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Sansoni Commission 1980






In pursuance of the provisions of section 2 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act (Chapter 393), I was appointed Your Excellency’s Commissioner on 9th November, 1977, for the purpose of inquiring into and reporting on the following matters:—

(1) to ascertain the circumstances and the causes that led to, and the nature and particulars of, the incidents which took place in the Island between the 13th day of August, 1977 and the 15th day of September, 1977, and resulting in—

(a) death or injury to persons;

(b) the destruction or damage of property belonging to, or in the possession of, any person, or any State Institution or the State;

(c) the robbery or theft of any such property:

(2) whether any persons or body of persons or any organisation, or any person or persons connected with such organisation—

(a) committed or conspired to commit;

(b) aided or abetted in or conspired to aid or abet in the commission of;


(c) in any manner assisted, encouraged, or were concerned in or conspired to assist or encourage in the commission of, any of the acts referred to in paragraph (1); and

(3) to recommend such measures as may be necessary—

(a) to rehabilitate or assist in any other manner the persons affected by such acts; and

(b) to ensure the safety of the public and to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

I have the honour to submit my report setting out my recommendations on the Terms of Reference.

I Remain,
Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Servant,

(Sgd.) M. C. SANSONI,


Presidential Warrant to the Commissioner M. C. Sansoni, Esq.

CHAPTER I—events preceding and following the disturbances of August and September. 1977.

CHAPTER II—The circumstances and the causes that led to the incidents of August and September. 1977

CHAPTER III—The nature and particulars of the incidents which took place between 13th August and 15th September, 1977

CHAPTER IV—Whether any person or body of persons or any or any person or persons connected with such committed or conspired to commit, or aided or abetted, or in any manner assisted in the commission of any of the acts referred to in Chapter III

CHAPTER V—Measures necessary for the rehabilitation and assistance of persons affected

CHAPTER VI—Measures necessary to ensure the safety of the Public and to prevent the recurrence of such incidents

CHAPTER VII—Final Observations


I—Index of dates and places of sitting

II—Appearance marked by Counsel

III—Alphabetical list of witnesses

IV—Light of Organisations from which Memoranda were received

P. O. No. N, 143/77

By His Excellency WILLIAM GOPALLAWA, President and Commander-in-chief of The Republic of Sri Lanka


To. Miliani Claude Sansoni, Esquire,


WHEREAS it appears to me to be appoint a Commission of inquiry for the purposes hereinafter mentioned:

Now, therefore. I, William Gopallawa, President, reposing great trust and confidence in your prudence, ability and fidelity, do. in pursuance of the provisions of 2 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act (Chapter 393), by these presidents appoint you, the said Miliani Claude Sansoni, Esquire, to be my Commissioner for the purpose of inquiring into and reporting on the following matters:-

(1) to the circumstances and the causes that led to, and the nature and particulars of, the incidents which took place in the Island between the 13th day of August. 1977 and the 15th day of September, 1977 and resulting in—-

(a) death or injury to persons;

(b) the destruction or damage of property to, or in the possession of, any person, or any State Institution or the State;

(c) the robbery or theft of any such property:

(2) whether any person or body of Persons or any organization, or any person or persons connected with such organization—

(a) committed or conspired to commit;

(b) aided or abetted in or conspired to aid or abet in the commission of; or

(c) in any manner assisted, encouraged, or were concerned in or conspired to assist or encourage in the commission of, any of the acts referred to in paragraph (I); and

(3) to recommend such measures as may be necessary—-

(a) to rehabilitate or assist in any other manner the persons affected by such acts; and

(b) to ensure the safety of the public and to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

And I do hereby authorize and empower you, the said Commissioner, to hold all such inquiries and make all such investigations, into the aforesaid matters as may appear to you to be necessary, and require you to transmit to me within three months from the date hereof, a report thereon under your hand setting out the findings of your inquiries, and your recommendations:

And I do hereby direct that such part of any inquiry relating to the aforesaid matters, as you may, in your discretion determine, shall not be held in public:

And I do hereby require and direct all State Officers and other persons to whom you may apply for assistance or information for the purpose of your inquiries and investigations to render all such assistance and furnish all such information as may be properly rendered and furnished in that behalf:

And I do hereby declare that the provisions of section 14 of the aforesaid Commissions of Inquiry Act shall apply to this Commission.

Given at Colombo, under the Seal of the Republic of Sri Lanka, this Ninth day of November, One Thousand Nine hundred and Seventy-seven.

By His Excellency’s Command,

Secretary to the President.




The political party which was called the Federal Party was in existence from 1952. It became the Tamil United Front from 14th May, 1972, and it later became the Tamil United Liberation Front on 14th May, 1976. The Muslim United Front also joined it. The T. U. F. and the T. U. L. F. (as I call them) figured prominently in the evidence, particularly after the Republican Constitution was promulgated in May 1972.

02. Mr. W. T. Jayasinghe, who was Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Foreign Affairs from 27th July, 1972 to 24th July, 1977, has spoken about the situation in the North after May 1972, and mainly about the activities of the T. U. L. F. He stated that, having attacked the new Constitution, the party leaders publicly burnt copies of it, an event admitted by Mr. Amirthalingam to have occurred on 2nd October, 1972; party supporters also committed acts of violence against politicians who had supported that Constitution, such as Mr. Kumarasuriar ( a Minister of the then government) and Mr. Rajan Selvam and their families. The party, he added, also carried on a campaign to bring about a breakdown of law and order in the North. He referred to murders, attempted murders, the manufacture of firearms, and other unlawful acts.

03. The Police consequently recommended that detention orders should be made against about 50 persons between 1972 and 1974, and it was significant that while such orders were in force the acts of violence stopped. It was, therefore, reasonable to presume that the violence had been caused by those who had been taken into detention.

04. Mr. Amirthalingam admitted that when the 1972 Constitution was promulgated, the T. U. L. F. called a hartal or day of mourning on which the party members dedicated themselves to the aim of winning liberation. He also admitted that on that day black flags were flown, schools were boycotted by their pupils, and buses were stoned.

05. A protest meeting was held in Jaffna, presided over by Mr. Chelvanayakam, on 24 May, 1972. Mr. Amirthalingam and Kasi Anandan spoke at it.

06. The latter said that “the 6 Tamils who voted for the new Constitution would not die by illness, by accident, or by natural causes, but would meet their death by some other ways” Mr. Amirthalingam said ” There will be a day for the Tamils also to use arms. Therefore, it is very necessary that they should have friendly relationship with certain organisations in foreign countries”. A police report of the meeting was produced. In his evidence Mr. Amirthalingam stated that what he said was ” We are not going to use arms but a future generation may have to fight it out “I prefer to accept the report made by the Police.

07. Kasi Anandan was taken into custody on 10th June on a detention order, after he made that speech ; and A. S. P., P. V. W. de Silva recorded his statement on 3 days in October and November 1972 when he was under detention. Mr. P. V. W. de Silva was instructed on 11th June to investigate those speeches and to find out whether there was any connection between two incidents of shooting early in June and T. U. F. activities. He spoke to a spate of violence after 24th May and one political group which was responsible for the crimes, including one Sathiyaseelan.

08. Violence in the North from 1972 is a matter to which Mr. A. S. Seneviratne (who was Superintendent of Police, Jaffna from November 1975 to September 1977) has also spoken. He produced evidence to show that there was a militant Tamil Youth group there, which was bent on violence from that time. Circulars dated 8th June and 14th June, 1972, were issued by the Superintendent of Police, C. I. D. (S. B.) and the Superintendent of Police, Jaffna, respectively.

09. The former circular mentioned 2 incidents which took place in June : (l) on 4th June at about 7.30 p.m. 2 Tamil persons went in a taxi to the residence of Mr. Kumarakulasingham, V. C. Chairman, Nallur, who was a supporter of the then government. They walked into his house, and one of them fired a revolver at him at point blank range, injuring his head. They got away in the same taxi, and subsequently the taxi driver was found shot dead and his taxi burnt. (2) On 7th June night 2 Tamil persons walked into the Colombo residence of Mr. A. Thiagarajah, M. P. for Vaddukodai. One of them shot at but missed him, and they both escaped in a taxi.

10. The circular stated that these 2 incidents indicated the existence of certain assassination squads, formed with the object of eliminating pro-government Tamil politicians and possibly other persons also. The Police were instructed to be on the alert to meet the threats to the security of the country.

11. The latter circular of 14th June mentioned that the militant Tamil youth group in the North were determined to do bodily harm to Tamil politicians and public servants who supported the government. It referred to recent incidents of shooting and throwing of hand bombs, and the necessity to round up the gang. Mr. Seneviratne stated that action was taken against them by detaining them in consequence of statements made by them. Statements made by arrested persons to Police Officers regarding these and other incidents have been led in evidence, and they Will be referred to shortly.

12. Under cross-examination by State Counsel, Mr. Amirthalingam stated that he had heard that hand bombs had been thrown at the house of Mr. Visvanathan (who was a member of the L. S. S. P. which was then a party in the coalition Government which enacted the 1972 Constitution). He had also heard of the shooting of Mr. Kumarakulasingham, a supporter of the S. L. F. P. and of the attempted murder of Mr. A. Thiagarajah. He admitted that he knew one Sathyaseelan, an undergraduate who had organized a movement against Standardization, and who, he said, had ever since been arrested after every incident. Others whom he knew as having been arrested many times were, he said, Ariyaratnam and Sivakumaran.

13. Mr. J. D. M. Ariyasinghe who gave evidence was Superintendent of Police, Jaffna, from 1st January, 1973 to 30th October, 1975, having succeeded Mr. R. Sunderalingam. He claimed that the main threat to law and order during his period in office came from militant youths who committed violence for political motives. He related how Mr. C. Kumarasuriar (then a Minister) had to go to Velanai School to open a Sub Post Office, on 15th January, 1973. Mr. Ariyasinghe made security arrangements that day. He saw Mr. and Mrs. Amirthalingam and Messrs. Sivasithamparam, Kadiravelupillai and K. P. Ratnam near Velanai ; and after he had spoken to them, they went on to a private land. When the Minister passed them, cries of “Traitor go back” were heard, and black flags were waved.

14. At about 8.00 p.m. Mr. Ariyasinghe was at the meeting and was told that 2 Policemen at Mankumban had arrested 2 suspects carrying 25 sticks of dynamite, at a place which the Minister had to pass when he was on his return journey. The 2 suspects were Gnanasekarem alias Ranjan and A. Thason. A third suspect who ran away but was arrested later was Tissaveerasingham. The 2 arrested men had 2 detonators attached to wires and 10 batteries, with which they admitted they had intended to blow up a culvert when the Minister passed that way.

15. Mr. Ariyasinghe stated that showed that the youths mentioned by him belonged to a youth group which supported the Tamil United Front, as he preferred to call the party during his term of office in Jaffna. Mr. Amirthalingam admitted that he organised the black flag demonstration, but denied knowledge of the attempted attack with explosives. It would be seen that the waving of black when Ministers of the then government visited Jaffna was a regular pastime of the T. U. F. leaders. Messrs. Keuneman George Rajapakse, N. M. Perera were thus greeted : and Mr. N. M. Perera had a special reception in the shape of a hartal and hunger strike, which meant that shops were closed, and the Schools were boycotted because the students were intimidated.

16. The investigations of a special unit reveled, said Mr. Ariyasinghe, Ponnadurai Sathyaseelan was a person giving instructions. At one time he was the Leader of the Manavat Peravai, and also an unemployed science graduate. He was arrested on 23rd February, 1973, by P. S. Perampalam (who was killed with Inspector Bastlampillai in Murunkan in 1978). He has since to Canada. But his statement which has been produced in evidence revealed his activities concerning politically motivated crimes. He was questioned by A. S. P., P. V. W. de Silva assisted by P. S. Perampalam, and he revealed 30 other suspects who had associated with him, and were arrested. He also revealed several conspiracies which were entered into in 1972, and which I shall refer to presently.

17. Mr. Ariyasinghe stated that he had received information, before Mr. Kumarasuriar’s visit took place on 15th January, 1973, of certain youths having made preparations to prepare bombs in the kitchen of the Kondalady Vairavar Temple in order to disrupt a meeting which Mr. Kumarasuriyar was to attend at Gurunagar in February 1972.

I8. In that connection the Police had arrested certain suspects who had made statements. Acting on that information and realising that there was a danger of virulence during the Minister’s visit on 15th January, 1973, Mr. Ariyasinghe made elaborate security arrangements for that visit.

19. I shall now deal with the statements of Sathyaseelan and other arrested persons made to A. S. P. de Silva and other Police Officers in 1973, most of them relating to incidents which occurred in 1972. As the statements which I shall be referring to are mostly confessions, and as objections had been taken to their being produced in evidence, I intend to set out the principles upon which I acted when I allowed them to be produced.

20. It is a well established principle of the law of evidence that a statement made by a person outside the witness box is inadmissible against anyone except the maker of the statement. If the statement amounts to a confession, i.e. an admission made at any time by a person accused of an offence, stating or suggesting the inference that he committed that offence, that confession is not admissible unless it is proved to be voluntary. “Voluntary“ in this context means that the confession was made without any inducement, threat or promise having caused it.

21. The person who made the confession may give evidence to show that the confession was induced by a person in authority, or another in the presence and with the sanction of such person in authority. The tribunal dealing with the matter will, after hearing any evidence that is tendered, accept or reject the confession. If accepted, it becomes prima facie evidence.

22. Where there is evidence of a conspiracy, were spoken or acts done by any of the conspirators while the conspiracy is on a foot are relevant against all the conspirators. The reason is that the agreement which is the foundation of the conspiracy makes all the conspirators agents of each other for the purpose of carrying out the common agreement. But if the conspiracy has ceased to be on foot, any statements made by any conspirators thereafter will not be evidence against other conspirators, because the agency will ceased to exist as against the others. But the statements or confessions, if admitted in evidence, will be prima facie evidence against the person who made them.

23. Since many of the statements made by the persons under arrest in this matter were made to police officers, an objection to their admissibility was taken under Section 25 (1, Evidence Ordinance, which states: ” No confession made to a Police Officer shall be proved as against a person accused of any offence”.  

The short answer to that is that none of the makers of the confession is, so far as the proceedings of this Commission are concerned, accused of any offence. I am not trying anyone in these proceedings on any charge of having committed an offence. This Commission has no criminal jurisdiction.

24. A more pertinent answer is provided by section 7 (d) of the Common of the commissions of Inquiry Act, Chapter 393, which states : “Notwithstanding any of the provisions of the Evidence Ordinance (a Commission appointed under this Act shall have the power) to admit any evidence, whether written or oral, which might be inadmissible in civil or criminal proceedings”. I, therefore, over-rule the objection to the admission of confessions made to police officers by the arrested persons.

25. Another objection to the admission of the confessions was raised on the ground that the makers of the confessions should have been noticed to appear before the Commission, in order that they may raise any objections they might have wished to raise in regard to the admissibility of the confessions alleged to have been made by them. No such notices were issued, mainly for the reason that the Commission was not aware of the whereabouts of any of the makers. Nobody, not even the attorneys at law who raised this objection, considered it fit or necessary to move for notices on the makers. I made it clear that if they wished to appear before the Commission, I would be willing to hear them; and I have no doubt that the publicity given to proceedings of the Commission would have brought that intimation of my decision, to hear them if they appeared, to the notice of any of the makers who were desirous of appearing.

26. It was stated by A. S. P. de Silva that P. Sathyaseelan, who made the first confession and set a foot questioning of many other suspects, was in Canada. His address was not furnished by anybody. It may well be that others who made statements have also left the Island.  Mr. Amirthalingams’s son was stated to have taken up residence in England. Any of them who are in this Island would, I am satisfied, have appeared if they had any intention of assisting this Commission in its inquiries.

27. In any case, I am satisfied that if I hold any confession or statement made in the course of the Police inquiries to be admissible, it is not necessary that the person who made it should have notice that it was going to be produced in evidence. As I have already said, the contents of the statement will be only prima facie proof of what was said by the maker. It is prima facie evidence against him. The poistion in which he stands is the same as that of any other person mentioned in the evidence before me, who has not been noticed or asked for his explanation or answer in respect of any allegation made against him. My findings on such evidence will not be any higher that that a prima facie case has been made out, if I accept that evidence. It will be open to such persons, if further proceedings are taken against them, to appear and answer and rebut, if they desire, the allegations or charges that may be made in such further proceedings. The findings that I make in these proceedings will be based on such evidence as I have heard. I do not think that they are conclusive and final on any issues that may be raised in future proceedings.

28. Looking at the matter from a practical point of view, it seems to me that if I had to issue notices on every person against whom any evidence or allegation has been put forward, before I come to make any findings on the truth or falsity of such evidence or allegation, this Commission will not complete its tasks for some years, if then.

29. The most important statement produced in evidence is that of P. Sathyaseelan. He was produced before Inspector P. V. W. de Silva (as he then was, because he was not promoted to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police till 1st September, 1973) by P. S. 4209 Perambalam and S. I. Martin at the C. I. D. Office, Colombo, at 3.35 p.m. on 23rd February, 1973. Mr. de Silva commenced his interrogation of the suspect at 4.30 p.m. that day and continued until 8.20 p.m. The interrogation was resumed on 25th February at 11.30 a.m. and continued until 1.30 p.m. Ten pages of C. I. D. numbered sheets show what was recorded up to that point.

30. He was questioned further on 26th and 27th February, but his statement was not recorded. Mr. de Silva stated that on those 2 days he made the suspect understand that he was satisfied that he was speaking the truth, because he would otherwise have lost confidence in Mr. de Silva. When he left that the time was ripe to do so, he confronted the suspect with Mathiyaparanam ‘s statement on 28th February.

31. The record of the interrogation commences again at 9.30 a.m. on 28th February. It shows that the suspect was confronted with the statement made by M. Mathiyaparanam on 7th July, 1972. to the Nallur Police (according to Mr. de Silva ‘s evidence). It is recorded that the suspect then stated that his original statement was incorrect, and that he was aware of the persons who were responsible for most of the incidents which occurred in Jaffna, in 1972 and 1973. He was prepared to make a clean breast of what he knew. His statement thereafter was recorded until 1.00 p.m., after an adjournment for lunch it was resumed at 1.30 p.m. and continued till 4.30 p.m.

32. On 2nd March the statement was recorded again from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. ; resumed at 1.30 p.m., and the inquiry was adjourned at 3.30 p.m. for the day. The inquiry was resumed on 4th March at 10.00 a.m. and adjourned at 1.30 p.m., resumed at 2.00 p.m. and adjourned for the day at 7.40 p.m. It was resumed on 7th March at 9.00 a.m., when Mr. de Silva instructed P. S. Perambalam to question the suspect further about the descriptions of the other suspects mentioned by him in his statement ; also about their haunts, associates and their likely present whereabouts in the event of their not being in their respective houses. When the inquiry was resumed at 2.45 p.m. on 7th March, the statement of P. Sathyaseelan was further recorded. He stated that he was arrested by C. I. D. Officers on the morning of 23rd February and produced at the C. I. D. Office that same evening, since when he had been detained at the C. I. D. Office. The suspect’s statement concluded after about 2 further pages of typewritten matters were recorded.

33. I might state the altogether 45 pages of typewritten matter are covered by the recorded statement. Except for the first 10 pages, which are hand-written, all the other pages are typewritten and are signed at the bottom of each page by the suspect. P. S. Perambalam was the typist, who also assisted in the interrogation ; he also interpreted the entire statement recorded each day to the suspect, who has, according to the record, admitted that it was correct.

34. Mr. de Silva stated, under cross-examination by Mr. Shanmugalingam, that Sathyaseelan expressed his willingness to make a voluntary statement and showed no reluctance about making one. He also stated that all the other statements recorded by him and Inspector Bastianpillai were made voluntarily and willingly. He pointed out that Mr. Ariyasinghe stated in evidence that he visited the investigation room very frequently.

35. Mr. Ariyasinghe stated, under cross-examination by Mr. Shanmugalingam, that he met Sathyaseelan twice in the C. I. D. Office, and the latter spoke to him on a number of matters. On neither occasion did he complain of any harassment by the Police ; nor did Mr. Ariyasinghe notice anything unusual in him to indicate that he had suffered at the hands of the Police. Those two occasions which he met Sathyaseelan were, first, about two days after his arrest, and subsequently a week after his arrest. He was arrested in the early hours of 23rd February, and brought to Colombo.

36. Mr. Shanmugalingam questioned Mr. Ariyasinghe about Inspector Bustianpillai also, and whether he was aware of a general complaint that the latter used third degree methods and harassed suspects. He replied that there had been allegations made on platforms, and once or twice in Parliament, to that effect. He added that as S. P. Jaffna during that period, under whom the Inspector was working in the Special Unit, he was never at any stage informed of such a thing, nor was any complaint made to him to that effect. Mr. Ariyasinghe also stated that he had occasion to question a large number of suspects. He also used to go and check up on their food. None of them complained to him of any harassment by Inspector Bastianpillai, nor did he notice any njury on them.

37. Mr. de Silva was able to speak on his own behalf and deny any suggestions that statements or confessions recorded by him were not voluntary. I accept his evidence. Inspector Bastianpillai was murdered in 1978 and is therefore unable to deny the suggestions made that he used third degree methods. Mr. Ariyasinghe’s evidence is in the Inspector’s favour. If there had been any such unfair methods used, the best persons to have spoken about that would have been the suspects who made confessions. But not one of them has chosen to come forward and substantiate the allegations against the Inspector. It is not suggested that they are all dead. Their whereabouts would be known to persons who were their associates, but nothing has been disclosed on that subject. On the evidence before me I hold that the confessions made to Inspector Bastianpillai were also voluntary. The records of those confessions which I shall refer to are signed by him and the suspects, and that is sufficient proof of their authenticity. I shall now refer to some of the confessions which have been produced.

38. (l) Sathyaseelan referred in his confession to a conspiracy to throw hand bombs at Mr. C. Kumarasuriar, when the latter attended a reception in appreciation of his appointment as a nominated member of Parliament. It was to take place on 12th February, 1972. The suggestion was made to him by one Senathirajah, he said, from whom he received Rs. 25. He conveyed the idea to one Sothilingam, who agreed to manufacture the bombs and asked for Rs. 10 which was given to purchase ingredients for that purpose. A suitable place had to be found for the manufacture of the bombs ; and Sathyaseelan said that he and one Sivarajah went to Mathiaparanam’s house to obtain his assistance. The plan was to make the bombs on the morning of 12th February, as the meeting was to be held at Gurunagar later that day.

38A. Mathiaparanam suggested the Kondalady Vairavar Temple as a suitable place and added that the key of the kitchen there was with him. On the morning of the day of the meeting, according to Sathyaseelan, he along with Rajakulasuriyar, Kuvendrarajah and two others who were to make the bombs went to the Temple ; and the ingredients for making the bombs were carried in a cane basket.

39. At the Temple, he said, he found Mathiyaparanam, Sivarajah and Sothilingam. The kitchen was open, and the makers of the bombs went into it with the basket ; Sathyaseelan, Mathiyaparanam and Sothilingam were in the Library of the Temple. At some point of time, 7 or 8 persons ran up shouting “Catch them, Catch them”, whereupon Southilingam, Mathiyaparanam and Sathyaseelam bolted away.

40. Sinniah Kuvendrarajah was questioned by Sub Inspector Vigneshwararajah on 3rd and 4th August,  1973, at the upper Bungalow, Fort, Jaffna. His recorded statement has been produced, but I am not taking it into account as the Sub Inspector is no longer in the Island, having gone to Dubai. His involvement in the conspiracy has also been spoken to by Mr. Rajakulasuriyar who made a statement to the Magistrate, Jaffna, on 9th July, 1972 which has been produced.

41. According to that statement, Kuvendrarajah  informed Rajakulasuriyar of the intended throwing of bombs at Mr. Kumarasuriar at a meeting at Gurunagar to be held on 12th February, 1972, evening. He also introduced Rajakulasuriyar on the 12th morning to Sathyaseelan ; and when Sathyaseelan asked Rajakulasuriyar whether the latter was prepared  “to undertake this job”, he agreed to do so.

42. Later that day, Rajakulasuriyar met Kuvendrarajah by agreement and they went together to the Kondalady Vairavar temple: Sathyaseelan and Mathiaparanam later joined them, and there were two other persons also there. Rajakulxsuriyar left them and went out to have his lunch with together with Kuvendrarajah, and on the way back Sothilingam came up to them and told them that everything had gone wrong and Sathyaseelan had run away.

43. On 10th July, 1972. M. Mathiaparanam made a statement to the Magistrate, Jaffna, which has been produced. He stated that he met Sathyaseelan, who was brought by K. Sivarajah, on 11th February, 1972. Sathyaseelan asked him for the key of the kitchen of the Kondalady Vairavar Temple in order to keep something there, and he agreed to give it. They met by agreement at the Temple library on the 12th morning, and he gave the key to Sathyaseelan. Later, when Sathyaseelan and Kuvendrarajah and Mathiyaparanam were talking to each other outside the Temple, Sathyaseelan told Kuvendrarajah to cut the electric wire at the meeting at Gurunagar; and that he (Sathyaseelan) would provide a car and a person to throw a hand bomb at the meeting platform. Mathiaparanam protested against such conduct, but when Sathyaseelan threatened him he agreed to join them. I need not to refer to the rest of that statement.

44. It is clear that there was a conspiracy between Sathyaseelan, Rajakulasuriyar and Mathiaparanam to make and throw hand bombs at Mr. C. Kumarasuriyar-when he attended the meeting at Gurunagar on 12th February, 1972.

45. (2) Another conspiracy which Sathyaseelan referred to in his confession on 28th February was to tamper with the high tension towers at Murugandy. He stated that on 20th May, 1972, he went to Maniam ‘s house at Neeraviady. He there met Kasi Anandan, Anandavinayagam, Senathirajah, Amarasingham, Jeyam and Maniam. Anandavinayagam there said that the 22nd should be observed as a day of mourning and the Jaffna peninsula should be kept in darkness on Republican Day. All those present unanimously agreed to the suggestion. Maniam said that Jeyam was a former employee of the Electricity Board who could attend to that ; and Jeyam said he knew the nuts and bolts that should be removed to bring down the electric towers at Murugandy and he had the necessary tools.

46. On the 21st, said Sathyaseelan, he Went to Maniam ‘s house where Maniam and Anandavinayagam were ; Jeyam came with spanners. Maniam went out and brought a car driven by Rajalingam. At about 2 p.m. these five persons set out and picked up Amarasingham on the way : they drove up to a point 2 miles from Mankulam junction, and leaving Rajalingam in the car they walked to the towers.

47. Jeyam and Maniam, he said, removed the nuts and bolts from three towers, but from one of those three they were able to remove only some of the nuts and bolts. The towers did not fall. They returned to the car and drove back to Jaffna. He subsequently learnt from the newspapers that the towers had collapsed. The statement made by Velupillai Subramaniam alias Maniam to Inspector Bastianpillai at the Upper Bungalow, Fort, Jaffna, starting at 4p.m. on 31st July, 1973, has been produced. It is recorded there that he was asked if he knew Sathyaseelan, and whether he had gone with him to Mankulam in connection with damaging the high tension towers. His reply as recorded was that he knows Sathyaseelan since some months prior to May 1972, and also Kasi Anandan who introduced him to Sathyaseelan after a meeting to protest against the New Constitution. He then proceeded to make his statement, which was recorded, regarding the trip to Mankulam on 21st May.

48. At a certain point, a portion of Sathyaseelan’s statement and a portion of Amarasingham’ s statement were read to him, and he was informed that the statement so far made by him and recorded was incorrect. The record then reads : ” Maniam at this stage stammers and is not in a position to explain himself. He informs me that he had made some mistakes in his statement as he has forgotten the incident. He wants time to recollect the incident and make the statement tomorrow. Now the time is 6.30 p.m. Inquiry adjourned. The statement so far made is read over, explained in Tamil and admitted to be correct. The time is now 6.45 p.m” There are signatures of the Inspector and V. Subramaniam at the foot of the statement.

49. On the next day at 10 a.m. the recording of the statement was resumed. Subramaniam is recorded as having stated : ” I made a statement yesterday, in which I have concealed certain material facts. I am now prepared to make a clean breast of all what I know. I am after breakfast. I have no complaints to make regarding the treatment meted out to me. I slept early last night and I am fit to make a statement. In my statement yesterday I have stated that Sathyaseelan brought in a person to the car when it stopped at Kilinochchi which is incorrect. ”

50. Then follows a different version, when he stated that it was 18th May when Kasi Anandan introduced Sathyaseelan to him, and that he had not met Sathyaseelan prior to that or seen him before. He then stated that he met Sathyaseelan the next day at Amarasingham’s cycle shop on being called there by Sathyaseelan. Anandavinayagam, a boy called Jeyam and Amarasingham were in the shop.

51. Sathyaseelan told him there that 22nd May, 1972, should be observed as a day of mourning and the Jaffna peninsula should be in darkness. He and Anandavinayagam agreed, as the Constitution was not in any way favourable to the Tamil speaking people. Jeyam then said that it was a simple matter if the tower at Mankulam was dismantled, and he knew how it should be done.

52. Sathyaseelan, Anandavinayagam and he decided to go and dismantle the transmission tower, and Sathyaseelan asked him to engage a car. At about 11.30 a.m. the next day those there and Jeyam left by car, driven by Rajalingam. They got out of the car (except Rajalingam) and walked to the towers. Sathyaseelan and Jeyam removed nuts and bolts but the tower did not collapse. They walked about a mile to the car. Where Sathyaseelan informed Rajalingam what they had been doing, the latter found fault with Subramaniam and said that he would not have come on such a mission if he had known.

53. About 3 weeks later, Subramaniam said, there were no lights in Jaffna, and he subsequently read in the papers that the Mankulam tower had collapsed and sabotage was suspected. He added that he did not meet Senathirajah or Kasi Anandan at Amarasingham’s shop when they planned to cause damage to the tower.

54. I find that there is a prima facie case against Sathyaseelan, Jeyam, Maniam alias V. Subramaniam and Anandavinayagam that they consipred to tamper with these high tension towers and in fact caused damage to them. Mr. de Silva stated in evidence that the towers collapsed on 11th June, 1972, and Jaffna was in darkness that day.

55. (3) In his statement to Mr. de Silva, Sathyaseelan stated that about a week after Repbublic Day, 1972, when he was at Amarasingham’s cycle shop, Anandavinayagam and Maniam came there and told him that Sivasothy master was supporting the government and hand bombs must be thrown at his house. Sooriyakumaran, Kuvendrarajah and Amarasingham heard what he was told about Sivasothy. Maniam gave Sathyaseelan Rs. 20 and asked him to purchase potassium and monosilin, and asked him to hand over those two items to Sooriyakumaran to manufacture the hand bombs. Sathyaseelan said that he gave the money to Kuvendrarajah because the latter said he knew from where those articles can be purchased : and about an hour later he returned with two parcels which he opened and handed over to Sooriyakumaran.

56. He stated that Sooriyakumaran ground the monosilin in the cycle shop, but when he wanted to make the bombs there Amarasingham objected as it was a rented house. Sooriyakumaran said he would make them in an open stretch of land at Ariyalai and hand them to Amarasingham, and the gathering dispersed.

57. On the following day, he stated, he returned to Amarasingham’s shop The latter showed him 4 hand bombs in 4 bottles. At about 7.30 p.m. Anandavinayagam, Periyathamby and Amarasingham removed two bombs saying that they would throw them at Sivasothy master’s house ; it was Amarasingham who carried them in a paper bag. Those three rode off. About 15 minutes later Amarasingham and Periyathamby returned, and the former told Sathyaseelan and Maniam that ” the former ” threw 2 bombs at Sivasothy’s house while Maniam watched.

58. (4) Amarasingham’s statement to Mr. de Silva on 23rd March, 1973 also refers to a conspiracy to throw bombs at one Viswanathan’s house and how he handed over two bombs for that purpose to Kirubainathan as agreed between himself, Maniam, Sathyaseelan and Sooriyakumaran. He also mentioned that it was agreed that the house of Sivasothy should be bombed. Sooriyakumaran made the bombs (four in all) and they were kept in Amarasingham’s shop. Amarasingham admitted that he handed over one more bomb the next night to Anandavinayagam to be given to Nithyanandan with instructiom to throw it at Sivasothy’s house. He has also admitted in that statement that he handed over a bomb to Nithyanandan, who told him that Senathirajah wanted it to throw at the house of Sunderarajah. The reason given was that Sunderarajah had garlanded a Government M.P., who had come to Manipay.

59. Sathyaseelan has not mentioned any agreement with Amarasingham or the other person mentioned by Amarasingham, to bomb Visvanathan’s house. He stated that about 4 or 5 days after Sivasothy’s house was bombed, he asked Amarasingham about the two unused bombs, and the latter replied that he accompanied Kirubainathan to Visvanathan ‘s house and Kirubainathan threw the two bombs at that house.

60. On these two statements of Amarasingham and Sathyaseelan respectively, it must be held that Sathyaseelan was not a conspirator in the matter Of bombing Viswanathan’s house. I find that there was a conspiracy between Sathyaseelan and Amarasingham to bomb Sivasothy’s house.

61. (5) The statement made by V. A. Kirubainathan on 25th September, 1975, which has been produced, does not implicate Sathyaseelan as a party to an agreement to bomb Viswanathan’s house. It does contain a confession by Kirubainathan that he threw a bomb at Viswanathan’s house, having obtained it from Sivakumaran. I ought to add that apart from the signature V. A. Kirubainathan appearing on every page of this confession, there are no other signatures on this production. It is not apparent, on the face of it, who recorded the confession, a matter which should not have been left in doubt.

62. (6) In his confession to Mr. de Silva, Sathyaseelan gave details of an attempt to murder Mr. Kumarakulasingham, V.C. Chairman, Nallur, and the murder of a taxi driver in the course of the same transaction. Those events took place on 4th June, 1972. He stated that he did not agree to the plan, and took no part in it.

63. K. Sivarajah was interrogated by Mr. de Silva at King’s House, Jaffna on 9th March, 1973, for two hours from 1 p.m. and at 3. p.m. the recording of his statement commenced. When he spoke of a suggestion that Mr. Kumarakulasingham should be killed, he stated that he refused to be a party to it. Mr. de Silva then informed him that Sathyaseelan had described in detail the manner in which Mr. Kumarakulasingham and the taxi driver were shot at and informed him that he should speak the truth, and asked him why Sathyaseelan should implicate him falsely. The suspect’s reply was that there was no reason he could think of.

64. In point of fact, Sathyaseelan did not state that the account of this incident—which he said he had heard from one Kannady—involved Sivarajah. I consider it wrong for Mr. de Silva to have told Sivarajah that Sathyaseelan had implicated him in the shooting incident, and thereby induced him to believe that there was no way out of the situation he found himself in except by confessing his guilt.

65. There are many decisions of the courts in England on similar questions where a suspect has been induced to make a confession which he was nor prepared to make. It has been held that in every criminal case a judge has a discretion to disallow evidence, even if in law it is relevant and therefore admissible, if such admissibility would operate unfairly against an accused. In considering whether admissibility would operate unfairly, one would certainly consider whether it had been obtained in an oppressive manner, e.g., by force or against the wishes of an accused or by false representations or by a trick or by bribes or anything of that sort. In regard to statements made in answers to the police and to alleged confessions, a strict rule applies ; for there is a fundamental principle of law that no answer to a question and no statement is admissible unless it is shown by the prosecution not to have been obtained in an oppressive manner.

66. It has been said that the final test of admissibility must be the general one applicable to the admission of confessions—was or was not the confessor’s will swayed by external impulses improperly brought to bear upon it, which negatived his freedom of volition. It is not, of course, improper to confront a suspect with a witness who implicates him or to read to a suspect a statement made by such a witness ; for that is quite different from making a false representation as to what a witness has actually stated.

67. I therefore decline to take into account the statement made by Sivarajah to Mr. de Silva, and there remain to be considered on these incidents the statements made to Inspector Bastianpillai by C. Thanapalasingham and C. Sabaratnam.

68. With regard to the statement of C. Thanapalasingham, I find that the record of it reads : ” 73.03.10 at 10 a.m. at King’s House, Fort, Jaffna. Inquiry resumed. Note. I have questioned the suspect from 9.30 a.m. till now. He now admits having taken part in the conspiracy to shoot the Chairman of V.C. Nallur. Shooting the taxi driver and also the V.C. Chairman and then bombing the taxi thereafter. I now proceed with his statement. Name—Chelliah Thanapalasingham states. I made an incorrect statement to you yesterday. I am now prepared to make a clean statement of the incident in which I figured in. I remember the incident in which a taxi driver was killed, V.C. Chairman, Nallur, shot at and taxi burnt.

69. It is obvious, on a reading of this record, that the suspect had made a statement the previous day to Inspector Bastianpillai. That statement is part of what he stated, and it should have been produced along with what he stated on 10th March (the next day), but it has not been produced. This omission is a fatal irregularity. It has for very many years been the law that when a confession is produced the whole confession must be taken into consideration even though it contains matter favourable to the accused, although different degrees of credit may be attached to the different parts. It is for the court or tribunal, and not for the police, to say where the truth lies in the different versions ; and to produce the entire statement is the only method of ensuring that this is made possible.

70. On this particular matter there only remains to be considered the statement of C. Sabaratnam recorded by Inspector Bastianpillai on 12th March, 1973. He stated that in mid 1972, he was invited to join some persons (whom he named) to shoot Mr. Kumarakulasingham because he had garlanded Mr. Arulampalam who has supported the new Constitution, and people Of that type would ruin the Tamil community very soon. He agreed to join them.

71. He spoke to having bought Rs. 5 worth of petrol, kept watch on Kumarakulasingham’s movements, joined the other conspirators and travelled with them in a taxi to where the V. C. Chairman was shot at Thinnavely.

72. The statement of C. Pathmanathan recorded by Mr. de Silva at King’s House, Jaffna, on 10th and 11th March, 1973, has been produced by that officer. I have to point out that this again is only a part of a statement in which he inculpates himself. The record shows that he was being questioned earlier than 3 p.m. on 10th March, and what has been produced is only his statement made from that time. The earlier part of the statement has not been produced. For the reasons I have already given, I am not prepared to act on this latter part of the suspect’s statement. The entire statement should have been put in, so as to enable me to judge what part of it I should be willing to accept, and what part I should reject.

73. Owing to the flaws which I have pointed out, I am left only with the confession of C. Sabaratnam. There is no evidence before me, on which I can act, of a conspiracy.

74. (7) Another matter which Sathyaseelan confessed to in his statement to Mr. de Silva was a conspiracy to shoot Mr. Thiyagarajah, M.P. for Vaddukoddai He stated that about 1st June, 1972, Senathirajah told him that Thiyagarajah was supporting the Government and therefore he should be shot ; and he asked Sathyaseelan whether he could engage anyone to do that, and he would finance the persons and provide the firearms.

75. Subsequently, Sathyaseelan said, he met one Jeevarajah and asked him if he could help, and the latter agreed if he got the assistance of two others. Sathyaseelan said he informed Senathirajah, who gave him Rs. 100 and promised to have a firearm ready. Sathyaseelan and Jeevarajah went to Colombo where they met Boopathy, who agreed to help. Jeevarajah and Sathyaseelan returned to Jaffna. Sathyaseelan said that Senathirajah gave him two 38 revolvers and 7 or 8 rounds of live ammunition. One of the revolvers got damaged when Suriyakumaran was testing it.

76. Sathyaseelan, Jeevarajah and Tissaveerasingham next went to Visvamadu to a forest where some target practice was carried out. The revolver and 4 remaining rounds were given to Jeevarajah, and it was agreed that they Should next meet near the Pillayar Kovil, Wellawatte, on the following Friday.

77. Sathyaseelan said that he met Jeevarajah as arranged, and Boopathy was also at the place where they met : with them was Niranjan who had also agreed to join in the plot. All four of them walked to Thiagrajah ‘s house and reached it at about 6.30 p.m. He saw Jeevarajah and Boopathy entering the house : soon afterwards they came running to Galle Road, and together with Niranjan the three of them drove off in a taxi.




78. Boopathy Balavadivetgaran made a statement to Inspector BastianPillai at C 61, Paget Road, Colombo, starting at 2.15 p.m. on 15th March, 1973. He was asked whether he knew a parson called Sathyaseelan, and who replied that he came to know him in 1970 when there was a procession organised by Tamil student union called Tamil Manavar Peravai.

79. He stated that he met Jeevarajah in January or February 1972 and they became friendly. They agreed that they would do anything on behalf of Tamils and Tamil speaking students after the draft Constitution was presented in Parliament.

80. On the day before this particular incident he, Jeevarajah and Sathyaseelan met. Sathyaseelan said that the traitors who voted for the new Constitution should be done away with, and Thiagarajah should be shot, and Jeevarajah and he (Boopathy) should go and interview Thiagarajah. Jeevarajah would shoot him while Boopathy talked to him. They arranged to meet next day near the Wellawatte Temple at about 6.30 p.m.

81. The next evening they met as arranged and there was another person who he thought was called Nirthakumar. Jeevarajah had the revolver, and Sathyaseelan was to follow the other 3 (who went in a bus) in a taxi.

82. After talking to Thiagarajah, Boopathy left him and Jeevarajah entered his room. Boopathy heard 2 revolver shots while he was coming down the stairs. Jeevarajah and Boopathy entered a taxi near which Nirthakumar was standing, and the three of them drove off to Wellawatte.

83. The statement ended at 7.00 p.m. and was read over to the suspect who admitted it to be correct.

84. A statement made by T. Jeevarajah made to the C.I.D. on 9th June,1974, at 8.35 a.m. had been produced by Mr. de Silva. It begins “Recalled states. I have written out a portion of my involvement in the shooting of Mr. Thiagarajah last night. I have dated and signed what I have written last night. I now continue from where I have left when the inquiry was adjourned”.

85. The statement then continues for 5 typewritten pages, and appears to have been recorded by Inspector Bastianpillai. It is, therefore, only the concluding part of the statement that has been produced, instead of the entirety which should have been produced.

86. Although Jeevarajah has admitted in the part of the statement produced that he fired two revolver bullets at Mr. Thiagarajah and then ran down the stairs and into the waiting taxi. I do not know what he had stated in the earlier part of his statement. In this situation I do not consider it safe to act on only the latter part of his statement.

87. Statements made to Inspector Bastianpillai by S. Sabalingam on 3rd May, 1973 and by Y. Balakrishnan on 6th May, 1973, have also been produced. They have both confessed that they joined the other conspirators, who have been mentioned by me, in the plan to shoot Mr.: Thiagarajah.

88. I am left with the confessions of Sathyaseelan, Boopathy, Sabalingam and Balakrishnan, and I find that these four conspired to shoot Mr. Thiagarajah, M.P. for Vaddukodai.

89. (8) In his lengthy statement to Mr. de Silva, Sathyaseelan said that during the period when the incidents he had referred to occurred, Maniam told him that they must have some hand bombs ready to be used when necessary. Maniam gave about Rs. 25 to Anandavinayagam to purchase the ingredients necessary to manufacture the bombs, and the latter went out and returned with two parcels which he said contained monosilin and potassium. They were given to Amerasingham who placed them on top of an almirah in his cycle shop where they had gathered.

90. On the following day, when he went to that cycle shop, Sathyaseelm said he saw Kanagaratnam and Suriyakumaran grinding some explosive powder on the floor of the rear room : he too assisted them in the work. The powder was parceled and handed to Amerasingham.

91. Some days later he said he read in the papers that this cycle shop had been raided and Amerasingham had been arrested for unlawful possession of explosives.

92. Nagarajah Amerasingham was questioned by Mr. de Silva on 23rd March, 1973 ; and he said that about 2 or 3 days prior to the arrest of Anandavinayagam, Manian gave Anandavinayagam some money and asked him to bring ingredients necessary to manufacture hand bombs. Anandavinayagam brought back 3 parcels, 2 of which contained crystals while the third contained pamphlets for school children. Amerasingham said that he kept the parcels on top of his almirah in the front room. Sooriyakumar also brought him a parcel containing an ingredient of hand bombs. He learnt later that Suriyakumar and Kanagaratnam had been grinding ingredients for the making of hand bombs in his premises, and he saw three parcels containing the ingredient on top of his almirah.

93. Amerasingham also stated that on 12th July, 1972, the Police searched his house and recovered the three parcels containing ingredients for the manufacture of hand bombs which were left by Sooriyakumar and Kanagaratnam.

94. He also admitted in his statement that he had handed a hand bomb to Nithiyanandan, and about two days later he leant that bombs had been thrown at Sunthararajah’s house.

95. Velupillai Subramaniam’s statement to Inspector Bastianpillai has also been produced. He was questioned from 31st July, 1973. On 2nd August, he stated that Anandavinayagam came to his house one morning, and asked him to buy ingredients to manufacture hand bombs. Sathyaseelan, he said, had earlier told him that some bombs should be made to threaten Sivasothy and Viswanathan, so that they would not support the Government further. Subramaniam admitted that he gave Anandavinayagam Rs. 10 for that purpose much later than the bombing of Sivasothy’s and Viswanathan’s houses. V. Subramaniam, this suspect, has also been referred to as Maniam.

96. On the statements of Sathyaseelan, Amerasingham and V. Subramaniam, I find that they conspired to manufacture hand bombs which were in fact manufactured and kept in the possession of Amerasingham, and were used to cause damage to property.

97. The information which was supplied by Sathyaseelan in his statement to Mr. de Silva, and the further information he gathered from the other suspects who were arrested in consequence of Sathyaseelan’s statement, confirmed the opinion he had held that the acts of violence in 1972 were politically motivated. The youths who participated in the offences with which I have just been dealing were, on their own admissions, doing so on political grounds against persons who they considered were supporting the then Government against the Tamils and the Tamil United Front.

98. I have referred to instances where police officers who did their duty were called traitors by leaders of the T.U.F. The youths who followed the leaders of that party, and were praised on many an occasion for doing their duty by the party, were in my opinion correctly referred to as the spearhead of that party. The material that has emerged out of the statements made by them shows clearly who was responsible for the violence that prevailed between 1972 and 1977.

99. It is not surprising that the Government decided to detain the youths who were suspected of being a security risk. And their sympathisers were the leaders of the T.U .F., naturally, because they were working in unison to achieve their common aim of discrediting the Government. Statements made by these youths while they were in custody show plainly who was responsible for many unsolved crimes. It is unfortunate that delays in different quarters resulted in their not being brought to trial.

100. Mr. Bartlett, in his written submission for the Federation of Tamil Trade Unions, has referred to the confessions which were marked as being ” just pieces of waste paper with no probative value of any kind”. He has erred in saying that Mr. P. V. W. de Silva did not record any of the confessions, and this has led him to argue that there was no evidence that they were voluntary, and therefore they should be rejected.

101. He has also stressed the rule of natural justice which requires a party to be noticed and heard. I have dealt with this point already. If Mr. Bartlett had furnished the address of any of the makers of the confessions, he would have assisted the Commission to carry out the requirement he based his argument upon. But he need not fear that all is lost so far as the makers of the confessions are concerned, because my findings in regard to only voluntary confessions which have been produced are not final, as I have stated earlier. An officer who is dead cannot be called to say that he recorded a confession, but I am satisfied that Inspector Bastianpillai recorded those which have been authenticated by his signature.

102. Mr. Bartlett has also protested against the leading of the evidence of certain Police and Army Officers by Senior State Counsel after 15th June, 1979. It is correct that I had, long before that date, stated that I intended to end the sittings of the Commission on that date. But Mr. A. C. de Zoysa applied to lead the evidence of public servants and named personnel who had been involved in incidents that had been spoken to.

102 A. It was in accordance with the rule of natural justice, to which Mr. Bartlett had referred in respect of the confessions, that I allowed further time in consequence of Mr. de Zoysa’s application. To have refused it would, as it turned out, have resulted in clear injustice, as anyone reading the evidence will see. Senior State Counsel led the evidence of the public servants ; and I am glad he did so, and relieved me of the burden of listening to witnesses who would not have had the advantage of being led by a lawyer when they gave evidence. I saw no reason to punish those witnesses merely because Mr. de Zoysa did not appear for them.

103. This is a convenient stage for me to make some comments on the criticism of Senior State Counsel, Mr. P. Tennekoon, appearing in the written submissions of the T.R.R.O. For many months, from 24th April, 1978 until the termination of the hearings on 10th December, 1979, he appeared on the directions of the Attorney General to assist me in my work as Commissioner. Until he came on the scene Mr. G. P. S. de Silva, Deputy Solicitor General, had performed that task.

104. Both Mr. Silva and Mr. Tennekoon were in constant touch with me and sought my views and advice daily, and I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to them for the valuable assistance and information given by them in the course of my inquiries and investigations.

105. If it is suggested that Mr. Tennekoon appropriated to himself the powers given to me by the Commissions of Inquiry Act—and I think I detect a subtle, though vague, suggestion of that sort in the submissions—I consider it an entirely wrong and mischievous suggestion.

106. Mr. Tennekoon has been criticized for the lapses and shortcomings of witnesses who gave evidence at their own request, such as Mr. N. Canakeratne and the High Priest of the Naga Vihara ; for not producing a Police report on a meeting, which was not in his possession and could not be traced for a very long time ; for watching the interests of public officers against whom evidence was given, and leading their evidence in answer to that evidence, so that their case may not go by default ; for the failure of Police officers, who were sent to make notes of speeches at election meetings, to comply strictly with the instructions governing the procedure to be followed by them. There were other matters also which were made the basis of criticism in the written submissions of the T.R.R.O.

107. I have considered these complaints, and I am not accepting them as justified. Mr. Tennekoon showed in many instances that he was mindful of the interests of both the Tamils and the Sinhalese, and not only of the Sinhalese, as has been sought to be made out against him. It is an unfair charge that has been made, that he showed himself to be biased against the Tamils or: the T.U.L.F. or any other body or person. Naturally, he considered it his duty to see that all relevant evidence that would assist the Commission was led. He led evidence of confessions made by violent youths; of election speeches made by speakers who advocated the use of violence to attain their political aims; of breaches of the law by persons who carried on a campaign of lawlessness in pursuit of their avowed intention to embarrass and paralyse the Government of the day ; and of other similar matters which would not have endeared him to the persons under attack or their sympathisers. If he considered it necessary to present his case as State Counsel with earnestness, vigour and persistence, he was entitled to do so. He was entitled to use every legitimate means to assist the Commission to arrive at a just conclusion, and to lead all the evidence he considered relevant to establish the truth, at an inquiry in which there were many highly controversial questions to be investigated and decided.

108. In pursuance of Sathyaseelan’s statement 8 persons were arrested on 9th March, 1973. They were Mavai Senathirajah, K. Sivarajah, T. N. Kumarasamy, Thanabalasingham alias Chetty, C. Padmanathan alias Kannadi who ran a radio shop, Chandrakumar, R. Ratnakumar and M. Balaratnam. Consequent to their statements, said Mr. Ariyasinghe, 3 others were arrested, viz : T. Satharatnam alias Bada, A. Boopathy alias Balavadivetkaran and T. Rajalingam. All 12 were produced in the Magistrate’s Court, Colombo, on 24th March, 1973 and detained.

109. Mr. Ariyasinghe further stated that on a statement by Padmanathan alias Kannadi, two revolvers, one locally made gun and 14 rounds of 22 ammunition were recovered from bis house at Kodikamam ; and on a statement by M. Balaratnam two rounds of 303 ammunition, one 12 bore empty cartridge, and 23 rounds of ammunition of different calibres were recovered from a place in Visvamadu where they had held shooting practices against kumbuk and other trees, after the attempt on Mr. Thiagarajah’s life in Colombo had failed.

110. On Padmanathan’s statement a further recovery was made of a 12 volt battery at Point Pedro in a pond containing 5 revolvers and 118 rounds of ammunition of different calibres.

111. On a statement made by Tissaveerasingham who was arrested on 15th March, 1973, regarding an attempt to assassinate Mr. Kumarasuriar on 15th January, 1973, one Ganesharatnam was questioned and the Police recovered 25 rounds of ammunition buried in his garden. By August 1973, said Mr. Ariyasinghe, there were 41 youths in custody.

