinous crimes will be given cover at the highest level despite the rulings of the Supreme Court the highest court in our land. In pardoning Ratnayake, the President has given his blessing to a cold-blooded killer who murdered a five-year-old child and seven other innocent civilians.

Gota

The story of the civilian murders in Mirusuvil goes back to twenty years – on December 19 2000, nine Tamils civilians – including three teenagers and a five-year old child – travelled from Udipiddy to Mirusuvil, a village 16 miles from Jaffna town, in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. These persons were among those displaced from Mirusuvil due to the civil war who were resettled in a camp at Udupitty. Displaced family members used to obtain permission from the Sri Lankan Army to visit their homes. But on this day, those who visited their village never returned. It soon emerged that eight of the nine were killed by the Sri Lankan Army.  

On December 24, 2000, one of the missing, recounted the incident and gave details about the whereabouts of the remaining eight. On his evidence when the police and the Magistrate went to the site there were no bodies except a skeleton of the animal in the toilet pit. After that when the Military – Police arrested the persons who were on duty in  the area, Sergeant R.M. Sunil Rathnayake  gave a statement to the Military Police stating that  the bodies were removed from the toilet pit and buried somewhere else. Thereafter the Police and the Magistrate went to the site of the burial and exhumed the bodies. Four men and four children were found with throats slit and eyes blindfolded.  Some corpses had their hands and legs chopped off.  

The deceased belonged to four families. A single family lost four members, including children aged 13 and 5.  Another lost two breadwinners.  Two more also lost primary breadwinners.  

Justice took more than a decade to wind its way but, against all odds, judgment was delivered at last. On June 24, 2015, former Army Sergeant R. M. Sunil Rathnayake who had been enlarged on bail pending trial  was found guilty of murdering the eight civilians and was sentenced to death by the Trial at Bar consisting of three High Court Judges held in Colombo. On appeal against the said judgment a five – Judge bench of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka unanimously affirmed the conviction and sentence on April 25, 2019. 

By granting the presidential pardon to Sergeant R.M. Sunil Rathnayake, power has been abused and justice has been forsaken.  In a country where military perpetrators have rarely been held to account, leading ethnic distrust to fester into war, the President has granted a pardon to one of few men actually held accountable by our nation’s highest court. His pardon is a direct challenge to judicial independence and will result in the further erosion and loss of confidence in the Sri Lankan justice system among war-affected communities.  

For the four families directly affected, who have suffered from poverty and immeasurable personal loss, their small sliver of solace has been snatched away.  When the sole surviving witness was previously visited by state intelligence officers soon after the presidential election, he expressed his apprehension that, he has no security or protection if the accused is released.  Now that threat is real, and our laws and structures are hardly equipped to protect him.

It is a matter of regret and national tragedy that neither the state nor government authorities have over the years offered reparations or compensations to the families of the dead who have been deprived of their bread winners and are condemned to live in poverty for the rest of their lives. 

Soon after the Presidential election, news media speculated that the Mirusuvil murderer was to be granted a presidential pardon and released. Affected families were terribly upset and lodged complaints before the Human Rights Commission in Jaffna and in the media. Right now, with the country in lock down, victims’ families are in no position to demonstrate their disapproval and distress.  While pretending to save the country from COVID-19, the President is actually using his constitutional powers to fulfill his inflammatory electoral pledge to release “war heroes” from prison.

To put it in context, the country withdrew from its UNHRC commitments last month. The President declared that there are no disappeared persons, and those believed missing are all dead. His government has promoted suspected war criminals as head of operations in military sectors, and General Shavendra Silva is touted as a savior against COVID 19. The military is increasingly involved in all civilian activities. New roadblocks and checkpoints have been introduced solely in the Northern Province.  And now a convicted mass murderer is pardoned and released by the President. 

In perspective, the act of granting presidential pardon to a convicted criminal conveys the chilling message to the public that, irrespective of the gravity of the offence, offenders from the security forces will not be punished even if convicted by Court of Law and that any crime or violence committed against the ethnic communities will go unpunished. The security forces including the police already enjoying high degree of impunity will surely be further emboldened   by the covert encouragement by the government to commit further atrocities against the hapless and vulnerable people. As organizations and individuals who are committed to the Rule of Law and to the protection of democratic values, we vehemently and unreservedly condemn the presidential pardon granted to Sergeant R.M. Sunil Rathnayake which said act will undoubtedly lead to further militarization of the society and contribute to disunity and distrust among communities in the country.