112. Mr. Ariyasinghe referred to a hunger strike in the District Court, Jaffna premises on 15th March, 1973. A large number of youths were there from 7.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. It was a working day. Pamphlets against attending school were distributed. Among the participants were Mr. and Mrs. Amirthalingam, Messrs. V. N. Navaratnam, V. Tharmalingam, V. Anandasangari and other Members of Parliament.

113. I was astonished to hear that these persons, some of whom are lawyers, had the audacity to use the premises of law court in this illegal demonstration. They should have been dispersed or arrested and dealt with for contempt of Court, in addition to being prosecuted for any other offences they might have committed. Not only were they flouting the laws of the land. They were also persuading children not to obey their school teachers and to keep away from school. No wonder that discipline and respect for the law had, as the evidence shows, been steadily eroded. Lawlessness and criminal behaviour were being elevated to become a way of life. The Police, whose duty it is to see that laws are enforced and obeyed, were being defied. They would have formed their own opinions of leaders who acted in this fashion, but they would no doubt have resolved that they would under any circumstances do their duty, whoever the offenders may be.

114. Mr. Ariyasinghe has stated that the Police did not arrest T. U. F. leaders who distributed pamphlets contrary to Emergency Regulations. He thought that, like the showing of black flags, the offence was trivial and the Police had more important work to do. He was probably correct in his estimation of the situation ; but there did come a time when the operation of the maxim ‘de minimis lex non curat ‘ had to be suspended in order to make it known that a Police Officer does not always exercise his discretion in the way offenders expect of him.

115. It was on this occasion also that, according to Mr. Ariyasinghe, Mr. Amirthalingam’s son, Kandeepan, was arrested for preventing children attending school. He was released after a warning, along with 2 others named Vignarajah and Ehamparam.

116. Another incident referred to by Mr. Ariyasinghe was the seizure of a boat by a Navy Patrol on 31st March, 1973, close to point Pedro. There were 20,000 detonators in it, and 9 persons were arrested as carriers. A.S.P. Perera and Inspector Bastianpillai went to India to inquire into this case of attempted smuggling. 2 suspects Yogachandran alias Kuttimani and Gnanakumalam, were arrested later and kept in detention, but they were released when the Emergency ended. They were, according to Mr. Ariyasinghe, both T.U.F. supporters.

117. Mr. Amirthalingam admitted that on 22nd May, 1973, which was Republic Day, the T.U.L.F. organised a hartal and day of mourning, and the rising sun flag which was its emblem was hoisted in many places. On that day, said Mr. Ariyasinghe, a bus was partly burnt at Kokuvil, and palmyrah logs were placed on the railway lines in order to derail trains. Around that date 49 buses were attacked and damaged, about 6 buses were burnt, a number of railway carriages were damaged, and the lion flag was lowered and burnt in several places.

118. He mentioned that in such cases when the Police went to investigate they came across a wall of silence. Even in the cases of murder of Police Officers which took place in daylight at market places, road junctions and similar places, no witnesses came forward to help the Police though they would have seen what took place. It as a notorious fact in Jaffna that even When murders occur, no evidence is forthcoming, because witnesses fear the consequences. Mr. Ariyasinghe mentioned one person who dared to give information without fear. He was one Nadarajah who ran a petrol shed at Urumpirai who told Mr. Ariyasinghe in Sinhala ” We are not afraid of these youngsters, it is a disgrace to the Tamil people when these things happen “.

119. There were two attempts on Nadarajah’s life. One was when he was stabbed from behind by two youths when he was cycling. They confessed to the crime. The other was when bombs were thrown at him in his petrol shed and he had a narrow escape. Subsequently he was killed by bombs which were thrown at the petrol shed.

120. Mr. Ariyasinghe made a comment which I consider important enough to go on record. He stated that it was the T.U.F. party that was intimate with the youths ; all the suspects who were arrested were supporters of the T.U.F. and admitted that in their statements ; and up to date no condemnation of the murders and other crimes had been forthcoming from the T.U.F. or T.U.L.F. leaders except for what they have said in Parliament. Even when Mr. Duraiappah was murdered and the supporters of the Government called upon the T.U.L.F. to condemn such incidents, there was no condemnation by them, nor did any of the leaders of that party attend the funeral.

121. Mr. Ariyasinghe referred to a Federal Party convention held at Mallakam on 9th September, 1973. It was addressed by Mr. Amirthalingam who called upon Tamil youths to rise up as Garibaldi called upon the youth of Italy. All he could offer them immediately was assaults by the Police, threats by the Army, jail life, suffering and may be even heroic deaths. Once these are passed they will have a free Tamil Eelam.

122. Until 5th October, 1973, there were several meetings of the Party at which the Police were condemned for taking youths into custody for demonstrating against the Government, though nothing was mentioned about the violence committed by them. It should have occurred to the speakers on those occasions that if demonstrations alone were the reason for such Police action, many T.U.F. leaders would have been detained, and that there were more compelling reasons for the action taken against those youths.

123. Mr. Ariyasinghe stated that, at a meeting held at Karainagar he heard Messrs. Sivasithamparam and Amirthalingam referring to Messrs. Duraiappah and Thiagarajah as traitors, while a youth who spoke said that Inspector Bastianpillai was a traitor of the Tamils for having taken youths into custody, and when he comes to that area he will know what would happen to him. At a meeting at gunagar Mr. Ariyasinghe claimed to have heard Mr. Sivasithamparam speaking about Inspector Bastianpillai in the same tone.

124. During October 1973, there was a civil disobedience movement at which, Mr. Ariyasinghe said, postage stamps were cut and deliberately used on letters which were posted to the Prime Minister, with the name and address of the senders written along with an invitation to arrest them. Mr. Amirthalingam also referred to this non-violent demonstration of civil disobedience.

125- On November 1973, there was, Mr. Ariyasinghe said, a 24-hour hunger strike which was joined by hundreds in every electorate. It was in support of a demand that all detainees should be released. There were no disturbances during that strike.

126. When Senior State Counsel suggested to Mr. Amirthalingam that the Tamil youths were kept in detention because they were considered a security risk, the latter replied that it was done purely to catch them and to show them that if they dared to speak of their rights they would be locked up ; he termed it a vindictive measure against those youths, adding that they were periodically taken out and tortured. It is easy, of course, to make such charges. It is another matter to lead evidence to prove them. There is also the evidence led by Senior State Counsel that many of the youths who were under detention had made confessions to Police officers, to which I shall refer later.

127. Mr. Amirthalingam did, however, admit that there were incidents of violence during the period 1972 to 1974, and that several youths were, from time to time, taken into custody in that connection.

128. One more incident of 1973 mentioned during Mr. Ariyasinghe’s evidence was the arrest of D. Selvarajah on suspicion of robbery of a car from Achchuveli and of gold jewellery from a shop in Jaffna. He confessed that he and his associate Thangadorai wanted ot take Rs. 10,000 worth of gold to India to be sold, and to bring back arms for the Tamil Liberation Movement. It was stated by Mr. Ariyasinghe that it was very common for suspects to escape to India in high powered boats which can get  there in 2 or 3 hours.

129, The first incident of the year 1974 the I.A T.R. Conference which ended on 10th January I shall refer to it in some detail in another part of this Report It was followed by two acts of arson involving buses, and assaults on policeman that same night. Mr. Ariyasinghe said that after the Magistrate had made his order on the inquest, latter was threatened on 18th February and he complained about that to Mr. Ariyasinghe.

130. Arising out of the incident of the 10th January, there was a bomb attack on A.S.P. Chandrasekera’s Jeep when he was travelling in it on 7th February. There was another bomb attack, by some youths, on 20th March when he was in his jeep. One of those youths was Sivakumaran, who attempted to shoot Mr. Chandrasekara with a pistol which did not fire. Mr. Chandrasekera has spoken on these incidents in giving evidence.  

131. This same Sivakumaran had arrested by the Police In September 1973 at the Nallur Kandasami Kovil during the festival after he had assaulted in constable. He was charged, but failed to appear in Court in answer to the summons; he died before he could arrested for failing to appear.

132. I might complete the story of this young man as given in evidence. On 5th June, 1974, at about 1.00 p.m., the Kopay Police received information that the People’s bank was to be attacked and a party of policemen when in that direction. On receiving that information that the suspects were running towards Neeveli the O.I.C., S.I. Wijesundera, proceeded in that direction in his jeep. He then followed Sivakumaran who was one of the group, and Sivakumaran fired 2 shots at him which misfired. Wijesundera went up to Sivakumaran with his sub-machine gun and there was a struggle. When Wijeysundera took him into custody, Sivakumaran drank some poison which he took from his waist and die that evening in hospital. A post-mortem examination was held next day.

133. From the time of his death, almost all the T, U. F. leaders including Messrs. Amirthalingam, V. N. Navarathnam and Selvaduray gathered and organised the funeral. All shops in the Peninsula where closed and pamphlets were distributed calling for a day of mourning. The funeral took place on 7th June. Just before the body was removed from the house, seven youths cut their fingers and placed pottus of blood on the deceased’s face, and hundreds of youths then did the same. T. U. F. leaders and about 15,000 others were there. Ever since, his mother was given a prominent place in the T U. L F Women’s Front. A pledge was taken by those present in the formula. “In the name of Sivakumaran, in the name of his sole and body we undertake to continue the struggle to gain independence for and until we gain that we will not retreat or rest”. The struggle which his young man had carried on, it should be added, was not a non-violent one. Thereafter, on 5th June every year his death has been commemorated by T U, L. F leaders and a statue has been erected in his honour by the T U L F Youth Organisation.

134. A third attempt on A.S.P Chandrasekera’s life rolled on 21st June, 1974. when a parcel bomb was recovered on a statement made by C. Mahendran, who was arrested in connection with an Attempt to rob the Kopay Rural Bank,

135. Mr. Ariyasinghe stated that Mr. Chandrasekera was due for promotion in September 1973, but it had been held up for same reason though he should have got it in 1973 when he was on the security staff of the Prime Minister. It was not true to say, as some have Alleged, that he received it while he was in Jaffna, for the work he did at the l. A. T R Conference in January. 1974.

136, On 13th January, 1974, a hartal was organised in protest against Police excesses. Buses were attacked and damaged, telephone wires cut, a bus was hijacked and an attempt was made to burn It. The unofficial commission of inquiry appointed by the so-called Citizens Committee of Jaffna to inquire into the incidents of 10th January, commenced its sitting on 2nd February. A bomb exploded on 8th February in a bus which was close to where Mr. Anura Bandaranaike was addressing a meeting at Tellipalai, and on 9th February there was a hartal and fast organised by the T. U. F, and its youth movement opposite the Muniappar Kovil. Mrs. Amirthalingam addressed the gathering, making references to Mr. Chandrasekara as the person responsible for the deaths on 10th January, and to Mr. Duraiappah being a traitor who was behind the incidents of that day. Mr. Ariyasinghe spoke of these matters from a report which he had received. He added that during that hartal there were the normal features of the closing of shops, boycott of school, throwing of stones and other acts directed against public property such as attacks on buses, removal of railway lines and burning of railway carriages.  

137. On 21st May, the 4 suspects, Thanabalasingham, K. Sivarajah, S. Ratnakumar and C. Padmanathan, escaped from the Anuradhapura Jail in which they had been detained. On 22nd May (Republic day) the rising sun flag was hoisted, and there were incidents of violence as usual to celebrate day.

138. Mr. Ariyasinghe stated that on 5th September  T. U. F. held a meeting on Jaffna esplanade which he attended. Mr. Amirthalingam appealed to the crowd there to boycott the forthcoming visit of the Prime Minister, which was to take place on 5th October, in the name of Sivakumaran, those who died at Veerasingham Hall, and those who were detained in custody.

139. On 29th September certain Tamil youths who were supporters of the T. U. F. were arrested and 2 unlicensed guns, 10 rounds of SLR and LER ammunition, 8 cartridges and a machine for filling cartridges were recovered at Gurunagar from them.

140. Between 8th September and 2nd October a series of meetings were held by the T. U. F. where pamphlets were distributed, and propaganda was spread urging the people to boycott the Prime Minister’s visit. Just prior to that visit, among other incidents, some bombs were thrown at a heavy truck of the Kankesanturai Police. The truck was damaged, but no one was injured. Bombs were also thrown at a Kachcheri jeep. Dynamite was exploded in the house of Mr. V. Ponnambalam, the Communist Party leader of Jaffna, who interpreted the Prime Minister’s speech in Tamil at a public meeting. Mr. Duraiappah was openly supporting the Government. On 2nd October lighted dynamite was thrown at the Chankathanai Railway Station the roof of which was partly blown off, and a bomb was exploded in the Grand Bazaar, Jaffna.

141. On 4th and 5th October there was an hartal organised by the T. U. F. during which shops closed and school children boycotted their schools. On the 4th there was a silent march by youths to the Nallur Kandasamy Kovil where they observed a hunger fast. The T. U. F. leaders joined them in the march. On that day bombs were exploded in the Jaffna Bus Stand.

142. Mr. Ariyasinghe also mentioned that on 3rd October stones were thrown at bus 22 Sri 2223 at Vasavillu and it was damaged, and a jeep 4 Sri 9473 was damaged by bombs at Mavittapuram ; on 4th October truck 33 Sri 8902 was attacked ; and on 5th October stones were thrown at bus 23 Sri 4304.

143. On the nights of 27th October and 31st October respectively two significant incidents which occurred in Madras may well have had a close connection with the violence that was taking place in Jaffna. One was the attack on the office of the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, and the other was the attack on the Maha Bodhi Society Headquarters. Reports on these incidents furnished by the Director of the International Criminal Police Organisation, Indian Branch, and the Superintendent of Police, C.I.D., Madras, were produced by Mr. Ariyasinghe.

144. In respect of the bomb attack with high explosives on the Deputy High Commission 3 accused were charged before the Assistant Sessions Judge, viz. (I) Raju Kandeepan son of Asirvathan alias Amirthalingam, (2) Anandan, son of Arunachalam and (3) Albert, son of Sivalingam. In respect of the bomb attack on the Maha Bodhi Society premises, the above named 3 accused and Sandeesh, son of Subramaniam, were charged before the same Judge. They all pleaded guilty 10 the charges and each was lined Rs. 100, in default one month’s rigorous imprisonment. All, except Sandeesh were also sentenced to imprisonment till the rising of the Court.

145. Mr. Ariyasinghe stated that after further inquiry it was learnt that Sadeesh was Kanagasabey Sivarajah who escaped from Anuradhapura Jail on 21st May, 1974, Ananda, son of Arunachalam was Amirthalingam Ananda Anandakumar of Chunnakam, Albert, son of Sivalingam was Kirubainathan Of Araly who was an accused in the Duraiappah murder case, and Raju Kandeepan, son of Asirvathan alias Amirthalingam has been proved to be the son of Mr. Amirthalingam, the T. U. L. F. leader.

146. On 17th November, 1974, the laboratory of Urumpirai Hindu College was broken into, and dangerous chemicals such as potassium cyanide and potassium chlorate were stolen. 4 suspects between the ages of 14 and 17 were arrested. On a statement made by one of them, all the items were recovered buried in his back garden.

147. To complete the events of 1974, Mr. Ariyasinghe mentioned the highway robbery of Rs. 91,000 belonging to the M.P.C.S., Tellipalai, by armed youths who travelled in a hijacked car. Mr. Yatigammana, a Police Officer who was on traffic patrol, gave chase and he was shot at through the windscreen Mr. Ariyasinghe explained that the Police do not take arms with them unless they anticipate trouble after receiving specific information, Mr. Yatigammana happened at the time to be returning from Mallakam Courts and followed the hijacked car after receiving information.

148. Mr. Jayasinghe has stated in evidence that detainees were released in 1975, and violence began again culminating in the murder of Mr. Duraiappah on 27th July, 1975. He was a prominent supporter of the S.L.F.P. Government. Mr. Ariyasinghe’s evidence bears this out as I shall proceed to show.

149. On 3rd January, 1975, a group of released youths headed by Kasi Anandan arrived in Jaffna. They had been kept in detention from 1972. 3 others, Balaratnam, Thasan and Gnanasekeram arrived with him, but from the report made by the Police and produced in evidence he was clearly the most distinguished guest. A large crowd including Messrs. Chelvanayakam and Amirthalingam received them at the Railway Station, and they were later garlanded on the platform and carried shoulder high to the T. U. L. F. Party Office. Mr. Ariyasinghe was present, though not in the midst of the thousands who gathered there.

150. Mr. Chelvanayakam in his speech on that occasion stated that Kasi Anandan was arrested because he had said “What is wrong with a race which ruled in the past, being desirous of ruling itself again” ; he was detained in jail for no reason for over 2 years, and Tamil people consider him a hero. Kasi Anandan said that he had learnt from others who were in custody that they were tortured very badly, He also said that if Mr. Amirthalingitn so orders, even 5000 youths were prepared to enter jail. Mr. Ariyasinghe gave the T. U. F. credit for having co-operated with the Police on 7th January, when nominations were received for the by-election to the K.K.S. Constituency, and during the period 7th January to 9th February when the by-election campaign was carried on.

151. On 10th January a commemoration ceremony was held regarding the deaths at the I. A. T. R. Conference the previous year. It started with the laying of wreaths by T. U. F. leaders and youths. Among those present were Vartharajah, Kasi Anandan, and Mr. and Mrs. Amirthalingam. Mr. Ariyasinghe said that he refused permission for a procession, and his order was obeyed.

152. On 9th May there was an explosion on the wall of Naga Vihara caused by dynamite. No suspects were traced in that matter. On 10th May the T. U. F. held a meeting at Karainagar at which Mrs. Amirthalingam said that Inspector Bastianpillai had tortured Tamil Youths. She said also “If Tamil Nadu is achieved I do not know what would happen to the traitor” (meaning Bastianpillai). Slogans had also been written on the walls of the A.S.P’s home at Kankesanturai threatening him with death. He was inquiring into politically motivated crimes.

153. On 11th May a large number of Tamil youths came to Jaffna after they were released from detention. Mr. Ariyasinghe stated that their leader was Mavai Senathirajah who moved closely with Mr. Amirthalingam and played a leading role in the T. U. L. F. He was the leader of the T. U. L. F. Youth Front at one stage. There also arrived Rajakulasooriyar Sabaratnam and 2 other youths. As before, Mr. Chelvanayakam and T. U. F. leaders were present to welcome them with garlands, and they were carried to a place where speeches were made. Mavai Senathirajah in a speech said that he bad learnt certain revolutionary ideas from the detainees from the South, and he would carry on the struggle. He was prepared to go to jail, and he would reorganize the youth activities.

154. From that time up to July 1975, there were a series of events which showed that these youths did not honour their undertakings on which they were released, namely, that they would not participate in active politics and violence.

155. On 18th May a car was robbed by 4 youths at Valvettiturai, at the point of revolvers ; they admitted their guilt and stated that they did it to get arms for the Liberation Front.

156. On 19th May, youths who travelled in a hijacked car attempted to rob a bank at Tinnevely (the M.P.C.S. Rural Bank). They were armed with revolvers and seized the Bank Manager. As they did not obtain the necessary keys they abandoned the attempt. This offence too was committed for political reasons.

157. On 20th May, there was a meeting on the Jaffna Esplanade at which loud speakers were used, lasting from 6.20 to 9.10 p.m. ; it was organised by the T.U.F. and about 5,000 persons were present. A report of that meeting was sent to the 0.I.C., D.I.B., Jaffna, that same night. Mr. Ariyasinghe stated that it was tape-recorded. According to that report Mavai Senathirajah spoke of having been released by the Sinhalese Government, but he was prepared to enter jail over and over again in the freedom fight. He referred to the Tamils having no alternative but to take up arms to gain their independence, and to disobey Mr. Chelvanayakam’s ‘Ahimsa‘ call, to liberate themselves from the’ grip of the Sinhalese. He also said that the paramount duty of the Tamil youths today was to fight for independence, and for this they must join the Tamil Youth Front. Mr. Kovai Mahesan, Editor of Newspaper ‘Suthanthiran‘, praised the T.U.F. for courageously conducting a “Defy the Law” procession, and said that a rare opportunity will come to the Tamils on 22nd May, to make their protest by participating in a procession. I might mention that Mr. Amirthalingam claimed that his party had nothing to do with this newspaper, but this editor has been seen by Mr. Ariyasinghe attending a number of T.U.F. meetings Mrs. Amirthalingam appealed to the mothers to play their part in the independence struggle, by taking part in hundreds and thousands in the proposed unauthorised procession and meeting. Mr. Amirthalingam referred in his speech to the Vietnamese having fought for independence for 30 years with the help of Communist countries with modern arms against American imperialism. As things are now, Tamils will be forced to fight like Vietnamese. Now it has come to a stage, he said, when it is time to jump into the battle field. The freedom struggle of the Tamils will one day be like Cambodia or Vietnam, and the struggle now is leading towards that.

158. He also said that 10 Tamils were shot and killed but no inquiry was held ; instead the officer concerned was promoted. It was obviously a reference to the I.A.T.R. Conference tragedy, but it is necessary to remark that nobody was shot, only seven persons died of electrocution that day, a Magistrate held an inquest, and Mr. Chandrasekara was not promoted for the part he played in that incident. I do not wish to comment on political license which is not totally absent on political platforms, but such exaggeration as I find here should, I think, be avoided.

159. Mr. Amirthalingam claimed that the political creed was founded on non-violence. He has not always adhered to this tenet. Mr. Chelvanayakam referred to the pacts that had been entered into with the previous governments, and said that the Sinhalese do not want the Tamils to live together with them and they had pushed the Tamils to making a demand for a separate state. He appealed to the gathering to give their wholehearted support to the policy of separation.

160. On Republic Day, 22nd May, the T.U.F. organized a hartal and civil disobedience. All processions had been banned during the period of the Emergency, but the T.U.F. which, as is obvious throughout the evidence which I have been setting out, willfully disobeyed Emergency Regulations and other , laws, started a procession from their office. The Police blocked it, and the precisionists squatted on the road, as Mr. Amirthalingam has admitted, roads are meant for the movement of traffic and pedestrians, and not for squatting on. If a procession is unlawful, the precisionists should disperse Mr. Ariyasinghe said he was present there. The law breakers then started a meeting with the usual speeches.

161. In the course of those speeches, he said, the Police were referred to as dogs. He also saw some youths throwing slippers and pebbles at Police Officers. Insults were hurled at the Police. But they kept quiet so as not to provoke a greater breach of the peace. Mr. Ariyasinghe was asked by State Counsel whether complaints were made by members of the public. He said that a large number were made during his time, and they were looked into. No complaints of torture were made by any suspects or their relatives, while he was Superintendent of Police, Jaffna.

162. Mr. Ariyasinghe produced a report dated 28th June, 1975, sent by him to D.I.G. (Range III) on the subject of ” Information of National Security importance concerning activities of Tamil Liberation Front”. It begins by stating; ” Some extremist Tamil Youth led by the popular youth leaders Thambidurai Muthukumaraswamy of Nallur, Pushparajah of Myliddy (both released recently from detention) and Vartharajah of Vannarponnai, Jaffna, have formed themselves into a Tamil Liberation Front with the ultimate objective of liberation of the Tamil areas in Sri Lanka to form a separate state.

163. ” They have openly expressed that they will follow the path of the late militant youth leader Ponnudurai Sivakumaran of Urumpirai. They have expressed that the Ahimsa and conciliatory policy will not achieve anything, and they should follow a more forcible policy even with violence to attain their objective. Numbers of Tamil insurgent suspects released from detention have joined hands with this group.

164. “There is also information from a reliable source that, Thanabalasingham alias Chitty who escaped from Anuradhapura prison on 21.5.74, when he was in remand in connection with politically motivated crimes of murder and robbery, and who is also suspected in connection with the case of robbery of cash Rs. 92,000 from M.P.C.S, Tellipalai, was also seen at Kondavil in the vicinity of the Railway Station armed with a revolver and showing signs of possessing much money.

165. “There is also information that one of the other suspects who escaped with the first named from Anuradhapura, namely, Sivarajah alias Ratnakumar, who was also involved in the two bomb incidents at Madras and charged and convicted, had left Madras on 27th May, 1975, in order to attempt illicit entry to Sri Lanka. Chitty and his associates who are dedicated to the Tamil Liberation Movement apparently have much funds by the robberies and by smuggling with the capital earned from the robberies.”

166. Reference will be made by me later to the killing of Police informants, in addition to the killing of Police officers. It is not surprising that those who are dedicated to the use of violence in order to achieve their objectives, should also be willing to use violence to destroy those who stand in the way of their accomplishing their aims. The Police will not be able to tackle a subversive movement, such as the T. U. L. F. and the Youth Movement which has figured prominently in the evidence, without receiving the assistance of informers. The youths realized this and they took action to destroy those informers.

167. Certain reports made by officers of the District Information Bureau to the Police Headquarters in Colombo have been produced. I am satisfied that such reports were genuine and were in fact made by officers whose identity it is necessary for the Police to keep secret. When it became a common practice to kill Police Officers who move about in uniform, and Police informers who are willing to take the risk of conveying information that will assist the Police to uncover an underground movement, it was essential that the identity of the officers of the District Information Bureau should not be disclosed. It was clear to me that the activities of the youth movement had not ceased even up to the time when Senior State Counsel was leading the evidence of Police officers at the closing stages of this inquiry. I was not prepared to risk the lives of officers who can only carry on their valuable work if they can do it secretly.

168. The next incident of importance mentioned by Mr. Ariyasinghe was the murder by shooting of Mr. Duraiappah on 27th July. It has been proved that seven persons were charged in that connection but they were all acquitted. I see no point in referring to the evidence regarding persons who were suspected as the verdict of acquittal is conclusively in favour of those in whose favour it was returned.

169. When cross-examined by Mr. Shanmugalingam, Mr. Ariyasinghe admitted that Standardization, the Constitution of 1972, the I. A. T. R. incident of 1974, unemployment and the cost of living contributed to unrest among the youths. Sathyaseelan was the president of the Unemployed Graduates’ Union. Mr. Ariyasinghe also stated that there was sense of grievance and frustration that existed, and if that was sorted out it would help the Police to maintain law and order. But he was clearly of the view that a large number of youths had been taken into custody on information received that they had committed thefts of cars and been involved in robberies of banks, Government establishments and Co-operative Stores. The information received was also that these acts were being done in order to find funds to buy arms in order to kill persons who were regarded as traitors to the Tamils. The persons who were suspected as participants in violence were taken into custody as security risks.

170. Questioned about allegations of torture and third degree methods said to have been used by Inspector Bastianpillai, Mr. Ariyasinghe said that while the Inspector was working under him in Jaffna for some time, he was never at any stage informed or complained to against the Inspector. He had occasion to question a large number of suspects and he used to visit them and check up on their food ; but no one complained to him of any harassment by the Inspector nor did he notice any injuries on them. Despite the allegations, not a single witness gave evidence in proof of them.

171. Mr. Shanmugalingam also cross-examined Mr. Ariyasinghe on the attitude of the Police towards the public. The witness denied that there was a general reluctance on the part of the public to go to a Police Station, or that persons who go there are humiliated. He admitted, however, that certain Police officers have the human weaknesses of the society from which they come. Only a certain percentage can be disciplined to become ideal Police officers. There are black sheep in the service, that is why there are stringent disciplinary rules and why strong disciplinary action is taken. He said that 25 officers were interdicted by him during the period he was in Jaffna. After the 1971 insurgency, he said, a large number of recruits was taken in without checking on their background. Their training period was shortened from six months to less than three months and in March 1973 he got 104 recruits of that type who had to be given further training by him. He did not accept a suggestion made by Mr. Shanmugalingam that there had been a deterioration in the standard of discipline and of obedience observed by junior officers to their superiors. This view was that the T. U. L. F. were looking for opportunities to find fault with the Police.

172. Questioned by Mr. Wijetunga, Mr. Ariyasinghe gave some particulars about the Police officers who had helped him in his work and were murdered after he had left Jaffna. He said that Inspector Bastianpillai had helped him in most of the inquiries into politically motivated violence. On statements made by suspects, they recovered firearms and a large quantity of ammunition; located places where shooting practices had been done and recovered pieces of lead and pellets. The major role in the Duraiappah murder case had been played by Inspector Bastianpillai.

173. Sub Inspector Perambalam and P.C. Balasingham and P.C. Siriwardene who had helped that Inspector were also murdered at the same time on 7th April, 1978.

174. There was Inspector Pathmanathan who investigated the I.A.T.R. Conference incidents and led evidence at the inquest. He also investigated a number of incidents of political violence such as the Puloly Bank robbery and he played a large part in the Duraiappah murder case. His motor car was burnt in his garage, the doors which were blown off by explosives on 21st August, 1977, as Mr. Seneviratne has stated. He was killed on 6th May, 1978.

175. P.C. Karunanidhi, another victim of murder on 14th February, 1977, had also played an important part in the investigation of the Duraiappah murder and arrested some of the suspects, viz., Kalapathy and Kirupakaran.

176. Two constables Nos. 753 and 6105 bearing the same surname Shanmuganathan were also murdered on 15th May, 1977. They had played a leading part in the Puloly Bank robbery inquiry and investigated the murder of P.C. Karunanidhi.

177. Inspector Kumaru, who had been Mr. Ariyasinghe’s personal assistant in Jaffna and had done many very confidential inquiries, was also done to death after his retirement, on 12th June, 1978.

178. Mr. Ariyasinghe’s view was that the murders of Police Officers followed a pattern and were closely associated with the politically motivated crimes. It is certainly significant that the great majority of then were Tamils; they had inquired into politically motivated crimes, they were well acquainted with the suspects who were involved in such offences, and there was good reason to believe that both in the opinion of the T.U.L.F. leaders and the members of the Youth Front, any Tamils who worked for the Government or supported it were considered traitors to the cause of Tamil independence.

179. I consider that if a motive for killing this unprecedented number of Police Officers is to be looked for, it is to be found in the political struggle. A Police Officer has a duty to preserve the peace by day and night, to prevent crimes of all degrees, and to apprehend offenders. His powers and duties are directed not to the interests of the Police, but to the protection and welfare of the public. He often has to exercise a discretion in carrying out his duty of enforcing the law, which is a duty he owes to the public.

180. I have been going through some of the more important parts of the evidence regarding incidents that occurred during the political struggle of the period until the end of 1975. I shall now refer to the evidence concerning the years 1976 and 1977 until the middle of August 1977. A question that will arise for consideration is whether the use of force or violence, by persons who sought to achieve a particular political objective, has been proved.

181. It has been said that in a democracy the use of force for such a purpose is perhaps the worst crime of all, because it undermines freedom, which some people believe is more important than life itself.

182. Before I leave Mr. Ariyasinghe’s evidence, I wish to refer to his views about the operation of the so-called liberation movements in the world. After he left Jaffna, he was in the Staff College in England, where he listened to lectures and had discussions with some eminent personalities from the Defence Ministry and from the Institute of Study of Conflicts. That Institute, he said, was fully devoted to the study of terrorism and other liberation movements in the world.

183. His view was that such movements have a pattern. They all start with various outward forms of protests; democratic forms like hunger strikes, appearance of slogans and such lawful methods of protest. As he pointed out, the shows that in Jaffna numerous slogans appeared during his stay there, such as “The dogs who betray will be shot”, “We don’t want the Sinhalese Government”, “We will destroy the traitors”, “Let the Sinhalese Republic be destroyed”, “One Race, One Religion, That is the Tamil Nation,” Mr. Egodapitiya’s evidence also contained instances of slogans written on the hospital wall in front of the house of Mr. Yogeswaran, M.P. This is to show that they stand for peaceful activities, but they have a wing that goes on using violence, starting with traitors who pass on information.

184. Propaganda is carried on for a time, from house to house in order to vin over the people, and in other ways. They also try to have confrontations with the authorities, particularly the Police or the Military, trying to show that these forces are harassing. By doing this, they try to rouse the feelings of the people against such forces and to discredit them. World propaganda is also carried on, in an effort to get organisations outside the country to support them.

185. Attempts are then made to get arms from such organisations, and once they are sufficiently armed, they openly challenge the authorities, and strike.

186. Mr. Ariyasinghe stated that in many countries, such as Cambodia, Israel, Vietnam, Cyprus and Thailand similar patterns were followed. He was struck by the similarity of the pattern in Jaffna, though he had not realised it when he was stationed there. He was puzzled then, that people who preached non-violence could resort to undercover activity in helping the youths. They publicly practice deception until they are ready to strike.

187. I have dealt at some length with the evidence of Mr. Ariyasinghe he struck me as a conscientious, fair and able Police Officer on whose evidence I can rely.

188. I have also been puzzled by the rousing welcome receptions with which the leaders of the T.U.L.F. greeted the released detains. No distinguished member of that party could have expected to be received with grater enthusiasm. The case presented by Senior State Counsel was that these youths, who were suspected of violent crimes and of being security risks, were in fact active members of that party or its supporting Youth Origination, and they should be treated as one group. The youths comprised the spearhead of the party, dedicated to the commission of violent crimes against all persons who opposed the aims of the party or supported its opponents or hindered the achievement of the party’s objectives.

189. Much has been said by the party leaders of their dedication to nonviolence, ahimsa, suffering violent treatment at the hands of their opponents, and other such ideals as Mahatma Gandhi preached in his campaign for Indian Independence. He wanted his followers to be a disciplined body of persons who would patiently bear the worst treatment they might receive from the Police and the government. He was disappointed that he could not inculcate his ideas upon them. Mr. Amirthalingam has every reason to be equally disappointed; and I have often wished, while listening to the evidence, that he had lectured his followers and admonished them in the strongest terms, when they so frequently cast the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi to the winds.

190. Mr. Seneviratne, who succeeded Mr. Ariyasinghe as Superintendent of Police, said that he was faced with a situation brought about by political motivation due to the T. U. L. F. asking for a separate state. About 42 of the more fanatical and dedicated youths were in custody when he went to Jaffna. The Police had to take counter measures to maintain law and order, because the activities of the youths as regards burning public property, throwing bombs, attempting to assassinate people and threatening them had brought the situation in the North to a low level. So the youths in return took measures to render the Police ineffective and murders of Police officers were the result. On 7th April, 1978, while this Commission was sitting in Jaffna, a team of Police officers led by Inspector Bastianpillai and including him, were murdered at Murunkan; the others killed at that place were Sub Inspector Perambalam, Balasingham and P.C. Siriwardene.

191. The Police have often been described by T. U. L. F. speakers as “an army of occupation of the Sinhalese Government”, said Mr. Seneviratne, they were spoken of as acting against the Tamil people. The result was that the Police received no assistance from the public. Nobody would come forward to give evidence because the youths terrorised the general public; Tamil Police officers were spoken of by them as traitors when they conducted inquiries into politically motivated offences ; and Sinhalese Police officers were obstructed in their work and received no co-operation in any way.

192. Two Police stations, at Achchuveli and Nelliady respectively, were closed. Two Tamil Members of Parliament were partly responsible for that step being taken, although Mr. Seneviratne considered that those stations were necessary. Yet another Station, at Nallur, had to be closed because the landlord, namely the Temple authorities, decided that it desecrated the temple.

193. Mr. Seneviratne mentioned an attempt by the T. U. L. F. to break the law by going in procession on 10th January, 1976, to commemorate the incidents at the I. A. T. R. Conference. He had the procession dispersed despite Mr. Amirthalingam’s protest as General Secretary.

194. On 15th May, again after a Convention at Vaddukoddai, the T. U. L. F. attempted to go in a procession to Moolai. It was stopped, and the precisionists travelled in lorries for some distance and again went in procession. The Police baton charged them and dispersed them. P.C. Amaraweera was injured in an attack by the crowd. Mr. Seneviratne, who had led the in those incidents, said that he went to the meeting place at Moolai when Mr. Amirthalingam was speaking in Tamil. Having switched over to English, he said “Mr. Seneviratne, S. P. Jaffna, I am telling you that what happened to Duraiappah will happen to people like you also”. Mr. Amirthalingam stated in evidence regarding this incident that he merely warned the Police that they would be responsible if there was a breach of the peace, as he had heard that they were trying to deflate the tires of the vehicles in which the gathering had come there. I prefer to believe Mr. Seneviratne on this conflict of evidence. Mr. Amirthalingam may have been in a confident and aggressive mood, with about 50,000 of his supporters in the audience listening to his warning to the Superintendent of Police.

195. He asked, when questioned about this incident, why he was not prosecuted if he threatened Mr. Seneviratne. The latter’s explanation, given by him in evidence, was that if he did so his stay in Jaffna would have been very uncomfortable. Very many breaches of the law had to go unprosecuted, because the Police had plenty of work on their hands and could not spend their days in Courthouses.

196. On 22nd May, Republic Day, there was another confrontation between the Police and the T. U. L. F. Pamphlets were distributed in breach of the Emergency Regulations. Mr. Seneviratne said that some Members of Parliament and Mr. Amirthalingam were arrested for that at the Market Square. He also referred to the distribution of pamphlets in Courthouses, causing a disturbance of the Court proceedings. In practically every Courthouse, he said, this was done by the party members including Mr. Chelvanayakam, Q.C. It resulted in the Courts having to adjourn. I say again that such contemptuous actions, particularly when committed by lawyers, deserved the sternest condemnation and punishment. It may have seemed to them the surest way of attaining martyrdom for the sake of their political objective. But what happened when there was a prosecution for breach of the Regulation against the distribution of pamphlets ?

197. Mr. Amirthalingam stated in evidence that the day was observed as a day of mourning and a day on which the Tamils dedicate themselves to winning liberation. He was put on trial for distributing pamphlets. Mr. G. G. Ponnambalam, Q.C. and Mr. Tiruchelvam, Q.C. and 67 lawyers, he said, appeared for him. It is common knowledge that the validity of the Emergency Regulations was questioned, and the 3 High Court Judges held that they were not properly framed and acquitted him. An appeal filed against that decision was withdrawn by the Attorney-General. Mr. Amirthalingam, it may be said, obtained his acquittal on a point of law which he was entitled to do.

198. But it struck me that Mahatma Gandhi, whose leadership and example have so often been referred to, would have spurned to follow the course pursued by Mr. Amirthalingam ; for the Mahatma proclaimed that Civil Disobedience was his object and the course of action he had decided to follow. He gave the government of India ample opportunities to prosecute him for breaches of the law, he submitted himself to the penalties prescribed by the laws he broke, he went to prison on innumerable occasions, and on one memorable day when he was brought before a Magistrate he urged that he should be given the maximum penalty, for that was the only way the Magistrate could properly carry out his duty. The Mahatma never permitted any lawyer to adduce arguments against the validity of the laws he intentionally broke, nor indeed (as far as I am aware) did he permit any lawyer to appear for him and try to secure his acquittal.

199. Mahatma Gandhi fought for independence, but throughout his life he preached and practiced non-violence. As Viscount Samuel said of him : “Protest, persuasion disobedience if need be ; but not force, not killing of opponents, not outrage, not rebellion—that was and is his message. It is conduct that is essentially religious, in the best sense of that often misused word—what other man, looking back on his record, can survey achievements such as these…. leadership in uplifting the spirit and exalting the dignity of a vast nation ; leadership in showing the world of today and of tomorrow that the greatest results in the field of public affairs can be won by the sheer power of the human spirit, without the brutality of force” This was the tribute paid by one great statesman to another whom he acknowledged as a true leader.

200. On the evidence I have already set out, and further evidence which I shall set out, what right has Mr. Amirthalingam to claim, when questioned about the usual day of mourning on 22nd May, 1973, “Our action was essentially and fully peaceful, and to the best of my knowledge there was no violence. Our actions did not involve violence anywhere”. Does he wish me to believe that in the face of the prolonged and almost continuous campaign of civil disobedience carried on by the T.U.L.F. and its associated youth movements which involved murders, acts of arson, attempted murders, bombings, acts of mischief done against public property, forcible prevention of children attending school on the so-called days of mourning and hartals, forcible closing of shops, intimidation of witnesses who could have spoken to various crimes, killings of persons who were brave enough to give information to the Police regarding breaches of the laws of the land, violence against Police Officers who were brave enough to carry on their public duties in spite of all efforts to destroy them, and, most regrettable of all, the failure of his party members to openly condemn the commission of such crimes or to express their sympathy towards the victims, he believed it was all done peacefully and without violence ?

201. I have digressed from my account of the events which Mr. Seneviratne was describing, because I wished to emphasis the difference between the practice of the Gandhian principles professed by the T.U.L.F. and the practice of them by Gandhi himself. It was said of Gandhi that “he was an entirely new kind of rebel, filled with love and devoted to non-violence, always faithfully warming his opponents of what he was going to do before he did it”. He wished to introduce religion into politics, for he believed that “those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means. Politics without religion are a death-trap because they kill the soul”. The T.U.L.F. carried out their campaign of Civil Disobedience year after year in their own way, and they probably thought that by doing so they would achieve their goal of a separate state. To my mind, they were creating a very bad impression on the successive governments that ruled Sri Lanka and the rest of the people of the country, because the use of force and violence is not the lawful or constitutional way to win a fight for freedom. The use of the label ” Gandhian “ to describe the methods by which they intended to win their struggle is completely unjustified, for there is no similarity whatever between their methods and the methods prescribed by that great man. No religion worthy of that name tolerates violence. It is quite wrong to think that it is permissible to use violence to achieve political aims, or that Gandhi would have countenanced such a method.

202. In 1976 the non-aligned nations held their Conference at Colombo from 4th to 22nd August. The T.U.L.F. chose this period to indulge in a campaign of violence presumably to draw the attention of the world leaders who attended it to the plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The method adopted was to commit criminal offences in Jaffna ; such as burning buses and railway carriages, blowing up a transformer at Mavittapuram, and other acts against government property, and even an attempted murder of Mr. Arulampalam on 4th August. Mr. Seneviratne has mentioned 3 instances of railway carriages being set on fire and 4 instances of C.T.B. buses having been attacked in the same way. In one case he said, the Police had to fire when a bus was stopped, the conductor’s collections were looted, and the bus set on fire.

203. If the purpose of the T.U.L.F. was to attract the attention of visitors to Sri Lanka, they would also have proved to them that there was a part of this island where there prevailed a brazen disregard of the law, and public property was willfully destroyed, by the enemies of peace and order.

204. Mr. Seneviratne referred to 4 bank robberies which were committed in 1976 and 1977. On 5th March, 1976, the bank at Puttur was robbed, and cash and jewellery valued at 6 lakhs were stolen. On 10th May, 1976, the bank at Puloly was robbed, and cash and jewellery valued at 8 lakhs were stolen. A

Police team which included Inspector Pathmanathan, P.C. Karunanidhi and P.C. Shanmuganathan recovered a part of the stolen articles. On 8th September, 1977, a bank at Navanthurai was robbed, and on 12th September, 1977, a bank at Atchuvely was robbed during communal disturbances.

205. On 6th July, Mr. Seneviratne reported to the D.I.G. Police that a movement named the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation consisted of violent youths who had the backing of the T.U.L.F., and was the strong arm of the T.U.L.F. although the T.U.L.F. did not openly accept them. I consider that Mr. Seneviratne was justified in taking this view.

206. A report dated 31st July, 1976, was sent by an officer of the District Intelligence Bureau, Jaffna, to the Superintendent of Police, I.S.D. Colombo. It described a “reception meeting to the released Tamil youths at the T. U. L. F. Office, Jaffna”, on that same day. It states that “15 youths were released from detention recently, out of which 12 of them attended this reception meeting on being invited by the T. U. L. F. and T. Y. F. (which means Tamil Youth Front). Mr. A. Amirthalingam offered each of them a Rising Sun flag by putting the flags on their shoulders”.

207. The report gives a “gist of the speeches”, and I quote from it (l) Mr. V. N. Navaratnam. M.P., said that “the Government was made to believe by the pro-government personalities that if the youths were arrested and detained, every activity by the youth and by the T. U. F. (then) will cease and the subsequent happenings had made the government to believe that they have under-estimated the strength and support to the youths from the youth population. He posed the question, whether the government was able to put down the activities of the youths after having those youths in detention for years. No, he said, instead situations became worse, and even today thousands of youths are eagerly awaiting a day to enter jail having committed political actions. He said that the youths need not fear, but listen to the orders of the leaders, and act in a non-violent way when the green light is switched on”.

208. (2) Mr. M. Sivasithamparam, Secretary General, said that “more than the leaders, those youths who are here are heroes, because all Tamil leaders have not entered detention camp and endured hardships as those youths have suffered. He said that the youths who have now been Charged for Duraiappah murder will be definitely saved by the Tamil Attorneys at Law and they are awaiting the day of the case. Youths need not fear to enter the liberation struggle, as the leaders will lead them. Only thing is for the youths to follow their footsteps”.

209. (3) Mr. A. Amirthalingam, General Secretary, said that “the case that is now going on in Colombo against the Tamil leaders has a different aspect, and the youths charged for Duraiappah’s murder has another aspect. These youths have been given false charges and fabricated ones, and it is the duty of the T. U. L. F. to contest the case and expose many things arising out of it. The case against the leaders has become a world known one, and it is a victory for the Tamils. He said, as planned out, the Fast unto Death of the Tamil youths in detention will take place on 5th August, 1976, if the government fails to maintain charges on them or release them before the 6th. He said this fast is going to create another history to the Tamils. He said during the fast by the youths in detention is in progress, the Tamils and Tamil youths outside here should not enjoy, but must be alive to the day by day position of the fasting youths. He said the T. U. L. F. leaders are always prepared to run to the rescue of the youths”.

210. Can the relationship between the T. U. L. F. and the youths be made plainer? I consider that those speeches show plainly that the T. U. F. or T. U. L. F. were entirely in sympathy with the activities of the youths, and those activities would not cease as a result of their detention but would become worse (Mr. Navaratnam). Moreover, the youths who had been detained were described as heroes, those charged with the murder of Duraiappah would be definitely saved by the Tamil Attorneys at Law, and the leaders would lead the youths in the liberation struggle (Mr. Sivasithamparam). Further, the T. U. L. F. will contest the case against those charged with the murder or Duraiappah, and the T. U. L. F. leaders are always prepared to run to the rescue of the youths (Mr. Amirthalingam).

211. It would not be out of place to refer to an incident which, according to Mr. Seneviratne, S.P., occurred opposite the Jaffna Police Station on 21st August, 1976.

212. Mr. Amirthalingam complained that in 1976 he and Mr. Sellathambu, then M.P. for Vavuniya, and a number of lawyers had gone to the entrance to the Jaffna Fort in order to visit the prison inside the Fort. They went to meet some young men from Killinochchi who were being released from prison that day. They were refused entry by the Police on duty, so they turned back.

213. He said that as they passed the Police barracks, stones were thrown at his car. He went to the S.P.’s Office and complained to the S.P. The latter treated him in an off-hand manner and told him to make his complaint to the Reserve P.C.- While he was making his complaint, some policemen from the barracks and others from the Jaffna Stadium came out and attacked his car, in which his wife was seated, and damaged it. He himself was assaulted by a constable when an A.S.P. was by him. He complained that although the assailant was identified, no proper action was taken.

214. Mr. Navaratnam, M.P., stated that this was the last straw on the camel’s back in Police-public relations. He was one of the party which went with Mr. Amirthalingam to gain admission to the Fort that day. He thought that if the same action had been taken as was taken, at about the same time, after an eminent lawyer was assaulted by the Police at Moratuwa Police Station, the incidents that followed in August 1977 would never have occurred.

215. Mr. Seneviratne gave his version of what had happened. He said that on that day Mr. Amirthalingam, Mr. Yogeswaran (who were not M.PP. then) along with 2 M.PP., Mr. Dharmalingam and Mr. Sellathambu, tried to enter Jaffna Fort, which is an area which can be entered only on a permit which they did not have. They had gone in order to receive, garland and take away some youths who were being released from prison after they had served sentences for disturbing the proceedings of the Magistrate’s Court, Kilinochchi.

216. They were refused admission, and on their way back Mr. Amirthalingam complained at the Police Station that some object had been thrown at his car in which Mrs. Amirthalingam was travelling. Mr. Seneviratne said that he asked A.S.P., J. M. Perera, to record the complaint. But as Mr. Amirthalingam wanted the statement to be recorded in the Information Book, P.C. Selladorai recorded the statements of the members of the party in the information Book on the S.P’s instructions. The S.P. left for his residence while they were being recorded, and he was not present when the car was damaged and Mr. Amirthalingam was assaulted, but he returned on hearing those incidents.

217. An identification parade of 107 Policemen was held, but none of the witnesses could identify the assailant. However, 2 civilian clerks informed Mr. Seneviratne that they identified P.C. Ranasinghe as the assailant. He was interdicted forthwith, and after protracted proceedings he was dealt with departmentally and dismissed with effect from 27th January, 1978, although the disciplinary inquiry was held on the day of the incident, and Mr. Amirthalingam gave evidence at the inquiry.

217A. Having heard both versions of this matter, I am satisfied that the action taken by Mr. Seneviratne was sufficient in all the circumstances and nothing more could have been done to deal with the breach of discipline on the part of P.C. Ranasinghe. The delay in completing the disciplinary proceedings was not due to any default of Mr. Seneviratne.

218. Nobody should condone any breach of discipline by a Police Officer and it has not been condoned in this instance. Mr. Amirthalingam and Mr. Navaratnam should be satisfied with the outcome of the action taken, promptly, even though the delay to terminate the preceding was unfortunate.

219. I have no doubt that Mr. Amirthalingam himself felt that a criminal prosecution of the culprit would not succeed, or he would have commenced proceedings in his own name as he was entitled to do. Being a lawyer he would have appreciated the difficulty of following such a course.

220. A report by the O.I.C., D.I.B., Jaffna to the S.P., I.S.D., Colombo dated 12th September, 1976, describes the arrival of Mr. Amirthalingam, Secretary-General, T.U.L.F., at Jaffna, on the previous day by train. A gathering of about 1,000, mostly youths, was there. He was garlanded and carried to the front verandah. Speeches were made by Mr. N. Sivasithamparam and Mr. Amirthalingam, and I give some extracts from them.

221. Mr. Sivasithamparam said that the T.U.L.F. had indicated to the world the unity of all the Tamils in Ceylon. Whatever the government may do to crush their movement by enacting laws, the Tamils have proved that they can overcome these by defeating them. He appealed to the youths to be disciplined and to carry out instructions of the leaders of the T.U.L.F.

222. Mr. Amirthalingam said that the victory in the case was a victory for all the Tamils in the country. The case had made history by proving that the government had carried on all sorts of illegal activities. Foreign papers and radios were anxious to know about the case and the result, because similar situations prevailed in some of those countries. He gave his lawyers credit for the result. The Tamils were able to win the case because of their intelligence, hard work and ability. Immediately after the case they had gone to Welikada Prison and met the youths in custody and informed them of the victory and assured them that the T.U.L.F. will do their best to pull them out. He also said that they have got the first victory over Duraiappah’s case.

223. He said that in the coming months there will be unrest in the country and there will be some trouble in the South, and that calamity must be made use of by Tamils to intensify their movement. Till such time as the youth are called upon, the youths must be disciplined and wait for orders. The leaders were prepared to undergo any consequences-imprisonment, fine or forfeiture of property, and when the time comes the youths must be prepared even to kiss the rope.

224. If further evidence of. the relationship between the T.U.L.F. and the youths is sought, it will be found here.

225. Mr. Seneviratne referred to robberies of guns which went on continuously. He also referred to two thefts of chemicals in 1976, one from the Hindu College, Urumpirai, and the other from Kankesanturai. They were probably used in the manufacture or explosives.

226. Coming to 1977, the Emergency lapsed on 17th February, and the youths who were in custody were released, apparently on 16th February. There was a reception to them that day at Jaffna Railway Station, and a report of this event was made by members of the District Intelligence Bureau to the O.I.C. of the Bureau, Jaffna, on the following day.

227. It states that at about 3.25 p.m. P. Sathyaseelan, S. Senathirajah alias Mavai Senathirajah of Maviddapuram, P. V. Tissevirasingham of Uduvil, T. Jeevarajah of Chavakachcheri and N. Anandavinayagam alias Vannai Anandan of Vannarponnai arrived at the Station. The train, which was fully crowded mostly with youths who had Rising Sun flags, was late by two hours because the youths were stopping it by pulling the communication cord at stations, to enable the general public to garland and receive the released youths.

228. When the released youths got out of the train they were decorated with Rising Sun flags instead of garlands, and carried to the outer verandah of the station. Speeches were then made by four persons, and I quote from the report.