Endorsed by: 

  1. Centre for human Rights and Development (CHRD)
  2. Women’s Action Network (WAN) 
  3. International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES)
  4. Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)
  5. Human Rights Office – Kandy 
  6. Human Elevation Organization (HEO)- Ampara
  7. Law and Society Trust (LST)
  8. Eastern Social Development Foundation (ESDF)
  9. Mannar Women’s Development Federation (MWDF)
  10. National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO)
  11. Affected Women’s Forum (AWF)- Ampara
  12. Rural Development Foundation (RDF)
  13. Institute of Social Development (ISD)- Kandy
  14. Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Prisoners (CPRP) 
  15. INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre 
  16. Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Unions
  17. Centre for Justice and Change, Trincomalee
  18. Rights Now – Collective for Democracy
  19. Right to Life Human Rights Centre 
  20. Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association 
  21. Movement for Land and Agriculture Reform (MONLAR)
  22. Families of the Disappeared  
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 20
    1

    What do we expect from a War criminal President or a country that voted a war criminal into Presidency.

    International community that crushed an liberation movement because it is powerful to an extent it could challenge them like Fidel Castro of Cuba, now it is your responsibility to separate the country as it was before colonial powers captured different countries in the island and put them together to rule easily.and efficiently.

    It is a sin poor Tamils and it is a shame for those of us.in South.who did not vote for.a war criminal

    • 12
      1

      Since military intelligence officers visited the sole survivor to the atrocity soon after Gota won the presidential election, there may be plans to kill him and close the matter.

    • 1
      0

      Appreciate your sincere comment.
      God save Sri Lanka.

      • 2
        0

        This pardon of a murderer just goes to show that GR is a heartless, brutal, illiterate scoundrel who has crept in from the back door to become president. If you remove MR from this scenario, GR would have been a low level unknown creep slaving away in a more than mediocre position sucking up to his American boss to eke a living. This decision has opened the eyes of all those decent people that sri lanka is being driven to the lowest depths imaginable and is a country that is being governed by a group of thugs, murderers, racist bigots and all that is vile in mankind.

  • 7
    0

    “On March 26, 2020, President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa granted a presidential pardon and released convicted death row prisoner and mass murderer, former Army Staff Sergeant R. M. Sunil Ratnayake. While the country is on lockdown due to COVID-19, the President has seized this opportunity to deal a lethal blow to the rule of law to show that military perpetrators of heinous crimes will be given cover at the highest level despite the rulings of the Supreme Court the highest court in our land. In pardoning Ratnayake, the President has given his blessing to a cold-blooded killer who murdered a five-year-old child and seven other innocent civilians.

    Here is a human slaughter to feed sharks and wolves is being built named Wildlife Sanctuary SinhaLE Lankawe. This is turning the island Ceylon of 25,000 square miles as an Old German gas chamber. The World is only sitting and watching or with much hard effort, making it only as a dinner table talks. UN & UNHRC are not acting, but regretting in fashionable Language.
    This specific development goes back to Ex. State Secretary John Kerry, who knowingly shut down the OISL report of March 2015, which accused 42 animals as War Criminals.

  • 1
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 3
    2

    God give me the power to execute the criminals.

    • 1
      0

      Do Not worry the Corona will do the rest. According to Mahavamsa Buddha preached not to kill animals but he preached that the Sinhalese can kill the Tamils. so Ratnayake followed Buddha’s teaching so he is innocent and he was released.

      Buddang Saranang Gatchamy.