229. Mr. A. Amirthalingam said that he was glad to receive these youths after their detention for 4 years. No one knows what will happen at any time, therefore the youths must be disciplined and extend their support to the T.U.L.F.

230. S. Senathirajah alias Mavai Senathirajah said that he had suffered’ a lot in detention, and hereafter his duty will be to work for the liberation of the Tamil people by achieving Tamil Eelam. He said that to achieve Tamil Eelam he is even prepared to take up arms. Even now he is prepared to go back to jail. He appealed to the youths that they should be disciplined under the leadership of Amirthalingam.

231. P. Sathyaseelan said that he had come out of jail after a period of 4 years, and even now he is prepared to go back to jail. But his ambition is to fight for the liberation of the Tamils an a Tamil Eelam achieved. He wanted the youths to get united under the T.U.L.F. banner and join in numbers to enter jail during the struggle for Tamil Eelam.

232. N. Anandavinayagam alias Vannai Anandan spoke about his sufferings in Jail, especially during the fast unto death. They decided to end the fast after a letter from S. J. V. Chelvanayakam was handed to Kasi Anandan, in which he appealed to the youths to break the fast because he could not lose youths whose services were needed by the Tamils at that time.

233, After this speech the gathering dispersed and the released youths were taken in the motor vehicles of the leaders. The crowd that assembled was about 700.

234. The “fast unto death” which has been mentioned by Anandavinayagam in his speech was, according to letters produced in evidence, started by the detainees on 5th August, 1976. On 12th August, a letter was sent by Mr. Chelvanayakam to the Prime Minister in which he stated that the decision of the youths in detention was that only a group of five of them could vary the decision to fast. Those five were Kasi Anandan, Senathirajah, Anandavinayagam, Muthukumarasamy and Sathyaseelan. He asked that he and two others be allowed to meet those five. On 15th August, Mr. Chelvanayakam wrote to the Commissioner of Prisons expressing his great relief that the Commissioner had been “able to persuade the young men concerned to take milk once a day ‘ On 16th August, the Prime Minister informed Mr. Chelvanayakam that those who were detained were security risks, and there was no necessity for anyone’s intervention. On 24th August, the Prime Minister’s Secretary informed Mr. Chelvanayakam that the detenus had given up their fast.

235. I have considered the reports made of the speeches delivered on 31st July, 1976 and 16th February, 1977, when the T. U. L. F. leaders welcomed the youths on their release from detention. It is clear to me that the T. U. L. F. and the youths who had been in custody were in league, as parts of one movement dedicated to the winning of independence and establishment of a separate Tamil State. It is also clear that the youths were ready and willing to use arms in the pursuit of their aims, and Mavai Senathirajah’s speech is a proclamation of their intention to do just that. There are other parts of the evidence which lend support to my view.

236. Mr. Seneviratne spoke to thefts of firearms in 1977 between 15th August and 2nd September, giving the following particulars :—

On 15th August, at Kokkuvil a gun was robbed.

On 16th August, guns were robbed at Urumpirai.

On 17th August, a revolver, 2 rifles and 3 shot guns were stolen from Valvettiturai Customs House ; a rifle and a revolver were stolen from the Point Pedro Customs House ; 13 guns, 4 revolvers, one pistol and a sword were stolen from Chavakachcheri Court House ; a gun was robbed at Araly West ; and a Naval party led by Sub-Lieutenant Lingam detected the transport of 3 guns in a van which had been robbed.

On 18th August, a gun belonging to one Fernando was robbed at Chundikulam.

On 19th August, 2 guns were stolen at Atchuvely.

On 20th August, one revolver and 20 rounds of ammunition were stolen from Point Pedro Excise Station.

On 24th August, a gun was robbed at Chunnakam.

On 2nd September, a gun was stolen in Jaffna.

237. Another grave offence was committed on 18th August, viz., the theft of chemicals from M.P.C.S. Stores at Mathagal. The quantity was described as being sufficient to manufacture 30,000 hand bombs, or to destroy the entire Jaffna Peninsula.

238. Other incidents that happened in the North and elsewhere during the period 13th August to 15th September, 1977, upon which I have been asked to report, are dealt with elsewhere in this Report.

239. It is when dealing with the causes that led to the incidents of that particular period, and the measures that may be necessary to prevent the recurrence of such incidents, which I have also been asked to report on, that J have found it necessary to mention incidents that have occurred both before- and after that period.

240. It seems to me that, before I consider the measures necessary to prevent the recurrence of incidents such as those of August and September 1977, I have to inquire into the developments that have occurred since that period. Have the relations between the T. U. L. F. and the youth movement on thee one hand and the Police and security forces on the other improved ? Has the situation in regard to the maintenance of law and order deteriorated, and are- further measures necessary to ensure peace in the North or anywhere else in the Island ?

241. I have already mentioned the murders of 9 Police Officers (including. retired Inspector Kumaru). More were to follow. On 5th December, 1978, P.C. Kingsley Perera and P.C. Satchithananda were killed during the Nallur Bank robbery. 3 more were murdered by terrorists, for that is what I would choose to call them. They were P. C. Gnanasambandan of the C. I. D. on 1st February 1979, when he was inquiring into the destruction by fire of an “avro” aero plane belonging to the Government owned Air Ceylon ; P.C. Sivanesan killed on 21st March, 1979 ; and Inspector Gurusamy on 1st July, 1979. The last named officer gave evidence before this Commission in Jaffna, in 1978.

242. Such brazen defiance of the criminal law cannot be disregarded by the authorities responsible for preserving the peace and the security of the State. Stringent, even severe, measures are necessary to stamp out the prevalence of such heinous crimes. Hatred for the so-called “army of occupation” or “Police dogs” and those who assisted them to trace the criminals cannot possibly justify murder ; and no decent, responsible person will, encourage or show any sympathy for the evil-minded men who broke the law with impunity.

243. It is both regrettable and significant that no sympathy or regret was expressed by the T. U. L. F. or by the terrorist youths over the deaths of these officers. Equally disturbing is the fact that none of these murders has been,  solved, no culprits have been traced, and no evidence has been forthcoming in regard to the circumstances under which the murderers did their foul deeds. What is indisputable and points the finger of guilt against the T. U. L. F. and their youthful allies as the culprits, is that in meeting after meeting held by the T. U. L. F. and their associates the speakers have repeatedly attacked the Police and referred to them as “Police dogs”. Not a single case has been mentioned where any Sinhalese has used this term of abuse against the Police in the Northern Province.

244. I may comment again at this point on the T.U.L.F. claim to be following the Gandhian ideals and principles. Nothing could be further from the truth. I quote from a letter which Mahatma Gandhi wrote to the Viceroy (Lord Irwin) on 2nd March, 1930: ” My personal faith is absolutely clear. I cannot intentionally hurt anything that lives, much less human beings even though they may do the greatest wrong to me and mine. Whilst, therefore, I hold the British rule to be a curse, I do not intend harm to a single Englishman or to any legitimate interest he may have in India”. I suggest that those who profess to follow Gandhian ideals and principles should ponder over those words and try to live according to those principles.

245. Having completed the grim story of the murders of Police officers, I might mention 3 cases where Police informants were killed in 1978. On 14th January, one Thangarajah, an informant of Inspector ThamotheramPillai, was killed ; on 14th November, an informant Poopalasingham who gave certain information regarding the detention of the “Avro” aircraft was killed ; and on 13th December, another informant named Selvaraja was killed after he gave information about the Nallur Bank robbery. On 21st March, 1979, a Police informant T. Amirthalingam was shot dead.

246. When Mr. Amirthalingam was being cross-examined by Mr. Wijetunge, he was asked about the Tiger Movement which came into prominence after the 1977 communal disturbances. He admitted that there had been a certain number of violent acts which had taken place in the North, but he could not find that there was such a movement in existence. He denied that it was a part of the T.U.L.F., and relied on statements made by Brigadier Ranatunge and Superintendent of Police Egodapitiya to the effect that the violent youth movement was not supported by, or connected to, any political movement.

247. Brigadier Ranatunge giving evidence stated that he was in command of the Jaffna Peninsula from May 1978, till the end of May 1979. He had visited Mr. Amirthalingam on a number of occasions and discussed the security situation, among other things with him.

248. He denied that he told Mr. Amirthalingam that there was no connection between the terrorists in the North and any political party in the North. He did tell Mr. Amirthalingam that he had information that the T.U.L.F. had connections with the Tiger Movement, obviously referring to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which was proscribed by law.

249. On 3rd April, 1979, he gave an interview to the local pressmen of Jaffna, who questioned him, when he was asked whether there is any political party or politician backing the Tigers or terrorists, he replied that the matter was under investigation and he could not say whether there was any connection he also said that he did not expect any movement to give any support to them, or did he expect that anybody would like to see atrocities and harm being committed by them.

250. When he saw the report in the newspaper, he gave his observations on it to the Army Commander on 4th April.

251. Brigadier Ranatunge also stated that the Intelligence Division of the Army sent him intelligence reports, from which he learnt that there was a connection between the T.U.L.F. and the Terrorist Movement in the North.

251. He mentioned that Army personnel are not welcome in the North, and are referred to as an Army of occupation, and the Police are referred to as Police dogs. The leaders made frivolous and baseless complaints against the Army even in peaceful times, but in other parts of the country where he had commanded troops, he had received a lot of co-operation from the people of the area.

252. He also observed that prior to the outbreak of violence in August 1977, there were large numbers of Sinhalese people residing in the North, but after those disturbances the great majority of them have not returned, because they are afraid to risk their lives. They feel that they are not wanted there, and they have problems about getting places in which to live. On this point, Mr. Egodapitiya has said that the Sinhalese population in his time or service there was 1,162 out of a total population of about 780,000.

253. I do not think that Mr. Amirthalingam is entitled to claim that Brigadier Ranatunge was of the view that the violent youth movement or the Tiger Movement had no connection with the T.U.L.F.

254. Mr. Egodapitiya, a senior Superintendent of Police with 33 years or service, was S.P. Jaffna from 5th July, 1978 to 5th May, 1979. He has mentioned some of the crimes committed during his stay there, and I shall refer to them.

255. In July, 1978, a retired public servant, Mr. Thuraisingham, was shot dead on his verandah. Four days later, Mr. Arulampalam who was living two doors away, was shot at by a gang that attacked his house, but he escaped by running into his house.

256. The evidence of Mr. Egodapitiya showed that Mr. Arulampalam was a close supporter of the S.L.F.P. government and had been the Political Authority for Jaffna during its regime. Five attempts were made on his life ; and on the advice of the Police he went to live in a safer part of the country, Colombo. He had opposed the T.U.L.F. in politics, and I think it is clear that he was the target of his political opponents.

257. Four cases of robbery were next mentioned by Mr. Egodapitiya. Two of them on C.T.B. buses, one of a cigarette company van where Rs. 15,000 was taken at revolver point, and the fourth where the Tinnavelly Post Office was robbed of about Rs. 10,000 also at revolver point.

258. On the night of 7th September, 1978, a C.T.B. bus was attacked ; the attackers took the money which the conductor had, and the bus was set on fire. Then followed the robbery of school teachers’ salaries in a school at Point Pedro, and an attack at Inuvil on a railway station by an armed gang who stole the station master’s belongings, gagged him and put him into a room.

259. On 5th December, 1978, the bank at Nallur was robbed, 2 constables were kiIIed and a third constable shot and injured, and over a million rupees stolen.

260. A hiring car was stopped by a youth, and later two more youths entered it. They tied up the car driver and put him into the boot of the car. A Co-operative Society Manager taking Rs. 3,000, presumably to a bank, was stopped by these persons who robbed him of the money.

261. Mr. Egodapitiya rightly said that the attacks were mainly directed against State establishments and employees, such as Co-operative Stores, Banks, School teachers, Railway Stations and their employees. The culprits, were in search of large sums of money, and were defying the government. Youths were usually the persons who acted in defiance of the laws, even to the extent of killing the Policemen who were the guardians of the law. He made the point which has been made by other Police Officers, and which I consider a very significant feature in the catalogue of crimes, that the T.U.L.F. leaders were noteworthy absentees at the funerals of murdered Police Officers. What is more, those leaders never expressed sympathy with the deceased relatives, or disapproval of the acts of the criminals who committed those crimes. Even when offences went unsolved through the absence of witnesses, did the leaders of the community urge that it was the duty of citizens to assist in the investigation of offences, and that those who had any information or knowledge of the offences should go forward and state what they know ? Is that not a duty cast on the leaders who wish to see offenders brought to Book ? Why are leaders who are so vociferous on other matters reduced to silence on such occation?

262. Mr. Egodapitiya was questioned about an interview he gave the Press, in order to find a way of improving the conditions then prevailing in the North It also concerned the statement made in Parliament by Mr. Amirthalingam, that Brigadier Ranatunge and Mr. Egodapitiya had stated that there was no connection between any political party and the terrorist movement in Jaffna.

263. The witness’s answer was that on 27th March, 1979, the press had asked him whether the T.U.L.F. was behind the criminal activities. In reply, he told them that he could not give a direct answer to the question. He explained to them the background of the youth activities from about 1972, the involvement of the youths in criminal acts, the difficulty of apprehending them, the absence of eye-witnesses and direct evidence about the incidents. In these circumstances, while there was nothing directly to indicate that the youths were connected with any political party, it had to be remembered that the T.U.L.F. had not condemned the actions of the youths ; if they had condemned them, the public of Jaffna may help to solve the crimes. The witness also produced a copy of the letter he wrote on 5th April, 1979, to the D.I.G. (Administration) in similar terms. I think there is much significance in the witness’s position that, by not condemning the actions of the youths, the T.U.L.F. is at least failing in its duty to do its utmost to obtain the co-operation of the public in reducing crime, particularly at it claims to have the support of a majority of the inhabitants of the North.

264. The witness has referred, in his letter to the D.I.G., to the reception given by the T.U.L.F. leaders to Senathirajah when he was released from custody. He gave his reason for that by stating that the T.U.L.F. were using the youths for their political ends. By so stating, it seems to me that the witness has expressed the view that there is a connection between the T.U.L.F. and the terrorist movement, for the youths comprise the terrorists. In fact he so admitted, in answer to Mr. Goonetilleke a little later.

265. From 1st to 7th February, 1979, school children were made to boycott their schools during the Independence anniversary celebrations, when the Prime Minister of India was in Sri Lanka on a State Visit. I strongly feel that school children should not be used as weapons or tools by one or the other parties to a political dispute. Those who indulge in such unworthy tactics display their ignorance of the true purpose of education. To force a child to show disrespect for the national flag, or the government of the country, is to start him on the road to becoming a traitor to his country. Many great writers have said that ” moral education is impossible without an habitual vision of greatness ” ” the vision of greatness is communicable and all education requires such habitual vision”.

266. School children have keener minds than some politicians think, and I am sure that they would have little respect for men who used compulsion to keep them away from their schools and exhibited such slogans as “you have been made President to make this beautiful Lanka a cemetery “. ” If you cannot rule the country. get out ” ; ” If the Tamils rise up the Sinhalese race will be exterminated : ” Let us rise against the Sinhalese government. We shall definitely achieve a Tamil State of our own ” ; ” Those who betray the Tamil race will be food for the Tigers “. and other such puerile expressions of hate. According to Mr. Egodapitiya about 50,000 students did not attend schools during that period ; the T.U.L.F. did not condemn this compulsory absence : and this sad state of affairs occurred in a part of this Island, where, at one time, education was given pride of place.

267. Mr. Egodapitiya further staled that in Match 1979, a bus was waylaid and a mail bag containing Rs. 20,000, was robbed Two constables who tried to interfere were shot at. That incident was in the Killinochchi area. He mentioned that in every such politically motivated case which was taken to Court, T.U.L.F. M.PP who are lawyers appeared and defended the accused. This gave the public the impression that those accused are backed by T.U.L.F. politicians, and the accused had the feeling that the politicians will protect them. The speeches of welcome made, when the youths returned to Jaffna from detention in jail, certainly went beyond the reception which a lawyer doing his professional duty by his client would accord the latter. Those receptions clearly show that T.U.L.F. leaders, including T.U.L F. lawyers, were closely connected politically with those youths.

268. Mr. Egodapitiya and Mr. A. S. Seneviratne referred to the stringent disciplinary action taken in the Jaffna peninsula against Policemen by their superior officers, in order to eliminate any possibility of false charges being made by public. There had been interdictions and dismissals of officers who had been guilty of breaches of discipline. But there had also been attacks on Police officers which caused them to live in a state of fear. They had been killed, and up to the time of his giving evidence he felt that the situation was continuing to deteriorate.

269. I have already expressed my own view, which is that the T. U. L. F. and the youth movement which was responsible for a great deal of violence in the Northern Province were closely connected with each other. It does not matter much by what name any group of youths chose to call themselves ; what is important is that certain named youths who were taken into custody having been suspected of violence and as being security risks, have received the enthusiastic support of the leaders and other members of the T. U. L. F. when they were released ; and the speeches made by T. U. L. F. leaders and the members of the group taken into custody have made it clear that they are very closely connected and have the same aims, and are dedicated to working together to achieve their aims.

270. Mr. Amirthalingam stated under cross-examination by Mr. Wijetunge that he had categorically stated in Parliament that the T. U. L. F. dissociated themselves from the acts of violence in the North in the name of the so-called youth league. I can only say that this disclaimer is entirely inconsistent with the proved association of the T. U. L. F. and prominent youth movement members, who have appeared together on many occasions and expressed their close association with each other. I have no sympathy with persons who say one thing in Parliament or in the newspapers and say the exact opposite when they find themselves in the company of persons with whom they are accused of associating.

271. There have been many occasions on which Mr. Amirthalingam has stated that the T. U. L. F. and the youths should work together and the youths should extend their support to the T. U. L. F. The youths in their speeches made on occasions when T. U. L. F. leaders were present, have explicitly stated, that they were prepared to take up arms. When a report of a speech made by Mr. Amirthalingam, appearing in the newspaper ” Suthanthiram ” of 10th August, 1977, containing the words ” If peaceful means fail, we will get support from anywhere anyone, and even if there is bloodshed we will achieve our freedom “, was put to him, he admitted that the substance of his speech was contained in those words. He tried to make out that the blood was to be shed by him and his supporters. I do not accept that interpretation. There had been numerous speeches made form T. U. L. F. platforms which show that violence was one method/which would be adopted if other means fail. Their very actions in holding meetings at which youths made speeches using the language of violence show that non-violence was not their only means of achieving their aims.

272. Mr. Yogeswaran in his evidence said he was aware that a bomb was kept in or flung into Mr. Duraiappah ‘s car ; that in 1972 the house of Sivasothy (A L. S. S. P. supporter) was bombed, as also the house of Attorney Viswanathan ; and that in July 1975, Mr. Duraiappah was shot and killed. He admitted that on 30th July, 1977, at Valvettiturai he said in a speech that Tamil youths were in forefront of the Tamil Liberation Movement. He also remembered the time when a large number of Tamil youths were taken into custody for alleged participation in several political crimes ; he welcomed them on their release and return to Jaffna. He was aware that several Tamil youths were taken into custody in connection with Bank robberies and other robberies in Jaffna.

273. He stated in evidence that a Tamil State is a definite reality, though the government would not grant it. The Tamils will be a hindrance to the progress of the government owing to recurring communal disturbances. ” We cannot help it, if there is chaos “, he added. It was a ” Sinhalese government ” because it was elected by Sinhalese to look after Sinhalese interests. So far as the Tamils are concerned, it is a foreign government which has no right to govern the Tamil people “We hope the police would arrest us, ” he added ” and would fill the jails and make it impossible for the government to rule us in the North and East ‘ These strong expressions of disloyalty were spoken deliberately and were no doubt carefully weighed.

274. I shall now give a few instances of the advocacy of violent methods to achieve freedom from reports of election meetings held during the general election campaign of 1977. (l) At a T. U. L. F. meeting held on 11th July, 1977, at Pandarikulam in support of the candidature of Mr. Sivasithamparam for the Vavuniya seat, one Pusparasa used these words : ” This is an election where the T. U. L. F. will be contesting. If the demands of the T. U. L. F. are not acceded to, the arms and ammunition in the hands of the Tamil youths will explode”.

(2) At a T. U. L. F. meeting held on 13th July, 1977, at Nochimootai in support of the same candidate, one Santhathiyar in the course of his speech said our T. U. L. F. cannot achieve our demands by peaceful means, we will have pacts with foreign countries to get weapons and fight against those police who arrested us, these prisons where we were tortured, and those courts where injustices were done to us. By doing this we will achieve our rights”.

(3) At that same meeting a speech was made by Pushparasa already mentioned, in which he said If any member of the T. U. F. or a T. U. L. F. member of Parliament of the National State Assembly caused a split of the party by joining with any other party or government and betrayed us, what happened to Alfred Duraiappah will happen to them”. The same speaker also said ” Every mother who sends her son to the battle front… Tamil Eelam will dawn on the blood from the battle field and the tears of the mothers who are at home”. These speeches were recorded by Inspector Kandasamy, then at Vavuniya, who reproduced the words used by the speakers in Tamil. I accept his record as a correct version of what was said by the speakers.

(4) Retired Inspector Nathan, who was also then in the Vavuniya Police Station, has produced a record of statements made at a T. U. L. F. meeting held on 13th July, 1977, at Pathiniymylankulam, also in support of Mr. Sivasithamparam’s candidature. Pushparajah stated during his speech ” This is the last election for Tamils in Sinhala Sri Lanka. If the independence of Tamil Eelam cannot be obtained by peaceful means, the youngsters are prepared to gain the same by use of weapons. If any member of the T. U. L. F., or any T. U. L. F., M.P. betrays the Tamils, what happened to Duraiappah will happen to him “. He further stated that ” he had no belief in elections. He believed in forcible achievement of rights ”

(5) At the same meeting Mrs. Annaletchumi Ponnudurai, the mother Of Sivakumaran who has been mentioned elsewhere in this Report, stated : ” Every mother should send a son to the battle front. It is on the bloodshed by him and the tears of mothers, the freedom of Tamil Eelam will dawn ” Inspector Nathan recorded these speech in Tamil, and I accept his record as a correct version of the speeches.

(6) An officer of the District Intelligence Bureau who gave evidence In camera, stated that on 30th May, 1977, he attended a meeting of the T. U. L, F. at Veemankamam, which was held to commemorate the late Mr. Chelvanayakam. He made notes of a speech made by Mavai Senathirajah in Tamil during which that speaker said : “Our father Mr. Chelvanayakam has since 1947 sacrificed his wealth, his body and his life for the sake of the Tamil people. It is our misfortune that we failed to win a Tamil State of our own during his life time. We will follow his course of action and establish a Tamil State. If such means fail, we will definitely wage war and set up the State”.

275. There is no question that the speaker was urging that If the peaceful means followed by Mr. Chelvanayakam failed to establish a Tamil State, they wilt wage war in order to set it up. “War” in that context is not a peaceful struggle, but a violent one.

(7) Another officer of the District Intelligence Bureau who gave evidence in camera stated that he covered a meeting of the T. U. L. F. held on 19th July. 1977, at Vyaparamoolai in Point Pedro which was addressed by ten speakers. He produced notes of a speech made by Kanaga Manoharan, in support of the T. U. L. F. candidate Mr. K. Thuratratnam. The speaker said : “For us Tamils a separate state is a must. We must fight for it. If the path of nonviolence fails, we will definitely establish a Tamil State even by waging war by force of arms. Nobody can prevent that”.

(8) This officer also produced notes of a speech made by Mavai SenathiraJah at that meeting. He said, “A Tamil State is a must for us. We can never achieve this objective by following the path of non-violence. This can be achieved only by waging war by means of weapons. After this election we will have to take up arms and fight”. The officer had made notes in Tamil which was the language in which these speeches were made. I am satisfied that he correctly recorded what was stated by the speakers.

(9) Another officer of the same Bureau who gave evidence in camera said that he covered a meeting held by the T. U. L. F. on the beach at Valvettiturai on 30th July, 1977, for the purpose of according a reception to the victorious M.PP Of the T. U. L. F. at which a speech was made by Kasi Anandan. He recorded that speech in the course of which the following was said : “The path of non-violence will never be of any help in achieving our independence. We can achieve our independence only by waging war with weapons. For this purpose our youths must flock to us in their thousands”

(10) Another speaker at that meeting was Mr. A. Amirthalingam whose speech was noted by this witness, in course of which he said : “All this time we got no opportunity to fight for our rights. I see that our youths are ever ready to tight with arms. We will tell you when the time comes. Then you will come forward”

276. I am satisfied that this speech also was correctly recorded in Tamil, the language in which it was made. It directly contradicts Mr. Amirthalingam’s. claim that he has never made any inflammatory statements, and that anyone who says he did has been tutored to perjure. He claimed, in evidence, that he had stated in Parliament that his party dissociated themselves acts of violence; but it is obvious that he was consorting with youths who repeatedly said and showed, that they wonld resort to violence and in fact did so. As far back as 24th May. 1972, at a protest meeting against the 1972 Constitution held by the T. U. L. F. Kasi Anandan’s words “Those who voted for this Constitution will not die a natural death” surely should have shown Mr. Amirthalingam that the methods favoured by the Tamil youths were far different from the Gandhian methods. where this struggle for freedom was concerned.

277. I want to make it quite clear, that what is objectionable and worthy of condemnation in the speeches from which I haw quoted, is the expression of views which encourage and instigate the use of violence and weapons in the bid to obtain a separate State. So far as the population of the whole Island is concerned, the claim to a separate state is unpopular and will be resisted by the majority community. Intolerance and persecution of those who hold and express minority opinions, is wrong. So also is the killing of those who oppose or obstruct the achievement of the aims which a minority desires to achieve. It must be remembered that violence or the advocacy of it begets violence, and that is one lesson which the disturbances of August and September 1977 should have taught us all.



(a) A matter which has been mentioned, in the evidence, as a cause of the communal disturbances, was the demand for Tamil Eelam, a separate and independent sovereign State for the Tamil-speaking citizens of Sri Lanka.

02. The political resolution unanimously adopted at the first national Convention of the T. U. L.F. held at Vadukoddai on 14th May, 1976, presided over by Mr. Chelvanayakam, is that “restoration and reconstitution of the Tree Sovereign secular, socialist State of Tamil Eelam based on the right of self-determination inherent to every nation, has become inevitable in order to safeguard the very existence of the Tamil nation in this country”. It was the first time such a demand was made, and the party which till then had been the Tamil United Front changed its name to Tamil United Liberation Front. The essence of the resolution, according to Mr. Amirthalingam, was for the restoration and reconstitution of a separate Tamil State that existed at the time of the European conquest of Ceylon in 1505.

03. Shortly before the Convention, a new organisation called the Muslim United Front had joined the T. U. L. F. after a shooting incident in Puttalam where a few Muslims were killed. They joined apparently on the basis that Tamils include all those in Sri Lanka whose mother tongue is Tamil.

04. The joint Secretary-General of the T. U. L. F. wrote to the then Prime Minister on 25th May, 1976, in reply to a statement made by her on 22nd May, about the civil disobedience campaign of the T. U. L. F. “ours is a non-violent, civil disobedience movement. According to the tenets of Gandhiji’s teachings we shall suffer whatever stern action you propose to take. History has shown such sacrifices triumph in the end”.

05, According to Mr. Amirthalingam, the Northern and Eastern provinces will comprise the new State, and the movement had the support of a large number of Muslim organisations including the Muslim United Front. Maps which have been produced show that on the West also a part of the North-Western Province, including Puttalam, will be included in Eelam. He relied on the manifesto issued in Tamil, and an English translation of it, in connection with the General Election of 1977. It attacked the Republican Constitution of 1972 which, it says, ” has paved the way for the majority community, the Sinhalese, to usurp in full under a facade of sovereignty of the people the totality of political power in this country “.

06. The T. U. L F. Manifesto mentions certain grievances of the Tamils, such as the Citizenship Laws of 1948, the Sinhala Only Act of 1956 and the elevation of this law to constitutional status in the 1972 Constitution. Colonisation schemes started by the government in the ” traditional Tamil homelands “, education, and employment opportunities in the public sector and elsewhere.

07. Liberation will be achieved, according to the Manifesto, by the Tamil speaking members of the National State Assembly forming themselves into the National Assembly of Tamil Eelam drafting a Constitution for a new State, and bringing that Constitution into operation “either by peaceful means or by direct action or struggle”.

08. It is significant that non-violence is not mentioned, and that two alternative methods have been mentioned as and when peaceful means fail. One is entitled to comment on the omission to mention that principle on which the new Constitution was to come into operation, and on the ambiguity of the alternative principles which are given equal place with “peaceful means“. The ambiguity of the langage in which the alternatives are clothed is surely unfortunate.

Mr. Amirthalingam explained that “peaceful means” meant negotiation, “direct action” meant Sathyagraha, “struggle ” meant civil disobedience. But the words “peaceful means” would, if one had no reservations to hide, cover both Sathyagraha and civil disobedience; while “direct action” and “struggle” are elastic terms which are capable of as many interpretations as anyone could imagine; and most important of all is the non-inclusion of any reference to following the tenets of Gandhi’s teaching.

09. Mr. Amirthalingam admitted that if the Constitution of 1978, which declares that the Republic of Sri Lanka is a Unitary State, cannot be amended by peaceful means, Sathyagraha and Civil Disobedience will follow after due notice has been given to the government. Certain civil laws will be broken in a peaceful manner, and arrest and incarceration will be courted. No blood, he said, will be shed by violence on the part of his party; but his party was prepared to shed their own blood when violence is used against them.

10. I think Mr. Amirthalingam’s position is that his political party, of which he is the Leader, is making a claim which it seeks to win by political and peaceful means. It hopes to persuade the government and people of Sri Lanka to recognise the Justice of the claim and grant it, following the method prescribed in the 1978 Constitution for an amendment of any provision of the Constitution.

11. I emphasis that the decision of the T. U. L. F. claim to set up a separate State will then have to be a political one, pursued on legal and constitutional lines. There is no other method that can possibly be considered, or followed, if the demand is that the Constitution should be amended. The only way to amend the Constitution is by persuading and convincing Members of Parliament that the amendment should be allowed. If this fails, then there is no possibility of the claim to Eelam succeeding. And let it be clearly understood beyond any manner of doubt, that any other method of achieving the separate State is unlawful and unconstitutional.

12. I have, perhaps, labored the point which I have been stressing. But it seemed to me that the view I have taken is not generally conceded by members of the T. U. L. F. For instance, Mr. Sampanthan stated that the Tamils have no allegiance to the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; they did not participate in framing it, and they have not accepted it. He explained that he took the Oath of allegiance to it merely for the effective performance of his duties as a Member of Parliament, to use Parliament as a forum for the vindication and achievement of the objectives of his party, and in order to retain his seat. At the same time he stated that his party would not violate the Constitution.

13. He claimed that although the Constitution declares that Sri Lanka is a Unitary State, there are two nations in it, which for centuries occupied certain territories; and that it was the British rulers who, for purposes of administrative convenience, brought these territories together. He admitted that the claim that the Constitution does not bind Tamils is not tantamount to a free license to violate the laws of Sri Lanka. He asserted the right of the Tamils to canvass against the Constitution and to create public opinion against it by lawful means ; and by all democratic means to raise objection to the Constitution, which he termed “a Constitution of Sinhalese Imperialism “. He pinned his hopes on ” the ability of the Sinhalese people, in whom he has the utmost faith, to think correctly, fairly and justly “.

14. I was glad to hear Mr. Sampanthan state that he had always said that speeches advocating violence are against the policy of the T. U. L. F. ; and to hear him express his horror of pamphlets which urged the Tamil people to burn the Sinhalese devil, because the Tamils of Trincomalee do not behave in an inhuman way.

15. I presume, however, that Mr. Sampanthan approved of the alternative methods of bringing the Constitution of Eelam into operation as stated in the Manifesto of his party. I refer to ” Direct action ” and ” struggle “, which even as interpreted by Mr. Amirthalingam would include civil disobedience and the breaking of laws. Gandhi himself did not hesitate to break laws, in pursuance of his civil disobedience campaign.

16. Mr. Yogeswaran made it quite plain that the constitutional methods of achieving Eelam was not the only method so far as he was concerned. ” A Tamil State is a definite reality, though the government would not grant it “, and “we cannot help it, if there is chaos”, he said. He foresaw recurring communal disturbance of the foreign Sinhala government, chaos, jails filled with Tamils, and a state of near anarchy in the North and East because the Tamils will make it impossible for the government to the rule them.

17. It is a far cry from the constitutional amendment method advocated by Mr. Sampanthan wholeheartedly, and by Mr. Amirthalingam perhaps with reservations and reliance on civil disobedience, to the uncompromising, lawless, and defiant struggle for independence planned and advocated by Mr. Yogeswaran. During the General Election campaign speeches have been made at T. U. L. F. meetings, both by T. U. L. F members and members of the Youth Movement which was closely associated with the T. U. L. F., to the effect that Eelam will be set up, if necessary by resort to violence. This aggressive attitude necessarily alarmed and antagonized the Sinhalese, who would not have been slow to react to such a threat when the appropriate moment came.

18. Another ground on which the Eelam demand would have caused resentment among the Sinhalese, or many of them, was the assertion in the Vadukoddai resolution that from the dawn of history the Sinhalese and Tamil nations have divided the possession of Ceylon between them.

19. This claim has been challenged, and it has been asserted that from the dawn of history the Sinhalese and Tamils had been living together in Sri Lanka. It would therefore be correct to say, according to the Venerable Pannaseeha Maha Nayake Thera, that the whole of Sri Lanka is the traditional homeland of the Tamils and the Sinhalese and the other communities that have lived in it.

20. If one were to look for the causes of the August upheaval, the two matters I have just mentioned may be among them. Nobody can seek to justify the violence that occurred. All one can say is that if the violence was occasioned by provocative language used in speeches made at public meetings, or by putting forward claims which are hotly disputed, it may be considered unwise to persist in such a course of conduct.

21. Since the claim to establish a separate State has been consistently maintained up to the present day, I should like to make a few observations on the wisdom of pursuing such a policy. I must state at the outset that I make no claim to be historian, so that I am not qualified to decide the validity of the demand for Eelam. But I make a few observations on the subject since it is closely connected with the matters I have inquired into.

22. It seems to be generally accepted that there had been wars between the Sinhalese and the Tamils, sometimes arising out of invasions by Tamils from South India, or as a result of attacks which Sinhalese from Sri Lanka made in South India. Necessarily, there was a state of uncertainty as to the particular areas over which the Tamils and Sinhalese respectively ruled. Even the T. U. L. F. manifesto speaks of “this background of alternating fortunes”.

23. The Manifesto claims that from the beginning of the 13th century the territory stretching in the western seaboard from Chilaw through Puttalam to Mannar and thence to the Northern Regions and in the East, Trincomalee and also the Batticaloa Regions that extended southwards up to Kumana or to the Northern banks of the river Kumbukkan Oya were firmly established as the exclusive homeland of the Tamils. This is the territory of Tamil Eelam. For several centuries before the advent of Europeans to Ceylon in the 16th Century, the Tamils have been living in this territory under their own kingdom. Tamils reigned supreme in this country with their own national colours and their own military forces. The Portuguese who for over a century were at times entering into treaty relationships with these Tamil kings and at other times meeting them in losing battlefronts finally, in the war of 1619 captured the Tamil King Sankili Kumaran and took him to Goa, where he was hanged “.

24. This claim has been disputed ; though even if it were established, I do not think it would establish the present T. U. L. F. claim. The Venerable Pannaseeha Maha Nayaka Thera in his Memorandum states : “In the 15th” century the kingdom of Jaffna came under the direct rule of the king of Kandy with his seat at Gampola, and the power of the Ariya Chakravarti was broken by Alakeswara. . . The T. U. L. F. Manifesto ignores Alakeswarn and also Sapumal Kumaraya later Bhuvaneka Bahu of Kotte who ruled in Jaffna “.

25. There is also an article by Dr. C. R. de Silva, now Professor of History in the University of Peradeniya, entitled “History and Tamil Eelam” in which he admits he Tamil claim but with qualifications. I shall quote from it at some length. He states : ” A separate kingdom centered in the Jaffna peninsula existed in Sri Lanka from about the early 13th century to 1619. During certain periods within these four centuries this kingdom was the most powerful in Sri Lanka, and for a brief space it even seized the western seaboard almost up to the environs of Colombo. ‘The Portuguese coming to Sri Lanka often used the word Ceylao to denote only that part of Sri Lanka South of the Tamil Kingdom. ”

But for most of the 400 years of its existence it was small and rather weak It never wielded kingdom confined to the Jaffna peninsula and its environs. It newer wielded power over the present Eastern province which the T. U. L. F. claims is part of ” the traditional homeland ” of the Tamils. Nor was it always independent, for it often acknowledged the sovereignty of the dominant power in South India, and it was once overwhelmed by a Sinhala army from the South. ” But what is most significant is that the Tamil kings of the North did not really think of themselves as separatist rulers of a Tamil Kingdom. They, like all Sinhalese kings, aimed ultimately at being Chakravartis, monarchs of all Sri Lanka. It is the later historians (including myself) who have for the sake of convenience written somewhat misleadingly of Kings of Kotte, Kandy and Jaffna. Their inscriptions show that all those rulers considered themselves as rightful and potential kings of a united Sri Lankas.

26. “Indeed, on concentrating their gaze on the reality of a fragmented policy in Sri Lanka in this 400 years period of our history, the T. U. L. F. leaders might well have come to under-estimate the strength of the ideal of a united Island—an ideal fashioned during the first 1,500 years of our history, generally termed the Anuradhapura period, and kept alive by historical writing thereafter. It was an ideal strong enough to persuade the Western colonial rulers—Portuguese, Dutch and British—to place the Northern areas not in the headquarters of their possessions in South India but in Colombo.

But this ideal of unity can be preserved only upon a foundation of justice. Instances of discrimination on the basis of race, language and religion have been rare in our history—at least up to recent times. Tamils rose to high positions under Sinhalese rulers, and Sinhalese willingly accepted the Nayakkars from South India as their rulers. Sinhalese kings set up inscriptions in Tamil as well as in Sinhalese. For many centuries Sinhalese and Tamils have lived in peace and friendship side by side. However, unless justice and fair play are ensured, the idea of unity might soon be belied by the reality of disunion.

“Contemporary conflicts must be solved by examining the problems of the present with the vision of the future. An understanding of the past could help if we are ready to see the whole picture and not just the portions that suit one’s case. Our history is so long and varied that anyone can find instances of division, injustice, conflict and even hatred if he looks hard enough—but are these to be the foundations of our future ? ”

27. It is also important to remember, as Robert N. Kearney has written, that “by the end of the 19th century a considerable part of the Island, including both Sinhalese and Tamils, had been under common foreign rule for three centuries, and the entire Island for nearly a century had lived under a single colonial administration ” (Communalism and Language in the Politics of Ceylon—Duke University Press—1967). From 1619, when the Portuguese came, it has continued to be undivided until the present day, and it was only in 1976 that a demand for a division was made by the T. U. L. F.

28. It is true that there have been occasional outbursts of violence between the Sinhalese and the Tamils in 1956, 1958, 1961 and 1977. Except for these, they have lived amicably together in all parts of the Island for centuries along with the other communities. They have built their places of worship, their sacred monuments, their religious statues, and planted their sacred trees all over the Island from North to South, and East to West. Pilgrimages take place throughout the year to the many shrines without interruption, with millions of devotees belonging to the four principal religions of the World— Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam—taking part.

29. Nothing was further from the minds of the people of Sri Lanka through- out its history than a division of the country, under which a separate area or areas will belong to a particular racial or language group. There has always been freedom of movement from any part of the country to another, for every inhabitant treated it as his own as well as everyone else ‘s and was proud to belong to it and to own it. All races and religions regarded the entire Island as their common home for no part of it was separately owned by any group. Anybody was free to settle and live undisturbed anywhere, and to exercise and enjoy all the rights of a citizen to the fullest extent. The establishment of a separate State to be owned and governed by any particular group of the people will affect and diminish the rights, powers and privileges which are already vested in the entire population. It cannot be permitted, and it will be strenuously resisted, unless the entire nation gives its consent to such a change. Such consent will, if I have correctly read the mood and the temper of the nation never be given ; and any attempt to establish a separate State will inevitably result in civil war and endless bloodshed.

30. The Sri Lanka Tamils, as I call them to distinguish them from the Indian Tamils who are not citizens of Sri Lanka, form about 11 .3 per cent. of the entire population of the Island, according to the 1978 Handbook of Statistics. They do not all live in the area of the proposed new State. The Rev. Fr. Tissa

Balasuriya O. M. I. in an article published in ” Race relations in Sri Lanka ” (April 1978) had discussed the T. U. L. F. demand for Eelam. I understand him to have stated there that the area of Eelam is about one third of the land surface of the whole Island and in 1971 it was occupied by only about two million persons, or less than one sixth of the entire population ; it will have a coast line of about three-fifths of the entire coastline ; and about 85 per cent of the entire population will be cramped into two-thirds of the entire land surface.

    Further points made by Fr. Balasuriya are :

(l) The problem of landlessness, which is already acute in the North Central, South-Western and Central parts of the Island will become even more acute than it is. There will also be enormous economic distortion which will cause havoc to the economy and to social harmony;

(2) At the last General Election 67 per cent of the voters in the Eastern Province cast their votes against the T. U. L. F., so that this party cannot claim that it received a mandate for Eelam in respect of that province. In the Northern province 68.5 per cent of the voters cast their votes for the T. U. L. F. It is debatable whether this would constitute a mandate for Eelam;

(3) There will be a land frontier about 400 miles long which would entail a waste of personnel and funds on both sides of it, to guard it and prevent smuggling;

 (4) It is not at all certain that Tamils now living outside the proposed new State would wish to move into it or become citizens of it. Their future will be in jeopardy ;

(5) The Island’s water supply is derived mainly from the central highlands, and this can be a major source of conflict in the event of a division between the Northern and Southern provinces;

(6) The demand for Eelam has not entirely based on peaceful arguments. Provocative have mentioned the likelihood of help, including arms, being obtained from foreign countries ; disparaging remarks have been made against the Sinhalese and the “Sinhalese government”; the references to the Police Force as “Police dogs”, and to the Army as an “army of occupation” were naturally resented by the Sinhalese who, it can be confidently stated, are definitely opposed to a division of the Island. It cannot, therefore, become a reality.

(7) The increase of population which created unemployment and landlessness has affected the Sinhalese. Thus began the colonising of parts of the Northern, North-Central and Eastern areas of the Island by Sinhalese since the population there was not so dense. This scheme of colonisation has been resented by the Tamils who claim those areas as their “traditional homelands”. This attitude has been resented by the Sinhalese who claim that they are entitled to settle in any part of the Island, which is the common home of all its citizens.

31. Before I conclude my observations on this demand, I should refer to the incidents of 10th January, 1974. A great deal of emphasis was placed, in connection with the demand for a separate State, on the incidents which occurred in Jaffna on 10th January, 1974. The International Association of Tamil Research held its Conference there from 3rd to 9th January; and it was decided by the organizers that a public meeting and distribution of awards should be held on the 10th in the Veerasingham Hall.

32. Dr. K, Mahadeva, the General secretary of the Conference, met Mr. Chandrasekera, A.S.P., on the 10th morning and later they both met Mr. Ariyasinghe, S.P. It was agreed that Dr. Mahadeva should send the S.P. the progamme and the list of speakers at the meeting in making his application for a permit to use a loud speaker. Both Police officers had inquired whether a person called Janatharan was going to speak, and they were informed that he would not be a speaker. It was agreed that this person should not speak.

33. The letter applying for the permit has been produced; it was signed by Mr. V. S. Thurairajah, Chairman, Cultural Progamme. It bears the endorsement made by A.S.P, Chandrasekera, as follows:

“I have issued a L/S Permit subject to the following conditions:-

(I) The meeting will be held only inside Veerasinham Hail using only the public address system therein;

(2) Only those mentioned in the application 10.1.74 made by Mr. V. S. Thurairajah will speak;

(3) Every speaker is prohibited from making any political or controversial speech.”

I have no doubt that a permit containing these conditions was issued the ASP and it was agreed that these conditions should be complied  with by organizers of the meeting.

33A. The significance attached to Janatharan “Security risk” to this country, and he was a foreigner. A notice was served on him by H.Q.I, Nanayakkara on the 10th evening requesting into present himself to A.S.P., C.I.D., Colombo, for questioning. He was not a delegate to the Conference, nor an invitee.

34. The meeting commenced in the Verasingham Hall. Dr. Mahadeva spoke there and thanked everybody, including the Police officers, for their excellent co-operation during the conference. By 8.00 p.m. it was decided that it should he continued in the outer compound of the Hall, because the crowds outside the Hall were trying to enter it.

Arrangements were made accordingly. A platform consisting of two tables was prepared, 5 loudspeakers were installed outside on a pandal that stood on the compound, and the crowd assembled outside the Hall.

35. The Magistrate, in the course of his findings upon the inquest proceedings, refers to Janatharan having appeared inside the Hall, at the closing stages of the meeting which was held inside, very near the platform. From there he was taken outside the Hall, and some youths hoisted him on the tables which served as a platform to the accompaniment of thunderous applause.

36. Dr. Mahadeva then saw Janatharan for the first time, and realizing that the policeman intervene he asked Janatharan to down from platform. The latter’s reply was : “If you ask me to get down, your troubles will be more”. Professor Vithiananthan, Chairman of the Organising Committee, also asked Janatharan to down but the latter did not comply with the request. Nor did he comply when Mr. Thurairajah made the same request to him. Mr. Amirthalingam, when asked to use his influence to get the uninvited guest to step down, replied evasively, “We will wait and see”.

37. Dr. Mahadeva was afraid that Janatharan would speak, because the latter refused to get down and continued to stand on the platform talking to his supporters. What is more, he exchanged garlands with Mr. Amirthalingam to the applause of the crowd. So, Dr. Mahadeva left the meeting and tried to telephone to the A. S. P., in order to avoid any misunderstanding with the Police; but he failed to contact the A. S. P. On returning to the meeting, he found Janatharan sitting close to the platform.

38. In the meantime, the A. S. P. had been informed by H. Q. I., Nanayakkara, that the crowd was blocking the road opposite the Hall and Janatharan was on the platform. The A. S. P. then decided to go to the venue of the meeting and get the organisers to ensure that order was maintained.

As he failed to get near them owing to the crowd, he returned to the Police Station and came with a Police party. Stones and bottles were thrown at them and the A. S. P.’s jeep was attacked and damaged. He then ordered the tear gas party that accompanied him to use tear gas, and it was used until the crowd dispersed.

39. Two Police constables were found to be seriously injured, and they were sent to hospital. In the stampede after the tear gas attack, people in the crowd lost their belongings. The most serious consequence was that seven persons were electrocuted, and died before they were taken to hospital. They had fallen near the railings that separated Veerasingham Hall from the road. It would appear that some electric wires had been accidentally dislodged.

40. I have followed the Magistrate’s findings in summarising the events of that night. He has referred to the evidence of several witnesses who testified at the inquest; and if I may say so with respect, I am perfectly satisfied that he has carefully considered all the relevant facts and circumstances before coming to his conclusion on the main issues.

41. He has held that the electric wires were dislodged under accidental circumstances, and not as a result of Police officers shooting them down as some witnesses had claimed. Indeed, he has unreservedly held that not a single rifle bullet was fired, on the strength of Mr. Ariyasinghe’s evidence to the effect that he had checked on this matter specifically.

42. In regard to the conduct of the Police, he held that they had to intervene and stop the violation of any of the conditions specified before permission was granted to hold the meeting. I would say that the Police intervened not because the meeting was held outside the Hall, but because they had a reasonable apprehension that Janatharan would speak. The Magistrate has held that “it was this imminent possibility that caused Police intervention” It was not necessary that Janatharan should start his speech to justify Police action. The Police were entitled to act when, in their judgment, a reasonable man would come to the conclusion that he was about to speak. The relevant circumstances were : his standing on the platform, his refusal to leave it when requested by three officials to do so, his being welcomed by a crowd of supporters, his being garlanded, and his general attitude of behaving as if he was a very important guest (even though uninvited) who could act as he wished and not as the officials desired.

43. The Magistrate also held that the hostile attitude of the gathering towards the A. S. P. and the Police party when they entered the venue of the meeting, the damage caused to the A. S. P.’s jeep, and the injuries inflicted on the Police- men, rendered the tear gas attack to disperse the hostile elements a necessary step. I do not consider the throwing of stones and bottles at Police officers, by a crowd numbering thousands, a peaceful demonstration. The Police were entitled to pursue their aim which was to prevent any attempt by Janatharan to speak: and they were not bound to run the risk of receiving serious injuries at the hands of a hostile crowd, who had been addressed through a loud hailer and asked to disperse, but acted in a disorderly manner instead.

44. I was referred by Mr. Bartlett to sections 80 of the Police Ordinance, Chapter 53. If he had studied it carefully he would have seen that no person can use or operate a loudspeaker in a public place, unless he is authorised to do so by a permit issued by a Police officer who is an Assistant Superintendent of Police or of a higher rank than that. Further, if there is any contravention of the conditions of the permit, any Sub-inspector or Police officer of a higher rank than that may order the person in control of the loudspeaker to discontinue its operation. On failure to comply with such order, any Police officer may seize and detain the instrument. Arguments that such conduct would have contravened the constitutional right to freedom of expression and was unlawful will not do. The Constitution itself places restrictions and limits on that fundamental right.

45. There was no necessity for the Police party to do nothing until Janatharan began to speak. The circumstances proved show that if the police waited for that to happen, they would never have reached the platform in time to stop him speaking. He would have contravened the conditions imposed by the permit, and the damage which the conditions sought to avert would have been done.

46. It was reasonable conduct on the A. S. P.’s part to try to reach the organisers and give them timely warning that it was their responsibility to see that Janatharan did not speak. He could not reach them because of the dense crowd. So he returned to the Police Station and made another effort to reach the platform, taking with him a Police party and a tear gas squad to ensure that he would not fail again. When the crowd obstructed him and his party, he ordered that tear gas be used. What happened thereafter was not his fault. And it is absurd for anybody to say that he was responsible for anyone’s death by electrocution. Mr. Amirthalingam said in evidence before me that an electric wire had been shot down by the Police, but I do not accept that statement in view of Mr. Ariyasinghe ‘s evidence that although four rifles were carried by the Police party with ammunition, the rifles had not been fired nor had any ammunition used. As he inspected them, his evidence establishes this point. Mr. Ariyasinghe ‘s evidence also was to the effect that the tear gas guns and grenades fired by the Police could not have dislodged the wire. He had received training in England in riot equipment, and I consider him competent to express such an opinion.

47. Mr. Ariyasinghe mentioned an incident which occurred while Inspector Pathmanathan was leading evidence at the inquest. At one stage Mr. Amirthalingam got up and said to the Inspector something to this effect, “You are also a Tamil. You are a traitor”, in a rather offensive tone. Whether the tone was offensive or not makes no difference to the objectionable nature of the remark. It bordered on contempt of Court, and I am not surprised that the Magistrate was offended, and ordered Mr. Amirthalingam to leave. The latter was allowed to remain after he apologized to the Court. The incident indicates the degree of hostility felt by the T. U. L. F. leader towards a Tamil Police officer who was discharging a public duty.

48. It was Mr. Amirthalingam’s view expressed in evidence before this Commission, that the refusal of the then government to appoint a Presidential Commission to inquire into the seven deaths and the conduct of the Police which, he said, led to those deaths, was a prime cause of the demand for a separate State. A further deterioration in the relations between the public- and the Police is said to have begun as a result of A.S.P., Chandrasekera, having been promoted shortly afterwards.

49. The promotion was not, in my opinion, a result of Mr. Chandrasekera’s conduct in this incident : it was a step in his career that had been decided upon much earlier, but had been delayed by the failure of the administration to take action promptly. Mr. Ariyasinghe made that clear. If, as I am satisfied, the Magistrate’s findings and verdict were unimpeachable, I see no justification for the appointment of a Presidential Commission, or a condemnation of the Police action.

50. I was asked to consider the Report of the unofficial Commission of Inquiry, appointed by a meeting of citizens of Jaffna held on 21st January, to inquire and report on the incidents of 10th January. That Commission heard the evidence of certain witnesses, but none of the Police officers appeared before it. Naturally, the Commission was not in as good a position as the Magistrate to arrive at a correct finding on the facts. Having read their report, I feel that they had been deprived of the benefit of hearing an essential part of the incidents that took place. On the other hand, I have heard A.S.P., Chandrasekera, who was a very necessary witness at any inquiry which was to be held to ascertain all the relevant facts. I find that he was justified in taking the action he did. He had received orders from the then D.I.G., Mr. Van Twest, that Janatharan should not be allowed to speak at any meeting, even though he claimed to be the President of the World Tamil Organisation.

51. Even on 9th January, when there was a pageant in which vehicle and floats paraded, Mr. Chandrasekera heard someone addressing the crowd from a vehicle : it was Janatharan, who appears to have been a compulsive speaker. He was warned by Mr. Chandrasekera not to do that, and he disappeared thereafter, only to reappear on the 10th. He had gone to a temple at Kayts and addressed a gathering of youths. He came that evening to the Veerasingham Hall and the venue of the air meeting. If anything should have been known by the politicians of Jaffna, it was that this man was an undesirable alien and a perfect nuisance, whose very presence at the open air meeting should have been prevented by everyone who wished the meeting to be a success. Instead of garlanding him, Mr. Amirthalingam should have asked him to withdraw from that place, at least when the organisers asked him to speak to Janatharan. He must, I think, have later regretted his inaction.

52. (b) Mr. Amirthalingam in his evidence mentioned, as a deep seated cause of the 1977 disturbances, the Elara-Dutugemunu struggle which occurred in the second century B.C. He attributed to this ancient episode a racial feeling that the Tamils were an inferior breed over whom the Sinhalese were born to rule.

53. The Rev. Fr. Paul Caspersz S. J. also mentioned this as being a remote cause of the disturbances. He said that it was very unfortunate that Sinhalese children grew up with the knowledge of certain stories about Dutugemunu which are anti-Tamil while remaining relatively ignorant of other stories about him which could powerfully help the cause of inter-communal justice.

54. He cited the story in the Mahavamsa that “Soon after Elara’s death at his hands, Dutugemunu caused the drums to be beaten, and having summoned the people, he himself celebrated the funeral rites for King Elara at the spot where he had fallen. Dutugemunu burnt the body, built a monument, and ordained worship. Even in his day the princes of Lanka, when they drew near to the place of Elara’s tomb, were wont to silence their music because of the continuous worship of the tomb”. The Mahavamsa accepts Elara as a great and righteous king, respected by his subjects. Rains were said to come in due season owing to him. It was only in the 20th Century that this story was used as communal propaganda.

55. The Bishop of Kurunegala has stated in his Memorandum that the writing of history, rather than emphasizing the conflicts of Sinhala-Tamil relations and the ideology based on the Dutugemunu-Elara episode, should aim at stressing the confluence of Sinhala-Tamil relations. He rightly that the joint efforts of Tamil and Sinhalese national leaders to win independence during 100 years should be publicised. The Ceylon Institute of National and Tamil Affairs has in its Memorandum drawn attention to school text books which sow the seeds of communal trouble and create an attitude which is to be deplored. They ought to be written with care and they should avoid distorting historical facts and highlighting matters which tend to portray one community as superior to the other.

I have no doubt that these valuable suggestions should be accepted and given effect to.

56. (c) I wish to refer to the Memorandum sent by Dr. Wijesundera, Consultant Physician, General Hospital, Kandy, together with the Presidential Address given by him at the 14th Annual Conference of the Sri Lanka Pediatric Association on 30th September, 1977. Dr. Wijesundera also gave evidence, and I intend to make use of all this material in what follows.

57. His view is that much of the conflict between the Sinhalese and the Tamils is due to the play of the herd instinct on an alleged ethnic difference between the two races, viz. that the Sihalese are Aryans and the Tamils Dravidians, whereas the fact is that the Sinhalese are as much Dravidians as the Tamils. As a Sinhalese nurtured on the Aryan myth, he said he realised how much it is responsible for the disdain and hostility of the Sinhalese towards the Tamils.

58. His strategy for communal harmony is to regard the Sinhalese and the Tamils as one herd. In his Address he had said that every face in a mixed crowd denied an ethnic difference between the two races, and one also realizes that the Sinhalese and the Ceylon Tamils resemble the South Indian people more than the North Indians. Measurements show no differences in physical structure.

59. He referred to some aspects of an ethnic study he had made of the Sinhalese and the Tamils, and their relationship to South India. I shall refer to them now.

(1) He pointed out a close identity between Sinhalese, Ceylon Tamil, and South Indian names, while there is hardly any such identity with North Indian names.

(2) The Sinhalese find it easy to learn Tamil, and the Tamils to learn Sinhala. There are basic similarities between the languages.

(3) There is the same custom between South Indians and Sinhalese in regard to marriages between the children of a brother and sister. New Year customs, marriage customs, superstitions, the konde of the older generation, and the simple, dignified national dress are all the same among the Sinhalese and the South Indians.

 (4) There is an equal prevalence of Hb, D and E in Sihalese and Tamils. ABO blood group distinction also shows no statistically significant difference. The conclusion he has come to is that if the Sinhalese are Aryan, the Tamils are as Aryan as the Sinhalese. If the Tamils are Dravidian, then the Sinhalese are as Dravidian as the Tamils. But he thinks that it would be more accurate to call the Tamils the Tamil speaking Sinhalese, and the Sinhalese the Sinhala speaking Sinhalese.

60. It would take too long for me to go deep into his Address, but I wish to quote the following paragraphs in it before I pass on to his observations on the subject of Religion:

“We Sinhalese should be proud of our Dravidian ancestry ” (In his evidence he mentioned that the Dravidians belong to a civilisation going as far back as 3000 B.C.) ” The great longing shown by some of our countrymen to be a little more Aryan, to be a little more North Indian, a little more fair, is pathetic and degrading—Some of the greatest patriots and Buddhist leaders of recent times have been from the more recent additions from South India to the Sinhala peoples : Puran Appu, Pedris, Megettuwatte Gunananda, and Munidasa Kumaratunge, the Sinhalese genius—

” We no doubt have a debt to North India for giving us Buddhism. But Buddhism came to Lanka from South India. Some believe Mahinda was a brother of Asoka. He was a Buddhist missionary in South India. The Tamils did occasionally devastate our capitals. It was a part of war. But the debt to South India for much of our cultural influences, agricultural methods (the system of tanks and irrigation is a Dravidian method) and for replenishing and increasing the numbers of Sinhala Buddhists, overshadows these episodes of war. South India also produced two of the great names in Buddhism—Buddahagosa and Acharya Dharmapala. ”

61. Can the breach between the two communities be healed? Dr. Wijesundera said : ” In the context of today’s international politics which is still one of national tribalistic competition, it is necessary to encourage a separate tribalism common to the whole Island. He also said: “It is fortunate that we Buddhists are in practice Hindu Buddhists, so that we kneel side by side with our Tamil brethren in the same kovil, in the same temple “. And he concluded his Address with these words : ” If what I have said today causes even a minor storm, I will be gratified. I could then say with Rabindranath Tagore, ” Truth raises against itself the storm that scatters its seed broadcast”.

62. There is much to be learnt from Dr. Wijesundera’s contribution to the subject of inter-communal relations. If I may add another saying of Rabindranath Tagore, it is this : ” The deepest source of all calamity in history is misunderstanding. For where we do not understand, we can never be just Inspired by the belief that justice and understanding went together, and between them could establish peace, he created the nucleus of an international University, Visva-Bharati. in 1921, where the East would ” collect its own scattered lamps and offer them to the enlightenment of the world.

63. Two historians have also spoken of the affinity which has long existed between the ancient religions and races of Sri Lanka. Dr. Paul Pieris said long ago : “Everyone must concede that the chief influence which has been exercised on the Sinhalese Court throughout its history was the Dravidian influence of South India. I am of opinion that long before the arrival of Vijaya the country had been fully occupied by Dravidian races.

64. Mr. James T. Rutnam more recently said : “We are all heirs to the national legacy of Sri Lankas We find Buddhist monuments in Jaffna; we also find Hindu shrines and temples throughout the Island. Some of the greatest Buddhists were Tamils ” .

65. While I was recording evidence in Jaffna I came across an article, the author of which I cannot remember although he was a historian, in which the following statements appeared;

“The earliest known religion of the people of Sri Lanka is Hinduism. Buddhism came later with the conversion Of King Devanampiya Tissa in the 3rd century B.C. Some ancient ruins of a Siva Devale found at Anuradhapura confirm that even there Hinduism thrived. Pandukabhaya, grandfather of Devanampiya Tissa, was a devout Hindu. Evidence is abundant in history as to how even Buddhist Kings of Sinhalese kingdoms patronised Hinduism ardently, even in the later periods of history. Munniswaram was demolished by the Portugese in 1578 : King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe of Kandy renovated it in 1753.”

66. Let us pay more heed to these features of our Island’s history, and dwell longer on our common heritage, than on occasional differences which have arisen in recent times. We shall then be in a position to rebut and condemn the speeches of those who aim at creating racial and religious discord.

67. (d) A remote cause of the disturbances, mentioned by Fr. Caspersz, was the immigration of Tamil workers from South India in the 19th century, after George Byrde started his coffee estate in Gampola in 1825.

68. They provided cheap labour for the British owned tea, coffee and rubber estates in the hill country. But they were isolated from the Sinhalese villages although they lived in close proximity to them, because they were never encouraged to mix with the permanent inhabitants. They were regarded as aliens, treated like slaves, housed like cattle, and overworked. All this resulted from their not being regarded as a part of the people of this Island.

69. Hence arose communal strains and suspicions between the Sinhalese and the Indian Tamils, of whom the majority were plantation workers in a handicapped and backward position, deprived of citizenship and civic rights. As the Memorandum of the Ceylon Workers Congress states:

“They have been isolated from the main Stream of economic development, education and social upliftment. The tremendous contribution made by them to the economy of the country has taken for granted. . . .“ In the plantation areas those estate which were attached and in which the Indian Tamil resident labour suffered most were estates surrounded by newly planted settlements in particular”.

70. But a commendable change has been effected by the Constitution Of 1978 whereby persons of Indian origin have for the first time being treated as equals with Sri Lankan nationals by descent, and will no longer be treated as second-class citizens. They can now enter the main stream of national life.

71. (e) A connected grievance was the Ceylon Citizenship Act Of 1948. It deprived hundreds of thousands of Indian Tamil estate workers of their citizenship and their right to vote, which they had enjoyed since the grant of universal franchise in 1931. It was stated that in the 1947 General Election 7 Tamil Members of Parliament were elected by these workers in the hill country. This legislation, Mr. Amirthalingam stated, caused Mr. Chelvanayakam to leave the Tamil Congress in 1949 and to found the Federal Party.

72. (f) Another legislative measure which caused resentment and fear among the Tamils was the Official Language of 1956. It contain no recognition of the use of Tamil, while Sinhala was given a primary and distinctive place as the one official language of Ceylon. The Tamils felt that it was an affront to their language and culture which had been reduced to a state of inferiority, and that they were to be only second class citizens of the country. Acting on Gandhian lines the Tamil leaders staged a protest in a non-violent manner by doing sathyagraha on the Galle Face Green when the legislation was being debated. They were fully entitled to do so, because it is a democratic right which every citizen in a democracy may exercise. The Sinhalese mobs attacked and used violence, which was an indefensible interference with a peaceful demonstration. Stern action by the Police on that occasion would have been entirely justified, and it would have been a salutary lesson to the public that peaceful methods of opposing measures which are not approved are lawful, while the use of violence is not. Other action taken by the Tamil leaders in protest was to start Tamil medium schools when the government introduced Sinhala as the medium of instruction in the North.

73. A compromise was attempted by the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact of July 1957. relating to the use of Tamil, the setting up Of Regional Councils, and Colonisation Schemes. It was, however, unilaterally abrogated by Mr. Bandaranaike in April 1958, due to political pressure by the Sinhalese. There followed the communal riots of that year.

74. The Tamil Language (Special Provision) Act of 1958 provided for the use of Tamil in the Northern and Eastern Provinces for certain purposes, and for the making of Regulations to make that Act effective. But the Regulations were not published until 1966, and even then they were not implemented because the S. L. F. P. government took the view that the Regulations had no legal validity. No Regulations of any legal force have since been made.

75. In 1962 the Tamil leaders issued postage stamps of their own making, in protest against the actions of the government. This also was a peaceful step in accordance with the principle of non-violence, though it was none the less unlawful.

76. Another compromise was attempted by the Senanayake-Chelvanayakam Pact of March 1965, relating to the use of Tamil, the establishment of District Councils, and the granting of land under Colonisations Schemes in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. No action was taken to implement it, and even the District Councils Bill had to be withdrawn by Mr. Senanayake owing to political opposition.

77. A further blow to the use of the Tamil language was dealt by the Constitution of 1972, which did not give it any special recognition as an official or national language. When the Tamil United Front rejected the Constitution and presented a six-point demand to the S. L. F. P. government, it was ignored.

78. Thus arose the T. U. L. F. National Convention of 14th May, 1976, and the Resolution passed by it, to which I have referred at the beginning of this section of this Report.

79. When the Constitution of 1978 was being drafted, the T. U. L. F. was invited to join the Select Committee, but it refused. This was unfortunate, because the grievances which they complained of could have been discussed then, and some remedial action may have been taken. Such a discussion could have served, to some extent, as a Round Table Conference, because the only other opposition party returned to Parliament, the S. L. F. P., was represented on the Select Committee.

80. After this recital of some of the grievances of the Tamils, I cannot but sympathies with the complaint made by Mr. Amirthalingam, that although the Tamils had tried hard to get justice for their community, they found that pacts were made only to be broken.

81. I do not think Mr. Amirthalingam had in mind the satirical observation of Jonathan Swift that “promises and pie crust are made to be broken”. The true cause to my mind was political rivalry. When the S. L. F. P. Prime Minister made a pact, the U. N. P. defeated any attempt to fulfil the promises it contained. When the U. N. P. Prime Minister later made a pact, the S. L. F. P. adopted the same obstructive attitude. The pious intentions of every Prime Minister were thus brought to naught, even though he felt there were real and genuine grievances which had to be looked into and corrected.

82. I agree with Fr. Caspersz that Tamil should have been recognised before 1978 as a national or even as an official language. He said that it was unfortunate that the two major Sinhalese political parties had both fallen victims to that sort of communalism, which did not allow the Tamils the same right in their language as the Sinhalese have. Instead, Sinhala was the only language enshrined in the Constitution of 1972.

83. The Revd. Fr. Bernard, O.M.I., was Vice-Rector and Lecturer at the National Seminary, Ampitiya, when he gave evidence. He regretted that attempts which the Tamils had made, to arrive at peaceful solutions of their problems with the Sinhalese, had failed. He regretted the introduction of Sinhala as the only official language, and the bringing of Buddhism into politics. They introduced, he said, overtones of race and religion, and thus arose two nations where there had been one ; thus arose the tendency of thinking about a separate State, because they thought that they did not belong to the one nation. With tension building up between the two communities, any person who had a plan to cause trouble could light the spark with false rumours.

84. I appreciate Fr. Bernard’s frank expression of his views, but I think that the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana enacted in Article 9 of the 1978 Constitution is not too wide a provision, seeing that the same Article assures to all religious the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14 (l) (e). Those Articles provide for freedom of thought, conscience and religion and the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, as a fundamental right of every person ; and also the freedom to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, and teaching, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private.

85. As regards Language, a considerable change has been effected by the beneficial and wide-ranging provisions of Chapter IV of the Constitution of 1978. For the first time, it recognizes Tamil as a National Language (Article 19) and Articles 21 to 25 provide for its use as a medium of instruction, as a language of legislation, administration and of the Courts, and requires the State to provide adequate facilities for its use in accordance with those provisions.

86. Steps should be taken without delay to implement those provisions, so that it will not be thought that the recognition given to Tamil is an empty thing.

87. It is significant that this elevation of the Tamil language, to a level which it should have reached much earlier, has been effected without any opposition or cries of protest. This and many other changes effected by the new Constitution should and would help to establish racial, religious and national harmony. Statesmanship and a sense of justice have prevailed over the earlier political extremism.

88. (g) Fr. Caspersz and Fr. G. Nallathamby referred to another proximate cause of the disturbances—the Swabasha policy introduced in English-speaking schools in the 1940s. They are both experienced educationists, competent to speak on this subject.

89. They condemned the segregation of school children and school teachers in different language streams. That policy devided the communities from top to bottom with disastrous consequences. The teachers became, said Fr. Nallathamby, “segregated teachers” who had no broad outlook ; and with their narrow outlook they were unable to teach their pupils that there should be friendship and a common outlook, free of communal differences, among all of them. The same opinion was expressed by the Progressive Tamils in their Memorandum. It stated : “The educational system, particularly in secondary schools, made the youth in their formative years to think on communal lines. Students were put in water-tight compartments, and were not given sufficient opportunities to mix with others of different communities—Teachers too moved in water-tight compartments in the same school, particularly those who had mainly Sinhalese or Tamil training in their respective Training Colleges. Though learning in the mother tongue is good for the student, opportunities must be provided for students and teachers to mix freely with members of other communities”.

90. (h) What struck me as a striking explanation of the unfortunate events of August 1977 and those which preceded them was hinted at by Dr. Godfrey Gunatileke, Director of the Marga Institute, Colombo, in a talk he gave on 4th February, 1976. ” The main source of communal conflict “, he said, “is the fierce competition for elite positions in our society. This competition is exacerbated further owing to the fact that it takes place in a situation in which economic growth is slow and the growth of those sectors which generate demand for professional and other services at a high level of educational attainment proceeds at a very faltering pace. In this context the protest will be naturally spearheaded by that segment of the minority community which had geared itself economically and socially to supply the manpower, ranging from junior administrative and clerical activities to the higher professions—the Ceylon Tamil community in and originating from the Jaffna peninsula—

“The processes of social and political change that occurred within the country in the fifties and sixties effectively debarred this community from entering those sectors of activity which it had traditionally organised itself to enter-. It is true that in the case of Sri Lanka ‘s society as a whole, free education had engendered expectations of upward social mobility which were inevitably frustrated and which resulted in social tensions which even now threaten the entire system—. ” For the mass of the educated youth, the main characteristics of the problem are fundamentally the same for all communities. The breakthrough can occur only through a rapid expansion of the economy which is also supported by a change in the structure of expectations and the absorption of the young work force in highly productive income yielding activities other than those to which the traditional expectations had been geared. When all this has been acknowledged, still within this general context the problem of the elites in the minority communities, particularly the Ceylon Tamil community, is a special one. National policies have tended to create conditions which the minorities see as a special set of disabilities, and a discriminating structure which handicaps them in the competition for the elite positions.”

91. Fr. Caspersz has given evidence on the economic causes of the communal conflict. He said : ” Every job given to a Tamil seems to a Sinhala youth to be a job taken away from him, and every job given to a Sinhala youth seems to a Tamil youth to be a job taken away from him. This is one of the causes of frustration, specially to a Tamil youth, because we all know that Tamil youths are ambitious, hard-working and persevering. It is not easy for us to see how much of the Tamil sense of grievance is imaginary, and how much is real. But I have no doubt that much of it is real, and something effective must be done to remove even the imaginary grievances”.

92. The Bishop of Kurunegala’s view is that the primary cause of the communal conflict was the inability of a stagnant economy to provide sufficient employment, and an adequate standard of living, to the rapidly growing population. Arising from this, communal animosity was heightened, underlying fears were increased, and provocative racial memories were reactivated. The remedy for this was to expand the economy so as to provide employment and a better standard of living for Sinhalese and Tamils alike.

93. Economic welfare, it is clear, is the key to communal harmony. The unemployed, the needy, and the uneducated—these are the main elements of mobs bent on looting and destruction. They joined evil-minded leaders because they have nothing better to do.

94. (l) The damage that had been done to the sacred and ancient Buddhist places in the Northern and Eastern provinces would. I think, have been a cause of the communal disturbances.

95. It is indeed regrettable that this should have happened ; and it is equally regrettable that after the disturbances began, many Hindu temples were attacked and suffered considerable damage.

96. Evidence given by the Venerable S. Saranakirthi Thero of the Seruwavila Vihara, Mr. M. H. Sirisoma (Assistant Archaeological Commissioner), Mr. S. E. Ratnayake (retired Sergeant, Royal Naval Police, Trincomalee), and correspondence which passed between the Government Agent, Trincomalee, the High Priest of Seruwavila, and the Archaeological Commissioner establish that a large Bo tree had stood at the site of the present Koneswaran Temple in 1949. There was also a large rock near it as an altar for the offering of flowers. The tree was cut in August-September, 1964, and a cement platform is all that is there now. I am unable to accept the evidence of Mr. Sampanthan, M.P., that there had not been a Bo tree at that site.

97. Another sacred Bo tree had stood at Kiliveddy, one mile as the crow flies from the ancient Seruwavila Temple. It had a girth of 75 feet, a large stone altar for offerings, and moonstones round it. From April 1976 its branches were being cut, until the entire tree was cut : in April 1977 it was uprooted by Tamils, and the excavation was filled up and cemented. The Venerable Saranakirthi Thero has spoken to these matters. He stated that Buddhist pilgrims were highly provoked by these acts, and by the building of a new Hindu Kovil on that site. The justification for these acts, suggested on behalf of the Kovil authorities, was that the roots of the hallowed Bo tree were undermining the old Kovil which stood next to it. But it was surely not necessary to take the extreme step of totally destroying the tree. It struck me as a wanton act of mischief, which refuted Mr. Sampanthan’s claim that the Hindus respect the “arasa maram” (Bo tree) and would not wantonly cut it down.

98. Mr. Sirisoma gave evidence regarding damage done to Buddhist monuments and buildings excavated at Kuchchaveli, Tiriyai and Sembimale. I gathered from the evidence that the peaceful relations that had existed between the Sinhalese and Tamils up to 1970 were harmed by communal speeches, and acts such as the Kiliveddy desecration resulted.

99. Mr. Sirisoma mentioned that the practice of damaging ancient Buddhist monuments started only 5 or 6 years prior to the date of his giving evidence , previously people had, and showed, devotion towards them. He thought that they were being incited to do those acts, and there was a pattern of such damage in the Northern and Eastern areas of the Island. By contrast, he pointed out that in Polonnaruwa, within the Archaeological reserve of 1,500 acres, there are 17 Hindu Temples, and no damage had been done to them. Kovils and Viharas both existed unharmed, an essential condition if peace is to prevail.

100. (j) The spreading of false rumours throughout the country, after the commencement of the disorders in Jaffna, figured very prominently as a cause of disturbances starting in different areas. I shall draw attention to some examples.

(I) Mr. J. Senaratne stated that on 6th August, when he was at the Fort Railway Station in Colombo, before entraining for Jaffna, he heard that an Asst. Superintendent of Police had been shot. When he reached Anuradhapura at about 1 a.m. on the 17th, Tamil passengers in his compartment and the Station Master’s office were attacked and robbed. When he remonstrated, one of the attackers told him “you don’t know what is being done to our people in Jaffna”.

(2) Fr. Nallathamby, Mr. Harsha Gunawardena and many other witnesses spoke to having heard the rumour that bodies of Sinhalese girls had been cut up and sent from Jaffna in fish boxes. Mr. Gunawardena said that he heard the rumour at Elephant Pass on his journey from Jaffna to Anuradhapura in the convoy carrying University students on the evening of 17th August.

(3) Mr. V. Raghunathan, Executive Engineer, Maha Illupallama, stated that on 17th August about 70 or 80 Sinhalese attacked his quarters shouting “Our people are being killed in Jaffna”

(4) Several Tamil witnesses, including Mr. K. Sivasubramaniam, Signal and Telecommunication Inspector, C. G. R., Mr. S. Sathasivam, Head Guard C. G. R. and Dr. R. Devendran who were in Anuradhapura on the night of 17th August, related the alarming stories of what had happened to the Sinhalese in Jaffna as told them by Mr. Liyanage, S.P., after his return from Jaffna. Mr. L. M. Poulier, District Mechanical Inspector, C. G. R., described how the violence began at Anuradhapura Station on 17th August at about 1.30 a.m. when train No. 70 arrived from Jaffna. He heard shouts in Sinhala, from the train, “Don’t allow the Jaffna train to go. They are murdering our brethren in Jaffna. People are killed like dogs”. Bottles were then flung at train No. 69 which came from Colombo, and passengers in it were attacked.

(5) Mr. C. Ramachandran, Accountant, Mahaweli Development Board, Kalawewa, stated that when he drove to Anuradhapura on 17th August, he heard a rumour that 3 Policemen had been shot in Jaffna. This resulted in disturbances in Anuradhapura that day, and the Police allowing looting to take place in the town. When he was driving back, he heard at Talawa that 10 Policemen had been shot dead in Jaffna. When he reached Maha Illupallama he heard that 13 Policemen had been killed. When the Project Manager and others, including himself, were taken in a Police jeep to Kekirawa Police Station for their safety, they found that 4 or 5 Policemen there were drunk : and one of them told the witness, “My sister, brother and mother are in Jaffna, if anything happens to my family, I will become a dangerous murderer”.

(6) Witness Mr. Power in evidence stated that a false rumour spread in Maharagama, that P.C. Bandara had been killed in Jaffna, resulted in 2 members of the Power family living in Maharagama being killed by mobs who attacked their home on 20th August.

(7) Mr. V. N. Navaratnam, M.P., stated that doctors at the Anuradhapura and Kurunegala hospitals had told him that doctors in Jaffna had refused to attend to Sinhalese patients : and they asked him how, in such a situation, they could be expected to look after Tamil patients.

(8) A false radio message was sent from the Jaffna Police Station on 17th August at 11.00 a.m. to the I.G.P., Colombo, purporting to be from the S.P., Jaffna. It stated : “Today 4 C. T. B. buses set on fire. Naga Vihara is being attacked. Crowd collected at Railway Station, Jaffna, to attack incoming passengers. Situation serious”. It was calculated to create alarm and anger in the minds of persons who treated it seriously and in view of other false rumours that were in circulation, it could have done incalculable damage all over the Island.

101. Many more such examples have appeared in the evidence and it is clear that the spread of the incidents which began in Jaffna to other parts of the Island was mainly due to false rumours that the Sinhalese in Jaffna had been attacked by the Tamils there and even murdered.

102. I do not think that adequate steps were taken at the very first opportunity to defuse the situation, by pointing out in the press, the radio, the cinema and every other possible medium, that the rumours were false and mischievous. Action should also have been taken to name reliable persons who had verified the facts and found the rumours to be false. Rumour-mongers should be flushed out, arrested and confined so that they may be prevented from doing further damage.

103. (k) Another matter which could have been a cause of the disturbances was the insulting and inflammatory nature of some of the speeches made by Tamil speakers supporting the cause of the T. U. L. F. during the election campaign of 1977 and soon after.

104. I need not repeat what I have said elsewhere in regard to the statements made in speeches at meetings held on 11, 13, 19 and 30 July by Pushparasa, Santhathiyar, Mrs. A. Ponnudurai, K. Manoharan, Mavai, Senathirajah, Kasi Anandan and Mr. Amirthalingam. I have no doubt that those who heard those speeches, or heard accounts of what wag stated in the course of those speeches, would have strongly resented the statements made as much as they would have resented the numerous statements made on other occasions when the demand for a separate State was repeatedly referred to.

105. Senior State Counsel produced statements alleged to have been made by Tamil speakers at other meetings, and called several Police Officers to prove that they had made records of such statements. I have decided not to accept that evidence because there had been a failure to comply with the imperative provisions of Circular No. 8 of 31st May, 1977, sent to all Police Stations by the D. I. G. Elections. It was stipulated there that a contemporaneous note of the utterances made at meetings should be made in the Crime Note Book. Instead of this procedure being followed, notes were made in many instances on pieces of paper; and later, at some other place and time entries were made in the Note Books, and the original notes made on pieces of paper were destroyed. It is not a practice I could countenance, since it opened the door to abuse ; whereas the instructions given in the Circular were intended to ensure accurate recording of the actual statements at the time they were made.

106. A different practice obtained in the case of members of the District Intelligence Bureau who do not carry Note Books, but make notes on loose sheets of paper. Such notes are typed later in the form of a report, after which the sheets of paper are destroyed. I was prepared to accept their contemporaneous notes so made and the reports which were typed from them.

107. I should refer here to evidence led as to statements alleged to have been made by Mrs. Amirthalingam at a meeting held by the T. U. L. F. at Vavuniya on 3rd June 1977. 3 witnesses called—S. Appuhamy of Mamaduwa, A. D. A. Seneviratne of Vavuniya, and K. Suddahamy of Perappammaduwa— stated that they heard her say that the Tamils must swim in the blood of the Sihalese, and that she will be able to sleep only when she wears shoes made out of the skins of the Sinhalese. Undoubtedly if such statements had been made by her, they would have evoked hatred between the two communities, which would have led to the outbreak of violence. Their evidence has been contradicted by Mr. Sellathambu, M.P. for Mullaitivu and Mr. Sivasithamparam, M.P. for Vavuniya both of them said that they were present at that meeting, that Mrs. Amirthalingam spoke at it, but that she never used such language in her speech. Mr. Amirthalingam who said that he was also present, also denied that his wife uttered such words. He said that it was against their culture to say such things, and especially for a lady to do so.

I prefer to believe the 3 Members of Parliament on this matter.

108. Evidence was also led in regard to another meeting held in Jaffna on 4th July, 1977, close to the Naga Vihara, in support of the candidature of Mr. Yogeswaram. The Venerable Nandarama Thero, Chief Priest of that Vihara, stated that he heard Mrs. Amirthalingam making a speech there, in the course of which she said that she could not sleep until she cut the Sinhalese and swam in and drank their blood. He also stated that Mr. Amirthalingam in his speech said that the Sinhalese population in Jaffna was not sufficient to make a sambol, and that all Sinhalese must be assaulted and chased away from Jaffna.

109. The witness also stated that he heard Mr. Yogeswaram say that the Tamils will not be content till they skin the Sinhalese and make slippers with their skins ; and that he also heard another unidentified speaker say that one month after the elections, they would walk over the bodies of the Sinhalese and establish their State. All this the witness claimed to have heard from his temple because the meeting was held very close to it and loudspeakers were used. He also stated that the Police were at the meeting, recording speeches.

110. When the witness was being cross-examined by Mr. Bartlett, Counsel asked Senior State Counsel to produce the Police report of the speeches because that would be the most acceptable evidence of what was said by the speakers. Senior State Counsel said that he had already asked the Police to produce the report and make it available to him.

111. The witness stated that the news of these statements referred to by him had spread to the Southern province and other areas of the country, and that was also an important factor in the communal disturbances of August, 1977.

112. The witness finished his evidence on 1st September, 1978, but the Police report on this meeting had not yet been made available to the lawyers.

113. On 20th April, 1979, Mr. Yogeswaram was recalled and he contradicted what the Chief Priest had stated. He said he remembered the public meeting held near the Naga Vihara on 4th July, 1977, in support of his candidature : it was the only meeting held there. He was present, but neither Mr. nor Mrs. Amirthalingam attended it or spoke at it, though he himself did. He denied that he made the filthy statement attributed to him by the priest.

114. Mr. Shanmugalingam at this point again asked that the Police report of this meeting be produced. Senior State Counsel replied that if it was available it would be produced. On 23rd April, 1979, while Mr. Yogeswaram was being cross-examined by Mr. Gunatillake, Mr. Shanmugalingam informed me that he had received the Police report of the meeting on the previous day.

115. The report was produced and marked on 23rd April, 1979. It is a report on an election propaganda meeting held on 4th July, 1977 at 74, Stanley Road, Jaffna, organised by Mr. V. Yogeswaram for the T.U.L.F. and lasting from 7.10 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. It contains a list of 15 speakers. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Amirthalingam is mentioned in that list. This was obviously the report that Mr. Bartlett and Mr. Shanmugalingam had been pressing for it for. It corroborates Mr. Yogeswaram’s evidence, and I informed Counsel on that day that Mrs. Amirthalingam need not be called to contradict the evidence

given to prove that she had spoken at that meeting.

116. Mr. Amirthalingam gave evidence for the second time on 25th April, 1979 and subsequent days. He denied that he or his wife said the filthy things attributed to them at the Vavuniya meeting held on 3rd June, 1977, although he admitted that they had both spoken at it, He also denied that he or his wife attended the meeting held near the Naga Vihara on 4th July, 1977, and he said that it was a diabolical lie if anybody said that they attended or spoke at it.

117. I consider the evidence led in rebuttal of the priest’s evidence, including the Police report, sufficient to disprove the priest’s evidence on this matter.

118. I shall now deal with other witnesses who implicated Mrs. Amirthalingam in statements she was alleged to have uttered at other meetings. G. Dharmadasa, a bakery owner, who claimed Rs. 85,000, as damages over an attack on his bakery, said that he listened to speeches made near Punkankulam Railway Station about 15 days before the election. Neither Mr. Amirthalingam nor Mr. Sivasithamparam the candidates for Nallur, made any remarks against the Sinhalese, according to the witness. He had a different tale to tell against Mrs. Amirthalingam and a young girl who also spoke. He said he heard Mrs. Amirthalingam and a young girl who also spoke. He said he heard Mrs. Amirthalingam say ” the Sinhalese people should be killed and beaten and they should be skinned, and until we wear slippers out of their skin we will not sleep “. The young girl, he said, spoke saying ” the Sinhalese should be caught. We should swim over their blood and create a separate Tamil State “. The witness admitted that he had not told anybody about having heard these statements, before he gave his evidence.

119. Mr. Amirthalingam denied that his wife uttered such words, and I believe him. Mr. Shanmugalingam at this stage asked Senior State Counsel to produce the Jaffna Station reports for which he had asked earlier, and the latter gave his assurance that no such speeches had been recorded by the Police. This took place on 25th April, 1979. I reject the evidence of witness G. Dharmadasa.

120. A witness E.J.P. Babysingho referred to an election meeting held by the T.U.L.F. on 15th July, 1977 outside the Trinclomalee Town Hall which he attended. He claimed to have heard an announcement over the loudspeaker that the next speaker would be Mrs. Amirthalingam. He said that he did not know her, and he was only going on the announcement he had heard. He then proceeded to state what the next speaker said, which included such statements as ” We will not allow the Sinhalese to stay here. We will skin them. Shoes will be made from Sinhalese skins. We will drive them out of Trincomalee beyond Habarana”. Finally, he said, Mr. Sampanthan spoke but no blood curdling threats were uttered by him.

121. In reply to these allegations, Mr. Amirthalingam said in evidence that although he had attended meetings at Trincomalee. his wife did not. Mr. Sampanthan in his evidence also stated that Mrs. Amirthalingam did not attend any of his meetings. I prefer to believe them. A witness K. A. Dharmapala, whom Senior State Counsel called to prove an attack on the Jaffna Branch of Laksala, was a willing witness. when he was cross-examined by Mr. Karunaratne, against Mts. Amirthalingam. He stated that she spoke before the General Election at a meeting held at the Muthavali Maidan. Although he admitted that he had not mentioned to anybody that he had heard her, he slated under cross-examination that he heard her say ” We will swim in the blood of the Sinhalese and fight for our rights”.

122. Another witness W. J. E. Fonseka also said he had heard speakers at T.U.L.F. meetings near the Naga Vihara, near the level crossing near Stanley Road, and near the Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya made the following statements : “We will not sleep until we swim in the blood of the Sinhalese ” ; ” The Sinhalese must be killed, skinned, and slippers must be made ” ; ” Sinhalese who are here are not sufficient to make a sambol ” ; ” We will walk over the dead bodies of the Sinhalese and form our Tamilnad”. He did not say who had made these statements, because he was at some distance and heard them through a loudspeaker.

123. The last witness I shall refer to on this subject is G. Karunawathie. She stated that she heard speeches at a meeting held in support of Mr. Yogeswaram, through a loudspeaker and about 10 fathoms from her house. She heard one speaker say that the Sinhalese should be killed and slippers made out of the skin, but she did not identity the speaker. Mr. Yogeswaram, she said, was present at the meeting when the statement was made.

124. I have considered the evidence led on this subject through all the witnesses I have refered to. I am satisfied that none of these “filthy statements” as they were correctly described, were made at the T.U.L.F. meetings mentioned. I accept the evidence of the T.U.L,F. leaders who repudiated the allegations that such expressions were used. It is remarkable that not a single police report supporting the allegations is available. It seems to me that there has been a conspiracy to implicate T. U.L.F. politicians by accusing them of having made such shocking statements which they never made. It was a dangerous and evil conspiracy which was calculated to damage Sinhalese-Tamil relations, and if any Police Officer heard any of these statements he could not possibly have omitted to make a record of them.

12S. It was urged that the making of such statements an others of a similar type can be a cause of outbreaks of violence, They certainly can be that. It is, however, a question of fact in each ease whether a provocative or insulting statement was made. I have thought it necessary to examine the questions of and give my conclusions.




This question is set out in Section I of the Terms of Reference, and I shall answer it by taking the different towns and districts where the incidents occurred separately.


The only significance of the date 13th August is that it was the final night of a Carnival and Exhibition held in St. Patricks’ College grounds. At about midnight there was a clash there between some carnival visitors and some Policemen from Chavakachcheri who had gone there in civil clothes. Two Policemen were injured and admitted to Hospital.

02. According to Dr. J. P. Philips, an organizer of the carnival, there had been an incident there on the 12th night also, when some Policemen from Annicottui had tried to enter the grounds without paying the entrance fee. Mr. Kulanayagam, who was in charge of the gate, said that he persuaded the Policemen to buy children’9 tickets at Re. l/- each instead of adults’ tickets at Rs. 2/-, after an argument with them. They scolded him for this, and later assaulted him and threatened him. H.Q.I. Gunasekera stated that on the 13th morning Dr. Philips informed him that some Policemen from Anuicottai had tried to enter the carnival grounds without tickets. He learnt, after inquiry, that the Policemen had gone there in search of two accused persons. P.C. Basnayake, who was attached to Anaicottai at that time, stated that he and 3 other constables had gone to Jaffna that night in search of two persons charged with robbing. Having failed to find them, they went to the carnival in search of them. They paid Rs 2/- each for admission, and nothing took place that night. He denied that there was un argument at the gate. Under cross-examination he admitted that although the Officer-in-Charge at the Station had asked them to go to the carnival to arrest the accused, no reference to this was made in his entry in the Information Book. He also admitted that they had tried to go in ahead of those who were already in the queue, because they were there on official business. I am satisfied that there was an argument at the gate with Mr. Kulanayagam, followed by an assault and a threat. But I do not attach much importance to the incidents of the 12th and 13th, because they were isolated incidents having no connection with each other or with what happened subsequently.

03. Although Mr. Amirthalingam, M.P. for Kankesanthurai, and Mr. Yogeswaram, M.P. for Jaffna, stated that they received complaints on 14th August of Policemen assaulting members of the public on the roads of Jaffna, no complainant or eye-witness has given evidence of any such assault. I do not, therefore, find that any assault took place on the 14th. But it has been proved that on the 14th night P.C. Bandara was shot and injured at Puthur by unidentified persons, when he was on patrol. He was admitted to Jaffna Hospital at 2.15 a.m. on the 15th.

04. Turning to the events of the 15th, Mr. Yogeswaram stated that he received information at 5.15 a.m. of 3 cases of assault by Policemen. Evidence of only 2 cases of assault has been given by 2 injured persons. I have no doubt that they were assaulted early that morning, but I am not satisfied that the assailants were Policemen.

05. One case was that of S. Jesudasan, a C. T. B. conductor, who stated that when he was walking to work, he was hit by 5 Policeman with batons near Munneswaran Temple junction ; when he fell, he was pushed into a pond. He then saw them attacking a cyclist and a pedestrian. A Postman took him to the Police Station on his bicycle and gave information of the assault. The Police sent him in a vehicle to the Hospital. His statement was recorded by Inspector Senathirajah in the Ward, and it has been produced. He has stated that he was followed, while he was walking, by 5 persons “Wearing white shirts and cream coloured shorts. All were armed with batons”. He gave time of the assault as “about 4.25 a.m.”, and said he was struck 4 blows with the batons. He mentioned no names of the assailants, and said “I believe they are Police officers because they had short hair cut and their behaviour”. I think the time of the assault must be taken into consideration, because it is highly, improbable that he could have identified the weapons used, with accuracy. Nor is it proved, on his statement, that any of his assailants was a Policeman for his reasons for saying so are valueless. I am not surprised that A.S.P. Noordeen, after inquiring, decided that there was no evidence against any particular person.

06. The other alleged case of assault by Policemen was that of a young man of 19 years, S. Thurairajasingham. He stated that he was riding his cycle from Koddady to Jaffna, and at about 4 a.m. he saw a group of Policemen in civil clothes near the Regal Theatre. Two of them attacked him with batons, and when he was running away a Policeman hit him on his head. He was taken to the hospital and warded at 5.05 a.m. He was there for two days.

07. His statement was also recorded by Inspector Senadhirajah and it was produced. He stated that his sister took him to hospital. and that the incident took about 4.15 a.m. He also stated that he did not know the Identity of his assailants. adding “It was dark and even if they are produced before me. I cannot identify them”. I need not repeat the reasons I gave in Jesudasan’s case. They apply to this case also. It will not do for other witness to say that his assailants were policemen who used batons. If he could not identify them, he would not have, in the circumstances, even identified the used. I therefore do not find that any assault wag committed by any Policemen on the 15th.

08. A witness L. A. Savarimuttu. who said that he was a retired Public servant and a newspaper reporter. stated that he met Mr. A. S. Seneviratne, S.P., by appointment at 3.30 p.m. on the 15th and that they discussed the carnival  incidents and the assault on Jesudasan. Mr. Seneviratna. according to this witness, then mentioned an incident at Kopay when a Policeman had been shot and injured in his hand and told the witness that the Tamils were going to pay dearly for that act.

09. Mr. Seneviratne has entirely denied that such an interview took place. He stated that he was at the hospital that afternoon. having gone there to visit P.C. Bandara. and he then went to Kopay Police Station where he was both before and after 6.15 p.m. He also stated that he never met Mr. Savarimuttu.

10. I find from the medical evidence that P.C. Bandara was shot in the thigh and the pellet was still there when he was in hospital. If he was attached to Kopay Police Station, or if Puthur is in the Kopay area, and if he was the Policeman Mr. Savarimuttu was thinking of, he was not shot in the hand. Moreover, I have grave doubts as to whether an experienced Superintendent Of Police such as Mr. Seneviratne, would have been so indiscreet to talk to a newspaper reporter in the terms mentioned, for it would not have made pleasant reading in the newspaper. Taking all these matters into consideration. I am not satisfied that such an interview took place.

11. I might mention that the shooting of P.C. Bandara was not the first such incident in Jaffna, and was therefore not a matter to arouse great interest in a newspaper reporter. In February, 1977, P.C. Karunanidhi was shot dead, and in May 1977, two constables bearing the same surname Shanmuganathan had been shot and killed.

12. In view of the recital of events from the 12th night to the early morning of the 15th which I have given according to the evidence placed before me, I do not quite understand why Mr. Yogeswaram thought it necessary to send telegrams about unprovoked and high-handed attacks by the Police, and 3 persons with serious injuries having been admitted to hospital, to the Deputy Minister of Defence and the Inspector—General of He asked in them that immediate measures be taken to bring the tense situation under control and full inquiry. The most serious incident during the period I have mentioned was the shooting of P.C. Bandara, the fourth case of shooting of a Policeman that year, but the Police did not make a fuss about it.

13. A.S.P. Noordeen has stated, and I accept his statement, that P.C. Bandara was on duty with 2 other Constables when he was shot. The assailant was not identified because he must have run away, as usually happened after such a shooting. But Bandara, not unnaturally, felt insecure in the hospital and was anxious to leave it. H.Q.I. Gunasekera ordered Inspector Gurusamy to remove him, and he was brought to the Police Station on the 16th morning. Gurusamy acted in a foolish and irresponsible manner in carrying out the order. He failed to obtain the permission of the Superintendent of the hospital or a Doctor who was treating this patient. He did not speak even to the Nursing Officer in charge of the Ward. The Bed Head Ticket was removed by him and the Nursing Officer was just in time to recover it from Bandara after getting him to write on it that he was leaving of his own accord.

14. This type of behaviour by Gurusamy and his subordinates may have been one cause of the spreading of malicious rumours from Jaffna to Colombo, to the effect that the Doctors in Jaffna were neglecting Sinhalese Policemen in the hospital. There was absolutely no ground for such rumours, and I am perfectly satisfied that the Doctors in the hospital acted with all due care and attention towards all their patients, irrespective of race. It has been made clear by the Senior Police officers who gave evidence that the only reason for Bandara ‘s removal was his fear to stay in the hospital. Bandara remained at the Police Station until he was sent by Mr. Seneviratne to Anuradhapura hospital by car on the 16th at 9.00 p.m., arriving there at 4.30 a.m.

15. It is necessary now to complete the story of what happened on the 15th, and I shall mention some matters which were proved in evidence as regards Police movements, as recorded in the Information Books of the Jaffna Police Station. H.Q.I. Gunasekera has stated that on the 15th night a party of Policemen with P.S. Liyanage left the Police Station at 12.30 a.m. to patrol the town, and returned at 3.35 a.m. According to the entries in the Information Book, they saw about 100 persons breaking Neon signs and lights near the Bus Stand, and those persons then ran in different directions. They also saw a crowd damaging a small boutique near the new Regal Theatre, but failed to arrest them. They also found that some persons had gone to the Old Market, damaged baskets and vegetable stalls, and assaulted people in that market and left. The stall-holders were unable to identify them. The Police party took into custody 22 persons loitering in the town. These entries, the H. Q. I. said, were seen by him at 6.20 a.m. when he reported at the Police Station on the 16th.

16. From all these pieces of evidence and the next 2 items I shall mention it is plain that there were parties of Jaffna Policemen out on duty, who detected offences being committed by criminal elements. Attempts have been made, and I shall soon refer to them, to inculpate the Jaffna Police over the incidents that occurred on the night of the 15th and the early morning of the 16th. Charges have been levelled against them by politicians, on statements said to have been made to them by members of the public, that the fire in the Old Market was started by Policemen, and that goods in that market were smashed, name boards and statues and motor vehicles damaged, by Policemen. The evidence on which these charges have been made is quite insufficient, and I say so after a careful consideration of all the evidence.

17. Another matter spoken to by the H.Q.L was that at 2.30 a.m. on the 16th he was informed-that the T. U. L. F. office had been damaged. Inspector Clement Perera said he went at 3.20 a.m. and made inquiries till 6.15 a.m. He found that an attempt had been made to set fire to the building. No culprits were traced.

18. The H.Q.I. also stated that another Police party of six men had left the Station at 9.50 p.m. on the 15th by jeep, on receiving information about smuggling.

19. One more witness has spoken to what he saw and heard on the 15th night. He was P.C. 6030 Gerara who was then attached to Delft. He spent that night in the Police barracks for bachelors inside Jaffna Fort. He stated that at about I a.m. on the 16th he saw constables moving about ; they told him that they were going out on duty, and they left. At about 7.00 a.m. when he was at the Bus Stand, he heard some talk about Policemen having come to the Old Market, set fire to mats and assaulted people at about 2 a.m. He returned to Delft that morning. About 5 days later, he said, he informed S.I. Thamotherampillai and other Police Officers of what had happened on the 15th night. Such talk heard at the Bus Stand proves nothing.

20. On the 16th morning at about 5 a.m., said Mr. Yogeswaram, a number of persons came to his residence and informed him that about 10 Policemen in Khaki shorts and shirts had set fire to the mat shops in the Old Market at about 1.40 a.m. smashed goods in the shops there, damaged name boards and statues in the streets, and also damaged motor vehicles garaged in Munneswaran Road. He telephoned to the Government Agent Mr. Wijepala and informed him, and was told by the latter that he was going on circuit to Mulangavil Farm. He also telephoned to Mr. Amirthalingam. Mr. Wijepala has confirmed that Mr. Yogeswaram telephoned to him about the Police having tried to burn some shops in the Old Market, and the people there having chased them away and that he asked Mr. Wijepala to contact the Superintendent of Police, because he had failed in an attempt to do so. Mr. Wijepala stated that he also tried and failed; and when he telephoned the Police Station ho was informed that the Station could not contact the Superintendent : so he telephoned to A.S.P. Noordeen and conveyed Mr. Yogeswaram’s information, and asked him to go to the S.P. and keep things in check.

21. Mr. Seneviratne, S.P. stated in evidence that he was in Jaffna from the 14th evening after returning from a conference held in Colombo, but his direct telephone line was not working. However, his extension line from the Police Station to his residence was wording, and so was the telephone in his office at the station. There is some mystery about the failure of Mr. Wijepala and also Mr. Amirthalingam to contact Mr. Seneviratne through the Police Station. Mr. Wijepala also failed to contact the Additional G.A., Mr. Joseph, until he had first contacted his Office Assistant Mr. Ganesh. He then informed Mr. Joseph that he was going on circuit and asked him to stand by.

22. At 12 noon Mr. Wijepala received a message from Mr. Joseph that there was a lot of trouble in Jaffna, so he returned to Jaffna by 1.15 p.m. He was then told that everyone in the Kachcheri had struck work, and that the Defence Secretary, Army Commander, I.G.P. and D.I.G. were in town.

23. Mr. Amirthalingam, having failed to reach the S.P., telephoned to Mr. Werapitiya, Deputy Minister of Defence, and the Prime Minister and informed them of the situation as conveyed by Mr. Yogeswaram about 6 a.m., that on the 15th night Policemen had set fire to the mat shops in the market. He then telephoned to the Police Station and said that he wanted to speak to the S.P. within 5 minutes. He said that the S.P. did telephone to him within 5 minutes, and appeared to be very surprised when Mr. Amirthalingam told him about the situation.

24. The S.P. said that he telephoned the I.G.P. and the D.I.G. and spoke to them. The I.G.P. has supported him on this point.

25. Mr. Yogeswaram has stated that he went to the Old Market and saw that a portion of it had been burnt, and that shops, name boards and statues had been damaged ; and when he and Mr. Kathiravelupillai, M.P. for Kopay, then walked along Munneswaran Road, he saw that cars had been damaged. He then returned home at about 8 a.m.

26. A.S.P. Noordeen has denied that Mr. Wijepala telephoned to him that morning at his residence, or conveyed to him what Mr. Yogeswaram had said, or asked him to go to the S.P. and keep things in check. I prefer to believe Mr. Wijepala on this matter. There was a significant statement in his evidence regarding his conversation with Noordeen, viz., that when he informed Noordeen of Mr. Yogeswaram’s information to him, Noordeen told him that a Policeman had been shot on the 14th night. Noordeen had unfortunately failed to do any of the things which Mr. Wijepala had asked him to do, and that may have induced him to deny the conversation.

27. Noordeen in evidence stated that at about 8 a.m. he was driving to his office at the Police Station through Hospital Road. He saw about 2,000 persons on the road, no buses were running, and all shops were closed. He saw Mr. Yogeswaram and Mr. Kathiravelupillai in the town. He said the Old Market was then on fire. A man with a gun hit his windscreen and damaged it, but he drove on to the Police Station. On the way, near Veerasingham Hall, 2 Policemen informed him that a mob had snatched their guns when they were guarding a Bank : he took them with him to the Police Station.

28. Noordeen stated that he formed the view that ” an unruly mob had taken possession of the town “. He was at the Police Station with the S.P. when Mr. Amirthalingam came there, and he complained to Mr. Amirthalingam of the attack on his jeep and said that he had sent a Police party to deal with the situation. The S.P. received a message at that time, that the Police had opened fire and killed 2 persons.

29. Mr. Joseph, Additional G.A. confirmed having received Mr. Wijepala’s request to stand by. He said he tried to contact the S.P. or A.S.P. or H.Q.I. but none of them were at the Police Station, and even at 8 a.m. they were not there. He received several telephone calls about a fire in the market, shooting, and the situation getting worse, and between 9 and 9.30 a.m. he passed on the information to the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Public Administration. He also stated that he received, early that morning, a letter dated the 16th written to the Government Agent which was sent to him as the latter had left the town. It was from 3 Trade Unions of the Jaffna Kachcheri who complained that ” the Police in Jaffna had committed atrocities on the innocent public from last night, causing damage to public properties. Normal life has come to a standstill. The officers are unable to travel to their respective work places safely. As a protest against the Police authorities the members of our Unions in all offices in the District have decided to go on strike till the issues involved are satisfactorily resolved. We demand a public inquiry into the whole incident “.