  • 7
    1

    these unfortunate victims, their kith and kin will not receive a cent in compensation or even an apology for this dastardly act committed by this gang of uniformed mongrels.
    =
    only well-armed pussy cowards in uniforms will behave in this disgusting manner.
    the uncouth murder of 17 innocent french charity workers by another lot of uniform attired morons along with the callous killing of 5 decent school boys and many other bastardly acts for which not a single arsehole of a perpetrator or leader or a high official has been made to have a romantic date with the hangmen who had been employed by the previous puff of a president.
    =
    the only way that these illegal acts will be rectified is by –
    1. the war crimes tribunal is allowed to begin with their functions of adjudicating on the innocence or guilt of the alleged war criminals.
    2..if most of the freedom-loving world will have the guts to blacklist this criminal’s hellhole by denying them trading rights ban their exports and blacklisting the Lankan travel documents and not granting of visas for the Sinhalese to travel to pollute the world by seeking bogus refugee status.
    tons of them have done so including our own always negative dislike obtaining petty racist eagerness eye who used his senior wife’s demala roots to claim refugee status.
    now that this kollama has obtained a refugee status this ungrateful moron is endeavoring to ridicule the world-dominating Tamil race.
    what a disgusting bitch he has become.?
    =
    cheers, R. J.

    • 2
      3

      You see? This is the sort of response you get from a gay Maradana Tamil from his apartment in Melbourne. This fellow boasted that he fought for the LTTE but he did not. Whatever their crimes, the LTTE cadres were brave fighters. This clown hitched up his sarong and ran away to Oz at the first opportunity.

      What amazes me is how he got there with such a poor grasp of the language of the majority. Was he helped by that Tamil officer at the Australian High Commission? Is his Tamil as bad as his English? Interesting questions my friends, interesting questions.

      • 1
        4

        Adrian,

        Did you know what we do to fellas like him back in the service? We’d vaslinate their rear-ends and go to work on it. One after another.

        Yes Sir, we’d sodomize em.

        • 1
          1

          Walter Mitty Retarded Shameless Perahera

          “We’d vaslinate their rear-ends and go to work on it. “

          Then straight away you give yourself a fellatio.

        • 2
          0

          Yes, army clown Retarded Shemale Perehera, this is what you were busy doing instead of fighting a war. If you had fought this war with guns, you could have ended the war in 5 years, not 30!!!!!!!! Even that you had to bring all sorts of foreign military to win.

  • 4
    15

    “In pardoning Ratnayake, the President has given his blessing to a cold-blooded killer who murdered a five-year-old child and seven other innocent civilians.”

    How do you know they are innocent civilians?

    The LTTE had a separate Civilian Armed Force (MAKKAL PADAI BRIGADE) who were trained to kill. At any given time about 10,000 Demala civilians were trained in combat operations by LTTE. This civilian armed force comprised children.

    Demala civilians were barred from coming to the area where the Army was located because LTTE Civilian Armed Force members used to come with children dressed like civilians pretending to gather firewood and other items to carry out terror attacks or collect information. Under such circumstances how the hell soldiers make the distinction between civilians and LTTE cadres?

    We must also not forget that 12,000 of the LTTE that surrendered to the Sri Lankan Army in May 2009 were all dressed in civilian clothing.

    • 11
      0

      Eagle Blind arsehole Eye, the law court of SRI LANKA convicted this murderer. One of the victims was a 5 year old child. You racist monster are that blind and cruel not to see that. I hope you lose your family members to the same murderers that massacred poor folks in the north.

      • 1
        5

        Let me tell you SOBs a bloody good story. Once we found a newborn infant on the side of the road up there in the North. We thought it was a baby born out of wedlock and picked it. Just then a young girl seeing us dodged our view and crept into the alley. We followed her thinking it was her baby. Just then the LTTE started shooting at us. We’ve been duped. Luckily we repulsed the attack.

        But we learnt a valuable lessons. Never trust a Tamil. Be it a newborn or a one in a photograph.

        • 2
          1

          Ado Retarded Shemale Perehera, I still remember the days when LTTE was on the move, how you SOBs ran for cover. I still remember what happened to you cowards when you came out of the Jaffna station (1984) how they sent you all cowards to the moon, I personally saw one of the Tata Benz army truck was upside down in the drain and a Saladin armoured car was all mangled up, even the turret was missing. What gun fight you losers ever repulsed? Is this why you had to bring the Mosad and Ukrainian pilots to fight a civil war? When the IPKF rascals were there and the LTTE buggers were slaughtering those filthy buggers from India, where were you clowns? Hiding in Colombo, hoping the LTTE will liberate the country. Come on donkey, tell me something what war did you ever fight loser? Go and screw yourself fool.