30. The Special Commissioner of the Municipal Council, Mr. Sivagnanam, stated that he went to the Power House at 7.30 a.m. and saw a crowd running to it : they told him that they went there owing to a clash between the Police and the public. At 9.15 a.m. the caretaker Sinnatamby informed him that the vegetable market was on fire, and the police were obstructing the people inside from extinguishing it. He informed Mr. Joseph in order to get help to extinguish the fire.

31. At about 10.00 a.m. the caretaker informed Mr. Sivagnanam that a shop in the New Market was on fire. The latter failed to obtain water bowsers from the Army at Palaly, and so did Mr. Joseph when he applied to the Army and the Navy for bowsers.

32. I go back now to the point when Noordeen reached the Police Station that morning after the attack on his jeep, taking with him 2 Policemen whose guns had been snatched from them by a mob. He also saw the Old Market on fire and a large crowd on the road. He decided that for these reasons, which he also conveyed to the H.Q.I., he should order the H.Q.I. to send out six armed parties of Policemen. His order was obeyed, one of the parties consisting of Noordeen and 5 Policemen. The other 5 parties were commanded by the H.Q.I., Inspector Ramanayake, S.I. Mendis, S.I. Khan and S.I. Sampson —all in vehicles.

33. 2 constables, Satanathapillai and Ramupillai, stated that they were at the Police Station when the alarm bell was rung on the 16th morning on A. S. P. Noordeen ‘s orders. He came there and shouted that Police Officers were being attacked in the bazaar.

34. He ordered the Policemen who came to collect rifles and ammunition from the Armoury. It is plain that the regulations governing the issue of rifles and ammunition have not been strictly obeyed. P.C. Weerasena who was in charge of the Armoury stated that he merely noted the numbers of the rifles and the Policemen to whom they were issued on a piece of paper. P.C. Augustine, when he resumed duties at 9.00 a.n., entered these details in the. Rifles Movement Register. The rounds of ammunition issued and removed by each man were also not entered in the Register.

34A. It would appear that 15 rounds were not returned, and it may be inferred that they were fired that morning.

35. If the situation was considered urgent, and speed in the issue of rifles and ammunition was thought necessary, I think the failure to obey the Regulations may be excused. It was A. S. P. Noordeen’s view that action should be taken without delay, and I am unable to say that he was wrong in his estimation of the situation. H.Q.I. Gunasekera also appeared to have taken the same view.

36. The H.Q.I. in his evidence gave details of the personnel of the six armed parties which Noordeen had ordered. He stated that by about 8.45 a.m. he and his party had arrived at the hospital. At the entrance to Hospital Road he found concrete blocks placed on the road, and these had to be moved out to enable him to proceed. About 500 to 1000 persons had gathered there : they were unruly and abusive, and had to be moved on by the Police. He then went to Power House Road, where he found that the Police had fired on a mob and had injured 2 persons. The Old Market was still on fire, and it was then about 9.45 a.m. The Forage Stores in the New Market was also on fire.

37. He spoke to finding road barriers at junctions and other places, burning tyres and burning barrels of diesel oil obstructing the roads, and so did Noordeen. There is no doubt that these and other obstructions such as concrete blocks were put there by persons who did not want motor vehicles, including Police vehicles or Army vehicles, to use the roads. One view expressed by the witnesses was that the public put them there because they considered that the Police were moving about and causing havoc in the Market area. But these obstacles could not all have appeared after the Police came in armed parties : most of them must have been put there before the Police arrived, in anticipation of the Police coming. And why should it. have been thought that the presence of the Police would lead to havoc or disorder ? I am inclined to the view that those obstacles were placed on the roads by persons who were bent on mischief, and who did not want the Police to come there and restore order. There are always elements amongst the public who dislike the presence of the Police, because the Police have at their disposal the means of putting a stop to unruly conduct and unlawful behaviour.

38. One unfortunate consequence of the placing of these barriers consisting of burning tyres and other burning materials was that, when the Police removed the barriers by throwing them aside to clear the roads, they inadvertently caused one or two fires in shops. N. Selladurai, proprietor of Gowries Forage Stores in the New Market, said that Policemen put burning material near the door of his shop. Other shopkeepers also said they saw Policemen lifting burning tyres and throwing them at the shops. Obviously the Policemen were not pyromaniacs performing in front of the Jaffna Public, but Police officers intent on clearing the roads of obstacles which should not have been there. That is the reason that Noordeen gave for Policemen using their rifle butts to get rid of the burning tyres. They had a duty to perform to clear the roads of mobs, to clear away the road blocks and obstacles which had unlawfully been placed on the roads by unauthorised persons, and to restore order even if the citizens thought that they could be in control and dispense with the Police who are the legally empowered authority to maintain order. If members of the public in Jaffna thought that if they blocked the roads with burning tyres and barrels of oil they would paralyse the Jaffna Police force, they made a serious error. It was quite wrong for anybody to erect such obstacles as though the roads were his private property and the Police were there to be controlled by him.

39. I think the Gowrie Forage Stores was the only shop in the New Market to have been burnt. The Old Market, however, was completely destroyed by fire, and the evidence seems to point to two outbreaks of fire in it. The first is mentioned by a witness A. Sothilingam who said he had a grocery stall in the Old Market. When he was sleeping there on the 15th night he saw about 15 persons come and set fire to a shop there. They wore white. banians, Khaki shorts, and had their heads covered with towels or handkerchiefs, and they left after damaging some shops. He and some others put out the fire. He does not say who they were, and I see no reason for guessing. If it is suggested that they were I cannot accept the suggestion on such vague evidence. It should not be thought that all unidentified law. breakers should be presumed to be Policemen. The presumption of innocence extends to the benefit of all persons, including Policemen.

40. The second outbreak of fire at the Old Market is mentioned by N. Ehambaram who had a shop in it. He said that he was in his shop not on the 15th night but only on the 16th morning, when Policemen came there 3 times and assaulted and chased the people in that area. There were burning tyres at the C. S. K. junction, which the Policemen lifted and threw at the mat stalls in the market, causing fires in many shops in the vicinity. Shopkeepers in Grand Bazaar, such as K. Sadajan, S. Sivagnanam, A. C. M. Kareem have given evidence. I consider that they were referring to Policemen who caused fires by removing inflammable materials from the road not deliberately but in order to clear the roads of obstructions placed by members of the public. Not only the Old Market, but also the row of boutiques on the other side of the gravel road running by it, may have been burnt either as a result of such action justifiably taken by the Police, or by mobs bent on looting and arson. I do not consider it necessary to follow the movements of the six armed parties throughout that morning. They were busy trying to control the crowds or mobs as some may prefer to call them—who had gathered at various points in and around the market area. I have heard the evidence of some of the Police officers who had to take action against mobs that behaved aggressively or unlawfully. Some ordered the men who were in their jeeps to fire, at mobs which refused to disperse and continued to be defiant and hurled missiles at Police. It seems to be agreed that altogether four persons died of gunshot injuries—2 in Power House Road, one in Kanathiddy Road, and one at the Wellington Theatre Junction.

41. Mr. Yogeswaram complained that at about 9.30 a.m. that morning, when he was in his house, about 15 or 20 armed Policemen including P. S. Aloysius, whom he knew, entered his verandah and abused him in obscene language. They left when he ordered them out. Mr. S. Thambidurai, a retired District Judge, corroborated his evidence.

42. A repetition of such unruly behaviour was complained of, as having occurred later that morning, the offenders again being Policemen. About 4 constables in Khaki shorts and banians walked in, he said, and one of them abused him. When he ordered them out, they left.

43. Such unruly behaviour on the part of Police Officers deserves severe condemnation. If they had been identified and a complaint made against them, an inquiry would necessarily have been held. Only P. S. Aloysius was identified out of the 20 or 25 Policemen who have been complained against, and I have to decide the correctness of the complaint against him.

44. Mr. Yogeswaram said that he complained to Mr. Hurulle, this D. I. G. and the Co-ordinating Officer, but no action was taken. If the complaint was made, there must be some good reason for no action having been taken. of which I am unaware. I have heard the evidence of PS. Aloysius, a Police Officer, with 26 years service in the force. He said that on the 16th. he and 7 other constables S. r. Mendis in an armed party. They left the station at about 8.30 a.m. for Wellington Theatre Junction, where they fired at a mob. From there they went to the Bus Stand, where they stayed till 7.30 p.m. He admitted that his party passed Mr. Yogeswaram’s house that morning on their way out from the Police Station, but at no stage did he or the other Police enter that house or abuse Mr. Yogeswaram. So far as he knew, no complaint had been made against him to anybody. In view of this state of the evidence, I am unable to say that the allegation against P.S. Aloysius has been made out.

45. I now refer to 5 cases of alleged shooting by the Police on the 16th morning, none of which proved fatal.

(1) S. Vartharajah stated that at about 8.30 a.m. he was walking towards Wellington Theatre Junction to reach his work place He saw 4 Policemen arriving at the junction and firing at a crowd. He received a bullet on his right knee. He was taken to hospital, where his right leg was amputated below the knee.

(2) T. Suriyakumaran was walking at about the same time to work. He ran with other people who said that the Police were chasing them. After he passed Wellington Theatre he received a Police bullet near his right elbow and was taken to hospital.

(3) S. Kailasapillai was walking along Kasthuriyar Road about 10 a.m. when he received a bullet in his right upper arm. He said that the shot was fired by a Policeman immediately after Mr. Amirthalingam was assaulted.

(4) S. Gopalakrishnan was returning home along Kasthuriyar Road about 8.30 a.m. when he received a bullet through his right wrist.

(5) K. Edirimanasingham was walking towards Hospital Road. He saw a crowd being chased by the and he too ran. A Police bullet pierced his right thigh and he fell. He was removed by the Police to hospital, where he stayed for 5 months, and he was wearing a steel brace.

46. At about 10.30 a.m. Mr. Amirthalingam, Mr. Yogeswaram and 2 others went by car towards the old market. They stated that near the hospital they were confronted by a line of 20 to 30 Policemen pointing their rifles at them. The H.Q.I. shouted to his men not to shoot and to let them proceed. They then walked up and found that some of the constables wore shorts and banians, while others in uniform were not wearing their numerals.

47. Mr. Amirthalingam stated that he reprimanded A.S.P. Noordeen, who was also there, for saying falsely that bombs had been thrown at the police. Soon afterwards, he said 2 constables who were behind him hit him, one with his rifle butt and the other with his hand. Mr. Yogeswaram stated that he did not see the assault, but he heard Mr. Amirthalingam shouting in protest. Mr. Amirthalingam stated that the crowd shouted, on seeing him being assaulted, and 4 Policemen behind him fired over their heads. A.S.P. Noordeen denied that the Police fired at that stage.

48. H.Q.I. Gunasekera gave the time of this incident about I p.m. but I would say it was before noon. He spoke to Mr. Amirthalingam having complained of an assault by a Policeman and pointed out a Policeman, who was standing about 10 yards away, as the assailant.

49. Ille alleged assailant was P.C. Wijedasa Perera, who had been in the armed party which A.S.P. Noordeen took with him. He said that Mr. Amirthalingam pointed him out to Noordeen, and Noordeen ordered him to go to his jeep. He denied the charge of assault. No inquiry was held against him.

50. Having considered this matter, I think the reason that no inquiry was held and no action taken against this constable is that there was no eye-witness to the alleged assault. Mr. Amirthalingam stated that constables who were behind him assaulted him, and it is therefore doubtful if he was in a position to see who the assailant was. When he spoke to the I.G.P. about the matter, he was told that no one was identified as the assailant, which amounted to his saying that nobody Came forward as an eye-witness. It was therefore pointless prosecuting P.C. Wijedasa Perera.

51. Mr. Joseph, Additional G.A., stated that he went towards the new market in a van with 4 other public officers at about 10.15 a.m. Opposite the hospital the crowd informed him that they were trying to extinguish the fire there, but the Police were obstructing them. Opposite the bus stand there were 15 to 20 constables across the road, pointing their rifles at his van. When he and his officers walked towards the constables, they continued to point their rifles, and it was only after 2 members of his party shouted ” Government Agent ” and put their hands up that the rifles were lowered. Noordeen admitted that he did not approach this party: he said he did not see Mr. Joseph there.

52. Mr. Joseph said he saw Mr. Amirthalingam there, the new market was ablaze, but nobody was allowed to approach it to extinguish it. There is some dispute as to whether efforts were made at that stage to put out the fire, the Police Officers claimed that water was being used for that purpose. But Mr. Joseph clearly felt that there was insufficient action being taken, as his conduct at the Airport a little while later shows. He went there to meet Mr. Jayasinghe, Secretary for Defence, the Army Commander, the I.G.P. and the D.I.G. who arrived at about noon. Mr. Liyanage, S.P. Anuradhapura, also accompanied them. Mr. Joseph had the impression that the Police were preventing members of the public from extinguishing the fire in the new market. That impression may have been caused by the Police also trying to control the crowd that had gathered there, and with that object keeping the crowd at some distance from the new market where the fire was raging.

53. If one had formed the opinion that the Police had caused the fire, one would conclude that any action taken by the Police was taken in order to make the fire blaze more fiercly, such as the throwing of inflammable material off the roads and unintentionally causing fires to start. That may have been the impression made on witnesses who blamed the Police for the fire in the new market.

54. The visit by those high-ranking officers from Colombo was probably caused by telephone calls made by Mr. Amirthalingam to the Prime Minister that morning and by Mr. Navaratnam, M.P., to Mr. Werapitiya, Deputy Minister for Defence, to the effect that there had been rioting and Police firing and that the Police had gone berserk.

55. Mr. Joseph stated that he again asked the local heads of the Army and the Navy for their assistance to extinguish the fire, when he met them at the Airport, but he received none. When he met Mr. Jayasinghe and the Army Commander he informed them of the fire ; and when the three of them reached the Army Camp, the Army Commander immediately ordered 100 soldiers to go to the scene and told the local Navy Commander to send whatever bowsers were available, with sailors, from Kayts.

56. The offcials who arrived by air went to the market. Mr. Jayasinghe said that part of it was burnt down (that was probably the old market and the shops near it) and part was burning (which was probably a shop in the New market). He saw tyres burning at various points on the road, and concrete blocks placed round the market place. There were crowds on the roads at a distance. Mr. Amirthalingam told him that the people had collected at the market ; and for fear of the Police coming there and attacking them, they had placed burning tyres and barricades, but the Police threw these inflammable things into the market. I have already expressed my views on this matter.

57. Mr. Senanayake, then I.G.P., said that when he went to the market, people told him and the others there that the Police had set it on fire. This is, no doubt, a reference to the throwing of inflammable things.

58. There is also the evidence of Mr. Liyanage, S.P. Anuradhapura, as to what he saw. He said that several miles from the town, possibly at Urumpirai junction he noticed a stack of burning tyres on the road. They had pushed away to clear the way for the official party. He also saw diesel barrels on fire in the town itself. When he reached the old market it had been completely burnt out, and a row of boutiques which were separated from the old market by a gravel road had also been burnt. At the new market he saw a smouldering fire on which the Police, army and civilians were throwing buckets of water. By then the Army bowsers had also come there.

59. From there, he said, the party went to several other places in the town Laksala had been looted ; the C.W.E. was being looted and people were running away with goods ; a Police jeep had been burnt and gutted completely 2 or 3 bakeries owned by Sinhalese had been looted or burnt ; the B.M.C. had been looted. He noticed there that there were gun shot marks on some of the glass panes, and tins of paint had been punctured. A Police truck had also been burnt. This evidence corroborates the evidence of eye-witnesses who spoke to movements of mobs on the streets, intent on destroying, burning and looting on the 16th morning. If the Police took action against them by firing at them after a warning to disperse, innocent victims who are at the scene cannot claim redress in such cases of justifiable homicide. Sight-seers must be prepared to suffer in such situations.

60. A conference was held at the residency after the visit to the market and after the fire had been extinguished. The official party and Members of Parliament attended it. A curfew was proposed by the authorities, for that night. The Members of Parliament objected, stating that they feared that the Police would act irresponsibly under cover of darkness and unobserved by the public. No curfew was, therefore, imposed.

61. The visiting officials, except Mr. Liyanage, returned to Colombo at about 3 p.m. by air. The D.I.G. returned to Jaffna next morning. Mr. Liyanage left Jaffna next evening at about 7 p.m. by road.

62. Evidence was given by Mr. Amirthalingam that Policemen at the market were not wearing their numerals even though they were in uniform. The Police Officers, including Mr. Noordeen and Mr. Gunasekera, denied this allegation. I am satisfied on the evidence given by other witnesses, such as Dr. Dassanayake, S.H.S., and Dr. Amerasingham, Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, that there had been breaches of the Regulation which requires Policemen to wear their numerals when they are in uniform. The obvious reason for this is that they can be identified by their numerals, even if they are seen for the first time by a witness.

63. Allegations of other instances of breaches of the Regulations, and misconduct, have been made by witnesses against Police Officers and I shall now refer to them.

64. E. Pathmarajah, a market supervisor, said that when he was closing the gates of the market that morning a Police truck arrived there. A constable hit him on his head and he fell. Then 2 other constables hit him on his knee and ankle. He was taken to hospital and stayed there for 2 weeks and received outdoor treatment for a further 3 weeks.

65. Mr. T. Subramaniam, Branch Manager, M.P.C.S. Jaffna, said that 2 or 3 truck loads of Policemen stopped outside his office that morning. They got out with their rifles and fired in all directions. Bullets struck a window of his office. They then hit the cycles belonging to the office employees with their rifle butts. Mr. V. Kulanayagam, Supervisor, M.P.C.S., gave similar evidence about this incident.

66. Dr. K. Balasingham, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Jaffna Hospital, said that he came to the hospital gate that morning on hearing about the trouble in town. He saw 3 constables in uniform getting out of a van with large stones in their hands and throwing them at a pharmacy situated opposite the hospital. By 7 p.m. that day 29 injured persons were hospitalized and there were 4 deaths.

67. A businessman, Mr. M. R. Joseph, said he saw A.S.P. Noordeen driving a jeep very fast through a crowd towards the bus stand. He next saw several jeep loads of Policemen, in uniform and in plain clothes, with sten guns and rifles getting down at the bus stand and going in all directions assaulting people. He next heard the A.S.P. shouting ” shoot like dogs. It is either they or we “. About 15 minutes later 3 jeeps stopped opposite his residence, which is opposite the hospital. H.Q.I. Gunasekera was in one, S.I. Sampson in another, and constables in the third.

68. The witness said he saw constables throwing stones at his residence and damaging window panes, while the H.Q.I. and the A.S.P. were watching. He heard these officers saying ” U.N.P. pandam holder, go and inform”. They left after about 15 minutes.

69. In answer to this witness’ evidence, Mr. Gunasekera admitted that he and his party of Policemen were opposite Mr. Joseph’s house, and that S.I. Sampson was also there. He has characterised Mr. Joseph’s evidence as false. He has denied the alleged stone-throwing and the damage caused.

70. In the situation that arose in the market and hospital areas that morning the Police had to take firm and quick action to restore order to control mobs, to clear the roads and to deal with gangs of looters and fire-raisers. To some outlookers their actions may have appeared to be unnecessarily rough. Some witnesses such as Dr. Balasingham and Mr. Joseph have described the situation as ” a reign of Police terror “. Law-abiding citizens would probably have resented seeing armed parties of Policemen travelling fast along the roads and they may have thought that unneccessary force and strong-arm tactics were being used by some officers and men. But at such a time when fires had been raised in the old market and boutiques had been consumed by such fires there was no time to act cautiously and slowly. I think that there may have been excesses in the conduct of some Police officers, because they could not stop to consider exactly how they should act to restore order. At a certain stage as 1 shall show when I deal with the evidence of witnesses a state of mob rule seemed to exist. That situation had to be dealt with sternly and with the use of force. I am doubtful whether Mr. Joseph ‘s evidence can be accepted in its entirety. Some of it seems to me to give an exaggerated account of what he saw.

71. A hospital overseer S. Thilagar and his children have given evidence against the Police which I shall refer to. He was at work while his children stayed at house that morning. Having heard that a party of Policemen had entered his house and removed his 22 rifle which was licensed, he returned home at about 11.30 a.m. His children then informed him that the Police had come there, assaulted his son Rajakumar and removed his rifle. When he tried to get his rifle back from the Police he failed. If his and his children ‘s evidence is accepted the Police acted unlawfully in removing the rifle.

72. I have considered the evidence including the evidence of Inspector Gurusamy. The latter denied that he went to Thilagar’s house on that day, or that he had any part in the removal of the gun. I hold that the rifle was removed by one of the party of Policemen who entered that house despite the protests of the children, and that Gurusamy was present when it was removed. The daughter Varmi spoke to the removal and to Gurusamy telling her that the rifle would be sent back.

73. When evidence relating to this incident was led at Jaffna, it was never disputed that the rifle which was produced before me bearing No. 41830 and licensed in his name belonged to Thilagar. It was also not disputed that the same rifle was produced by S. I. Mendis and marked in inquest proceedings No. 4878 M. C. Jaffna in respect of a shooting incident near the Wellington Theatre junction on 16th August. Some 18 months later S. I. Mendis giving evidence before me stated that the rifle he removed from the side of the road and produced at the inquest was an unlicensed 22 rifle bearing no number. He said it was lying on the ground outside Geetha Engineering Works near Wellington Theatre junction.

74. I reject S. I. Mendis ‘s evidence as to the finding of the rifle in question I hold that the rifle was in fact removed from Thilagar ‘s house unlawfully. Subject to any order the Magistrate may make in proceedings No. 4878 it seems to me that the gun should be returned to Thilagar.

75. Another case of unlawful Police conduct that day was spoken to by Mr. S. Suntharalingam, then Registrar of Magistrate’s Court, Kebitigollawa. He left his residence at Point Pedro that morning to travel to his station. At Vavuniya, having seen many Tamil refugees returning from Anuradhapura, he decided to return home. He came in a lorry along the Jaffna—Point Pedro Road when 7 or 8 armed Policemen stopped the lorry at the Naga Vihara junction at about noon. They first hit the windscreen and broke it and then damaged other parts of the lorry with their rifles. Finally, they pushed the occupants out of the lorry and hit them with their rifles. The witness was hit on his left knee and sustained fractures of his leg. When he gave evidence he was still unable to walk. Witness V. M. Ponniah also spoke to this incident and to Policemen at that junction stopping cyclists and damaging their cycles.

76. Two bus drivers described their experiences with the Police on 16th August. V. Nagamany who was driving bus 23 Sri 4598 at 4.00 p.m. from Kondavil Depot to the Jaffna Bus Stand said that he passed the Railway crossing near the Nurses Quarters and came up to a jeep 23 Sri 6901 containing 5 or 6 Policemen in uniform. They placed 2 cycles on the middle of the road and ordered the witness to drive over them. When he refused Inspector Walter Perera repeated the order and a Policeman pointed his rifle at the witness. Through fear, he said, he obeyed the order. When he reached Hospital Road, the Police did not allow him to proceed, so he returned to the Depot.

77. V. Selvarajah was driving bus 23 Sri 4615. He said that at Victoria Road junction Inspector Walter Perera and 4 or 5 Policemen in uniform ordered him to drive over some cycles which they placed on the road. He also saw the Policemen chasing people along the road. He ran out of the bus and hid, until things became quieter. He took the bus back to the Depot on the orders of Mr. Thiagarajah, Depot Superintendent.

78. Mr. Thiagarajah has explained that he was asked to arrange transport for hundreds of people who were stranded at the hospital. The bus crews refused to work owing to Police assaults on the public, and he himself saw Policemen chasing people towards the hospital.

79. He persuaded the bus crews to drive about 20 buses to transport school children to their homes, and 10 buses to transport people from the hospital. He followed the convoy of 10 buses, and near Victoria Road junction he saw people running on the road because the Police were assaulting them : and he also saw damaged cycles lying on the road. So he ordered the bus crews to drive the buses back to the Depot.

80. I shall refer now to damage done by mobs to Government and private establishments on the 16th. When Mr. Amirthalingam was being cross-examined by Mr. Gunatilleke, it was suggested to him that the damage done to Laksala, Salusala, C. W. E., Sinhalese bakeries and houses was caused by the T. U. L. F. youth movement. His reply was that the Police set fire to the market, and shot and killed people ; he was assaulted near the market, and it was a calculated move to provoke the crowds ; and before the crowds could do anything, the Police shot people at random. Noordeen and the H.Q.I. tried to prevent it, but others continued to shoot. That is why, Government shops were attacked : It was a natural reaction to Police deeds viz. assaults on innocent people and the setting fire to the market.

81. I do not accept Mr. Amirthalingam’s explanation of the many cases of looting and damage done to Government institutions, bakeries owned by Sinhalese and houses occupied by Sinhalese. I am satisfied that such looting and causing of damage began early that morning, and was not a result of the fires that were begun in the market. Mobs had gone into action, and had also taken care to place obstructions on the roads, in order to prevent the Police moving speedily to check their criminal activities.

82. Shortly after the sittings of the Commission commenced at Colombo early in August, 1978, Senior State Counsel called a witness W. J. E. Fonseka. He stated that his son owned a workshop named “Geetha Diesel Engineers”, which a mob attacked and destroyed on the morning of 16th August. When he went to it that morning at about 9 a.m. he heard that there had been clashes with the Police. 3 bombs were thrown into the workshop and they explored. By then the place was being looted by a crowd of 50 or 60 persons, and the total damage done to it was more than 3 lakhs. I have no doubt that his evidence about the attack on the workshop by a mob, and the extensive damage done to it, is true.

83. It has also been corroborated by witness T. Meepage who had been a resident of Jaffna since 1967, while Fonseka had there for over 55 years. Meepage owned 2 motor repair works in August, 1977, one at 42/1, Clock Tower Road and the other at 375, Clock Tower Road. He stated that he saw “Geetha Diesel Engineers” being attacked at about 8 a.m. on the 16th, the attackers being led by one Hensman and his younger brother. He also saw the Building Materials Corporation being attacked at about 11 a.m. by Tamil mobs. He saw the Police coming there and firing in the air : they were attacked by a crowd of 1,500 to 2,000 persons with missiles, and they left because they could not control the crowd. The gun shot marks mentioned by Mr. Liyanage could have been caused by Police firing.

84. Ille witness also spoke to having seen the Crown Bakery and a jeep, which was opposite the Bakery, being burnt. I accept his evidence. His evidence also referred to the damages he suffered in his own workshop at 375, Clock Tower Road during his absence from Jaffna. A bomb had exploded there, killing one Bharatidasan. When he returned to Jaffna on 15 September, he found over 2 lakhs of damages had been inflicted.

85. H. E. Simon was a dealer in motor spares and a motor car repairer in Jaffna for 17 years. His business was called “National Diesel Engineering” and it was on Sivan Kovil Road. Most of the State—owned vehicles were repaired there.

86. He stated that on 16th August, he had 4 vehicles belonging to the police Department and some other government vehicles in his garage. When he was going there that morning he saw fires burning, and concrete posts lying on the road.

87. Shortly after he arrived at his garage, a crowd of Tamils rushed in and removed a Police truck by force and set fire to it. He telephoned to the Police, but they were unable to come there. He left Jaffna on 28th August, and returned after a few days. On his return he found that 2 of his vehicles had been burnt, and valuable parts removed from another. His house had been damaged by explosives and building materials burnt. He found both government and his personal property were lost.

88. K. A. Dharmapala was the watcher of Laksala, which was run by the Department of Small Industries. He stated that at about 9.30 a.m. on 16th August, a crowd of about 50 Tamils ordered him and the other employees to leave the premises. They then broke into the shop and looted it.

89. Mrs. P. Somadasa was in charge of the Jaffna Branch of Laksala. She stated that she could not reach it on 16th August, because the bus she was travelling in was stopped by a crowd. She went to the Kachcheri and met the Assistant Director there and returned home. She stated that she went again at 1 p.m. and told the Government Agent that she heard that Laksala was being attacked. On the 18th she went near Laksala, she saw a large crowd. Furniture, fittings, showcases etc., had been piled up on the road outside. A crowd inside were helping themselves to the goods and removing them. The iron safe had been put into a well. Tyres had been burnt on the road. She saw no Policemen there.

90. Witness G. Dharmadasa had a bakery at 32, Kanagaratnam Road, Ariyalai called “Dharmasiri Bakery”. He had been a baker in Jaffna from 1951 to 1977. When he was in his bakery on the 16th afternoon, he saw an armed crowd approaching it. He ran to a Tamil friend’s house in the next compound.

91. His van was damaged. When he returned to his bakery half an hour later he found a packet containing Rs. 18,000 (which he later reduced to Rs. 10,000) missing from his table drawer ; 4 cycles had been damaged and thrown into a well ; and his showcases were damaged. He informed the Police that evening.

92. K. Balasingham was working as an executive Assistant at the Building Materials Corporation in August, 1977. He stated that on the 16th at about 1.30 p.m. about to 60 persons, all Tamil speaking, attacked the show rooms which had been closed that morning. The contents were thrown on the road, from where people took them away. He informed the Police that evening. Tris witness’ evidence was not contested.

93. P. Sithamparanathan stated that he was a Watcher attached to the Education Department, Jaffna, in 1977. On the 16th he was on night duty. At about 9.30 p.m. all the street lights were extinguished, but the Iights in the office were on. About 30 or 35 Tamil speaking persons entered the premises, damaged a car and a van belonging to the Department which were parked there, and set fire to both vehicles. I accept this witness’ evidence.

94. Mrs. K. Evlin Fernando gave evidence as to how she and her husband a carpenter, had lived in Jaffna from 1972. He made furniture and other items for sale to the furniture shops there. Their house was at 25/5, Adampan Road, and about 6 other Sinhalese families lived near them. Their landlord was a Tamil named A. Podikappan. She stated that on 16th August evening 4 stones were thrown at their house, so they spent that night at the Timber Corporation Depot. When they returned to their house on the 17th morning they found that persons had entered it through the roof and removed all their belongings including the carpentry tools, clothing, furniture and jewellery. All the relief they received was Rs. 50 from the D. R. O. Jaffna.

95. Sarath Abeysekera stated that his father ran the “Chandra Bakery” at Station Road, Jaffna, for over 40 years. He himself had run it for 4 years until 16th August. On that day his employees left, and he closed it because he heard that Sinhalese shops and government institutions were to be attacked. That morning about 75 persons entered his Bakery through the rear entrance, and smashed the furniture, showcases etc., so he vacated it. He identified a railway employee, as one of the attackers. He left for Anuradhapura, and on his return he found that his Bakery had been burnt.

96. G. C. Avis Appu was the owner of the “Crown Bakery” at 81, Kasthuriyar Road, Periakade, Jaffna for over 40 years. On 16th August, when he was upstairs, a crowd broke in. They set fire to tables, almirahs, bags of flour, etc., on the road. He continued to stay upstairs, while his employees ran to a Tamil School Master’s premises and returned after the crowd had gone away. Although 10 Tamil persons went upstairs, they did nothing to the witness. The crowd, undoubtedly Tamils, confined their activities to damaging or burning property. A Tamil helped his son to restart the business.

97. G. Dhanapala was carrying on a Bakery business in Jaffna from 1951. In August he ran it and a tea kiosk at Karaliya junction with 9 employees. On the morning of 16th August. having heard that the “Crown Bakery” had been attacked, he ordered the bakery and tea kiosk to closed. Before that Could be done, about 50 Tamil persons carne there in a C. T. B. bus and entered both places of business and ransacked them. while he and his employees ran through the rear door to a Tamil neighbor’s house.

98. To close this chapter or incidents which on 16th August I shall mention another case of shooting of Policemen which took place on the 16th night. A mobile patrol had been sent at 9 p.m. to provide security for the Police married quarters at Pannai, about 2CN) yards from the Jaffna Police Station. 2 constables—P.C. Alwis and P.C. Nandasri–—were travelling with others in a jeep, and on their return journey they were shot and injured by unknown persons near the prison. They refused to go to Jaffna Hospital for treatment owing to the tense communal situation. Mr. LayanaB S.P.. who had come to Jaffna from Anuradhapura that day, tried to even a male nurse from the hospital to come to the Police Station to treat the Injured constables. The Medical Superintendent was not able to help, because medical staff were authorised to treat only patients who were in the hospital.

99. Alwis received 3 injuries, one of which was a pellet which entered his spine at the back of his neck. The jeep and a rifle of a constable were also damaged by the rifle fire.

100. At 10.25 p.m. the Superintendent of Police, Jaffna, sent a to the I.G.P. and the D.I.G. stating that the injured have to be necessarily removed to Colombo due to the situation here. He asked that an aircraft be sent immediately to transfer them to Colombo. A plane was sent that night from Colombo to Palaly Airport, to which the injured men had been sent, but owing to navigational difficulties it could not land ; it retuned to Colombo. The injured men were taken to Tellipalai Hospital, where a Tamil Lady Doctor attended on them, and at noon on the 17th they were down to Colombo. Alwis was in hospital for 12 days, and received outdoor treatment for 49 days.

101. On the 17that 11 a.m. a purporting to be from the Superintendent of Police to the I.G.P. It stated : Today 4 C. T. B. buses set on fire. Naga Vihara, Jaffna, is being attacked. Crowd collected at Railway Station, Jaffna, to attack in-coming passengers. Situation serious”. It was a false message because none of the incidents mentioned

102. At 11.15 a.m. another message was sent to the I.G.P., as follows : “Further to my message of just now please cancel this message. Further message will follow”. Inspector Gurusamy admitted that he ordered this message to be sent, having learnt of the previous false message.

103, But a question which was raised. and which I have not been able to decide, was as to who was responsible for the sending of the false message. Each of the witness, whom names transpired in this connection. denied that he was responsible. P.C. Kumarasamy stated that he was instructed by H.Q.J. Gunrsekera to send it, the latter having said to him, “write this down and transfer this to the Radio Room”. He wrote it down and passed it on to Radio Operator Jacob by going to the Radio Room himself.

104. H.Q.I. Gunasekera domed that he gave the message to P.C Kumarasamy. He said he first heard of this false message on 5th 1977. what A.S.P. Noordeen was holding an inquiry into the sending of thy He attributed the false implication Of himself by P.C. Kumarasamy to the fact that 7 of breach of disciplinary regulations had been made by him against Kumarasamy.

105. Gurusamy P.C. Kumarasamy ‘s statement that Gurusamy was present at the time H.Q.I Gunasekera dictated to Kumarasamy. He stated that after he was questioned by the Radio Communication Centre, Colombo. about the false message, he sent the Iater message cancelling the false one. He sent it in the name of the S. P., Jaffna, although the latter did not authorize or even know of the cancellation. In this state of the evidence, the sender of the false message cannot be identified. It was sent with mischievous Intent, and could have created an ugly situation. The usual spate of rumours began, with exaggeration playing its part as the rumours spread from mouth to mouth.

105A. Mr. Bartlett m his written submission states “There can be no doubt that that false was transmitted with the complicity of the D.I.G., Mr. Ana Seneviratne, the S. P., Mr. A. S. Seneviratne, and the H.Q.I. Mr. Gunasekera, who were then in their stations at the time it was transmitted “. There is not a shred of evidence to support this submission and I reject it as quite unfounded

106. When the Venerable K. Nandarama Thero, Viharadipathi of the Naga Vihara. reached Anuradhapura by bus on 20th August, he was told by the High Priest of Isurumuniya Vihara that the latter had heard that he had been murdered and bis body was hanging on a tree. The rumour had also been spread that the Naga Vihara had been burnt. Accordingly, in order to dispel these rumours, the Venerable Nandarama Thero gave a Radio talk at the request of Colonel Rodrigo, the head of the Army in Anuradhapura.

107. On 21st August, the I. G. P., in order to correct false rumours which were spreading over the country, sent a message to the Officers-in-charge of all Divisions and Districts in the following terms : ” I have received information that some mischievous elements are spreading false rumours that several Police Offices have been killed in Jaffna.  This is wholly baseless and completely false. Only 2 Police Officers received slight gunshot injuries on 17th August and they are totally out or danger. Take action against anyone responsible for these false rumours. Please Inform all ranks of this message. Hedquarters Stations please relay to sub-stations”.

108. Publications in the newspapers from 20th August for several succeeding days have ben produced. The Dally News or 20th August had the following item: “It is evident that various groups and individuals are deliberately inciting people to loot, violence, arson and murder by spreading false and malicious rumors regarding incidents purported to have taken place in the North, especially to the Jaffna Campus Sinhalese students” said 3 University teachers of the Jaffna Campus. ” The Jaffna Campus was closed for all students. on Wednesday the 17th instant, because of the tension prevailing there as a result of clashes between the Police and civilians. More than 400 students. together with members of the academic staff. left Jaffna that afternoon in special C. T. B. buses and all of them reached Anuradhapura safely that night. The following day special C. T. B. buses again took students to destinations such as Kurunegala. Kandy and Colombo. We too travelled in these buses and reached Colombo last night“,

109. The 3 teachers were Mr. Harsha Gunawardena, Department of English ; Mr. D. H. Sugathadasa. Department of English : and Mr. D. Thiranagama. Department of Geography.

110. On 22nd August an important message went out from the I.G.P. to all Officers in charge of Divisions and Stations giving the text of the Prime Minister’s message which was : ” All Army and Police personnel should take the firmest action under the law to deal effectively and promptly with cases of violence. The whole country is depending in this crisis on the Police and the Services to restore and maintain law and order. Do not have slightest fear to take the firmest action under the law. I will uphold acts of all Army and Police personnel in all cases of arson and looting.

111. Evidence has been led about two conferences which were held in the Kachcheri on the 17th, one at about 11.00 a.m. and the other in the evening. The D.I.G., S. P., Jaffna, S. P.. Anuradhapura. Heeds of departments and others were at the morning conference.

112. Mr. Thiagarajah, depot Superintendent, C. T. B., was why buses were not being operated and he replied that the bus crews were afraid of the Police. He was asked to arrange for the University students to be transferred to their homes.

113. Dr. Dassanayake, Superintendent of Health Services, stated in evidence that he told those present that there was a threat of a strike by the minor staff of the hospital, because a large number of Policemen were not wearing their numerals, and a Policemen had assaulted a Mortuary Labourer on the 16th evening.

114. He asked the D. I. G. to fulfil 5 conditions before he sent a Policeman to the Hospital, viz :

(1) he should bring a letter from the Officer-in-charge of the Police Station,

(2) he must be properly clad and wear his numerals, (3) it must be stated in the letter whether he is armed or unarmed, (4) he must get permission from the Medical Superintendent, (5) he must be at his place of duty and nowhere else.

115. These conditions, he stated, were agreed to by the D. I. G. but when Dr. Dasaanayake was called to this Hospital that afternoon and went into a room there, he found Inspector Walter Perera holding an inquiry in the presence of a Sergeant and 2 constables, none of whom was wearing his numerals. He accordingly wrote a letter of protest to the Superintendent of Police. The latter stated in evidence that he did not receive the letter. Although Mr. Liyanage stated that at no stage of that conference did Dr. Dassanayake mention that Policemen had been on duty without their numerals, I see no reason to reject Dr. Dassanayake’s evidence on the matters mentioned by him.

116. Both Mr. Seneviratne, S. P., and H.Q.I. Gunasekera denied that Policemen were moving about in uniform without their numerals. On the other hand Inspector Gurusamy admitted that Policemen were in town without their numerals, and Dr. Amarasingham stated that he saw many constables in the Hospital premises without their numerals. I accept the evidence of the last two witnesses, which corroborates Dr. Dassanayake’s evidence.

117. On the 17th, Dr. Dassanayake received a threat from an anonymous caller that he would be shot like a dog. On the 18th he drove to Vavuniya and on the way his windscreen was damaged by a stone and a passenger was injured. On the 19th, he went to Colombo through Anuradhapura, having obtained leave till the 23rd. He went to work at Anuradhapura for a few days and was shocked at the conditions in the Hospital Mortuary. He found the entire health services there at a standstill, with only 5 out of over 40 Doctors working, and only 3 out of 47 Institutions in the area functioning.

118. I shall now refer to incidents that took place on the 17th. J. Liyanage, Driver of van 22 Sri 4209 belonging to Air Ceylon was driving it to Palaly Airport that afternoon. Some persons, who he thought were Tamils, threw stones at it from behind. On his return journey to Jaffna, people standing on either side of the road threw stones at it and damaged it.

119. S. Ponnambalam was the driver of jeep 31 Sri 8124 belonging to the Government Agent, Jaffna. It was being used in August by Mr. Logeswaram, Deputy Director of Planning. On the 17th, Ponnambalam drove it to Annacottai at about noon. At Ottumadam junction the jeep was obstructed by a taxi placed across the road, and he was dragged out of the jeep by 6 young men, and pushed into a drain. They snatched the switch key from him and drove away in the jeep. He stated that they were all Tamils. The jeep was later found burnt near the Kaithady bridge. His evidence was not contested.

120. 3 employees of the Multi-purpose Co-operative Society, Chankanai, have given evidence of offences committed on the 17th.

121. V. Kanagasabai stated that he was manager of Co-operative Store No. 24. That afternoon a gang armed with guns came by jeep and looted the store. They wore masks and did not speak, so he could not identify them. The jeep was 31 Sri 384.

122. K. Vigneswaran was Manager of Store No. 25, which a gang came and looted. He could not say whether they were Sinhalese or Tamils. They were armed and came in a jeep bearing the number already mentioned. They wore masks. S. Paramagurusamy was Manager of the Store at Araly East. A gang wearing masks came and looted the store without speaking. He could not say whether they were Sinhalese or Tamils.

123. G. Karunawathie and her husband, N. Carolis, had been living in Jaffna for many years, in complete harmony with the Tamil residents. He was a Watch repairer. She noticed signs of uneasiness and excitement on the morning of the 17th. There were crowds at the Railway Station and the Naga Vihara. She therefore sent her children that morning to the Police Station, and she and her husband followed them there. They spent 3 days there. On the 17th evening, when she went to her residence she found that almirahs had been forced open and their contents stolen as well as clothes, the children’s school books and 4 clocks belonging to her 4 daughters. The furniture was damaged and burnt.

124. They left Jaffna, but they hoped to return there soma day as they had many friends among the Tamil families.

125. An incident in which some Policemen were involved has been described as having taken place on the 17th afternoon. Mr. Thiagarajah, Depot Superintendent, CT. stated that when he returned to his at 1 p.m., his assistant informed him that he had received a telephone message to the effect that bus 22 Sri 2227 had been hijacked by constables opposite the Naga Vihara. The said he tried but failed to contact the Jaffna Police and the G. A., so he informed Mr. Yogeswaram.

126. The bus in question returned to the Depot at about 2.15 p.m., and the driver and conductor reported matters to him. He went with them to the Kachcheri, where the D. I. G., S. P., G. A. and others were, and the details were related to them. G. James, the Driver, stated in evidence that when ha was driving the bus 22 Sri 2227 that afternoon from Karandua to the Depot at Kondavil, Policemen stopped it at Naga Vihara junction. 15 to 20 Policemen entered it and ordered him to drive to Anatids Road and stop there. The Policemen went to a jewellery shop, broke into it, broke almirahs and showcases and carried chairs and tables to the road and damaged them. Books and papers were also taken to the road and burnt. A table fan was also taken out of that shop and left on the road. He further stated that the Policemen then broke into a jewellery shop across the road from the first shop, brought out documents and books and burnt them, and also took out a suitcase from that shop.

127. The constables then entered the bus with the fan and the suitcase and ordered him to drive back to the Vihara. In all 2 shops were looted, he said. He added that none of the constables wore a numeral.

128. The Conductor, S. Selvarajah, who stated that he stayed in the bus throughout the incident, corroborated the driver in the sense that things were brought out of two shops and set on fire. He also said that a fan was brought out of the first shop attacked and a suitcase out of the second shop. They both stated that the second shop to be attacked was opposite the first shop

129. It should be noted that neither of them said anything about the buildings having been set on fire ; or that a fire started in the first shop attacked spread to the two shops adjoining it on either side. The only fires they have spoken of are fires started by the Police party with broken furniture and books and papers.

130. The evidence of two jewellery business owners which was led subsequently does not quite tally with the evidence of the two bus employees. A. Kanagasabapathy, who stated that he was the proprietor of A.K.M. Jewellers, said that his shop was on one side of Krishna Jewellers, while a photography business owned by one Kadiravel was on the other side. He and his workmen were in his shop on the afternoon of the 17th, when about 5 Policemen came in a bus and broke into his shop and Krishna Jewellers and Kadiravel’s shop. They were in uniform, carried guns, but had no numerals. They assaulted him and his workers, They took the jewellery which he had completed on orders and they also took the gold and jewellery which he was in the process of making. They destroyed the utensils and tools used for that work and threw them on the road. They also took a table fan. They smashed his showcases and pictures.

131. The witness also stated that they acted in the same way at Krishna Jewellers and also broke into Kadiravel’s shop. They then set fire to Krishna Jewellers premises first by bringing something like a mattress into the shop and setting fire to it. That fire spread to the witness’ shop and to Kadiravel’s. Attempts were made to put out the fire in his shop but they failed, so the occupants ran away.

132. K. Murugamoorthy gave evidence. His firm, Diamond House Ltd., of which he was Managing Director, was on the same side of the road as A. K. M Jewellers and Krishna Jewellers. All the jewellery shops were closed that day, he said, but he was on the balcony of his shop when he saw a bus stopping at the junction of Kankesanturai Road and Kannathiddy Road. He saw more than 10 Policemen getting out, wearing uniforms and carrying rifles and walking along Kannathiddy Road firing at the buildings.

133. He said he saw them breaking into Krishna Jewellers ; and breaking the furniture into pieces and throwing them out and setting fire to them on the road. They came out with a suitcase. Then he saw Krishna Jewellers premises on fire and that fire spread to A. M. K. Jewellers and to Kadiravel’s premises.

134. He next stated that he saw the Policemen entering “a third shop”, which they broke into. Though he did not speak of the Policemen breaking into A. M. K. Jewellers’ shop or taking things out of it and burning them, or removing a fan from there, I presume that would have been the second shop.

135. The “third shop”, according to the witness, was across the road from A. M. K. Jewellers and Krishna Jewellers and it was called Vel Jewellers. He said he saw the Policemen break into that shop too, and they went to the bus carrying a suitcase. He identified one of them as having worked in the Traffic Branch of the Jaffna Police and his name was Gunaratne.

136. The witness stated that while they were trying to put out the fire after the Policemen had left, another truck load of Policemen came there shooting. The people ran and he saw a man falling during the shooting, behind Krishna Jewellers. Army personnel later came there and took his body away.

157. I shall digress for a while to deal with this shooting incident. I accept this witness’ evidence about a man having been shot and killed by the Police. He is supported by the inquest proceedings in M. C. Jaffna No. 4880. The Magistrate returned a verdict of homicide by gun shot injuries and for- warded the record to the Director of Public Prosecutions who returned it with the remark ” No action ‘

138. Inspector Clement Perera, who inquired into the death, stated that nobody disclosed how the deceased came by his death. He stated that he was accompanied on his visit to the scene by P. S. Appai and 2 constables who had come to Jaffna on special duty. He said that he was not accompanied by P. C. II 19, Sattanathapillai.

139. I refer to this because Sattanathapillai when giving evidence much earlier said that he accompanied Inspector Percra to the scene, and that witness Kandasamy came forward there and made a full statement which the Inspector did not record.

140. I prefer to believe Inspector de Silva rather than Sattanathapillai. The latter’s numeral has been introduced into the notes of inquiry made by de Silva by what is clearly a subsequent alteration, written over another numeral which had been originally written, de Silva said that the alteration was not made by him and I accept his statement. The alteration has not been initialed.

141. Sattanathapillai also made what I consider a false statement, when he said that de Silva told him that the Superintendent of Police, Mr. Seneviratne, asked de Silva to put the blame for the shooting on the Army.

142. I consider him to be a false witness on other matters also, who introduced a lot of prejudicial hearsay into his evidence. Some instances of this are (l) his statements that a meeting of Police Officers including S.P. Seneviratne, Inspectors, Sergeants and Constables was held at the S. P’s house on the 15th night ; (2) that after the meeting they made an entry about going to Pungudutivu but went to the Market instead and set fire to it at 1.30 a.m. with sprayers filled with oil ; (3) that D. I. G. Seneviratne at an Instruction Class held on the 13th or 14th said that ” All Tamil P. CC have contributed to the T. U. L. F. “—a statement which A.S.P. Sillva said was not made. I entirely reject P. C. Sattanathapillai’s evidence.

142A. I reject as unfounded the attempt to implicate D.I.G. Seneviratne, as having made charges against Tamil Police Officers of having contributed to this T. U. L. F. It was suggested that he held Instruction Classes in many parts of the Island, where such charges were made. There is no proof at all that he did so.

143. I return to the incidents which occurred on Kannathiddy Road. I have considered the versions given by the driver and the conductor on the one hand, and the jewellers on the other. They appear to me to be irreconcilable, The Policemen who came in the bus have, to my mind, been falsely implicated in respect of the burning of Krishna Jewellers’ shop, Kadiravel’s shop and A. K. M.’s shop. A false allegation has also been made by K. Murugamoorthy that the Policemen were firing at the buildings as they walked from the bus. Another false allegation is that they broke into three shops. The bus employees have mentioned only two, and those would have been Krishna Jewellers’ and Vel Jewellers’, according to their version.

144. About a year after the evidence of the witnesses I have referred it was given, 3 other jewellery shop owners were called by Mr. Karunaratne.

145. One of them was B. A. Matheshamy who ran a jewellery workshop on that road. He stated that on the 17th morning he saw his workshop and the establishments Of the other 2 witnesses D. Liyanawaduge and B. W. piyasena being broken into. The three of them went with the Police to the Naga Vihara and he did not return to the scene that afternoon.

146. Witness B. W. Piyasena stated that he saw his Jewellery shop and Matheshamy’s Workshop being attacked at about 10 a.m. by persons who took showcases, almirahs, etc., out of his shop and smashed them on the road. He too went to the Vihara after that.

147. He went on to state that at about 2 p.m. after hearing that North Ceylon Jewellers’ Shop (owned by the father of D. Liyanawaduge) was being attacked, he and Liyanawaduge went in a bus with Policemen and others and saw a crowd damaging the 3 establishments of Matheshamy, himself and North Ceylon Jewellers ; but all the Tamil owned shops were intact. He took his fan, Liyanawaduge took his bag, and they returned to the Vihara.

148. It seems unlikely that with a crowd on the rampage attacking their shops, this witness and Liyanawaduge would have ventured to rescue a fan and a bag. According to the bus driver and conductor these are the articles that were saved from destruction by the Policemen.

149. D. Liyanawaduge also spoke of seeing an attack by an armed crowd on B. W. Piyasena’s shop at about 10 a.m. The crowd was shouting abuse about the Sinhalese. He and others were taken by the Police in a truck to the Vihara at about 12 noon. On learning later that his shop was being attacked, and as he wished to go to it, he stated that some persons near the Vihara stopped a bus which was on its way to the Bus Depot. He and some others appealed to the driver to take them to his shop and the driver and conductor raised no objections ; so 12 to 15 persons, including 6 or 7 Policemen with rifles, went in the bus at about 2 p.m. to Kannathiddy Road. He said that he saw his shop, Piyasena’s shop, and Matheshamy’s shop being looted and damaged by a crowd. He took his travel bag, Piyasena took his table fan, and they all returned in the bus to the Vihara at about 2.30 p.m.

150. I have grave doubts about this story. It is most unlikely that a bus driver and his conductor would have agreed to go on this unauthorised journey when they were on their way to the Depot. Even the number of the bus has not been disclosed. There was no urgency that required the bus crew and the Policemen to make this trip. The time at which the journey is said to have been made was much later than the time at which the Depot Superintendent learnt of the hijacking which was reported to him.

I hold that the hijacking spoken to by the C. T. B. employees did 151. take place and that the Policemen who went in their bus were guilty of mischief in respect of the 2 shops, Krishna Jewellers and Vel Jewellers—I do not accept the alleged burning of the shops by the Policemen. Burning and looting had begun on the 16th morning as I have already mentioned, and the events of the 17th were a continuation of those unlawful activities by mobs in spite of the attempts of the Police parties to stop mob lawlessness. Indeed, though it has been suggested that mobs bent on looting and destruction of Government and private property were only provoked into doing so because the Police had set fire to the market on the 16th morning, I reject that suggestion. The rioting and destruction by mobs began, in my opinion, before the Police had time to clear the roads of inflammable material.

152. It also seems to me that the burning tyres, concrete slabs and burning oil in drums had been placed in various spots as a preparation for rioting and looting by persons who were bent on unlawful action. It is significant that Mr. Liyanage saw burning tyres several miles from the town. I do not think that was intended to hinder the movement of Police parties in Jaffna around the market : it was more probably meant to obstruct the movement of Police from outside the town into the town to restore order and stop lawless activities. Witness W. E. Simon saw fires burning and concrete posts lying on the road when he was going to work on the 16th morning. It was shortly after he reached his garage that a crowd removed a Police truck from there and set fire to it.

153. Further incidents of the 17th in which the Police figure should be mentioned, and I accept the evidence of the witnesses who spoke about them. Mr. Amirthalingam stated that the University authorities had asked that some Members of Parliament should visit the students on the Campus, because they had been confined to it from the 16th morning. Accordingly, the Members for Udupiddy, Jaffna and Manipay left by car. At the Naga Vihara junction Policemen broke the flag on the car, took out a tin of petrol and threw it away and ordered the party to turn back. He stated that they informed him and he informed the D. I. G. Mr. Navaratnam, M.P., said that he too complained about this and the next incident to the D. l. G. who said he would make inquiries. The next incident near that junction was spoken to by Mr. Thambidurai. He said that he was travelling in the car of Mr. Navaratnam, Attorney-at-Law ; 5 or 6 Policemen standing on the road levelled their guns at the car when it approached them and Mr. Navaratnam stopped the car. The Policemen then struck it several times and smashed the rear window and front windscreen.

154. Mr. Anandamoorthy, Municipal Electrical Engineer, stated that at about 11.30 a.m. on the 17th he was riding his motor cycle near the same junction when some Policemen stopped him. He told them who he was, and proceeded. They stopped him again and ordered him to dismount and asked him whether he knew Sinhalese. He answered ‘yes’ in Sinhala. They hit his cycle with a rifle butt and damaged it. He was assaulted and told by them to wheel his cycle.

155. Mr. Sivagnanam, the Special Commissioner. stated that on the 17th afternoon he was driving his car from Tinnavely to Jaffna. At the same junction he was stopped by a road block of seats and benches across road and 8 to 10 Constables, armed and in uniform. He told them who he was One Constable hit the bonnet of the car with the butt of his gun. He was asked to open the boot of his car. He said he was going to office. Having been warned by them “last time, don’t come this side”, he was allowed to leave.

156. P.C. 5890, Nadarajah went to that same junction, wearing a verty and shirt. He was probably mistaken for a civilian. because he was hit with batons by Constables who were not members of the Jaffna Police force and who were wearing uniform without numerals. He complained to H.Q.I. Gunasekera who immediately telephoned and ordered the Constables to stay within the Vihara premises.

157. Mr. Joseph, Additional G.A.. referred in his evidence to the conference held on the 17th evening where it was brought to the notice of Mr. Hurulle and Mr. Werapitiya (for the second time that day) that the Police had hijacked a bus. broken into Jewellery shops and looted them. He stated that the D. I. G. pooh-poohed the idea and refused to accept it.

158. Mr. Amirthalingam also stated that when he was at the Airport on the 17th evening on his way to Colombo, he received a message from Mr. Yogeswaram and Mr. Navaratnam, M.PP, about the hijacking of a bus by Policemen, and the breaking into and stealing from Jewellery shops. He said he conveyed this message to the D, I. G. who was also there and the latter replied that the Police would not have done that and there was no C. T. B. bus anywhere on the road.

159. Mr. Amirthalingam said that when Mr. Hurulle and Mr. Werapitiya arrived by air, he informed them also about the message had received.

159A. Mr. Amirthalingam has stated that the D.I.G. also told him that the troubles had gone to Anuradhapura and Kurunegala—tomorrow it will spread to Colombo and other places ; it will be worse than 19SS. I have asked to say that this proves the D.I.G.’s involvement and complicity. I refuse to do so ; he may well have been making a forecast from information that he had received and shared his view with Mr. Amirthalingam.

160. It should not be assumed by anybody that Police officers are incapable of breaking Regulations, or misconducting Evidence led in support of allegations made against them should be carefully considered, like any other evidence, and either accepted or rejected after all the evidence has been heard. It is wrong to prejudge any complaint.

161. A conference was held at King’s House by the Co-ordinating Officer, Mr. Rajasingham, on 19th August. Remembering past misbehavior on the part of the police, Mr. Navaratnam, M.P., stated that he, Mr. Yogeswaram and other invitees attended it only after they were assured that there would be no repetition of that. Yet, as they reached the Fort gate after the conference, Policemen started hooting them. They had to drive along a road which was lined on both sides by hooting Policemen up to an important road junction.

162. When this incident was mentioned to Mr. Wijepala, Government Agent, the next day, he consoled Mr. Navaratnam by saying that it had happened to him also in front of Inspectors, the A.S.P. and the S.P. Mr. Wijepala in the course of his evidence confirmed that he was hooted on 21st August, when he was returning after a visit to the Co-ordinating Officer. He said that it was organised hooting, which lasted from the entrance to the Fort to the Police Station.

163. H.Q.I. Gunasekera stated under cross-examination that Mr. Wijepala was hooted near the Stadium only, opposite the Police Station, by bus crews, refugees and possibly the Anuradhapura Police, and not by Jaffna Policemen. I prefer to accept Mr. Wijepala’s version. He placed the starting point of this disgraceful episode at a much earlier spot—the entrance to the Fort. Mr. Gunasekera also denied that hooting by the Police occurred when Mr. Navaratnam and Mr. Yogeswaram were returning from King’s House on the 19th August. I cannot accept his denial. Nobody would want to speak of being hooted if such a thing did not take place. It is essential that lapses of this kind on the part of the Police should be dealt with instantly and severely, but this does not appear to have been the practice in Jaffna at this time. Whatever may be the reason for which the Police acted in this fashion, and I am glad to say that it is a comparatively rare occurrence, a member of a disciplined force has no excuse whatever if he acts as the witnesses have described.

164. On 18th August morning, two C.T.B. employees, K. Balasubramaniam (a welder) and •R. Kandiah (a driver) complained at the Depot that they had been assaulted near Ariyakulam junction. They also complained to A.S.P. Jayasuriya at the Kachcheri when Mr. Thiagarajah took them there. Conditions in Jaffna continued to be unsettled.

165. Witness R. A. Karunawathie was living in Colombuthurai Colony since 1958. She stated that on the night of 18th August, a tractor came towards her house, and she ran and hid in a Tamil house. Thereafter her house and 3 other houses belonging to Sinhalese were burnt down, and she left Jaffna for good. The attackers, she said, were shouting in Tamil and were Tamils.

166. A similar complaint was made by another resident in that Colony Mrs. K. P. Caldera, who was married to a Tamil. She stated that her house was set on fire on 22nd August, 1976. She reconstructed it, but it was again destroyed, and not a single Sinhalese person’s house was left there. There was a dispute as to the desirability of establishing a Colony in Colombuthurai, called Mamiam Thotam, or Amerasekerapura after the Government Agent who established it. It was, in fact, a Housing Scheme which Mrs. Caldera said was started for 125 Sinhalese and 200 Tamil families. I can see no objection to such a scheme. Both communities have a right to live in Jaffna or anywhere else in this Island, as they have always done. Mr. Amirthalingam, however, seemed to think that the Sinhalese who were settled there were comparatively wealthy. I doubt this, because the Government Agent would have satisfied himself that the persons chosen were deserving of the allotments given to them. Mr. Yogeswaram wanted a scheme by which 100 per cent Tamils would be settled in Tamil areas and 100 per cent Sinhalese in Sinhalese areas. I consider this a wholly impracticable and undesirable suggestion. It would be an extension of the evil system of segregation in schools, where the children of different communities worked and played isolated from each other. The idea is, I suppose, to keep the communities apart, i.e., no Sinhalese Colonies in the North and no Tamil communities in the South, a rule which, if it is followed, would be on the ground that Sri Lanka cannot be a united, multi-racial and multi-lingual country. It is not a rule which has ever been followed in the Island, and I would not recommend that it be adopted in the terms suggested by Mr. Yogeswaram. Over and over again witnesses have spoken to the fact that the two races have lived together for hundreds of years on the friendliest terms, except for occasional outbursts of violence which have quietly died down. Such out- bursts, while they are to be deplored, should not be treated as irremediable disasters. As regards the Colombuthurai Housing Scheme, it appears that the Sinhalese were forced to abandon their houses and allotments, and it is regrettable that Mr. Amirthalingam and Mr. Yogeswaram should seek to justify such a forcible ouster. I think the dispossessed victims should be resettled there, if they are willing to return.

167. Evidence has been led regarding disturbances which occurred in the Jaffna University Campus from 16th August until the Sinhalese students left Jaffna on the 17th afternoon.

168. Mr. M. Puthirasigamany was the Chief Security Officer of the Campus from November, 1975. He stated that the students returned, after the vacation, on 15th August and lectures were given that day.

169. At noon on the 16th he saw 10 to 15 Tamil youths pelting stones at the Security hut, and demanding that the Sinhalese students be sent out of the Campus.

170. Another crowd came to the gate, armed, at about 3.00 p.m. The witness heard the report of a gun. He ran in that direction and saw that his clock had been smashed, 2 guns had been removed, and 2 telephone receivers damaged. The students spent that night in the Campus : the Army wore there from 7.30 p.m. till 4.45 p.m. on the 17th.

171. On the 17th the Sinhalese students were transported to Anuradhapura in 14 buses. Most of them took their belongings with them. Before they left, nobody informed him that any Sinhalese student had been attacked or injured.

172. Dr. K. Indrapala was looking after the duties of the President of the Campus from 1st to 20th August. He stated that the students left it at about 4.00 p.m. on the 17th, having been confined to the Campus from the 16th morning. No Sinhalese students were attacked either at the Vadukoddai or at the Tinnevelly premises, and no one was injured or harmed before they were transported.

173. Mr. P. H. D. Gunawardene, Instructor in English, also stated that no Sinhalese student was injured or harmed. He travelled in the convoy of buses that left Jaffna on the 17th afternoon and reached Anuradhapura at about 10.30 p.m. They left Anuradhapura on the 18th and reached Colombo that night.

174. He said that rumours of Sinhalese students having been cut into pieces were heard by him at Elephant Pass, and had reached Anuradhapura before he arrived there. The Government Agent was asked to send a radio message contradicting the rumours, and several newspapers which the witness produced contradicted the rumours from the 20th onwards.

175. On the evidence of the last three witnesses, there is every reason to be satisfied that no Sinhalese students were injured in or near the Campus. It is also clear from the evidence of Mr. K. P. Wijesurendra, who functioned as Additional Registrar of the Jaffna Campus till 17th August, that not a single Sinhalese girl student was touched or molested in Jaffna during that period. Dr. M. U. de Silva, who accompanied the convoy, stated that at Medawatchchiya ho heard a rumour that the students had been assaulted, and he contradicted it.

176. Evidence was given by two Sinhalese students of the University about some Tamil youths having assaulted them on the 17th.

177. Mr. K. W. T. Talagune stated that he was taken from the house of Mrs. Jeramiah to the house of Mrs. Sathasivam on the 17th. 5 other students joined him at the latter place. A Tamil crowd entered that house, and he along with 2 other students, Osmund Fernando and Galagoda, received injurios from the crowd, all of which were non-grievous injuries and amounted only to contusions. He also complained that cash and clothes belonging to him were removed.

178. Osmund Fernando stated that on the 17th morning he went to Mrs. Sathasivam ‘s house with 5 other students including Talagune. A crowd of Tamil youths attacked them there and removed their belongings. At 1.30 p.m. they were conveyed to the Campus, and they left that evening for Anuradhapura. His injuries were trivial.

179. A matter which was inquired into for some time was an attack by 2 persons on an undergraduate of that Campus named R. S. Marasinghe. It took place on 1st March 1977, and he received serious stab injuries in his abdomen, and injuries inflicted with a cycle chain on his face and head. He became partly paralysed and he will have to spend the rest of his life in a wheel chair. It is a sad case because he suffered and is still suffering a great deal.

180. The only question I intend to consider is whether the matters he has spoken to fall within the terms of this Commission. I hold that they do not.

181. It is regrettable that when he was a patient in Jaffna Hospital some misadventure overtook him, and undid all the good work done by the Doctors there. I am sorry for him and I hope he will receive some State aid. I was informed that a prosecution was pending in the Magistrate’s Court of Chankanai over the attack on him.

182. The Venerable Weerambuwe Wimalabarathy, Incumbent of the Buddhist Centre, Jaffna, gave evidence about the difficulties he experienced as a Buddhist monk living in Jaffna since 1972. He complained that he had been assaulted once by youths in February 1976 and told to leave Jaffna ; he was abused by Tamil youths while walking on the public road in March and May 1977 ; the Buddhist Centre building was willfully set on fire and the cadjan roof was burnt on 5th July, 1977.

183. The most serious incident of all was the burning of the Refectory of the Centre on the night of 19th August, while he was seeking refuge at the Naga Vihara. He left Jaffna for Anuradhapura on 24th August, and on 13th September, on his return to Jaffna he gave information to the Police.

184. I accept his evidence of the incidents. I regret very much that a priest should have been treated as disgracefully as he was.

185. He produced two hand bills which purport to have been issued by the T.U.L.F. One of them requests all self-respecting Tamils to participate in the hoisting of the Rising Sun flag by Mr. Yogeswaram, M.P., on 7th September, 1978, at T.U.L.F. Headquarters, and to boycott all schools, events and celebrations on 7th, 8th and 9th September. The other urges all Tamils to boycott celebrations connected with the coming into force of the new Constitution on 7th September, 1978, and not to allow their children to show respect to the National Flag or sing the National Anthem on that day.

186. have expressed by condemnation of this involvement of children in political struggles and the boycott of schools. They should not, in my view, be used as pawns in the contest between the lawful government of this Island and those who arc seeking to divide the country. It is wrong for any party to encourage lawlessness amongst the youth, in their effort to achieve their aims ; and to induce school children to disobey their teachers by keeping away from school is to start them on the road that leads to law-breaking and terrorism. More alarming than the handbills was a pamphlet, of which this witness produced a photostat copy, which he said he had seen during the 1977 elections and which was circulated by the T.U.L.F. It states ” All join to set fire to the Sinhalese devils “, and contains a photograph of Mr. Yogeswaram. It is a highly inflammable and objectionable document. Mr. Yogeswaram said he did not issue it, and the publisher did not inform him of it before he published it. I hope he published a disclaimer and gave it wide circulation , he would have risked having his name linked with a thoroughly objectionable document which, I have no doubt, was calculated to rouse racial strifes and might well have contributed to the disturbances of August 1977.

187. On the 19th August, night, according to K. Nagarajah, a security officer C.T.B. who was on night duty at the Jaffna bus stand, two armored cars stopped opposite the Leo Cool Bar. The occupants looted it and the cars then left. On a later trip, they stopped opposite the Ambal Cafe. Army personnel forced open the Cafe door and smashed a radio. They removed a wall clock and bottles of sweets. The witness was supported by S. Navarasa, Manager of the Cafe. 188. Mr. Amirthalingam stated that on that night an all Island curfew was in operation. Under cover of the curfew, all the statues of Tamil Scholars had their heads broken.

189. On the 20th night also, accordingly to P. Gunaratne, a security officer C.T.B., Rani Watch Works was damaged and goods removed from it. There was also evidence that 2 armoured cars came near the Somasundaram Pulavar Statue opposite the bus stand : 2 men climbed up to the statue, and one damaged the head while the other damaged the arms.

190. The last incident in Jaffna occurred on the 26th night when a whole row of shops adjoining the bus stand were completely burnt down. There was no evidence as to who was responsible for this crime.

191. There were a few instances where persons running a bakery or shop left places of business when the trouble started. On their return they found that damage had been done to them, but they could not say on what date the attacks were made. I shall refer to some of these cases. G. Abeysekera was running a canteen at the Tinnevelly Division of the Jaffna Campus. On 17th August, he closed it and returned to his village in the South. When he returned to it 2 months later, he found that it had been broken into and his private belongings removed and some show cases damaged.

192. He stated that he also owned 2 bakeries in Jaffna, one at Kaithady and the other opposite the hospital. On his return, he found both damaged and articles missing. They were named Asoka Bakery and Janaka Bakery. It is doubtful whether he can recover compensation for any loss he suffered, because he was uncertain as to when the damage was done. It may have been after 15th September. I also feel that he was exaggerating his losses.

193. Another such instance was the bakery of E. A. Guneris who bad run a bakery in Jaffna for over 40 years. In 1977 he ran one named Central Bakery ” at Sinnakade, which he had started in 1964, and ran till 17th August.

194. On that day he learnt that the bakery near the railway station had been burnt down, so he went to the Police Station for protection. After 4 days there and in the Temple, he went to Anuradhapura. He returned 2 months later, and found that everything in his bakery had been removed, the bakery kitchen was destroyed and all the furniture, equipment and utensils had been stolen.

195. He was 74 years old, but he restarted his business in the same premises and lives there with his daughter and son-in-law.

196. There is also the case of David Sirisena who owned a shop at Chunnakam for 20 years. When he and his family were in the house of a friend Mr. Swaminathan on the night of 18th August, a Sinhalese came there with bleeding cut injuries. They all went to the Police Station that night, and on the 19th they went to the Naga Vihara. From there they went to Matara. He was later informed that his shop had been burnt by 3 or 4 Tamil persons.

197. M. A. Saranagama, who had served the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation for 16 years in Jaffna, left for Anuradhapura on 20th August, When he returned on 11th September, he found that all his furniture had been taken out of his house and burnt. He informed the Police about it and returned to Colombo. On 27th December, he was ordered to return to Jaffna which he did.

198. A group of 5 witnesses gave evidence of losses that they and others had suffered in a fishing village called Champiyanpattu. The nearest Police Station to it is at Pallai.

199. One T. H. Bastian Silva owned lands and houses there, including a bakery, petrol shed, boutique, mill and fishing wadiyas. There was evidence that they were all damaged during the August 1977 disturbances.

200. Witness W. A. Fonseka, an accountant, estimated the damages at over one lakh. All Bastian Silva ‘s account books were burnt, and over 2 lakhs of debts due to him became irrecoverable in consequence. He relied on a letter written by Mr. Thurairatnam, M. P. certifying that the damages mentioned had been suffered.

201. Another witness G. Wijeweera stated that he had worked as a clerk under Bastian Silva, and then became his lessee of a bakery. He left the bakery on 19th August on advice given by the Police and went to Anuradhapura. On returning about a month later, he found the bakery damaged, and the books and records relating to many advances given to fishermen lost.

202. P. K. Edwin Silva had run a dry fish business there for 32 years. Ho and other residents were taken to the Police Station after receiving threatening post cards. They left all their belongings behind. When they returned on 27th September they found that their wadiyas had been burnt and their goods stolen. He recommenced his dry fish business in 1978 on a land belonging to a Tamil lady who is married to a Sinhalese.

203. W. M. Loku Banda was running a tea boutique at Pallai in August 1977. When part of it was burnt, he left for his village on 17th August. When he returned shortly afterwards, everything had been stolen. He continued to stay there despite threats he received in October 1978.

204. Finally, N. Wickramasooriya who had been in the fishing trade at Champiyanpattu, spoke about his uncle having received threatening post cards which he showed to the Pallai Police. The Police took no action, and returned the post cards to him.

205. I have no doubt that in all the cases I have set out, regarding incidents in Champiyanpattu, the aggressors were Tamils. 206. A bus Driver named K. A. Dharamasena had worked for the C. T. B since 1967. On 3rd September 1977, he drove his bus from Jaffna to go to Matale, leaving at 8.40 a.m. At Yakachchiya, almost 7 miles from Elephant Pass, a young Tamil who was seated behind him pointed a pistol at him and ordered him to stop. He was then shot 3 times on his chest and left arm, and he collapsed. Everyone in the bus ran away.

207. He was able to drive to the Elephant Pass barrier, from where the Police took him to Kilinochchi Hospital. He was transferred to Jaffna Hospital and then to Colombo Hospital on 6th September. 208. He is unable to use his left arm and cannot drive any more. He has a young family. He complained that he had not received any remuneration or gratuity. I brought this case to the notice of the Chairman, C. T. B. for his consideration, because I thought it was a matter which called for early redress.


Colombo Fort

I start my recital of events in Colombo with a shocking story.

(l) Two Postmasters who were working at the Cntral Mail Exchange in McCallum Road related their experiences. Mr. S. K. Balasubramaniam stated that he had been working there for 6 years as a Supervising Offcer. On 19.h August, he and 7 other Supervising Offcers, of whom 7 were Tamils, were working in the mail room along with 200 minor employees. At about 12.30 a.m. on the 20th the lights in one section were switched off. Mr. Kanaga- lingam, Chief Supervising Offcer, made arrangements to light Petromax lamps ; but before they could be lit, the lights in the other sections also were switched off by the minor staff who then started to assault the Tamil Supervisors. They first used mail bags and then chairs, as weapons. Mr. Balasubramaniam said that he was hit on his hand and head, and fell unconscious. He was dragged along the floor into the foreign mail room. Mr. Mahaarachi took the other Supervisors into that room and locked it. By doing that, said Mr. Balasubra- maniam, that offcer saved their lives.

The matter was reported to their superiors, and the Chief Postmaster and the Postmaster General came there on the 20th at about 6 a.m. The Maradana Police also came there. When Tamil offcers reported for duty that morning, they were severely assaulted in the presence of their superior offcers. More was to follow. From the entrance gate they were told to crawl up to the rear entrance of the mail room and all this was done in the presence of those superior officers and the Police Officers.

A Police van arrived there and the injured Tamil officers were taken away to the Maradana Police Station. The Police officers there, displaying callousness which has been displayed on other occasions during this period, asked than “Are you all for sale ? ”

Most surprising of all is this witness’ evidence that no action had been taken against their criminal subordinate officers who attacked them that day. On the contrary, those subordinates are still working there ; and I am not surprised that this witness, like others placed in his position, does not wish to work again in that mail room.

(2) Mr. T. Somasunderam, who also gave evidence, was working in the Central Mail Sorting Room. When he arrived for work at 8 a.m. on the 20th he was informed of the earlier incidents, but he could not leave because the crowd was all round him. He went into the Mail Room where he thought he would be safe. He was pushed and assaulted, and he fell—all this happened in the presence of the Deputy Chief Postmaster, Mr. de Silva. He went to the Fort Police Station, then to the Accident Ward, and to the Dental Institute where he was warded for 4 days with a broken jaw. He next went to Jaffna where he was operated upon. He too refused, naturally, to return to work at the Mail Room where his assailants were still working. He lost some belongings, and should receive compensation.

(3) Even at 11 a.m. on the 20th the thugs in the Central Mail Exchange were still on the rampage. Mr. G. Selvarajah, Postmaster and Signaller, Central Telegraph Offce, went close to the Exchange and asked a man where his uncle Nadarajah was working. The man went inside the Offce, and the next thing was that the witness was being dragged into the Exchange and attacked simul- taneously. He stated that about 100 persons assaulted him. His shirt was removed, he was stabbed with a knife, and hit on his head with a baton. He escaped, and was taken by the Police to the General Hospital for treatment. He claimed compensation in Rs. 25,000 because he is unable to concentrate or to study, his leg is disabled owing to an injury to his knee, and he limps when he walks.

(4) Mr. K. Sivakolandu was at this tiare a Supervising Offcer in the Foreign Parcels Offce, on the 2nd floor of the G. P. O. On 20th August, at about 9 a.m. he was supervising work at the Customs Package Section. Out of a crowd who came up to the counter, 4 or 5 persons — all Postal employees — went inside. The witness identified B. L. Perera, a porter in the Department, as one of those who then assaulted him with his fist. The witness then jumped over the counter and ran into the Air Mail checking section, also on the 2nd floor, and checking offcer Peiris who was there locked the door. A Police Inspector was summoned, but the attackers were. not there when he arrived. The witness went to the Fort Police Station and made a statement.

The witness went to Jaffna but returned when he received an ultimatum from his Department. He asked that B. L. Perera be transferred. Instead of that reasonable request being granted, Perera was kept there and promoted to Peon. The witness, strangely enough, was transferred to Central Mail Exchange, the battleground of the earlier incidents. When the witness gave evidence before me, he was still working there : and to make matters worse, 2 weeks before he gave his evidence a Supervisor, Mr. Kandasamy, was hit on the head there during an electricity failure at night. As the witness stated, the communal problem was still existing. All I can say is that it will exist and worsen, if those who have acted as the minor staff of this Department are said to have acted, are pampered and promoted.

Pettah, Hulftsdorp, Kotahena, Mutwal

(1) I have referred, when I wrote about incidents of Rikillagaskada, to the death of Periannan Sivalingam (husband of Mrs. S. Nageswari) caused by burns which.he received in a shop called ” Alpine Stores ” in Old Moor Street’ Pettah, which was set on fire on 24th August.

(2) K. Arunachalam, a trader of Gasworks Street, Pettah, said that he went to his shop on the evening of 23rd August after a week’s absence from it. He found it had been looted. His loss was Rs. 25,750 out of which the Social Services Department had paid him Rs. 800.

 (3) K. Nagesh was the Cashier of a hotel in 2nd Cross Street, Pettah. On 20th August at about 6 p.m. 3 youths entered it. One of them threw a hand bomb which exploded. Showcases were damaged, cash stolen, and bottles were broken on the witness’ head causing injuries. He was warded in the General Hospital for 3 days. His employee Sathasivam was murdered near the Pettah market.

(4) A. Thambirajah had traded in Hulftsdorp Street, Hulftsdorp, near the Law Courts for 52 years. His shop was called ” Thambirajah Stores ” which was managed by M. Subramaniam. On 23rd August, when the shop was opened, said the Manager, a crowd demanded ” Kappam ” from him so he closed the shop. That evening it was set on fire at about 8.30 p.m. after it was looted. Loss amounted to Rs. 46,000.

(5) K. Sangarajah, a trader of Jampettah Street, Kotahena, had a son Nagarajah. The latter went to the Pettah on 23rd August to make purchases for his own Oilman Stores business which he ran in the Pettah. At I I a.m. that day the witness heard that his son was in hospital and went to see him. His son told him that he was with a companion Ramachandra who was first attacked, and then he himself was attacked, by a gang who inflicted 21 injuries. His son died in the hospital about 4 to 6 weeks later.

(6) S. Kangasingham was living in Mutwal. He stated that on 22nd August, several Tamil houses in his area were attacked by Sinhalese. The next day when he returned home at 1.30 p.m. he found that his house had been attacked and looted, and his wife and other occupants injured.

(7) S. F. Xavier was a Translator in the C.T.B. On 22nd August, when the curfew was on, a gang entered his neighbour’s house in Mutwal and looted it, so he went to a Sinhalese house for shelter. On the 23rd when he went back to his house, which was also in Mutwal, he föund it had been completely looted. He complained that although a curfew was declared, no effective control was maintained to see that it was observed.

(8) Mr. A. Thayaparasingham, a clerk in the Port Tally and Protective Services Corporation, was at work on 20th August, when some of the employees of the Corporation assaulted him. When he went later to his room in house No. 112, Alutmawatte Road, Mutwal, he found it had been looted. He went to the refugee camp and thence to Jaffna where he arrived on 8th September. On 8th October, he wrote by registered letter asking for a transfer to Trinco- malee. He was transferred as from 15th November, but he did not receive the letter transferring him. He later received a letter on 8th November, informing him that the earlier transfer was erroneous, and was cancelled. He then wrote a letter dated 28th November, by registered post, to which he received no reply. All he got thereafter was a notice of vacation of post. He now asks that the notice of vacation of post be cancelled, and that he be transferred to Trincomalee and paid his back wages. He deserves to have the confusion that has overtaken this correspondence examined sympathetically.

Slave Island

Three witnesses who suffered losses over attacks on their houses which were in Wekande Road, Slave Island, have given evidence.

(I) Mr. K. Nagarajah, Chief Clerk, C.W.E., was living in No. 58/4. It was attacked on 21st August, and looted at 7 p.m. He lost everything which was init and he estimated his losses at Rs. 35,000. He found it impossible to work thereafter with his former colleagues who were hostile to him, so he asked for a transfer to Jaffna. Instead of that, he received a notice of vacation of post on 24th November, 1977. He now asks for 10 years’ salary as compensation, having served 17 years with the possibility of working for another 15 years.

I am in sympathy with his appeal, as I do not think it was reasonable under the circumstances to expect him to return to his former post.

(2) Mr. K. Poothathamby was Assistant Postmaster, Pettah. On 22nd August, at about 7 p.m. his house was attacked and his belongings removed. He went to the refugee camp at Bambalapitiya, and was later attached tempo- rarily to Chunnakam Post Offce and then to Manipay Post Offce. He has asked for a permanent transfer to Jaffna as he is not willing to return to Colombo.

(3) Mr. V. Nadarajah, a draughtsman in the Buildings Department, Colombo was living in his own house No. 65, Wekande Road. On 22nd August, an armed crowd came there at about 7 p.m. and threw hand bombs at the front door. The house caught fire, and he and his family fled to nearby shanties for shelter. He went to Jaffna, and when he returned 2 weeks later he found his house had been razed to the ground. The house was worth lakhs, and the occupants lost belongings worth Rs. 28,000. The experiences of two travellers by train, one from Slave Island to Dehiwela and the other from Maradana to Slave Island, will be related here.

(l) Mr. G. S. Rajanayagam, Credit Controller, Colombo Commercial Co. Ltd., was travelling by train from Slave Island to Dehiwela on 19th August. He left Slave Island at 6.30 p.m. A crowd in his compartment assaulted him saying that he was a Tamil, and Tamils were beating up Sinhalese people in Jaffna. He was robbed of his wristlet watch and Rs. 2,000 cash before he reached Dehiwela.

(2) Mr. R. J. Francis, who was living at Horape, Ragama, travelled daily by train to the Fort Station. On 24th August, he travelled in that way, but before the train left Maradana Station a group of young men entered his compartment. After the train moved out, one of them slapped him and all the others joined in the assault. He lost 4 teeth. They did not allow him to get out at the Fort Station, and continued the assault on the journey to Slave Island. He got out there with diffculty, and complained to the Police.


Mr. M. G. Karunakaran, who was unemployed, was living in Cotta Road, Borolla. On 23rd August, he heard a knock on his door, and on opening it he saw his landlady and 12 armcd thugs there. They threatened him and his family, and obtained his wife’s and mother’s jewellery and other belongings. He said that the landlady poured oil on the contents of the wardrobe which were taken out and set on fire. He suffered losses. Ho made a complaint to the Police regarding this incident.


Mr. M. Ramasamy was living in Athurugiriya, about 10 miles from Colombo. On 24th August, he reached his house from Colombo, where ho worked, at about 6 p.m. At about 9 p.m. he heard a gun shot, and a crowd then surrounded his house. The curfew was on at the time. While he was in his room. 2 men, Sirisena and Berty, entered it and inflicted 32 cut injuries on him. All the occupants of his house including his children were injured, except his wife. His house was damged and looted. The Police took him to Hospital, where he stayed for 15 days. He mentioned to the Polido the names of 5 assailants who were known to him. They were arrested, but no action had been filed when he gave evidence : the papers wore said to bo with tho Director of Public Prosecutions. His damages exceeded Rs. 60,000. His gun and his wife’s jewellery were stolen. He mentioned that the Sinhalese Manager of a Petrol Shed helped by offering to take him to Hospital.

Hendala, Kelaniya, Ragama, Ja-ela, Negombo

(l) Mr. G. Arumugam was living in Hendala for 11 years. owing to threats he had received, the police were patrolling the area. on 20th August when the curfew was on, his house was attacked by a mob which had earlier attacked other houses. His old father had 3 fingers cut off, and was later killed ; the witness’ thumb was cut off ; his sisters were cut with knives. When the mob tried to set fire to the house, the police arrived. His losses were assessed at Rs. 70,000. A criminal case was pending over these incidents. Rs. 12,900 had been paid as compensation for his father’s death. He praised the good work done by 0.1.C., Karunasena and other offcers there.

(2) Mr. R. R. Ramadas was living in Hendala in his own house for 13 years with his family. on 20th August, an armed mob attacked his house but did not loot it, although they entered it. It was looted subsequently, as the witness discovered when he returned to it on the 30th. His losses amounted to Rs. 15,000. Although a case was filed, and he had given the names of several persons he identified, he said only one accused was convicted, and he

 (3) Manonmani, daughter of Rengasamy, was living with her parents at Bollegala, Kelaniya. Her father dealt in old bottles and newspapers. On 20th August at about 6 p. m. a gang entered the house, carrying weapons, and ordered her parents to leave. The parents left. About an hour later the same gang, consisting of 8 persons, entered the house and closed the front door. The witness ran out through the rear door but was seized and raped by 2 men, whom she knew by sight because they had gone past her house previously. She informed the Police on the 21st, and she was taken to the hospital and examined. An identification parade was held, and she identified a man named Quintus, who worked in a tile factory. It appeared that Quintus was identified by 3 witnesses at the identification parade which was held in the Magistrates Court, Hulftsdorp. Another suspect named Nimal appears to have been absconding since the incident occurred. I made inquiries into this matter, as it was a serious offence which was alleged by the witness, The case is M. C. Colombo No. 63761. Long after the inquiries by the Police. the Information Book extracts had still not been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. I fear that this type of delay, and casual treatment or offences, is all too common, as I discovered during my hearings.

(4) Mr. S. Rajendran, who was attached to the C. W. E. in Colombo, built a house at Ragama with a loan of Rs. 10,000. The house was attacked at about 11 p.m. on 20th August by a crowd who entered it. A man named Harold and another named Evappu used force on his daughter and himself. He mentioned the names of 6 intruders to the Kandana Police.

Owing to injuries, he was admitted to the Ragama Hospital. The attendants and other patients there showed their hostility to this unfortunate man and his family, so he left the Hospital on the 22nd and finally went to Jaffna.

(5) Mr. J. A. Phillips of Kopiyawatte, Ragama, had a poultry farm. On 26th August a gang of Sinhalese attacked his house and stole all 66 fowls which were in his farm, and the valuables in his house. He mentioned the names of 3 attackers to the Police who, he said, recovered a number of the stolen articles, and 28 fowls. When he gave evidence the articles were still in the custody of a Court, but he had not received summons in any case. He estimated the value of the stolen things at Rs. 85,000.

(6) K, Thanabalasingham, a trader of Ja-ela, heard on 20th August that his shop there had been looted. He went on 20th September and found that goods worth Rs. 22,000 had been removed.

(7) K. Masilamany, also a trader of Ja-ela, had a shop in Station Road. On 18th August a crowd of armed Sinhalese first attacked a large Tamil shop named Liberty Stores, and then the witness’ shop at about 4 p.m. Cash amounting to Rs. 3,000 and goods were stolen. His total loss was about Rs. 6,000.

 (8) K. Suntheralingam was carrying on a textile shop in Green Street, Negombo, in a building which contained 4 Tamil shops. His stock was worth Rs. 90,000. On 19th August his shop was attacked at 6.30 p.m. by a Sinhalese mob, and he ran away. On the 20th he found that his shop had been looted and smashed up. He stated that about 10 or 12 Tamil shops in Negombo suffered in the same way.


(l) Mr. S. Ganesh was living in Hill Street, Dehiwala, with his family. On 22nd August at about 8 p.m. when they were at home an armed gang entered it. They cut him on his shoulder and wrist : his wrist was amputated when he was in Hospital for 3} months. His wife was stabbed on the chest, and her infant child was also injured. His brother Rajamany was cut on his head. He produced medical certificates relating to himself, his wife and his brother. He made a complaint to the police.

His house was looted, and he suffered damages on that account. He has received compensation in Rs. 8,950, but he states that this is inadequate because he cannot work any more as a typist, and he is unemployed.

(2) Mr. N. Selvarajah, an Inspector in the Telecommunication Department, was living in Dehiwala. He had a poultry farm adjoining his house in August 1977. On the evening of 23rd August about 60 thugs entered the farm and stole all the birds in his absence : his neighbour informed him about that. He suffered damages in consequence.

(3) B. M. Ponniah had an Oilman Store business opposite the Roundabout at Dehiwala for over 30 years. On 20th August thugs entered his shop at about 6 p.m. and smashed it up. He closed his shop on the 21st and went to the refugee camp. The building, which belonged to him, was burnt. He sold it for Rs. 25,000 and estimated his losses at over one lakh.

(4) Mrs. Sarojini of Dehiwala gave evidence in camera. She stated that on 22nd August about 8 p.m. when a curfew was in force, her husband who was approaching their house was stabbed by some persons who were hiding in their garden. She and her sister took him into the house. The police arrived and took her husband to hospital where he died. She was paid Rs. 12,900 as compensation by the Social Services Department. The attackers were not indentified.


(l) Mrs. Saraswathi Benedict was living with her husband, father and child at 32, Rajamalwatte Road. Her husband was an engineer, and her father was a retired Laboratory Assistant who had a small grocery business in that house. On the night of 19th August, when they were asleep, the house was attacked. She saw her husband struggling in the hall with a masked man, and she ran to the next house.

The police informed her that her husband and her father had been injured and had been taken to the hospital. When she went there, they were both dead. The Social Services Department has paid her Rs. 12,900 compensation.

(2) Mr. M. A. Francis had a shop in Ratmalana which was looted and damaged during that period. The 2 dead men referred to above were his uncle and nephew, and he saw their bodies in Kalubowila Hospital mortuary on the 20th. He went there from a refugee camp, and saw crowds attacking Tamil patients who were in that hospital. He himself was beaten up in a ward, and when he ran to the Police Post he was attacked there by the officer in charge.

Senior State Counsel asked him if he complained to the Inspector General of Police or anybody else : he said he did not. From the knowledge I have acquired in these proceedings, I should say that I am not surprised he did not, because it is all too clear that little would have been gained by his making any complaint to them.

(3) Mrs. Thilakawathi Arumanayagam was living in the Railway Quarters Ratmalana, with her husband and 3 children. He was a Foreman Plate Layer. On 20th August she, her children, and her brother were waiting for a taxi, and her husband was approaching them, when 4 thugs hit him with an iron rod on his head. They took his suitcase and wrist watch and left him lying on the road. A Sinhalese gentleman took her and her husband in his car to the Mt. Lavinia Police Station and then to Kalubowila Hospital. She praised Inspector Perera of that Station for his assistance. Her husband was transferred to the General Hospital and died on the 22nd. Her husband was 37 years old • her children were 6, 4 and l} years old respectively. All their belongings were stolen, and her losses were heavy. She asked for compensation.

(4) Mr. P. Navaratnam is a retired Senior Deputy Commissioner of Labour who was living in his own house in Hindu College Square, Ratmalana. The house was close to Bolgoda Lake. There were no incidents there until 21st August. On that day at about 1 p.m. he heard a terrific din. In spite of the whole day curfew, he saw a large crowd at the rear of his house. They were armed. They smashed his windows, looted his house, took his valuable documents, and the jewellery of the ladies including his wife’s ear studs after tearing her ear lobes. The telephone wires had been wrenched off.

Two armed policemen had been patrolling the Square, and they were opposite his house earlier. They were invisible when the invasion took place. When S. I. Bongsojayah, an eficient omcer, arrived there in a jeep, the mob bolted. They had come across the lake in a boat, and they jeered at the Police from the other side.

On a later day, the witness stated, he saw a boutique burning at Dehiwala junction, and street urchins controlling the tramc while 2 policemen standing in front of the boutique looked the other way.

His losses were assessed at Rs. 50,000. He stated that until then all the residents of different communities had lived there as one family. When the communal riots broke out, the lawless elements tried to achieve their ends.

(5) Mr. K. Arasakoon was living in Ratmalana. On the evening of 23rd August his house was attacked by an armed mob and looted. His losses were assessed at over Rs. 50,000, exclusive of property worth Rs. 5,000 which the police recovered. He stated that 12 persons were arrested and charged in that connection.

(6) K. T. Kanapathy Thevar of Ratmalana ran an eating house with 12 employees. His turnover was about Rs. 500 daily. On 23rd August it was attacked and some of his employees were stabbed. His losses were assessed by him at Rs. 23,000.

(7) Mr. M. L. M. Ibrahim was living in Ratmalana with his family. He said that on 28th August, when the curfew was on, at about 6.15 p.m. an armed mob attacked and looted his house. He informed the police, who came there. His losses were assessed by him at Rs. 10,000.

Nugegoda, Kirillapone

(l) Mr. S. Sinnathamby, a retired prosecuting omcer of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles Department, was living at No. 8, Jambugasmulla Road, Nugegoda. His house was attacked at about 5 p.m. on 19th August by a mob of about 50 persons. He and his 4 sons ran out and telephoned to the Kohuwala Police and to S. I. Sunderalingam of the Nugegoda Guard Room. At about 5.30 p.m. he saw the mob removing his belongings.

He walked to the Dehiwala Police Station reaching it at about 2 a.m., but the police refused to record his complaint as his residence was in the Kohuwela Police area. The Sub Inspector took him to Kohuwela Police Station, but the offcers there refused to record his complaint.

I have received similar complaints against the Police from other witnesses who complained (1) that they had been sent from pillar to post, because they had apparently not gone to the correct Police Station ; (2) that complaints made by them even at the correct Police Station were not entertained. In times of crisis and danger to life and property, a policeman who is astute to discover ways of avoiding rendering assistance to members of the public, when they ask for his help, is a positive menace to society. The Force could well dispense with the services of policemen of that type. An inquiry into these complaints of this witness should be made early.

I shall not set out the harrowing experiences which the witness has related, and the further complaints he has made against the police.

(2) Mr. M. K. Kanagendran was residing in his own house in Nugegoda, while working as a Staff Assistant at the Central Bank. On 19th August when he was at home with his wife and children, they were attacked by about 10 thugs who ran away when their neighbours, Mr. & Mrs. Wickremasinghe, came to their rescue and took them into their home until II a.m. on the 20th. He then went to the Hindu College refugee camp, while his wife and children stayed with friends.

His house was attacked again on the 20th and 21st during curfew hours. His valuable books were burnt, and electrical fittings, furniture and jewellery were stolen. His damages were assessed at Rs. 30,000. He had been through a smilar experience in 1958. He has found that Sinhalese offcers in his department and other departments are hostile to Tamil offcers, so he wishes to be transferred from Colombo or allowed to retire with 10 years service added. This request seems to me to be reasonable.

(3) Mr. P. Ganeshanandan, an offcer in the Valuation Department, was residing at Madigala Road, Nugegoda, on 20th August. He went from there to his landlord Mr. Francis’s house for his safety, and a mob of 50 persons came there and dragged him and his brother to the middle of the road. He. was hit on his head with a battle-axe and so was his brother ; they received depressed fractures of their skulls. He recovered consciousness 2 days later in Kalubowila Hospital. When he was taken to the X’Ray Room on the 22nd, the hospital employees attacked him, and he was taken from there to the General Hospital for surgical treatment.

His fingers are permanently impaired. Having been transferred to Jaffna, he asks that he be employed there permanently. His belongings worth over Rs. 25,000 were stolen. He identified one of his assailants as a vegetable seller named Henry.

(4) Miss M. Selladorai, a teacher at Wesley College, was living in Nugegoda with her father and others from 1940. On 20th August she went to a wedding, leaving her father at home. Next morning she learnt that her father had been attacked and taken ultimately to Kandy hospital, where he died of his injuries. His statement to the Police has been produced in evidence. Their house had been looted, and their losses were assessed at over Rs. 50,000.

(5) Mr. K. Satchithanandan was a Research Offcer in the Department of Fisheries, Colombo, living in Edmonton Road, Kirillapone. His house was stoned on the night of 20th August, so he moved with his family to the refugee camp at Bambalapitiya. After several days he was able to find his way to Jaffna. He has produced a list of scientific works which he has published as a result of his research in the Department.

Owing to what he had suffered, he applied for a transfer to Jaffna, but he was refused one on the ground that there were no facilities for research in Jaffna. He described this as an inappropriate reply, because he could do such work in Jaffna where he had already done research, as well as in Mannar and Palk Strait. He fears if he returns to Colombo he will be assaulted by Sinhalese’ as were 15 trainees at the Mattakuliya Offce. He has asked this Commission to recommend that if he is not permitted to work outside a Sinhalese area, be be permitted to retire with a pension and given his arrears ofsalary for November and December 1977. I consider his request reasonable and one that should be granted.

(6) Another resident of Kirillapone, Mrs. P. L. Gnanasampanthan, owned a house No. 14 Sangabo Place. It was looted and burnt on 24th August, resulting in damages amounting to Rs. 140,000. Her other belongings which she lost in that fire were valued at Rs. 60,000 including Rs. 12,000 worth of jewellery.

(7) Sudalavadivel, widow of J. G. Madavan, had been living in Kirillapone for 30 years. She stated that on 20th August at about 8.30 p.m. a crowd attacked her house and other houses in the locality. They stabbed and killed her husband and burnt his body. She estimated her damages at Rs. 10,000. She received a cheque for Rs. 10,000 as compensation for the loss of her husband. She said she gave it to an Attorney at Law who took it to the Kachcheri, after she had endorsed it with her thumb impression. It had been agreed that the money should be deposited by him in the names of herself and her two children. He had not done so. This matter requires careful investigation by the police.

Mirihana, Kohuwala, Battaramulla, Gangodawila

(l) W. Samayavila was living in a rented house in Battaramulla. On 9th September at I .30 a.m. it was attacked by 5 armed persons, led by Ladie Singho, he stated. He informed the police on the 10th morning and left for Kilinochchi. He was carrying on the manufacture of earthenware in a kiln in the rented premises. He assessed his losses at Rs. 9,153.50.

(2) K. S. Chandrasegaram, a Government Surveyor, was residing with his family at Gangodawila. On 19th August at 5 p.m., he said, a Tamil business man was stabbed at Delkandajunction. At 6.30 p.m. he went to the Mirihana Police Station and asked for police protection, and he was told that the area would be patrolled. He returned home, but before he could enter his house an armed mob entered it and attacked his 2 Tamil servants mercilessly, and then went into a room in which his wife, sister and children were hiding and attacked them and took their jewellery. Hisnew motorcycle worth Rs. 18,500 was taken away and buried : it was rendered useless.

His total damages, he said, amounted to Rs. 70,000.

On the 23rd the house was looted again and the remaining articles were stolen. A case was pending against some accused in M. C., Gangodawüa. He complained that the accused had threatened him ; and his wife had been refused Police protection for the purpose of attending the Court as a witness.

 (3) A trader of Kohuwalo, M. Ramachandran, stated that on 21st August at about 8.30 a.m. his neighbour’s house was attacked and looted by a crowd, who thon camo to his house and did thc same. He wag hit with an iron rod. Whon ho complained to tho police, they refused to record his statement. His lossos woro Rs. 4,700.

(4) M. Krishnan ran a tea boutique at Mirihana, about 150 yards from the Police Station. There woro 4 Tamil shops near it. On 19th August at about 10.30 p.m. his boutique was attacked, and on the 20th it was sot on fire. Armed policemen were standing there, but they did nothing. His loss was assessed at Rs. 12,000. He mentioned that David’s Bottle Shop, a Tamil Barber’s Saloon, and Murugosu’s Shop which were close to his boutique were all attacked and burnt.

Maharagama, Pannipitiya, Avissawella

(1) S. Siriniwasan was running a Jewellery shop and hotel at Maharagama Cor 12 years. On 18th August the shop was attacked at about 10.30 p.m., after a rumour was spread that P.C. Bandara had been murdered, his body had been hung in beef stall in Jaffna, and it was being brought to Maharagama by plane. White flags were flown. Leaflets were circulated. When the witness was informed by his servant that his shop had been broken into, he went there and found it had been opened, and Jewellery had been taken, but the safe had not been opened. When he returned home, he found his house had been completely looted. He found the missing members of his family in a jungle behind the house.

Later he found his safe had been broken open and the jewellery in it had been stolen. His hotel was also attacked and goods worth Rs. 17,000 had been removed. His losses of jewellery were estimated to be Rs. 47,000 and of household goods Rs. 50,000. The Social Services Department paid him Rs. 850.

The witness stated that in Maharagama almost every Tamil house and shop was attacked, and that happened in Nugegoda and Mirihana also. He attributed this to the spread of false rumours. (2) Mrs. Avasi Anthony was living in Maharagama on 18th August. Her house was attacked at about 10.30 p.m. by about 20 persons. She ran out’ but. her daughter and son-in-law were assaulted and the house was looted• Her damages were Rs. 10,000. She complained at the Police Station, and identified Samara and Chandra among the She stated that the police recovered some of the looted jewellery from the latter’s house.

(3) Mr. R. S. Power was a Printing Foreman living in Maharagama. On 20th August at 4.30 p.m. a crowd attacked his mother’s house, and both his mother and his father were injured. His father subsequently died. His 2 brothers were cut, but when Sinhalese neighbours came there and shouted the crowd ran away. Ono of his brothers who was cut also died. He stated that when the crowd first came there they shouted : P. C. Bandara has been murdered at Jaffna and his body has been brought to Maharagama.”

(4) Mr. D. S. Asirwathan was living in his own house at Pannipitiya with his family. On 20th August while a curfew was in force a crowd attacked his house at about 8 p.m. They were outsidors and not neighbours. Thay damaged tho house and looted it. He had lived there for 60 years, but ho was tho only Tamil living there, and his house was thc only house attacked in that area. His losses were assessed at Rs. 87,000.

(5) M. Vadivalagu, a clerk under P. M. Rengasamy, pawnbroker of Avissa- wella, stated that at about 9 p.m. on 19th an armed crowd tapped on the door of his house. Whcn he flashed his torch, his hand was cut. The house was then attacked. His wife’s thali and chain were snatched, and also the children’s ear studs. The house was damaged. He was admitted to hospital that night and his statement was recorded by the Police. His losses were about Rs. 10,000. A case was pending against some accused in M. C. Avissawella No. 30526.


(I) G. Perumal was a worker on Ayr Estate, Padukka, on 19th August. Thåt night a crowd came to the lines with torches and guns and damaged the rooms. He ran away and returned next morning, to find that the rooms had been looted. He stated that the raiders came from the adjoining villages. His wife made a statement to the police on the 21st. About 30 families, all Tamils, had their line rooms attacked. No case had been filed against anybody. (2) Sandanam Mani, a worker on Padukka Group, Padukka, stated that at about 10 p.m. on 20th August, a crowd attacked 3 line rooms on the estate besides his own. His losses amounted to Rs. 5,000. No action had been filed because, presumably, the attackers were not identified.



M. Santhanam, a Kangany on Clunes Estate, Dehiowita, had lived there for 29 years. He was in his line room with his family on 19th August. At about 9 p.m. an armed gang led by one Sumane of Kanangama attacked and looted the line, starting with Sellam’s line room. He stated that Sumane had a gun and a torch, and shot him in his right arm ; the witness’ wife was cut with a sword ; and his nephew Narayanan was cut on the back of his head. The estate Dispenser Jayasooriya refused to treat those injured persons. On the 20th they went to the Deraniyagala Police Station, taken there by Ratnasena Mudalali in his car. Their statements were recorded and they were sent to the hospital, and from there to Kegalle Hospital. He lost Rs. 7,000 worth Of goods. A case had been filed against Sumane over this attack.


(1) M. Mahalingam had been a resident of Eheliyagoda for 23 years, and ran a business in Main Street with a stock in trade of Rs. 90,000. On 19th August at about 7 p.m. his shop was attacked after all the lights in the bazaar had been extinguished. Other shops were attacked before his. He stated that all the Tamil shops were looted and burnt. Ille Police had been guarding the bazaar owing to rumours that had reached there, and the Police Station was about 150 yards away. His shop was entered by the mob and looted. 2 policemen who were there fired into the air and then ran to the Police Station. He estimated his losses at Rs. 100,000 or more.