        • 0
          0

          Kumudini Boat Massacre
          by Frederic P. Miller, Agnes F. Vandome, John McBrewster
          Paperback Book, 88 pages
          Description
          High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Kumudini or Kumuthini boat massacre happened on 15 May 1985 when at least 23 minority Sri Lankan Tamil men, women and children on a ferry boat named Kumudini sailing from the island of Delft to the island of Nainathievu were alleged to have been killed by Sri Lankan Navy personnel. According to eye witness accounts six men believed to be from the Sri Lanka navy, dressed in T-shirts and blue longs and some in shorts, boarded the ferry boat. One by one the passengers were called to the aft section of the boat and told to shout their name, age, address and the destination of their journey. Then they were hacked to death. The rebel group LTTE’s peace secretariat released a statement in November 22, 2006 that alleges that of the 72 people on board the ferry, about 36 were killed and the rest survived. It also documents the statements of more survivors

    • 10
      0

      You racist bastard 5 year child LTTE. I am ashamed to be sinhala Buddhist on whose name these atrocities are committed

      • 2
        0

        Dilshan, never be ashamed to be a Buddhist. Merely because a racist happens to be a Buddhist who supports murders of innocent poor rural families who do not have a mouth to speak up, does not mean you are guilty as well. VP murdered so many Sinhalese rural families who had nothing to do with the politics in Lanka, does it mean all Tamils are guilty? NO!!! So not all Sinhalese are culpable in this crime against innocent people. But this ‘Eagle arsehole blind bat Eye’ is a monster.

      • 1
        3

        Tamil from the North and Dilshan,
        For LTTE barbarians who slit the tummy of a pregnant woman, pull out the baby, threw the baby up and held the sharp blade of a rifle towards the falling baby, using a five year old child to deceive soldiers is nothing.

        • 2
          2

          Eagle blind arsehole bat Eye, you are a downright low class racist filth. Aren’t these the LTTE buggers who your lovely government sends around in armored cars with STF protection? They are walking around quite freely, why don’t you catch these buggers and charge them? Before the LTTE ever started committing these crimes, the SLA forces were already doing it to rural Tamil villagers and buses and trains going to Colombo, Tamils were pulled out in the vanni jungles and shot, also where was the LTTE in 1957/58/77?. So the LTTE filth who are no different to you or your forces started committing these crimes as a tit for tat tactic. What irks me is you don’t see how the innocent people on both sides suffered due to the monsters with guns on both sides!! So go and tell your BS Stories to someone else you racist scum.

      • 2
        4

        Dislhan,

        Have you served in the Army up there in the North during war time? If so, you would know that age doesn’t matter when it comes to LTTE tactics.

        They even sent 80 year old women and little children as young as 7 strapped with bombs. Once a lieutenant in our platoon offered some Pol toffee to a little boy in the North. But the little SOB was strapped with bombs and someone detonated and our lieutenant lost his life. After that day, we had a shoot first, pol toffee later policy.

        • 0
          0

          “Age does not matter when it comes to LTT tactics”. – I quite agree. But it was the same with Sri Lanka security forces. I was a medico-legal officer in the war zone and a medical witness to the atrocities committed by Sri Lanka security forces. In the Kumudini boat murder, Navy personnel bayoneted through the heart of a six month old baby. In Thondamanaru, twelve people with hands tied at the back were ordered to stand against the temple wall and executed, of whom some were old.

          • 1
            0

            Dr Gnana,

            Old women were prime targets of the LTTE. Because we never suspected an old woman to come with a gun, the LTTE would use them to attack us.

            If the SLA tied their hands then they did not follow proper protocols. They should have shot from a few meters away. Who knows they would have detonated a cracker while having their hands tied.

    • 1
      5

      yeah, man These revisionist historians Tamil geniuses are trying to rewrite history as they have done forever. The Prez did only what was right . not what some European country wanted. which is what the UNP does anyway.

      • 2
        0

        Abaya. In your last birth you would have been a Kabaragoya eating flesh going putrid. See if you visited thye cewss pit where the bodies were dumped, what an enjoyble meal; you would have had/

      • 1
        0

        Please do not speak of history that you weren’t part of. Your perceived history in this specific matter is composed of propaganda, not based on direct experiences. You in your sheltered existence had no concept of what was actually happening in the North.