(2) This witness also stated that Rajagopal’s shop was burnt, and he died in the fire. The mob consisted of 300 to 400 persons. Their main purpose was to loot. He attributed the attacks to false rumours, such as that Sinhalese had been cut up and their bodies were sent in fish boxes.

(3) P. Natchiappen was a dealer in Main Street, Eheliyagoda, in old and new tyres. He stated that at about 6 p.m. on 19th August, when he was at home a van was toppled into the river about 200 yards away. The next day he found that his shop had been looted, but not burnt. His losses amounted to as. 65,000. All the Tamil shops in Eheliyagoda were attacked. The witness was only a tenant of his shop.


(4) R. Rengasamy, a labourer on Matuwagala Estate, Kiriella, stated that on 19th August, a crowd of about 200 came armed and shouting that Tamils should be killed. They attacked the lines and looted them, while the workers ran away and hid. His damages were Rs. 1,000. He did not know the attackers. He said that a worker Velu was grievously injured and another named Muthu lost his Sewing Machine, Jewellery and petromax lamp.

Ratnapura Town

M. Sambasivam was running a shop in Main Street, Ratnapura. On 19th “August at about 6 p.m. a gang led by one Ananda came there with lighted torches and bombs. A torch was thrown at the witness’ nephew Selvarajah whose clothes caught fire ; he jumped into a lake. At about midnight another gang came, poured petrol on his shop, and burnt it. His losses were estimated at Rs. 50,000. His neighbour Naina’s shop also got burnt. Selvarajah is now mentally afflicted.

A case was pending against some persons over these incidents. The witness said that almost all the 30 Tamil shops in Ratnapura were attacked, though oniy 2 were burnt.



 (I) Mrs. Jeganathan Seetha was unmarried on 22nd August, when her line room in Neboda Estate, Neboda, was attacked. Her uncle Perumal was stabbed when he was running away. When she went to his aid, she was dragged away and raped by 2 persons. All this happened at about 3 p.m. on the previous day the lines had been attacked, and fowls stolen. The attackers were about 20 or 25 years old.

(2) A. Selliah was a Kangany on Neuchatel Estate, Neboda. His Division was sorrounded by villages. On 24th August, the lines were attacked at about 7 p.m. by a gang consisting mostly of youths. 12 rooms were entered and looted : 3 rooms were set on fire. His father Adaikan was cut and killed • he himself was stabbed, and his wife’s ear studs were stolen. He estimated his damages at Rs. 1,300.


(l) E. Rasalingam was engaged in a rice bran business in Matugama. On 20th August at 3.30 p.m. he was informed that his store was in flames. On the 21st, other Tamil shops were attacked. on the 22nd, his house and Dr. Manickarajah’s house were burnt, and he ran to the jungle. He lost goods worth Rs. 12,500. No case has been filed over this incident.

(2) K. Ehambaram was a worker on St. George Group, Matugama. The Matugama Division on which he worked was sorrounded by villages. On 23rd August at 8 p.m. a crowd attacked the line rooms, so the workers ran away. On the 24th, when the witness returned to his room, he found his father-in-law Gurusamy lying injured on the floor : the latter died that day. Some line rooms had been burnt or attacked on the 19th. The witness informed the Police both before and after his father-in-law died, but they took no interest, saying : “When our Police omcers were murdered in Jamia, what is the harm in your people being murdered”? No post-mortem examination was arranged by the Police, so the witness buried the dead man in the night. He also stated that one Velu who stayed in his room was shot and injured, and was in the hospital for 4 days.


Galle Town and District

(l) C. Thevarajah was a Shopkeeper at No. 17, New Street, Galle. His stock, furniture and fittings were worth Rs. 50,000. On 20th August, crowds were collecting in the morning, so he and other traders asked the Police for assistance. They were told to go and inform Amirthalingam. At noon his shop was looted and burnt. A Mr. Alwis assisted him in every way. He has since restarted his business by taking a loan.

 (2) V. Kanaganayagam had a sundries boutique at No. 273, Market Street, Galle. On 20th August, he kept his boutique closed. He was returning after he had collected a debt of Rs. 2,000, When a crowd attacked him. He wag stabbed in abdomen. He was admitted to hospital and later transferred to Jaffna hospital. He lost Rs. 3,000, his watch and his rings. Altogether, his losses amounted to Rs. 5,000. In January 1978, he restarted his business.

(3) S. Mahendran was working in a hotel in Galle, which was attacked on 20th August at about 10.30 a.m. The cashier Selladurai was dragged out and cut with razors, and a petrol bomb set the hotel on fire. The witness ran to a Sinhalese house and hid. After 3 hours, he was returning to the hotel when he was chased and cut on his back with a razor. He was in Galle Hospital for one month. His losses were assessed at Rs. 1,000.

(4) S. Mahendran, a worker on Thalangaha Estate, stated that on 20th August, he was working in a vegetarian hotel at No. 42, Gemunu Mawatha, Galle. On 20th August at about 10.30 a.m. a crowd of Sinhalese came armed and attacked the hotel. Selladorai, a Cashier, was dragged out and cut on the public road with razors. The hotel was set on fire with petrol bombs. The witness ran to a Sinhalese home and hid. When he came out after 3 hours he was chased by 5 persons and slashed on his back with a razor, in spite of appeals made by Sinhalese girls who were in that home. He lost belongings worth Rs. 1,000.

He was in hospital for one month at Galle, and a vistor to it asked a Doctor not to treat him because Sinhalese in Jaffna were being cut and sent away without treatment.

(5) N. Thiagarajah was a Kangany on Stock Estate, Udugama. On 22nd August, when he was at the Galle Bus Stand, he was a group of persons going on the rampage there. The witness and 2 others were mercilessly assaulted by them. He fell unconscious and regained consciousness in the refugee camp at Galle. His Jewellery had been stolen. On 23rd August, his son took him back to the estate, but that night a gang attacked his line room and other rooms. He was taken to a refugee camp, and later returned to the estate.

His losses were estimated at Rs. 10,000, and he received a sum of Rs. 800 from the estate.

(6) A. Kathan was a worker on Homadola Estate, Hiniduma. He was married to a Sinhalese, and they had 9 children also working on that estate. On 22nd August, a crowd stoned their line rooms. On the 24th, hearing of an impending attack to be made that afternoon, they ran and hid. A mob came in 2 sections and fired at them. His son Karunachandran lost one eye, another son Periannan was killed on the spot, another son Sathyaseelan was shot on his left leg, and a neighbour Balaiah was also shot on his left leg. The injured men are unable to work again.

The police came and took them to hospital. The witness’ losses amounted to Rs. 1,000. He has received Rs. 7,000 as compensation for his son ‘s death. He identified none of the assailants as they were all strangers.

(7) Mrs. Letchumi Ramalingam was working on Frotoft Estate, Ramboda. On 17th August she left with her brother-in-law Palaniandy by bus for Nillala Estate, Morawaka, taking her 4 year old child with her. They reached Galle Bus Stand at about 4.00 p.m. There a mob attacked Palaniandy and other Tamils. At 2.00 a.m. on the 18th all 3 of them boarded a bus to go to Deniyaya and got down from it near Nillala Estate after dawn. There a mob attacked them and 3 men raped the witness and took her jewellery. She fainted.

After she regained consciousness she saw Palaniandy’s body lying there in a mutilated condition. He was buried in that estate. She was too ashamed to complain to the police in that strange area. Her brother-in-law Vellasamy brought her back a few days later to Frotoft estate. She was robbed of 5 sovereigns worth of jewellery and Rs. 600 cash.

(8) K. Ramasamy, a worker on Thalangaha Estate, Nakiadeniya, stated that on 21st August at about 3.30 p.m. a gang of about 200 Sinhalese attacked the line rooms. He could not run away because his mother was in his room with him. He was hit with an iron rod and was later removed to Udugama Hospital, from where he was transferred to Galle Hospital and ultimately to Colombo General Hospital. He suffered multiple fractures on his arm and injuries in his abdomen. Other workers were assaulted, including a woman named Kathaie and her 10 year old daughter. 25 line rooms were looted .and 2 of them burnt. He assessed his losses at Rs. 10,000.


Matara Town

(l) Vasantha Devi stated that she and her husband Kadiravel Pillai were running a small shop in Matara. On 19th August, when they were in their shop with their 5 children, a crowd entered it, assaulted her husband and threw something on 3 of the children which burnt them. She too was assaulted. They were taken to the hospital by the police, but were not given proper treatment there. After 10 days she went to Jaffna. Her husband is now mentally deranged owing to this experience. She asks for a land to cultivate.

(2) At Matara there was the Murugan Temple with a Pilgrims’ Rest attached to it. On the morning of 20th August, Sinhalese passengers who arrived by train said that the Naga Vihara in Jaffna had been damaged and the Chief Priest murdered. Thereafter a gang entered the Temple and according to P. Krishnaswami, the priest, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. they looted, damaged and finally burnt it. The Pilgrims’ Rest was also destroyed. Utensils worth Rs. 40,000 were stolen in addition to jewellery and clothing. He estimated the damage to the buildings at 41 lakhs. Mr. N. Krishnadasan, retired Commiss sioner of Assize, also gave evidence regarding the destruction Of those two buildings and produced photographs taken after the event. He produced nn estimate furnished by Messrs. Samuel & Co. for Rs. 444,990 to restore the Temple to its former condition and a list of the brass vessels stolen from thc Pilgrims’ Rest.


N. Mahendran was an apprentice mechanic living at Weligama. His father was staying with him. On 19th August, when he returned home, he saw a crowd near his house. On going inside he found his father dead of stab injuries. Inspector Alwis arrested some persons in that connection and an identification parade was held in Court. This oflicer seems to have inspired confidence in the Tamil businessmen there, who kept their shops open for business as usual.


Witness T. Thirunavukarusu was employed in the Jaffna Stores there. On 19th August, 7 persons entered the shop with weapons and looted it. The witness was injured and went to hospital. He said that all the Tamil shops there were burnt. His losses were estimated at Rs. 91,450. At the time of giving evidence he had not been summoned to give evidence in any Court proceedings.



Mrs. Manonmani Kanagarajah and her husband were living in Walasmulla for about 30 or 40 years with their family. They had a shop in the same building as their residence. On 20th August, at about 1 1 p.m., their house was attacked by a gang through the rear door, while the family escaped through the front door. The police who had been on duty there earlier had vanished by then. The shop was looted and their losses were estimated at Rs. 30,000. The witness’ husband later died of a heart attack. She has re-opcned the shop.



Two men of religion have related the sad fate that befell their charitable insti- tutions.

(l) Ayathurai Swami owned the Ponnampalam Madam at the Old Kathiri• malai Junction at Kataragama. He ran it for the benefit of the pilgrims. Followers of all religions used it and partook of the meals he provided. At about 1 a.m. on 22nd August, some persons set fire to the Madam and the shop attached to it. His cooking utensils were stolen or destroyed : his religious books and other documents were burnt. He assessed his losses at Rs. 11,000 for the buildings and Rs. 10,000 for the utensils.

 (2) Swami Jothimayananda started a spiritual centre at Kataragama in 1965 which was patronised by many •persons of different nationalities. It was a large building which cost over Rs. 65,000 to construct. On 23rd August, an armed gang came there, and he and his wife ran out in fear. He informed some police officers who were in a jeep, of what was happening and they took him and his wife to a refugee camp. Next day the Inspector of Police took him to the building which had been dynamited and was still burning. His Sinhalese Tractor Driver had been assaulted and he spent Rs. 500 on medical expenses. The witness stated that 3,000 books worth Rs. 20,000 had been reduced to ashes. He sold the building and 6 acres of land on which it stood for Rs. 26,000.


S. Nadarajah gave evidence stating that he was cultivating 8 acres of sugar cane at Wellawaya. On 18th August, he went to one Karunaratne•s house fearing trouble. On the 19th, at about 9 a.m. a crowd went past in a tractor shouting threats against Tamils. He went into the jungle for 4 days and when he came out of it he saw that his house had been looted and 2 acres of his sugar cane cultivation had been burnt. His losses were assessed at Rs. 25,000. He became a worker on Liyangawela Estate, Bandarawela, after this experience.


M. Kuppusamy of Amparai Road, Moneragala, was cultivating 12 acres there in sugar cane with the help of his 2 brothers. On 23rd August, a gang or Sinhalese came there armed and shouting, so he and his children ran into the jungle. After 15 days they came back and found their housc had been looted. He was not allowed to remove the crop of sugar cane. He abandoned the land and went to Liyangawela Estate. He estimated his losses at Rs. 80,000.


K. Sivam was cultivating 2 acres of land here for about 10 years near the town. On 19th August, at about 9 p.m. 2 lorries drove past his house with crowds who were shouting against Tamils. He heard an explosion and saw a crowd running towards his house. He and his family ran into tho jungle. The crowd burnt his house and carried his produce away. On the 20th, the Wellawaya Police were informed and they transported the family in a jeep to Wellawaya. On the way, at Kuduwa a crowd assaulted the witness and his wife while the constables looked on and laughed. They were dropped at Wellawaya Hospital. Their statements were not recorded and later they went by bus to Maskeliya to join their relations. The witness assessed his losses at between Rs. 10,000 and 17,000. He asked that he be sent to Indic where his other children are living.



(1) S. Paramasivam, a trader, ran a shop called “Saradas” in Koslanda Bazzar. On the morning of 20th August, he saw groups of people roaming on and he elosed his shop at noon. At about 3 p.m. he saw about persons towards the Hindu and attaeking 13 Tamil shops including his : some svere looted and burnt. He saw P.C. Meedin and P.C- 42.2S on duty there ; Meedin was eat-tying a gun ; they did nothing. Marimuthu’s hardware shop was burnt. The witness complained to the Wellawaya Police.

(2) V. Marimuthu mentioned above gave evidence. He said he had been running a shop at koslanda since 1963. It was set on tire on 20th August. and he estimated his damages at 41 lakhs. He watched that from his house. He saw 2 constables, No. 4225 and No. 6421 at the scene. There is a criminal case pending.

(3) trader of Koslanda V. Harawandi, stated that he had a textile shop there for 30 years. It was attacked on 20th August, at about 3 p.m. and looted. All 13 Tamil shops there were looted, and 2 of them were burnt. His loss was assessed at Rs. 75,000 of which Rs. 10,000 worth of goods were by the police A case was pending at the time he gave evidence.


(l) Mrs. V. Mahendrarajah of Rookatenna, Haldummulla, was living on a 2 acre block. On the night of 21st August, about 20 persons masks took away 2 goats from her land. On the 22nd her house was burnt by a and she identified some of its members. She stated that the houses of about 6 other Tamil families in that vülage were also attacked.

(2) N. S. Pitchimuthu stated that his family had owned land for generations in a village Soragoda near Haldummulla. He inherited 10 acres which he planted in sugar cane, as did about 6 other Tamil families there. On 23rd August, afternoon he heard a gun shot, and saw a gang going along the road. One Sirisena a gun : he identified some others also. The wimess and his family ran to the jungle. When they returned later, he saw one of his 2 houses in flames, and the other had been damaged : the machine for crushing sugar cane had been burnt, and the plantation had been devastated. The other Tamil families suffered in the same way. The Police were informed, and they came there on the 24th. He assessed his losses at Rs. 91,072.


(1) Mr. K. A. Karuppiah is the owner of Dickapitiya Estate, near Haputale. It was 75 acres in extent, planted in tea and sugar cane. On 20th August, villagers attacked it and set fire to the rice store. The Police arrived there at night, On the 21st a gang sot fire to the sugar cane plantation of 6 acres. He stated that he lost Rs. 40.000 on that account, and Rs. 7.500 on the burnt rice store. 2 acNused were convicted and jailed in with these incidents,

(2) M. Murugan is a retired motor cat driver who was living at Kolatenna, Haputale. with his wife and children who included 2 sons Mookmya and Mahalingam. On 22nd August, a crowd of about 20 persons entered his house. Mookaiya was hit on his head and cut with a knife, but he hit back injuring 5 or 6 persons, and the crowd ran away.

Later, some Army personnel came and asked why these persons were injured. and they gave their explanation. An Army man hit Mookaiya on his head with a rifle butt and drew blood. The Amy took Mookaiya away ; they also took away jewellery from the house.

When the witness went next day to the Police Station, he was chased away. He went again to the station and identified 4 of the attackers. He claimed that he had sustained damages by the removal of his belongings.


(l) P. Arumugam had a shop called Navalanka Stores in Diyatalawa. It was in the bamar where there were about 5 shops owned by Tamils and about 20 other shops. On 18th August, the trouble in Kandy became known in Diyatalawa, and there had also been rumours about human bodies having been sent in fish boxes. On the 20th a curfew was declared, and Army personnel told him to close his shop at 4.30 p.m. There were 2 with machine guns opposite his shop. That evening, he said, Army in civil dress broke into 2 shops—Lanka Stores and Muthusamy Stores—and threw out the goods.

At about 1.00 a.m. on the 21st the witness was informed that his shop was burnt. It is situated about mile from the Police Station aid the Army Camp, and the street lights were on all night. On thaqday the police took the witness to his shop in the evening. 5 shops in a row had been bumt, 2 of them Tamil and 3 Sinhalese. His losses were estimated at 2¼  lakhs.

The witness stated that only the police and the Army could have been out that night, owing to the curfew : and he suspected the Army personnel in connection with these offences.

(2) W. M. Jayasekera had been in business there for 17 years, and his shop Jayanthi Stores adjoined the last witness Arumugam’s shop. He stated that the curfew was imposed from 5.00 p.m. on the 20th August, so he closed his shop and went home. He did not return to it on the 21st, for there was a whole day curfew in force. When he came on the 22nd morning he found his shop had been burnt down. He stated that apart from the police and the Army, nobody could have been in the bamar during the curfew. His was the only Sinhalese shop that was damaged. All the shops there adjoined each other, and they were partitioned with planks. He sustained damages amounting, in his opinion, to Rs. 230,000.

 (3) A. Muthuletchumi lived with her husband in a village called Palakathiragama, about 2 miles from Diyatalawa. On 20th August at about 7.00 p.m. her house was stoned, and at about 8.00 p.m. some people came and called out to her husband. When he went out she heard him shout ” Aiyo ‘ She and her •children ran to the jungle and did not return till the 23rd. She then went to the Kandy Hospital and saw the dead body of her husband, with a cut injury on the head. She received a sum of Rs. 8,680 as compensation for herself and her 6 children who are dependent on her. She is a tea plucker.

She could not say who were in the gang that came near her house on the 20th night.

(4) Aslan Deni and some other Tamils related tollim were cultivating flowers on a government land in the village called Sithiarawa near Diyatalawa. On 20th August, he said, a schoolmaster named Chandrapala led a gang and attack- ed Velu’s house and burnt it. Chandrapala and Wijedasa, a Supervisor on Glenamore Estate, then burnt the witness’ house and 2 other Tamil houses. A case is pending against the attackers in the Magistrate’s Court.


K. Chitrasenan was a worker on Elawella Estate, Bandarawela. There are Sinhalese villages round the estate. On 22nd August, some villagers from Pallawela attacked the line rooms on the estate and burnt them and also injured the cattle belonging to the labourers. He stated that there was a case pending over these incidents.


R. Ramanathan of Mahiyangana Road, Badulla, was assisting his son Sitham- paranathan in the latter’s shop. On 21st August at about 7.00 p.m., his son -was severely assaulted by 5 or 6 persons. When he went to his son’s aid, he was cut with an exe. The Badulla police took them to hospital, and the witness made a statement to them on the 22nd. The shop was looted and partly burnt. His son suffered damages.

As the assailants were masked, they could not be identified.


Miss. R. Arumugam was living in Boralanda, a village near Welimada, with her parents who had a dairy. On 18th August, the family were attacked by 6 persons of the same village, and 2 of them called Abeypala and Piyadasa entered their house. When they entered, she ran’ out and only returned 2 days later, to find that everything had been looted. She stated that 4 other Tamil houses in that area were also looted. She and her parents moved to Haputale•



Mrs. B. Doreen Mendin was staying in her brother’s house in Vala chenai from 14th August. She is married to a Tamil pergon. She had to stay on there till the 25th for want of trannport. On the 25th, about an hour before the curfew began, she was rcturmng from the Convent to her brother •s house. She saw a crowd of men about SO yards away, 2 or persons held her hand saying that thev could not allow Sinhalese to move about in thetr village. She hit and fell down : they removed her outer garments and told her to spend the night there. She later returned to her brother’s house and complained to the Police at Valaichenai.

She tost cash. sarees. 2 earstuds all worth Rs. 1,262. She did not identify anyone in an identification parade, but a case has been filed against one person She went once to Batticaloa for the case, but did not go again.



(l) 2nd Lieut. Allon ot’ tho Sri Lanka Volunteer Force. stationed at Kilinochchl in August 1977. stated that on 19th August, while on mobile patrol he saw about 200 persons gathered in front of tho Buddhist Temple at about 6 p.m. The Temple was in flames and 2 persons who were running away were arrested he took them to tho Police station and handed them over to Inspector Noordeen, 0.1.C. Having returned to tho Temple, ho found all the statues on fire except of God Ganesha and the building damaged.

(2) A Buddhist monk, Ven. Gonapinuwala Sumanasara Them, who had been Principal of the Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya in Kilinoehchi from 1970, said that on 17th August. the police took him to the Potieo Station as distur- banees were expected there, and on the 18th he was sent to Anuradhapura. On tho 24th, he learnt that his school had been attacked, and he returned to it on the 29th, He then found that a bo-tree in the premises had been cut, tho doors ot’ the school broken, the tilt•niture burnt. and the Science equipment removed. A picture of the Buddha was missing from his room.

(3) 2nd Lieut. Allen also stated that on 21st and 23rd August, he saw 20 huts in a fishing Wadiya belonging to one Kalumahatxnaya in Thallady on fire a boutique belonging to one Banda in Paltai burnt ; a Sinhalese blacksmith’s house at Kilinochehi also burnt. accept his evidence on the matters already mentioned, but his statement that no Tamil shop or residence in Kilinochchi was damaged or looted is unacceptable in view of the evidence of the next 2 witnesses.

 (4) Witness Sinnammah, wife of Muthu, said that she was living by the Kandy Road behind a building known as Laxapana. On 21st August, at about 9 p.m. policemen came armed and in uniform when her husband was out. They put her and her daughter and 2 cycles out of her house, and then set fire to it : they then walked them to a jeep and took them and the cycles to the Police Station, Kilinochchi, where they were detained till 5 p.m. the next day and then released. She stated that one of the policemen was P.C. Seevaratnam whom she knew by name.

She complained to the Grama Sevaka and the D. R.O. but the cycles were not returned to her.

(5) Witness Pakiam, wife of Balaiah, said that when she was in her neighbour’s house 5 jeeps and a van arrived at about 10 p.m. with 15 persons in Army and Police uniforms. They removed her belongings and set fire to her house together with what was left in it including her children’s clothes.

(6) Witness M. A. Sammie said that he was managing a hotel called Manjula Hotel close to the Police Station from May 1977. It was set on fire on 19th August at 6 p.m. while he was taking refuge in the Police barracks. His personal belongings and the owner’s property were destroyed.

(7) Witness H. Somadasa had lived in Paranthan, Kilinochchi, for 16 years, engaged in a bakery business. In August 1977 he had a flourishing business called Nilmini Bakery, in a building which he put up at a cost of Rs. 16,000 two years earlier. On 17th August, a Tamil friend advised him to leave that area ; on the 18th an employee of his was assaulted by a Tamil ; on the 19th he found a large gathering of Sinhalese in Kilinochchi Police Station, seeking shelter there from attacks by Tamils. On the 19th, witness himself and 4 of his employees were assaulted. He was taken to Anuradhapura where he stayed till he returned to Paranthan on 8th September ; he went back and came again on the 20th September for a month. As he found it impracticable to start his bakery business again, he sold his bakery building for Rs. 7,500 and incurred losses amounting in all to Rs. 20,000.

He said that there is not a single Sinhalese bakery in Paranthan since then, where formerly there had been 4 such bakeries. There is also no Sinhalese bakery in Kilinochchi. He drew a grim picture regarding the departure of the Sinhalese from there and stated that there are only Sinhalese public servants left since the communal disturbances.

(8) Mr. Y. Hettiarachchi was Assistant Station Master at Paranthan for 20 months until he left on 18th August with his family, leaving his belongings in his quarters. The communal disturbances caused him to vacate his post, apparently without notice to his superiors and without obtaining prior permission. He went to Matara, and there learnt that his quarters had been broken into. He came back on 5th September and found that everything of his had been removed.

(9) Francis Weerasinghe, a carpenter, was running a carpentry business at Dharmapuram, Kilinochchi, for 9 years until August, 1977. On 17th August on hearing of clashes between the police and public in Jaffna, he entrusted his belongings to 3 Tamil persons whom he knew well, and loft for Mullaitivu. From there he went to Anuradhapura on the next day. On 18th September he returned to Dharmapuram and found that his belongings were missing. The persons to whom he had entrusted them told him that Tamil youths had stolen them.

(10) Another bakery and hotel owner who had been doing business at Kilinochchi was H. T. Jinadasa. He stated that on 19th August at about 7.30 a.m. when he was walking past the Kilinochchi hospital, a crowd of Tamils snatched a bag he was carrying which contained Rs. 11,000 in cash. He returned to his native village Dikwella. When he returned to Kilinochchi in September he found that his bakery and hotel had been burnt and everything had been removed.

(11) W. E. R. Fernando was Security Assistant at the Kilinochchi Depot of the Petroleum Corporation on 17th August. At about noon some lorries that came there from Jaffna were parked near the Police Station, which is next to the Depot. The witness learnt from the drivers that Government property had been damaged in Jaffna. On the 18th some Sinhalese fishermen took refuge at the Police Station. The witness decided to leave Kilinochchi and left it with some of his belongings on the 18th night and returned about 3 weeks later. He found that his quarters had been broken into and his belongings left there had been damaged.


Anuradhapura Town

Several witnesses have described incidents that occurred on the night of 16th August, in two trains, viz., train No. 69 from Colombo to Jaffna and train No. 70 from Kankesanturai to Colombo.

Mr. J. Senaratne, Assistant Collector of Customs, Jaffna, travelled on train No. 69 which left Colombo on 16th August, about 6.30 p.m. When it reached Anuradhapura at 1.05 a.m. on the 17th, he heard people yelling and children crying. A man rushed into his compartment, obviously intent on attacking Tamils. He saw jewellery being wrenched, and people being attacked in his compartment. When he stepped on to the platform, he found that Tamil passengers were looking to him to protect them. He saw passengers who had sought refuge in the Station Master’s Offce being assaulted. When he remons- trated with one of the attackers, he was told : ” You don’t know what is being done to our people in Jaffna “, or words to that effect. That attacker was dressed in shorts, shirt and black shoes and was kicking everyone in the omce. Another, similarly dressed, was hitting everyone with his belt.

Mr. Senaratne, with 2 persons who had clung to him for protection, went into a sleeping berth compartment, and they stayed there till the train reached Navatkuli. He left the train at Jaffna and attended the Conference at II a.m., to which I have referred elsewhere. Another witness who was in that train, Mr. M. S. Sithamparapillai, was attacked by the thugs who entered the train -at Anuradhapura. They robbed him of Rs. 850, his wrist watch, his suitcase and a leather case all to the value of Rs. 1,500. He said he was befriended by Mr. Noel Illangantilake, who helped him to catch a bus to Colombo on the 17th. Witness S. Jeganathan, another passenger, related a similar story.

The evidence given in camera by Mr. L. M. Poulier, District Mechanical Inspector of Railways, explained how the violence erupted at Anuradhapura Station, where he was on duty. He said that train No. 69 came in at 1.05 a.m. eon No. I platform, and train No. 70 at 1.25 a.m. on No. 3 platform. As the latter train came in, he heard shouts in Sinhalese from it : ” Don’t allow the Jaffna train to go. They are murdering our bretheren in Jaffna. People are killed like dogs. Don’t allow the train to go “. He then saw bottles being flung at the Jaffna train, that is, the train which was going to Jaffna. People flocked into the Station Master’s Offce while the attack on them was going on, so that the offce was packed to capacity with passengers from train No. 69. Some of them had head injuries and cut injuries, and they were appealing for protection.

There was, he said, a police party in that train, and the witness contacted them to get their assistance, but the offcer in charge said he could not do anything, as they were going on special duty to Jaffna. Army personnel whom he contacted gave him the same reply. I consider their conduct disgraceful, and a blot on the services they belonged to. When he returned to the Station Master’s Offce, he saw 2 persons standing at the doorway : one was in police uniform, with a cap and a rifle, and appeared to be the bodyguard of the other : the latter was tall, wearing bottle green trousers and a banian : he had taken off his belt and was hitting the people with it, saying in Sinhalese ” Para Demalu, I will drink your blood. You are killing all our best people in Jaffna. We will kill twice that number in order to be avenged “. Those who came out of the omce were kicked by the tall man ; those who took shelter under tables and chairs were pulled out and hit mercilessly by him.

At 2.05 a.m. a third train arrived on No. 2 platform. Railway employees and outsiders who rushed into the Station also joined in assaulting the passen- gers and snatching their belongings, the Tamils being the victims of the attacks. Train No. 69 left at 4 a.m. and Train No. 70 at 4.30 a.m.

Coming now to the other events of the 17th, Mr. Poulier continued to stay in uniform at the station on the orders of Mr. K. Gunasekera, District Supe- rintendent of Railways, Anuradhapura. Thugs armed with swords, knives and other weapons were at the station. About 9 a.m. one of them asked Mr. Poulier whether he was a Tamil, while keeping a knife against his neck : he also knocked the cap off his head. They set fire to the Station Master’s car, and continued their search for Tamils. Mr. J. Thambirajah, the Station Master, said that on the 17th morning he drove his car to the Railway Station as he feared he would be assaulted if he walked. A mob burnt it while policemen watched -and did nothing. His furniture was stolen. His damages were Rs. 50,000.

Meanwhile, the Tamil officers had gone to the upper storey where the retiring rooms are. Between 7.45 p.m. and 8 p.m. food was brought for these refugees, but the mob ate it all. Mr. Poulier said that the police were there, merely walking up and down ; and when they saw anything happen, they left the scene. At about II p.m. Mr. Poulier was made to understand that arrangements had been made, with the army and the police, to ensure the safety of the refugees until they were transferred to Jaffna. He came downstairs at about 11.45 p.m. and saw some constables at the foot of the stairs. He told P.C. 5920 (a number which he said he could not forget) ” Please look after these people ” and the constable replied in Sinhalese ” How can that be done ? They must be given the works for at least 10 minutes “. Mr. Poulier then saw people rushing upstairs with weapons : at that moment the army personnel who had been there had disappeared. The attack upstairs lasted between 5 and 10 minutes, and then the attackers ran away with articles which they had removed from their victims. Mr. Poulier then went upstairs : he heard people moaning, but as he could not bear to see the blood he came down and brought stretchers to take them to hospital. He knew them ; they were pleading with him to take them to hospital.

He produced 2 reports dated 30th October, 1977 and 2nd March, 1978, giving details of all he had seen, which he had sent to the District Superintendent. In one he stated that, with the only 2 stretchers available, he and shed pointsman Serasinghe carried the injured downstairs and waited for transport. He also stated that Superintendent of Police Liyanage and Major Jayawardene visited the scene some time later and left after a short while. The gist of Liyanage ‘s conversation had been ” I have just returned by air from Jaffna. Serves the bastards jolly well right. It ‘s been a blood massacre here all right, yes, yes, about 4 or 5 casualties, I think. Hm, Yea, 0K, Cheerio I only add that I found Mr. Poulier an entirely trustworthy witness.

Mr. K. Gunasekera, District Superintendent, who was attached to the Anuradhapura Railway. Station, also gave evidence. He stated that everything was normal at the Station until the arrival of train No. 70. He was in his bungalow, where he learnt that the Restaurant Car staff of that train created a commotion on the platform, and jointly with several others attacked train No. 69.

After he went to the station, he spoke to the Tamil Offcers, who agreed to stay in the retiring rooms there, and arrangments were made for their accom- modation and security on the 17th night. Lt. Percy Perera with 5 armed soldiers and Sub Inspector Silva with 4 armed constables were to stand guard near the entrance to the upstair rooms. At 10.30 p.m. Lt. Perera drove Gunasekera home and assured the latter that they would be on duty till 6.00 a.m. At about 2.00 a.m. on the 18th Mr. Poulier telephoned the witness from the station saying ” there is blue murder here. My Chief Trains Controller is dying and so many others are injured “. Gunasekera immediately rang up the police and informed them that they were responsible for the state of affairs prevailing at the station.

On the 18th morning Gunasekera said he met Col. Rodrigo and informed him of what had happened. The latter summoned Lt. Perera immediately and asked him why he left the Railway Station : the latter replied, ” I went to get a telephone call to my quarters from the Police Station “. When Gunasekera remarked that there were 2 telephones at the Railway Station, and 3 telephones and a radio in his omce, Lt. Perera did not reply. Gunasekera very correctly said that had it not been for the callous and criminal negligence of duty on the part of Lt. Perera and S.I. Silva and their men, the massacre on the upper storey could not have occurred—a view with which I entirely agree. Mr. Gunasekera produced a copy of his report of 24th October 1977 which he had sent to his superiors, and which he had also sent to this Commission on 9th January, 1978. I accept his evidence without hesitation.

To answer the allegations made against him, Lt. Percy Perera of the Sri Lanka National Guard gave evidence. He stated that Major Jayawardene had ordered him to patrol a certain area from 2.00 a.m. on the 17th with 4 soldiers and a driver in a jeep. His party was not stationed at the Railway Station. He assisted Mr. Gunesekera that evening from 5.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. to send about 2,000 stranded pilgrims who arrived from Madhu to 2 Refugee Camps in lorries. He stated that Mr. Gunasekera did not ask him to perform any other functions. Nobody told him that refugees were being kept in the rest rooms in the upper storey of the Railway Station, or asked him to guard them. He said that if he had been so informed, he would have given his assis- tance. At about 9.00 p.m., he said, he drove Mr. Gunasekera to his bungalow, and continued patrolling. When he and his men went to the Police Station to phone Headquarters to find out what time additional troops were coming from Colombo, he got a call that the Railway Station was being attacked. So he went and took the injured to hospital.

I prefer to belive Mr. Gunasekera. It is most unlikely that, in the face of the close contact he had with Lt. Perera from about 5.30 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. that evening, he would not have mentioned to the latter that refugees were occupying the rest rooms upstairs, and that it was essential that they should be guarded against attack by the mobs who were active in that Station.

Another witness called to speak about the same incident was T. D. Guna- wardene, a police pensioner. He said that he was not asked to place any guard at the entrance to the rest rooms upstairs. S.I. Silva was also on duty at the Railway Station. At about 11.30 p.m. both of them were by the road, trying to stop a vehicle in order to transport some passengers. On hearing the sound of breaking glass, they ran into the Station : they then heard screams of women, which came from upstairs. On going into the rooms upstairs they saw a large number of injured Tamils.

He denied that he had been told that refugees were occupying those rooms, or that he should guard them. He said he had not heard of any allegations against him till the night before he gave evidence. He denied that he spoke to Mr. Poulier that night, although he saw the latter in the Station Master’s room.

I consider Mr. Poulier’s evidence to be too strong against this witness, Admittedly the witness’ numeral when he was in service was No. 5920; he was in uniform that night, and he would have been wearing his numeral which made such unforgettable impression on Mr. Poulier. I do not believe that Mr. Poutier was inventing a story when hc said that the policeman wearing that numeral was standing at the foot of the staircase and replied to his request that he should look after the people upstairs, ” Now can that be done ? They must be given the works for at least 10 minutes This remark provides the clearest evidence that this witness aided and abetted the mob that thereafter rushed upstairs, and in cold blood attacked the occupants of the rest rooms. This witness’ conduct was far more culpable than that of Lt. Perera ‘s, and he is as guilty as the criminals whom he permitted to make a surprise attack on defenceless refugees.

The Head Guard of train No. 70 on the journey that night was Mr. S. Satha- sivam. He first mentioned an incident which occurred at Punkankulam halting place, next to Jaffna Station. The train could not leave it as there was insuffcient vacuum. His assistant informed him that the buffet car had been damaged and when Mr. Sathasivam inspected it he found all thc shutters broken, all eatables removed and the attendants not there. Having started the train, he reported the matter to various authorities. Thereafter tho 4 car attendants informed him that some persons entered the car and told them to leave as they wanted to attack the train and the car.

Mr. Sathasivam said that the attendants travelled in his guard’s van as far as Medawachchiya and then left saying that they wanted to collect their belongings. When the train reached Anuradhapura at 1.25 a.m. on tho 17th ho went on to tho platform and then saw those car attendants and others throwing stones and bottles at the Colombo -Jaffna train No. 69 which was halted thore. They were shouting that Sinhalese had been assaulted in Jaffna and the Tamils in that train should be attacked. When Sathasivam went to the Station omco he found people being attacked there, while about 10 policemen with rifles and batons were just looking on and doing nothing.

At this point I wish to deal with the evidence of J. M. D. Joseph (Chief Attendant) and D. S. dc Silva (attendant) who were 2 of the 4 attendants who travelled in the buffet car of train No. 70. Joseph said that at Punkankulam a crowd attacked the train, got into the car and damaged the crockery. He hid himself under the counter. From Navatkuli he and the other attendants travelled in the guard’s van up to Colombo : they never left the van at Meda- wachchiya. He denied that he and the other attendants got out and shouted about Sinhalese having been assaulted in nor did they throw bottles at train No. 69 : on the contrary, he said he stayed in the Guard’s van at Anuradhapura. D. S. de Silva’s version was on the same lines as Joseph’s. They never, he said, got out at Medawachchiya. He added that at Anuradhapura he neither heard nor saw anything, and except when he drank a cup of tea there, he was sleeping all the time.

The contradictions between Sathasivam’s evidence and that of the 2 atten- dants are obvious and I am quite satisfied that the 2 attendants are bold liars who behaved like the other thugs on the platform of Anuradhapura Station in a disgraceful and lawless manner ; they are unworthy to hold any position in the public service.

Head Guard Sathasivam said that he went to bed at 11 p.m. on the 17th im a retiring room upstairs at the Railway Station. That night a mob entered his room and stole his personal belongings worth Rs. 1,000. He identified Samaranayake, a cook in the running bungalow, as one of the mob.

Among those seriously injured by that mob, he mentioned Mr. Sathasivam, Asst. Station Master, Anuradhapura ; Mr. Nadarajah, Station Master, Cheddikulam (both of whom died on 23rd and 21st August respectively) ; Mr. Scll&durai, Chief Trains Controller ; Head Guard Subramaniam ; Engine Driver Ratnasingham ; and Head Guard Thomas. To complete this account or this witness’ evidence, he said that while he was still in the Railway Station S.P. Liyanage came there about 11.15 p.m. and said that he had just -come from Jaffna and what had happened in Anuradhapura was not even one- hundredth of what had happened in Jaffna ; he also asked the victims of the attack to complain to Colonel Amirthalingam.

Mr. Selladurai, Chief Trains Controller, said that he was one of the Tamil officers taken to the retiring rooms on the 17th evening. They were given their dinner after which the lights were switched off by an employee of thc cafeteria. He saw a crowd approaching the Station led by a Kangany Kalu Appu, whom he knew. Kalu Appu took Rs. 11 from him which was all the money he had. He received a blow and he became unconscious, only regaining consciousness at the Neuro-Surgical Unit, Colombo, on 8th or 9th September. He was later admitted to the Base Hospital, Point Pedro, but he has not re- covered and is unable to work. He asked that he be retired with compensation.

Mr. V. Thamotherampillai, Trains Controller, was• also put for his safety, into a retiring room on the 17th night. He said that Kalu Banda, Kangany, and Samaranayake, running bungalow cook, entered the room that night• He was hit and fell to the ground, and the others were attacked and their belongings stolen. They were taken to the Police Station when.S.P. Liyanage came. When he was informed of what had happened he replied ” Go and tell Colonel Amirthalingam ; what happened here is nothing when compared to what happened in Jaffna.” When Mr. Thamotheramp’llai pleaded with him to take them away, Liyanage replied ” Shut up ” and walked away. The witness said he was unfit to continue in service and wished to retire on medical grounds.

Another occupant of a retiring room that night was Head Guard Thomps who had worked the day train from Talaimannar to Anuradhapura arriving at about 6 p.m. At about 11.30 p.m., he said some persons entered his room and attacked him. He was taken to Anuradhapura Hospital and then to Kuru- negala Hospital.

Mr. R. Balasingham, Asst. Station Master, Sravasthipura, was another occupant of a retiring room on the 17th night. He said he was lying on the floor under a bed when he saw the cook Samaranayake (who has previously been mentioned by witnesses) come in and hit Mr. Nadarajah on his head ; he then hit the witness also on his head and side. He became unconscious and only regained consciousness in hospital. Sathasivam, Selladurai and Thomas -were also in hospital, shouting in pain, but nobody attended on them. He was taken to the Kachcheri camp and from there to Vavuniya. He lost personal belongings worth Rs. 2,000.

Head Guard M. Subramaniam who was in a retiring room on the 17th night was cut on his forehead and stomach. He said that he saw Engine Drivers Vigneswaram and Ratnasingham and Head Guard Thomas injured. He was taken that night to Anuradhapura Hospital and his wounds were attended to.

I wish to refer to the evidence of one more victim who occupied a retiring room—Mr. K. Sivasubramaniam, SiY1al and Telecommunication Inspector, C. G. R. He referred to 2 incidents of the 17th night. One happened at 8 p.m. and the other at 11.30 p.m. In the former, some persons entered his room, assaulted some of the occupants and removed their possessions. In the second, in spite of assurances given by the Police and Army personnel that such a thing would not happen again, the doors of the room were smashed. The occupants then sought refuge in the toilet. Fortunately the Police and Army entered, but surprisingly none of the attackers was seized.

When the witness came out he met Liyanage, S.P., who was with 2 or 3 Police offcers. He wanted to explain the diffculties they had experienced and their anxiety to be taken to the Kachcheri. Liyanage replied “Shut up, Mister. Don’t try to teach us Police work. This is nothing compared to what has happened in Jaffna. This is what Mr. Amirthalingam wanted and you are having it. Go and complain to Colonel Amirthalingam”. Liyanage also said that half the policemen had been murdered in Jaffna and he had sent his personnel there and he did not have sumcient personnel to guard Anuradhapura. He finally said : “Sinhalese girls are nailed to the walls in Jaffna”. The witnes spoke in complimentary terms about the very different attitude of Mr. Chandra Mendis, A.S.P„ whom he met later on the 18th moming. Like so many others who were victims of violence, he suffered damapes as a result of his quarters having been looted in his absence Before I comment on the evidence Of these witnesses who complained of Mt. Liyanage•s attitude, I should refer again to thc evidence of Mr. J. Senaratne, Assistant Collector of Customs, Jaffna. who gave evidence in camera. He stated that when he saw Mr. Liyanag at the Conference on the 17th morning, he told the latter that he should be at Anuradhapura. because his (witness’) brother who was at Anuradhapura had informed him (witness) that rufians were walking along the streets as if in a perahera, attacking boutiques, while the police were merely looking on. When he told Mr. Liyanage that Tamil had ben inhumanly treated at Anuradhapura Station, the latter replied : “Were they assaulted enough (in Sinhalese). It was equivalent to his saying : ‘ ‘They have got what they deserved”.

Mr. Liyanage admitted that he met Mr. Senaratne at the morning conference and all that transpired between them was a question by Mr. Senaratne, “Hello Walter, what are you doing here T’ He characterised Mr. Senaratne•s evidence as entirely false and a mode of paying off earlier grievances, such as searches by the Police of Mr. Senaratne’s father-in-law’s residence in which Mr. Senaratne•s wife and children also live. I do not think I can accept Mr. Liyanage’s explanation and denial, or his disparaging references to Mr. Senaratne, whom I considered to be an honest and fair witness.

Mr. Liyanage admitted that in talking to the witness Mr. K. Sivasubramaniam he may have referred to Mr. Amirthalingam as “Colonel Amirthalingam” He denied having asked him to shut up. But Mr. V. Thamotherampillai has complained that he also was told to shut up. It is unbecoming ofa Supdt. of Police to speak in that manner to a citizen and I regret to say that I am satisfied that Mr. Liyanage did so. The evidence of the other Railway Officers also prove that he showed no sympathy towards persons who had gone through a terrible ordeal. I regard his denials as untrue.

One of the passengers in train No. 70 was Mr. S. C. Chandrahasan, Attorney- at-Law. He said a large crowd attacked the Tamils who travelled with him while policemen with rifles merely stood on the platform and watched. These so—called guardians of the law even spoke to the looters who were dealing with the Tamil passengers in turn, as though looting was something they approved of. Sinhalese passengers were ordered to leave the train so that the Tamils who were still in it could be dealt with. The compartments were first attacked, then the wooden shutters of the sleeperettes were broken and the doors opened so that the occupants could be attacked.

Mr. Chandrahasan said that he was not attacked, probably because he was mistaken for anon-Tamil ; but his watch and bag were stolen. His impression was that the operation was pre-planned and systematiCally executed. ‘ From his account of the behaviour or the it to me dry were on the side of the attackers. Only the amval of Army brouÖt thc rule of the thugs to a halt.

How different was the attitude of one policeman whthat train rexhed Kurunegala Station! Six thugs had entered a coÆ%ment. when that policeman walked into it and said. in Sinhalese, “What are you &ing The thugs replied : ” We are looking for Tamils in the sleeping car”. The policeman said “get out”, and all six of them meekly got out. Apart from that one incident, Mr. Chandrahasan said that the police did not even touch a looter.

I have already mentioned that cries such as “You are Tamils. Our constables in Jaffna are being killed : therefore you must be assaulted”. were Witness S. Emmanuel, who said he was travelling in train No. 70. heard onc of the Sinhalese attackers utter those words. t shall refer to the evil eff«ts of false rumours and I cite this as one instance.

After that train No. 70 left Kurunegala. the hooligans had thor own way, even though two armed policemen had entered the sleeperette. presumably to guard and protect the occupants. The hooligans. however. resumed their activities agains& the Tamils and when a foreigner protested to who were just watching, they meekly replied : ” We are only two, they are many Mr. Chandrahasan has spoken of this disgraceful example of cowardice, but he praised the actions of the Officer-in-charge of Maradana Police Station (who he thought was Inspector Sumith Liyanage. now an ASP.) and his party of constables who acted efficiently and courapusly and reco- vered most of the articles taken by the looters.

Despite the grim experiences of the passengers in 2 trains Nos. 69 and 70 which reached their respective destinations on the 17th morning, the railway authorities made the gave error of permitting the train Yarl Devi to leave Colombo on the 17th morning on its northward journey. They should have realised that there was a strong probability of the same atrocitie com- mitted on the passengrs, as had been committed only a few hours erlier.

Mr. S. Thanwalam, a retired Director of Education. was a on it and he said that at Pothuhera a passengr was attacked with a broken bottle. He got off the train there and one man stole his purse while another soatcbed his wrist watch. A third man came up and him so that he fell.

He and some other passengers travelled by bus to He lost his and he saw shops belonging to Tamils being attacked. Having returned to Colombo on 19th by bus. he flew to Jaffna.

He asked some pertinent questions relating to his experiences, which the authorities may find worthy of their consideration :

(l) Why was that train allowed to leave Colombo on the 17th morning after the gruesome events that had occurred on the other two trains on the 16th night ?

(2) Why did the ed police fail in their duty to protect the public and their property ?

He said that 4 armed policemen entered a shop in Kurunegala in which he had taken refuge on the 17th. A few minutes later, when a mob attacked the back gate, thc 4 policemen walked out through the front gate. That was a common sight during those days in many parts of the Island, and the witness— like countless others—wished to know whether the police had been given instructions not to apprehend looters and law-breakers, or whether thcre was collusion between the police and the law-breakers.

Two other witnesses who travelled in that Yarl Devi on the 17th morning have related their experiences. N. Ananda Raj, a school teacher of Deltota, was with his wife and child when the train was attacked at Pothuhera by about 50 thugs. His wife’s thali and gold chain were snatched : he received a club blow on his head. The train reached Kurunegala from where they came to Deltota. They were taken to a Refugee Camp in Kandy. He estimated his losses at Rs. 9,000, and complained that since January, 1978, he had not received his salary from the Education Department. Mr. S. Ponnambalam, a government teacher of Mahaiyawa, Kandy, left for Jaffna by that train. When it was attacked at Pothuhera he lost a gold chain and Rs. 100 in cash. On his return to Kandy later, he found that his house had been looted. His losses were assessed at Rs. 4,000.

Even on 20th August, travelling by train was a risky venture, as Mr. S. Sidambarapillai, a Railway employee, found. He went by train from Colombo to Anuradhapura and there was an Army escort on the train. Near Anuradha- pura the train halted and a mob entered it and attacked the Tamil passengers including him, His belongings were stolen. He was able to return to work only at the end of April, 1978.

I now tum to the of the Tamil Offcers working in the Department of Health, Anuradhapura, on 17th August. Mr. T. Sivasubramaniam, a clerk in the office of the Superintendent of Health, said that he and 16 fellow omcers, all Tamils, were taken to the omce of the Superintendent of the Hospital that evening for their safety. They dined there at about 8 p.m. A little later, more than 15 hospital minor employees came up to that omce ; 5 or 6 of them entered the room in which they were and hit them with clubs fot about 15 minutes. He hid under a bed and escaped unhurt. He saw Somapala (an employee in the omce of the Super- intendent of Health Services) and Ukku Banda (a hospital labourer) attacking Mr. Sivasambu (a laboratory Assistant attached to the Hospital). Mr. Sivasambu died that night. fhe witness mentioned 2 other attackers, viz., P. H. Albert (a clerk) and Simon Singho. The Army arrived there and he was taken to the Medical Superintendent’s house, to which Liyanage, S.P., came at about 10.30 p.m. Speaking to the Medical Superintendent Dr. Wijewardene, Liya- nage said there was havoc in Jaffna, Sinhalese have been murdered, women have been raped on the road, Buddhist priests have been attacked, and the hospital doctors in Jaffna were not attending to casualties.

A more detailed account of the attack that night in the omce of the Medical Superintendent was given by Mr. T. F. Balaratnam (a clerk in the Anuradhapura Hospital). He said that Simon Singho (a minor employee of the Hospital) brought their dinner that night, and while. they were eating it another clerk of the Superintendent of Health’s Offce, K. Appar, came in. Two Army guards and one Police constable had been stationed there to guard them. When those guards were downstairs, about 15 to 20 men came upstairs armed with clubs. Some of them entered the room in which the Tamil offcers were and started attacking them. He saw Simon Singho attacking Velaithan (an employee of the Health Services Offce) and Sivasambu being attacked by Ukku Banda and a few others. Appar, who was hiding behind a cupboard, was pulled out and hit on his head.

The witness said he jumped through a window on to the roof of a shed. He saw Ukku Banda and Simon Singho hitting Sivasambu on his head. He also saw another fellow offcer, P. H. Albert, at the scene.

An Army Offcer and some soldiers came there and took them to the Kachcheri camp for refuge, from where they went to Jaffna. It was clearly a planned attack by the minor employees of the Hospital on the Tamil offcers who had been collected in that upstair room. Mr. Balaratnam ended his evidence on a note of dissatisfaction. He complained that those who attacked those Tamil omcers trapped in that room had not been interdicted : they were still working in the Hospital, even after he had mentioned their names to the Police at the Kachcheri. They were arrested and Ireleased on bail and were paid their salaries in full. If these allegations are correct, I consider that discipline in the public service must be at a very low level. On the other hand, he said he had not received his salary ; instead, he received letters threatening stern action against him if he did not return to Anuradhapura Hospital to hand over something or other. It seems to me that a shocking lack of sympathy towards this witness and others who were in a similar situation has transpired in the course of these proceedings. They deserved more considerate treatment after they had faced death and humiliation.

Mr. k. Appar, already referred to, said that he saw Albert (a clerk in the hospital), Ukku Banda (a hospital cook), and other minor employees of the hospital speaking to each other shortly before the attack. He too complained of the unreasonable delay in the payment of salaries to the victims, and the unreasonable request that he should appear before a Medical Board at Anuradhapura.