        • 0
          0

          Massacre 3 by Sinhala Sri Lankan Navy

          Kumudini Boat Massacre
          by Frederic P. Miller, Agnes F. Vandome, John McBrewster
          Paperback Book, 88 pages
          Description
          High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Kumudini or Kumuthini boat massacre happened on 15 May 1985 when at least 23 minority Sri Lankan Tamil men, women and children on a ferry boat named Kumudini sailing from the island of Delft to the island of Nainathievu were alleged to have been killed by Sri Lankan Navy personnel. According to eye witness accounts six men believed to be from the Sri Lanka navy, dressed in T-shirts and blue longs and some in shorts, boarded the ferry boat. One by one the passengers were called to the aft section of the boat and told to shout their name, age, address and the destination of their journey. Then they were hacked to death. The rebel group LTTE’s peace secretariat released a statement in November 22, 2006 that alleges that of the 72 people on board the ferry, about 36 were killed and the rest survived. It also documents the statements of more survivo

      • 2
        1

        Abhaya Premawardena, writing words like ‘revisionist, geniuses, etc.’ don’t make you look intelligent. It actually makes you look absolutely stupid. Also use these words in context, not out of context. Your language skills are way below par, it is time you moved on to some racist newspaper & write in Sinhala. By the way can you read and write Sinhala?

    • 0
      0

      Navaly church bombing – A massacre carried out by the Sinhala Sri Lankan air Force
      DescriptionThe Navaly Church bombing was the bombing of the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Navaly in the Jaffna peninsula by the Sri Lankan Air Force during the Sri Lankan Civil War. It is estimated that at least 125 civilians, who had taken refuge from the fighting inside the church, died as a result of this incident. Wikipedia
      Start date: July 9, 1995
      Location: Navaly, Sri Lanka
      Number of deaths: 125
      Injured: Unknown but many
      Perpetrator: Sri Lanka Air Force

      The catholic Cardinal at that time did not condemn this massacre because it was a Tamil catholic church all those killed are Tamils

  • 9
    0

    Only an idiot will question the killing of a 5 year old child – “how do you know they are innocent”. Shame on you Eagle Eye. Gota is internationally accused as a cold blooded mass murderer. Gota releasing another cold blooded mass murderer is one murderer recognizing the gory of another murderer.

    • 0
      0

      Massacre 2
      On September 9th 1990, Tamil men, women and children from Sathurukondan and surrounding villages were taken to an army camp and slaughtered by Sri Lankan Sinhala soldiers, with the help of Muslim Home Guards. Victims of the Sathurukondan massacre were remembered in Batticaloa on Saturday in an event organised by the World Tamil Students Union and local organisations.

      Of the 185 killed in the massacre were five children less than a year old, 42 children under 10, 9 pregnant women and 28 adults over 68 years of age. 38 were from Sathurukondan, 37 from Panichchaiyady, 62 from Pillaiyaradi and 47 from Kokuvil.

  • 10
    1

    By the way Gota is suppose to be a vegetarian Buddhist, wonder which Buddha he is following?

    • 1
      0

      Hitlar also a vegetarian.

  • 3
    0

    I take that the subject here is the reparations for the victim of a crime. I fully agree with the principle, whether it is a victim of theft, robbery, rape or murder etc. there should be some form of relief to the victims. Alas! from the colonial era this aspect has not been looked into. I think we should have some form a special fund or an insurance system where every citizen is protected against crimes of these sorts. Although this may not be the time for any social reform, as we are gripped with a pandemic, we should take this up once the dark cloud looming over us pass away.

  • 1
    0

    Abaya. In your last birth you would have been a Kabaragoya eating flesh going putrid. See if you visited thye cewss pit where the bodies were dumped, what an enjoyble meal; you would have had/

  • 0
    1

    this case should be reopened if shani abeysekera and that kandappa bugger is involved and if judges were acting on government advise to convict the accused to appease the so called intntl community this whole case was a bogus conspiracy government must reopen the case and examine the veracity of the evidence

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.