Dr. t. Ganeshwaram was at this time a Psychiatrist attached to the Anuradhapura Hospital. He complained of the conduct of Liyanage, S.P. at the house of Dr. Wijewardene, Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, in having spoken in a manner calculated to cause the greatest alarm, because his hearers unfortunately believed him to be speaking the truth, although he spoke a pack of lies. Liyanage, he said, speaking of Mr. Amirthalingam used the words ” This frog in the well does not know what will happen when the campus boys return to the South “, apparently anticipating that the University students would relate wicked falsehoods such as he himself was relating. Liyanage also said that Sinhalese and Muslim shops had been looted, the New Market had been destroyed, and police offcers who were warded in Jaffna hospital were not being treated and therefore had to be airlifted to Anuradhapura by him. The witness assessed the losses from his bungalow at Anuradhapura, which he was forced to evacuate, at Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 10,000.

I do not accept Mr. Liyanage ‘s version that the Doctors in Anuradhapura had planned and plotted to make false allegations against him, for reasons which he gave. He has been unsympathetic to public omcers who had gone through a very unhappy experience, and he also spread alarming stories of what he had seen in Jaffna without any regard for the truth. The deplorable example set by this Superintendent of Police would have become known to his subordinates, and followed by those of his thinking. One of them has been mentioned by Mr. K. Sivapillai, a Music Teacher of Chulipuram, who travelled in the train to Colombo on the 16th night. When it was attacked at Anuradha- pura he was assaulted, his belongings were stolen and he was thrown on to the railway track. He was injured and lost the sight of his left eye. He and some other Tamils similarly placed hid themselves until they went to the Police Station at about 6.00 a.m. A Policeman there asked them to clear out, saying ” you are coming here after attacking the Sinhalese in Jaffna They left, but a Sinhalese lady took pity on him, gave him Rs. 5 and put him on a bus going to Medawatchiya. He completed his journey in a lorry which took him to-Jaffna. He was fortunate to recover a suitcase containing music examination answer scripts, but not the case containing his personal belongings. He claimed compensation for the injuries he sustained.

Looting and other crimes in Anuradhapura town and district started early on the 17th morning. Mr. C. Devasigamany, Regional Engineer of the Tele- communication Department, who was living in omcial quarters about 500 yards irom the Railway Station, saw mobs in action on the streets. A police jeep approached his omce, which was about 500 to 700 yards from the Police Station, when Sinhalese mobs had started attacking Tamils : it did not Stop. Army personnel tried to stop the mob looting, but failed. He and his farmly sought refuge in the Kachcheri camp on the 18th morning. and he later that all his goods in his house had been stolen, and his car was used to transport them. He failed to obtain some of his goods which had been recovered by the police, as he was told that they had to be produced in Court. He heard nothing more about them, and he claims Rs. 45,000 as compensation.

Mr. A. Mahasivam, Assistant Commissioner of Labour, left his car worth Rs. 30,000 in the premises of the Ceylon Electricity Board when the violence erupted on the 17th. He and other refugees left for Jaffna on the 18th, and he later learnt that his car had been burnt that afternoon. He related a conversa- tion he had with S.P. Liyanage on the 18th forenoon. in which the latter referred to a policeman who had been shot in Jaffna and taken to the hospital there : as he was not given medical attention, Liyanage said, he had brought him to Anuradhapura for medical treatment. Liyanage •s version is untrue. and this false version was one of the rumours which were spread all over the Island and did much damage.

Mr. T. Sivasithamparam, Inspector of Permanent Ways. C. G. R., was sta- tioned in Anuradhapura. On the 18th morning he and his wife, Mr. Sinnadurai (Railway Accountant) and Mr. Gnananandam (Assistant District Engineer, Railways) were in his house : thugs chased them out of the house and killed Mr. Sinnadurai within 5 minutes. Mr. Sinnadurai left a. minor son who is in the custody of his grandfather Mr. A. Kanagasabai, as Mrs. Sinnadurai had predeceased her husband. Mr. Kanagasabai stated in evidence that no pension or other monetary assistance had been paid to the boy. Mr. Sivasithamparam claimed compensation in Rs. 40,000 for the property he lost.

Heavy losses were suffered by many persons in Anuradhapura, one of them being Mr. M. Rajasingham, whose father-in-law was Proctor Nadarajah (deceased) a well known resident there since 1896. The house of the Nadarajah family was looted and completely burnt on the 18th. and Mr. Rajasingham said that he and his wife suffered losses amounting to over Rs. 200,000 and were left with nothing.

Dr. G. Gnanananthan, who was attached to the Hospital, worked in it on the 17th, and he and his family moved to the house of a friend Mr. Felix de Silva that evening. On the 18th they went to the refugee camp at the Kachcheri, and on returning to remove their belongings from their house they found it had been completely looted. He claimed Rs- 19,000 He and several other witnesses have spoken in the highest terms of the conduct of A.S.P. Chandra Mendis, and his devotion to duty.

Another witness Mr. M. Sivalingam of the District Labour Oflice was given shelter by Mr. Bandusena Perera on the 17th. Mr. K. Shanmuganathan of the Health Services offce was away from the town when his house was looted on the 17th, but his family was given shelter by their neighbour Mr. Hector de Silva, also of the Health Service. Mr. Sivalingam claimed Rs. 8,400 for the goods he lost and Mr. Shanmuganathan estimated his losses at Rs. 44,437.50.

Another striking illustration of courage and compassion is provided by Mr. Wahala, Chief Clerk of the Education Offce. He took seven of his Tamil Colleagues on the 17th to his farm outside Anuradhapura for their safety . among them was Mr. T. Jayarajah who gave evidence. A mob came to the house in which they were, after darkness had set in , and protested that it was a disgrace to keep Tamils in that village. Mr Wahala said : “They will have to kill me before they come to you”, even though he had been attacked earlier for having brought his friends there. The mob then said that they would not do any harm to them, but would send them by bus to Anuradhapura. Mr. Wahala reluctantly returned to his house while the mob took the seven Tamils towards the main road. Contrary to their undertaking, they killed two offcers, Sinnathamby and Gunaratnam, and assaulted the others.

The witness Mr. Jayarajah said he was taken by some Sinhalese offcers to their quarters in the tile factory. The Manager of the factory summoned the police and drove him in the factory lorry, concealed between the driver’s seat and a load of tiles, to the Anuradhapura hospital. Another witness to these incidents, Mr. Emalianus, also gave evidence. After wandering through the jungle, he was sheltered for 3 days by a Muslim gentleman, who then carried him on his bicycle for 12 miles to a Tamil village, from where he eventually reached Jaffna.

Mrs. Sivakamipillai Sinnathamby, widow of Mr. Sinnathamby mentioned in the last but one paragraph, said that she learnt on the 21st of her husband’s death when she was in Jaffna. Although kind friends offered to take his body from Anuradhapura to Jaffna, she declined their offers because, she said “I did not want their wives to become widows like me”. She assessed the value of her husband’s belongings which were lost at Rs. 8,500. Her only income was her salary as a teacher. She is entitled to a widow’s pension and gratuity, and so are her 2 children, and steps should be taken to make these payments without delay.

Mrs. Rajalakshimi Gunaratnam is the widow of Mr. Gunaratnam, Chief Clerk of the Eexcutive Engineer’s omce, Anuradhapura, mentioned earlier. He died after having been assaulted when in the company of Mr. Nahala and again latera He left 4 children. A pension and death gratuity should be paid to them also.

The wholly unexpected nature of the outburst of is illustrated by what happened at the Kangaroo Tractor Station in Anuradhapura, of which Mr. Thirunavukkarasu was Chief Clerk. He was murdered at that Station along with 2 young men, who I presume are the sons of Mr. A. W. Johnpillai (a witness soon to be mentioned) and a visitor, Mr. Nadarajah. Mrs. Nada- rajah in evidence said that her husband, who was a Music Teacher at a School in Vavuniya, had been appointed Supervisor at a Music Examination to be held at Colombo Hindu College, Bambalapitiya, on 18th August. He left Vavuniya on the 17th by bus, but failed to get a bus from Anuradhpura : so he stayed with Mr. Thirunavukkarasu, and thus met his death.

Both widows complained that neither their pensions nor their death gratuities had been paid. They had young children to support. Letters written by them to the Pensions Department went unheeded and unanswered—a common complaint which I heard often during these proceedings. Why is it so diffcult to obtain a reply from some government departments ?

I shall conclude the account of the tragedy at the Kangaroo Tractor Station with a reference to the evidence of Mr. A. W. Johnpillai. He said he had 2 sons, 33 and 25 years old, who were working there in August 1977. The Kotahena Police informed him on 19th August that they had been murdered, and he was asked to go to Anuradhapura to identify their bodies. He left Colombo in a hearse, with an embalmer and 2 cofrs. At Nochiyagama Police Station he was told to proceed 18 miles further to Anuradhapura. While travelling that distance, he was stopped 7 times by hooligans who robbed him of everything he had. Having reached Anuradhapura Police Station he went to the Mortuary and identified the elder son by his face (partly burnt) and the younger by his underwear. He removed the bodies to Police Station and waited for hours to get an escort, but was refused one. Anew Government Agent then happened to come there and showing more consideration ordered that as an eletrician was going to Puttalam with an escort, the witness could travel with them.

Mr. Johnpillai related what had been told him a month later at Anuradhapura, as to how his sons had met their death. It is a story of cruelty and deceit ending in tragedy, during a dark period when mobs had their own way. How- ever, he achieved his purpose of having the bodies of his sons decently buried.

Kanapathipillai Subramanian was living on an ancestral property at Periya- sena, a village about mile from Anuradhapura. On 17th August about 10.00 a.m. a Sinhalese mob came there armed, and the Tamils ran into the jungle. He said thava young man, tho son of one Ramasamy, was severely assaulted and fell : he died that night. All the houses there were burnt. Subramaniam said he now lives in Murunkan.

I come now to some incidents which involved bodily injuries and damage to property, but did notresult in death.

(1) Mr. K. Thangatajah was the Weaving Master at the Anuradhapura Power Loom Project. On the morning of 17th August, Sinhalese friends in his offce told him that the Naga Vihara in Jaffna was damaged, the priest had been murdered, and some girls had been taken away from the Campus. He next heard that there was tension, and looting of Tamil shops, in Anuradhapura town. On the 18th morning some Sinhalese came to his offce shouting against the Tamils, and though the Sinhalese employees there tried to keep them out, they forced their way in and assaulted him. He was attacked and put outside, others came and attacked him again and whipped him. The Sinhalese mana- ger took him to the hospital, but he was not treated there, so he was put into a bus and eventually reached Point Pedro. He was on medical leave for 3 months, but had not completely recovered. He asked for compensation and for Rs. 800 being the value of his ring and pair of spectacles taken from him.

(2) T. Pushpalingam, Tool Issuer, C. T. B., Kondavil, stated that he and his wife came by bus to Anuradhapura from Colombo. They went to the Railway Station to catch a train to Jaffna. He was assaulted by several persons and became unconscious. He regained consciousness at the hospital, but found that the nurses there werevtoo afraid to attend to him. He and his wife eventually reached the Refugee Camp.

(3) The Ravi Stores, Anuradhapura, was being run by Hindumathie, widow of Subramaniam, the former owner. On 18th August a curfew was declared from 11.00 a.m., but soon afterwards a crowd forced their way into her shop and removed the goods in it as well as the jewellery of herself and her 5 children who were in the shop. On the 19th at 3.00 or 4.00 a.m. 3 thugs entered the shop, and A.S.P. Chandra Mendis and some constables came there and arrested 2 of them.

This lady also had an allotment of Crown land in Anuradhapura where the foundation of a house had been laid. She had collected building materials on a land owned by a Mr. who owned a rice mill standing on it. That mill was burnt down during the disturbances, and her building materials were damaged.

(4) Vallipuram Rasiah had lived in Anuradhapura since his birth, and his family had been there for generations. He owned a pawnbroker’s shop, a rice mill and a house there. He said that most of the Tamil shops there were looted, most of the houses owned by Tamils were burnt partly or entirely, while houses owned by Sinhalese and tenanted by Tamils were only looted. While he was in his house on the 17th, 7 or 8 men armed with clubs and other weapons enter- ed it, of whom he fecognised Mahatun of Kadapanaha (a well known thug) and Vanaraya (pickpocket). Vanaraya extorted Rs. 400 or 500 from him and a gold ring from his son. They removed various other things too. Next day a mob broke into his house, and later his pawn shop and rice mill were burnt. He estimated his total losses at 7 lakhs.

(5) Thangarajah Rice Mill was owned by witness Thangavelu Sundaram and his family. Shortly after 7.00 a.m. on 17th August a crowd of 70 to 80 Sinhalese came there and assaulted the Manager Vytilingam with clubs, while the Sinhalese employees ran away. An Army jeep took away Sunderam and Vytilingam. The Mill was razed to the ground and even the bricks were removed. A mill belonging to Sinhalese, which Sunderam’s brother had taken on lease, was not damaged : but the stock-in-trade belonging to his family was In respect of each of these mills the loss was assessed at over 6 lakhs.

(6) Pillaiyar Thiaganathan was part proprietor of Jeyagesan and Co., which had been doing business at Anuradhapura for 40 years. On 17th August about 9.00 a.m. a gang entered his shop and began to loot it : they ran away when a jeep approached. The Police Station is close to the shop. The thugs returned and resumed looting and damaging the shop. The losses were estimated at one lakh.

(7) Witness K. R. Sunderarajah had a shop there called Sri Vel Stores, and he lived behind it in the same building. On the 17th morning a crowd invaded it, ate what was there, killed 2 goats and 2 fowls and took them away in a car. At about 12.30 p.m. another crowd smashed up his residence : among them he recognized Poddi Thudda, Karunapala and Karunaratne. His residence was set on fire that night while he and his family were in P.C. Alagaperuma’s house. On the 18th morning that brought a van and 23 persons were being taken in it to the Kachcheri when it was stopped at Jaffna junction by a crowd. The witness said that one Pathirana, Private Secretary to Mr. K.D. M. Bandara, M.P. for Anuradhapura, was one of that crowd : he placed a knife on Alga- peruma’s neck and asked him whether he was going to save the Tamils, to which the latter replied ” I know my duty and I am doing my duty “. The van then proceeded to the Kachcheri.

(8) Mr. M. Ganeshamoorthy, Attorney-at-Law, had practiced at Anuradha- pura 1962. At about 8.00 p.m. on the 17th. when he and his family were at lwme, about 200 persons assembled outside and shouted to him to come out. When he did not go out they started to break the doors and win- dows ; so tho family came out to the road. A thug attacked his wife ; and when ho went to rescue her, he was attacked. He sustained serious injuries. Thoy taken to the hospital, but the employees refused to attend on them. although the Doctors did. He lost everyting of value and estimated his loss at Rs. 35,000.

(9) Miss Parasakthi Subramaniam, a teacher of St. Joseph’s College, said that a mob attacked her house. She and her family ran out, and when they returned they found everything, including food and clothing, had been stolen.

(10) Mr. C. Kulendrasingham was Works Supervisor, Anuradhapura. He learnt on the 17th morning that attacks on the Tamils had begun, so he and his wife went to the house of Mr. Thenabadu. From there he saw his house being looted by successive gangs. He then saw an Uuban Council clerk named Amarapala pointing out Mr. Thenabadu’s house and saying that there was a Tamil there. The gang came there, and finding him and his wife under a bed they attacked them and took all the valuables they had.

(11) Mr. P. N. Santhosam, a citizen by registration, had his house burnt and his shop looted on the 17th. All his registration papers were destroyed.

(12) Mr. K. Murugiah was the Manager of K. Vallipuram and Co., one of the largest business establishments in Anuradhapura, which was owned by his family. On the 17th he saw the shop of Jayathasan & Co. (opposite his), and the shop of Sathasivam & Co., being attacked. Soldiers and policemen with guns came there, but they made no attempt to stop the looting. Finally, his shop was attacked, and he left in Kachcheri jeep for the Kachcheri. He estimated the loss suffered by his business at Rs. 1,265,000.

(13) Mr. K. Murugesupillai, a salesman employed by Sathasivam and Co., Anuradhapura, said that when he was working in that shop on 17th August it was attacked at 8.30 or 9 a.m. It was looted, and he lost all his personal belongings, while the Company lost goods to the value of one lakh.

(14) S. Dayaparan was a building contractor at Anruadhapura on 18th August, working on a •contract near the Bus Stand. At about 2 p.m. some persons told him and his workmen that they would not be allowed to work there, because some policemen in Jaffna had been killed. A little later a crowd came and assaulted him and his brother Sri Kanthan, who died a few days later. The building site, building materials and bags of cement were burnt. He estimated his losses at Rs. 77,000.

(15) At Maha Bulankulama about 7 miles from Anuradhapura, Kanna Kunjappan was running a shop. At about 7 p.m. on 17th August he heard a mob approaching, so he ran out and hid while the shop was being attacked. Next morning he saw 4 persons —- Vasantha, Rohan, Godarawala Banda and Ukku Bandage Heen Banda — setting fire to his tractor and, trailer. He stayed in the jungle till the 21st and’ later went to Batticaloa. He asked for an allotment of land in Vavuniya, Chettikulam or Killinochchi.

(16) At Kalaththawa, near Anuradhapura, K.C. Ramalingam and his Sinha¯ lese wife lived together with about 50 Tamil and Sinhalese families. His ancestors had lived there. On 17th August he heard of trouble at Anuradha- pura, and as the other Tamil families were leaving, he and his family went into the jungle. When he returned on the 18th he found that his house had been looted and burnt. He went to Killinochchi, but has since returned to his Old residence which he repaired.

(17) M. Kanagalingam owned a rice mill at No. 12, Mihindu Mawatha, Anuradhapura. He was in Jaffna, when, according to T. Kanakasingham the hulling operator, a crowd of Sinhalese attacked the premises and took away Rs. 612 and 45 bushels of rice and left. At about II a.m. another crowd came while the witness watched from a house next door : they broke up the mill and removed what was left in the store room. The witness’ evidence was supported by that of R. Ponniah, who said that the members of the crowds were not persons living in that area The mill could not be worked thereafter for want of the necessary parts. The damages were estimated at Rs. 295,000.

(18) Dr. Rajasingham Devendran was attached to the Anuradhapura Hospital. He learnt early on 17th August of the attacks on the trains. Protec- tion for the Hospital was asked for, but none was given. By 3 p.m. that day the Lady Medical Offcers’ Quarters near his house were set on fire and his house was stoned. The Medical Officers later gathered at the Medical Superin- tendent’s house. He said that at about 10 p.m. S.P. Liyanage came there and they informed him of the general position. He ignored that aspect of the situation and told them that he had just come from Jaffna. Speaking to the Medical Superintendent with the other Doctors standing by, he said that the people of Jaffna were shooting the police, while the market and other shops had been set on fire ; the University students had been attacked and had starved for 3 days. He also said : ” you Doctors in Jaffna have no ehtics and to the Medical Superintendent he said : ” You remember the patient I sent you yesterday ; the chap was refused treatment at Jaffna “………………….” If Anuradhapura knows that I have come back, everything will be normal by tomorrow morning “. On the 18th a convoy was arranged and left at 4 a.m. without the Doctors, who had reposed confidence in Liyanage’s assurance that they could leave by special train that morning. In the result, they had to spend 14 hours at the Kachcheri and only left at 9 p.m. on the 18th.

(19) P. Ratnasabapathy Kurukkal was the Chief Priest of the Kathiresan Kovil, Anuradhapura. He stated that on 17th August there was an alms-giving there at about 11.30 a.m. at which people were partaking of food, when a group of young men walked in, assaulted all who were there and robbed them of their personal belongings. He himself was assaulted and fell uncon- scious. The gang then broke into the store room and removed the brass vessels they stole the statue of Amman and 2 other statues : they broke into his house and stole goods from there. He estimated the damage to the temple at Rs. 50,000 and to himself at Rs. 75,000. The purification ceremony which must be held before services can be performed again in the Temple will cost Rs. 75,000.

(20) Nadarajah Kurukkal Kodeeswaram, Priest Of the Pillaiyar Temple there and son of the former witness, stated that he assisted his father at the alms-giving that day. During the attack he ran to his own temple and found it had been ransacked, and the Holy of Holies damaged. He estimated the damages at Rs. 20,000.

The witness eventually went to Anuradhapura Hospital, and from there he returned to the estate. He learnt that Patchamuttu died, leaving 2 young sons and 2 married daughters who had not received compensation for the loss of their father.

Maha Iluppallama

O) Mr. V. Ragunathan. Executive Engineer, was working at Maha TIIup- pallama. On 17th August hc returned to his office at about 2.00 p.m. after going out on an inspection : he then drove to his quarters. Shortly afterward 5 men, including a casual watcher Premaratne, demanded liquor and money from him, and he gave them Rs. 50. A little later a gang of 70 to 80 persons there shouting Our people are being killed in Jaffna “, so he and his wife locked themselves inside the toilet, while his Assistant Mr. Jayatunge and another technical omcer Mr. Dharmawimala stayed in the hall. The gang included a labourer William who was the Trade Union leader of the farm. All 4 persons who were inside the house were assaulted by them. Thcy spent the 17th night in Mr. Ekanayake •s house and the 18th in Mr. Adikari ‘s house. The 19th was spent in the Kekirawa Police Station. On the 19th night they were taken by lorry to Anuradhapura Kachcheri, and on the 20th they went to Vavuniya by bus with other refugees. Mr. Ragunathan claimed that his car was taken out of thc garage and damaged by thc gang. He assessed those damages at Rs. 5,000 and the value of his personal belongings which he lost at Rs. 30,000. Mrs. Ragunathan was a Research Offcer of the Agricultural Department working at Maha Illuppallama at the time.

(2) Mrs. Punithavathy Ponnampalavanar was an Agricultural Extension Offcer working at the same place, living in quarters with her 2 children and her parents. Having been warned by some persons to leave her house before 6.00 p.m., she went to a Sinhalese neighbour’s house, from there she saw a crowd looting her house. In fear, she ran into a jungle and stayed there, till she was rescued at 1.00 a.m. by Dr. Wignarajah and taken in an Army jeep to Anuradhapura. She lost all her belongings, but recovered some at Anuradhapura.

(3) Mr. Ponniah Velayuthapillai was a Technical Offcer in the Farming Mechanisation Training Centre, Anuradhapura. His wife was in the Agricul- tural Research Station, Maha Iluppallama. They lived in quarters at the latter place. The husband was returning from Kandy with 4 others on 17th August. A crowd of about 200 persons stopped them at Dambulla, but they passed a language test and reached Maha Iluppallama unhurt. He then found that his wife, daughter and mother-in-law had been taken by a neighbour Mr. Lal Senanayake, into the latter ‘s house : but he went into the jungle for safety. Dr. Wignarajah rescued him and his family and they went to Anuradhapura.He claimed Rs. 12,000for damages to his new Volkswagan car, Rs. 8,000 for jewellery stolen and Rs. 35,000 for household goods looted.


(l) Dr. Thitlainathan was a Medical Prxtitumer attached to tlr Rural Hospital. Rambcwa. about 10 miles from Anuradhapura. He. his wife and his children lived in quarters. On 17th August there from Jaffna, having travelled in the train that wag attacked and attended to the patients who had come to the hospital. At about 2.00 p.m. an arrned crowd arrtved in a bus gnd 2 lorries. Some orthe local residents fought that crowd and chasd them away. and then drove the Thillainathan ramdy to Mihintale by Some of the attackers followed them there and they ran into the jungle • later they were dragged to a well, but were saved before they were pushed into it.

(2) Mrs. Simon Margaret gave evidence regarding nepirw Anton Lewtg who was working asa lorrycleaner. On 16th August he went in a lorry to his employer Ranjan Mathayas to Pesalai and was returning with a load of dry fish. She had heard that it was attacked 5 miles from Rarnt*wa on 18th August. The lorry driver Joudasan has told her that escaped when the lorry was attacked and burnt. but he did not know what happened to t…ewu She has not heard of him since.


The Post Office was attacked at about 1.30 p.m. on 17th August. Thuø entered the Postmaster’s Quarters and attacked him and his Assistant, both Tamils, saying ” you are assaulting our Sinhalese varsity girls”. Other Tarnds living there were also assaulted and they ran to the PoliceStation Sinhalese postal messengers and the Sinhalese D. M. O. and Attendant were sympathetic and attended to their injuries. Two Tamil shops were burnt and houses ot Tamils looted and burnt.


There were 4′ Tamil shops here. At about 6.00 p.m. on 17th August witneg K. Vinasithamby saw the shop ot Chandrasekeram being looted : then his own shop was looted. All 4 Tamil shops suffered that fate while the Poliæ there looked on and did nothing.

Kekirawa and Kalawewa (I) Mr. S. Kanagasabai was the Master, Kekirawa. When he wu at the Police Station on 18th August, he saw a large crowd looting the shop or T. S. Brothers. while the police watched but did nothing. He left his persona belongings in his quarters and went to Anuradhapura. Next day he heard everything had been stolen, resulung in his savings of 30 years being lost.

 (2) Mr. N. Sivapragasam was Manager of the firm of Subramaniam & Co. Kekirawa and his wife was a partner of it. It was founded in 1900 by his father and his uncle and was the largest business establishment there. He said he had done much good work for the benefit of the people of Kekirawa. The business was about 75 yards from the Police Station and his house was behind the shop, while his mill was about å mile away. Looting of the shops began on the morning of 18th August : his house and shop were set on fire, so he and his family fled to the jungle. Lorries had been parked in the mill premises. The mill was also attacked and burnt that morning and all the parked lorries were destroyed by fire and so were his vehicles. He estimated his losses at 44 lakhs.

(3) Mr. C. Ramachandran, Accountant of the Mahaweli Development Board, was stationed at Kalawewa about 10 miles from Kekirawa. His evidence is illuminating in regard to the effect of rumours and their rapid growth when once put into circulation. When he went to Anuradhapura on 17th August to make purchases, the Land Offcer’s wife told him of trouble having begun there because 3 policemen had been shot in Jaffna. He started his return journey and when he came to Talawa he heard that 10 policemen had been shot at Jaffna : at Maha Iluppallama, the number Of policemen shot had risen to 13. On his return to his camp, the Project Manager, Mr. Ladduwa- hetty asked the Army to come there, but he was informed that they coWd not come as they had not been permitted to use firearms. The Kekirawa Police came there at about 8.30 p.m. and took them to the Police Station. The witness said that S.I. Gunaratna and all the constables at the Station were drunk. One constable •told him ” my sister, brother and mother are in Jaffna. something happens to my family, I will become a dangerous murderer”. As one of the constables asked them to leave the Station by 5 a.m. he went with the assistance of a Tamil constable to Subramaniam’s shop where 15 of them stayed, but about 3.30 a.m. that shop was set on fire. He said that S.I. Gunaratna came there and arrested a person with a tin of petrol who was in that shop. S.I. Gunaratna also called them back to the Police Station at about 6 a.m., being sober by then. The witness saw Subramaniam’s shop which was close to the Police Station being looted. When he told S.I. Gunaratna to fire into the air to disperse the looters, he replied : “We have to safeguard the Station and the refugees. If I spend all the ammunition, I will not be in a position to safeguard you.”

At II a.m. a message was received that A.S.P. Chandra Mendis was coming from Anuradhapura to Kekirawa. From that time the police became active, 3 consubles fired into the air, the entire road was cleared and from 10,000 the crowd was reduced to 10 or 15 persons. The A.S.P (not Mr. Chandra Mendis) eme at noon and ordered the town to be clered. The witness and his party were taken to Anuradhapura. His quarters were I ooted entirely, -his loss wu about RSs 7,000 or 8.000.

 (4) Mr. P. Pararajasekeram was a Government Surveyor of Kekirawa, working, in Kelekuliyankulam village on 17th August. Having heard that he was to be attacked that evening, he and another Surveyor, Mr. Rasiah, went to one Tillekeratne’s house. On the 18th Tillekeratne was unable to give them protection, so they went to a chena and spent the night there. The Army took them to Anuradhapura and they reached Jaffna on the 20th. His quarters were looted and he suffered a loss of about Rs. 20,000.

(5) Evidence was given with regard to 3 lorries which were burnt on the 18th August morning while they were parked in the premises of Subramaniam & Co. Mill at Kekirawa.

(a) Witness V. Sridharan said that he travelled with 3 others to Kekirawa in lorry No. 24 Sri 3205 and parked it in those premises. When the mill was attacked on the 18th morning, he and his companion Kirupakaranand the other Tamils ran into the jungle. He heard later that Kirupakaran and 4 others had been killed : Kirupakaran’s body was not found. Goods worth Rs. 75,000 were looted from the lorry.

(b) Witness Sinnathangamma said that she was the widow of S. Rajaratnam, (owner of lorry No. 24 Sri 3892). He and the lorry driver T. Thurairajah had, along with the lorry, spent the night of 17th August in those mill premises. When the mill was attacked on the 18th morning they both ran into the jungle. T. Thurairajah later returned to Jaffna, but her husband, S. Rajaratnam, was not seen again, nor was his body found. The lorry was burnt. She heard that her husband .had been murdered in the jungle.

(c) Witness E. Kandasamy was the cleaner of lorry No. 24 Sri 6427 which belonged to S. Poopalasingham and was driven by K. Sinnarasa. He said that the lorry was parked in those mill premises on the night of 17th August. On the 18th morning, when the mill was attacked he ran into a field and eventually found his way to safety. He later learnt at Kekirawa that both Sinnarasa and Poopalasingham had been murdered and he informed the police about that. Poopalasingham left a widow named Sinnammah. The lorry was burnt. The bodies of the murdered men were not found. K. Sinnarasa’s widow, Sellamma, mother of 3 young children, also gave evidence and asked for compensation and assistance.

I am glad to report that of the 3 widows referred to above, viz., Sellamma and Sinnammah, the first two have each reæived Rs. 12,900 as compensation and action was being taken to pay Sinnammah too. The Minister of Social deserves their praise and thanks for having acted prompdy to give them this relief.

 (6) I: Karunamoorthy had a hardware stores called A, Somasunderam & Co opposite the Police Station. On the evening of 17th August a curfew was on because trouble was expected there. At 1.30 a.m. on the 18th a bomb exploded on the roof of his stores.- He went out and watched from a hillock. He saw his shop on fire, and people (including policemen in uniform) looting it. He was taken to the Police Station at noon by Police Sergeant Gunasekera and from there he was taken to Anuradhapura,

(7) Mr. K. Velaiden, after 30 years’ service in the C. G. R. , was Station Master, Peradeniya, in August 1977. On 15th August he, took his wife and children to Talaimannar Pier on their way to India to visit his mother. He had to return to Kandy on the 17th with his son, 17 years old, in order to get his passport rectified. He and his son then left by bus for Anuradhapura on the 18th en route to Talaimannar Pier. At Dambulla he saw an old lady and an old gentleman being pulled out of the bus and thrown into a drain : leaves were collected in order to set fire to them.

The bus drove on till it was 5 miles from Kekirawa. A crowd of about 200 stopped it there. He was shouted at and told ” You Tamils cut our children at Jaffna and sent the pieces to Kandy. You killed the Naga Vihara priest and sent him in ice boxes to Kandy.” He was hit, then he Was put down on the road and kicked and trampled and -tarred. When his son protested, he was hit and thrown into the Jungle, from, which he returned completely naked. He and his son were then put into the bus and made to lie on the floor, with the feet of the other passengers on them. Near Kekirawa Police Station they were both kicked out : they ran into the Police Station, where a person gave them lunch. Later a lorry took them to Anuradhapura Refugee Camp, from where they went to Vavuniya at 7.30 p.m. On the 19th he went by bus to Talaimannar Pier, reaching there at 6.30 p.m., only to hear that his home at Peradeniya had been looted. On the 31st he left by boat and returned to Peradeniya in 3 or 4 days to find his house damaged and everything stolen. There were no clothes for any member of his family. He estimated his losses at Rs. 23,700.


(1) Mr. N. G. Somasunderam stated that his family has lived here for over. a century. He owned a house and a cinema hall, while his brothers owned 3 houses. All these buildings were razed to the ground. The projector and other equipment of the cinema wcre burnt and thrown into the jungle, He and his%rothers suffered damages in a sum of 67 lakhs. The services he had rendered to Galgamuwa included being Chairman orthe Town Council : he is a J. P. and he can read, write and speak all 3 languages of the country fluently.

He ascribed the troubles in August1977 to false rumours sent through various channels. In 1958 there was only one Police Station in that area, situated at Maho which is 15 miles away : in 1977 there were four at Maho, Ambanpola, Giribawa and Galgamuwa —- yet all those places were badly affected. The disturbances began on 17th August at about 6 p.m. A.S.P. Pathirana was occupying a house belonging to the witness, but he suddenFAeft it on that day : the house was looted and stripped andTazed to the ground, The violence continued on 18th, 19th and 20th August. All 8 Tamil shops there were destroyed. Quarters occupied by Tamil public servants were looted and burnt. The Hindu Temple suffered damages to the extent of thousands of rupees. The police, he said, were inactive. When looted articles were recovered, no action was taken thereafter.

(2) S. Sivagnanamoorthy, a trader, said that when the train from Jaffna arrived. at Galgamuwa on the 17th morning, many passengers were shouting that the Tamils should be killed and their shops looted. The Tamil shops were therefore closed. He mentioned 2 local traders named Chandrasiri and Indrasoma who were very helpful •to the Tamils and tried to obtain police protection for them : he also stated that S.I. Gunasekera assisted them until he had to leave for Nugaduwa on the 18th. By contrast he spoke of the conduct of six armed policemen who were present when his shop was attacked after S. I. Gunasekera’s departure : they told the thugs : ” We are having these guns for the sake of carrying them. You can go on looting andi we will not prevent that.” Eventually the Tamils were taken in convoy to KI Kurunegala Camp.

He added that the 2 Sinhalese traders whom he had mentioned, byname asked him to retun and restart his business there, and gave him financial assis- tance for that purpose, because, they said, as Sinhalese it was their duty to do so. Such examples of noble action deserve to be placed on record. The witness assessed his losses at Rs. 138,000. He said that his father’s shop was also looted and burnt.

(3) Two other Tamil traders, G. Sundereswaran and A. Ulagarajah, spokeof the looting and burning of Tamil shops there and their having to leave the town on that account.

(4) Mr. K. Selvarajah was a Field Assistant? of the Malaria Campaign at Pahala Giribewa. On 18th August he started, spraying houses at 8.00 a.m. At 11.00 a.m. he was informed of tension at Galgamuwa. On the 19th he took his wife who was pregnant to the hospital, and stayed in the Police Station which was next door. At 8.00 p.m. he learnt that his house had been looted. There were about 400 refugees at the Polico Station. Many of them were taken to a refugee camp at Kurunegala. His damages amounted to Rs. 15,020.

 (5) Mrs. T. Sathasivam, the wife of the Chief Priest of the Pillaiyar Temple there, gave evidence as he was not well. She spoke of the Temple having been attacked on 18th August and valuable articles removed. Her personal losses amounted to Rs. 30,800.

(6) Mr. V. Paramanathan spoke of another attack on the Temple on 19th August when a statue was removed from the inner sanctum and damaged, the tower was damaged, the sacred bull statue was damaged and also the chariot. He assessed the total damages at Rs. 50,000 and said that the necessary purifica- tion ceremony will cost Rs. 20,000. He himself owned 2 shops which were damaged and looted on 18th August.

(7) Mr. T. Balasubramaniam, Assistant Superintendent of Surveys, Gal- gamuwa, stated that looting there began on 17th August and continued through _ out the evening and night. On the 18th he and his wife moved to Maha Galgamuwa, 2 miles away, and he was robbed of Rs. 500 on the way. On the 19th they took refuge at the Police Station and were taken at midnight to the refugee camp at Kurunegala

(8) Vadivel Kathiravel was a trader in gains living in Pahala Giribewa where his parents also lived. As a boy he attended a Sinhalese school as there was no Tamil school : hewas educated in Sinhalese and was a dayakaya of the Buddhist temple. On 18th August about 7.00 p.m. a crowd which had created trouble at Pahala came to his village, so he and his family ran to the jungle and stayed there for 4 days. On the fifth day, they sent a message to the police who came and took them to the Police Station. He mentioned details of his losses but he said they did not enter all the items because they said, if they did ” there would not be money in the Government to pay compensation for them all “. After all the persons taken Into custody were released, he moved to Vavunikulam and he has asked that he be iven land there to cultivate, as all 34 members of his family have left Giribawa.

(9) Mrs. Angamma Ramasamy said that she was living in Galgamuwa with her husband and there were about 65 other Tamil families living close by• On 18th August a gang came there and assaulted her and her husband, burnt their house and almost all the other houses after looting them. All the occur pants were sent to Kurunegala, except her husband who could not be moved for 3 days : he was then taken to Galgamuwa Hospital. He had not recovered even when she gave evidence much later. The 65 families had lived there for generations had moved into tho Northern Province : they lost everything, including the lands they planted. She estimated her• Rs. 20,000.


A few miles from Galgamuwa there was a camp occupied by Engineers of the Mahaweli, Development Board.

(l) Witness, Mr. N. Navarupan, was one of them and he gave evidence in camera. On 17th August at lunch time his driver informed him of the disorders at Anuradhapura Railway Station. At 3.00 p.m. 2 Engineers from Andugama Camp came and told him that their camp was being attacked. When he told the Res:dent Engineer of this, the latter went to the Army Camp. The witness and his family moved into the driver ‘s quarters for their safety in the evening. He saw a mob approaching ; but before they arrived Mr. R. Wimaleswaran, a Surveyor, and Parampillai, a labourer, came there. The witness had his gun and Parampillai said he would use it : the gun was handed over and witness and Wimaleswaran ‘s families got into the bathroom. He then heard the house being broken up, the sound of 2 or 3 shots and Parampillai shouting that he was dying. When he and Wimaleswaran came out, he saw Parampillai fallen and dying, and he also saw 2 members of the mob lying fallen and the gun in the hands of one of the mob. The witness said that he took the gun from him and loaded it. Wimaleswaran had a gun barrel, which he pointed at the mob. and kept them at bay.

Thereafter a Lieutenant and 4 or 5 soldiers came in an Army jeep. The witness gave his gun to the offcer. The mob did not allow the Army to remove anyone and the Army left the scene. A Police jeep arrived with the A.S.P. of Maho and a police party while the mob was attacking the members of the two families in the house. The A.S.P. fired 2 shots in the air and the mob dispersed. They were all taken by the A.S.P. to Galgamuwa Police Station and then to the hospital where they were treated. On the 18th they were taken to the Arrny camp at Migalawa where they stayed with their families.

The subsequent events are interesting and astonishing. They were taken to the Kurunegala Refugee Camp. When they were to be transported to Jaffna from there, they were told they must pay the bus fares. They were given the fares by others who took pity on them. The witness said he had not received any salary after September 1977, even for the period during which he was on medical leave. He asked for a transfer to the North or the East, as much publicity had been given to his having shot 2 Sinhalese and he was afraid to work in Colombo. He assessed the value of personal belongings lost at Rs. 60,000. His wife was teaching at the Migalawa Sinhalese School and was asked to report back there.

I feel that more consideration should have been shown to them and to others who Olave gone’ through similar harrowing experiences.

It is indeed strange that the Army Lieutenant deprived the Occupants of that house of their only weapon and thus effectively prevented them from defending themselves against a gang of criminals who had no possible excuse for having attacked them and showed every sign of intending to attack them again. I cannot understand why the Army came there, if they were not brave enough to fire a shot even in the air and decided to beat a retreat at the first sign of resistance by the mob. I commend the very different attitude adopted by the A.S.P. who gave one of the few examples of courageous conduct by the police in their dealings with the mob. If other victims of violence had used the right of self defence as Parampillai and Wimaleswaran did, the thugs would have learnt a bitter and salutary lesson.

(2) Mr. Wimaleswatan also gave evidence of this encounter. He suffered a fracture of the left hand and was still unable to use it at the time of giving evidence. He too complained that he had not received his salary since August 1977. He had been asked to resume work in that area, which should strike anybody as an unreasonable request ; and he had lost personal belongings to the value of Rs. 38,000 and official stores worth Rs. 10.000.

(3) Mr. T. Thurairajah, Works Supervisor of the Mahaweli Development Board, was stationed at Pahala Kalampitiya which is miles from the Migalawa Camp. On 17th August, having heard of the disturbances, he hid in the jungle that evening and later went to the house of Mr. Karunaratne, Divisional Resident Engineer. He estimated his losses at Rs. 4,000.

(4) Another camp of the Mahaweli Development Board in that area was at Ihala-ela, Mr. R. Chandrasekeram, a Surveyor, had brought his family there on 15th August. Of 15 Tamil offcers there, 3 had brought their families before violence began on 17th August. A crowd advanced towards their quarters, so they ran into the jungle. Some of them were attacked and their quarters were looted. The Tamil omcers were taken to the Migalawa Army Camp on the 18th and from there to Anuradhapura.


(I) K. Subramaniam was a trader in tobacco who had a shop here. At about 3 p.m. on 17th August thugs entered the Temple and assaulted him and the priest. When he went to the Police Station to complain, he was told to go to Jaffna, 175 miles away, and make his complaint. The Inspector and his men merely looked on while the Tamil shops were being looted and when S.I. Selvarajah tried to stop the looting the Inspector prevented him• He said all the Tamil shops were looted. On the 18th about 100 Tamils were taken to Kandy to the Pillaiyar Temple.

 (2) Sinnasamy Raja gave evidence that he went on 17th August to his parents’ house where his brothers and sisters also lived. A crowd of about 50 persons came armed, shouting that the Tamils should be killed and looted and set fire to the house. On the 18th the family went to the Tobacco Station for refuge and returned to their land on the 19th, on which day they were taken in the Tobacco Station lorry to Galewela Police Station and from there to Kandy to the Pillaiyar Temple.


Vavuniya Town and District

Mr. T. Sivasithampram, M.P. for Vavuniya, stated that friendly relations had existed between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities there, even during the disturbance of 1958 until 1977. The population of the town was 99 percent Tamil, the rest being Sinhalese and Muslims.

The first disagreement of a communal nature occurred on 31st March, 1977, after a quarrel between Tamils and Sinhalese. He complained that. arising out of that. the Vavuniya Police attacked the traders and the public ; this resulted in a complete hartal of the business community. There was a discussion between the police and the leaders of the Tamil community on 2nd April, and a settlement was reached, Much time was spent during the hearing of evidence in trying to discover what the settlement actually was. I find that, in the published document which was produced, H.Q.I., T. N. de Silva expressed his regret for the incident and the matter ended there. Business was continued as usual thereafter.

On the night of 18th August there occurred the first of a series of incidents at Vavuniya. A cadjan shed belonging to P. Piyasena and S. Kodituwakku was set on fire. Nobody was identified as having done that. Mr. Sornabala, an Attorney-at-Law, spoke of having seen H.Q.I. de Silva and 2 policemen arrive at that spot in 2 vehicles ; he said that the H.Q.I. stood on the middle of the road with his hands on his hip and said in Sinhalese, “Now set fire to Tamil boutiques”. Mr. de Silva denied these allegations. I cannot, on the evidence, hold that the allegations have been proved.

On the 19th night the bodies of some Tamil persons who had been killed at Anuradhapura were brought to Vavuniya in a hearse. S.L. Nathan and 3 constables escorted them. It was suggested to S.I. Nathan that he had exhibited the bodies to the public at about 3 a.m. on the 20th. He denied having done so and I am not satisfied that the allegation has been substantiated.

There was an all—Island curfew on the 19th. That night all the sheds at the weekly fair were burnt at about S p.m. Nobody has spoken to how it happened. The occupants of the stalls lost all their goods and there arose tension in the Town on this account.

On the 20th there was a curfew from 5 p.m. That night two hotels named Then’suraby and Impala were set on fire at about midnight. They were not far from the Police Station. Allegations had been made that the police were responsible for the fires but these have been denied. H.Q.I. de Silva has been ‘implicated in addition to other police omcers. The H.Q.I. said that when the A.S.P. sent for him he went to the Thensuraby Hotel and met Inspector Kandasamy and 2 Odier police omcers there : they were trying to put out the fire. S.I. Nathan said that when he went to the Hotel on seeing smoke rising from it, he found it badly damaged : he found the H.Q.I. and 3 constables in it and they were eating and drinking; The Impala Hotel, about 75 yards away, was also on fire then.

It is not in dispute that S.I. Nathan was instructed to hold an inquiry in respect of these fires. There has been a lot of evidence on the subject of that inquiry : allegations and counter-allegations have been made by many police officers in that connection and irregularities have been pointed out. I do not think it is necessary for me to discuss that evidence. It is a matter for depart- mental inquiry as to whether irregularities have been committed by any police offcers.

I gathered from the evidence of H.Q.I. (now A.S.P.) de Silva that up to the date of his leaving Vavuniya on transfer, viz.’ 20th October, 1977, no plaint had beem filed in Court in respect of either fire. Inspector Muhajireen stated that the Director of Public Prosecutions had reported that there was insuffcient evidence to prosecute anyone in respect of the fires. On the 21st night also when there was a curfew there were fires in Vavuniya Town, involving many shops. They were brought under control by the Army and the Police.

It was obvious that .there existed ill feelings between some of the police offcers stationed in Vavuniya. It resulted in the transfer of Inspector Kandasamy, who was then Offcer-in-Charge, Crimes, and S.I. Nathan on 27th August, while they were still conducting inquiries into offences committed during the disturbances. Since it is a matter coming under the purview of their superior officers I see no point in making any comments on this subject.

It was alleged, in the cross-examination of H.Q.I. de Silva, that he and his offcers set fire to shops belonging to persons who participated in the hartal of 2nd April. He denied this and I accept his denial.

A matter which was raised by Mr. Underwood and pursued at some length was the sending of 15 Sinhalese fishermen of Madampe in a lorry to Vavuni- kulam from Vavuniya in 28th August. They had asked for an escort as they wanted to collect their fishing gear from Vavunikulam and H.Q.I. de Silva ordered P.C. Balasunderam to escort them. It unfortunately happened that the party were attacked, after they had reached Vavunikulam Tank and loaded their’ boats into the lorry by a gang of 20 to 25 Tamils Who fired at them. Witness K. G. Pius Appuhamy has given evidence-stating that Ruban Fernando was killed first, the policeman next and 4 other fishermen thereafter. The lorry was burnt and so also, apparently, were the bodies of the 5 dead fishermen.

I have dealt with this incident in the section where I have considered the evidence led about the incidents that occurred at Vavunikulam. Mr. Under- wood’s position was that H.Q.I. de Silva should have ensured that there were more than one policeman to escort the fishermen. I do not think it would have made any difference to the result, since the attacking party far outnumbered the escort. Whether it would not have involved more policemen losing their lives is a question I need not answer. It was stated by Senior State Counsel that Mrs. Balasunderam has, been paid full compensation for the loss of her husband. A police omcer’s duties involve him, very often, in running the) risk of losing his life, however, regrettable such an event may be.

H.Q.I de Silva stated that he met the Hindu priest Sunderasa Sarma, offciating priest of the Sivan Temple at Sivapuram, where the latter was brought to the Vavuniya Police Station in connection with the death of P.C. Balasingham. He saw no injuries on the priest during the 24 hours he was at the Police Station. Colonel de Alwis stated that he too saw no injuries. I have referred to this matter When dealing with’ incidents at Sivapuram and Seivapuram.

Colonel de Alwis arrived at Vavuniya on 20th August and assumed duties as Co-ordinating Offcer. He has stated the circumstances under which he performed his duties as such until 14th September. There seems to have been, on his evidence, little contact between him and Mr. Sivasithamparam. In addition to Vavuniya Town and the villages near it, Colonel de Alwis also had the Mullaitivu District in his charge. He deserves praise for the work he did with a limited number of soldiers and vehicles at his disposal.

3 complaints were made by Mr. Sivasithamparam against Army personnel :-— (1) When he went to Vavunikulam on 28th August at the request of the Co-ordinating Offcer, Army personnel there humiliated him by saying (in Sinhalese) “The Tamils must be cut and killed. This generation of Tamils must be exterminated”. He protested to Capt. Senarath with whom he went there and he was sent back to Vavuniya in a- Land Rover. He was insulted on that journey by the driver. I-Ie said he complained •to the Co-ordinating Offcer but no action was taken. Colonel de Alwis admitted that he received the complaint but he said that Mr. Sivasithamparam also told him that he did not want him to take further. action.

(2) On 29th August, Mr. Sivasjthamparam stated„ the sentry on duty at Gamini Maha Vidyalaya where the Army was stationed stopped his jeep. When he asked why he was stopped Sasoldier who was present tore the party flag which was on his jeep and trampled it. Other soldiers hooted him. He said he complained of this incident to Colonel de Alwis.

(3) One hour after the preceding incident, Mr. Sivasithamparam saidfthat he was informed that the party flag which was flying over the party office at Vavuniya Bazaar had been removed and burnt by Army personnel. He complained of this also to the Co-ordinating Officer.

Colonel de Alwis denied that he received complaints about the 2nd and 3rd incidents which have been mentioned above.

Mr. R. Samaraweera, A.G.A., Vavuniya South (Sinhalese Division), gave cvidcnce at Anuradhapura regarding difficulties he encountered in discharging his duties. His evidence was not concluded when I left Anuradhapura but did not consider it necessary to hear him further. I do not think he quite appreciated the purpose for which the Commission had been appointed or that he was in a position to assist it with relevant evidence.

Mr. S. Sivagnanam, who was G.A., Vavuniya, at the relevant time, wrote to the Commission on 3rd May and 27th September, 1978. He asked for an opportunity to rebut the allegations made against him by Mr. R. Samara. weera and 2 other witnesses, S. Appuhamy and the Venerable Rathnasara Thero. I did not consider it necessary to hear Mr. Sivagnanam because I did not think the matters spoken to by these 3 witnesses concerning Mr. Sivagnanam fell within my purview. It should not be assumed that I accept the correctness of those allegations.

I shall now refer to the evidence of witnesses who complained of offences committed against them or their property during the disturbances : (l) Mr. C. M. Ariyaratnam of the Education Department, Vavuniya, said that he saw a crowd going towards his house on 22nd August. He left the town and when he returned next morning he found that his house had been looted and part of it burnt. He claimed compensation.

(2) Miss Mary Saunderarajah of Kalnaddinakulam lived with her parents and sisters. On 22nd August her brother Sebastianpillai came there and they all stayed inside the house owing to a curfew. She saw groups of Sinhalese approaching the house and setting fire to other houses. One Ranasinghe shot her brother who died on 12th December of his injuries. The house was looted and damaged and her livestock were stolen. She claimed compensation,

(3) G. Suppiah, a former Chairman of the Village Council of Veemankallu, suted that shots were fired at the houses there, all of which were occupied by Tamils. They left for Vavuniya and on their return they found that all the Tamils—owned houses were burnt. From 15 or 16 Tamil families, their number had been reduced to one or two. C. Arulappan gave similar evidence•

(4) Dr. S. Vythilingam said that on 18th August a boy came to his house at Periyacullu Kulam for treatment. While he was examining the patient some young men including Wijitha Banda came there and demanded his gun and cartridges. He surrendered them. He then locked his house and went to the adjoining Tamil Village. On 22nd August he found his house burnt and his plantations destroyed. At an identification parade held on 22nd August, he said he pointed out Wijitha Banda. He had heard nothing more about the matter.

 (5) Gopal Govindasamy said that he was living in Rambukulam. On 25th August Gunera, Sugathan and Publis ordered him to leave that village. He left it and a few days later his house was found to have been looted. He informed the police on the game day, mentioning the culprits. No action had been taken.

(6) R. Kumarasamy of Brahakmanakulam said that on 6th Septemixr one C.P. Fernando who owned a cadju plantation there came to his house with a Sub Inspector and 4 policemen in jeep No. 31 Sri 213. Two of the wore numerals 13266 and 52()4. He ran into the jungle. That day and that night goods were stolen from his house, which was also set on fire. C.P. Fernando and others came that night and removed paddy, black gram and jngelly from it.

(7) V. Subramaniam had lived for 38 years in Mamaduwa. He said that on 19th August night his son and son-in-law received gun shot Injuries near his house. He left for Vavuniya. On 22nd August, he learnt that his house had been looted and burnt and only a load of paddy was left. No case was filed over these incidents because no accused were mentioned by anyone to the poliæ.

(8) P. Gunawardene of Mamaduwa left his house on the night of 20th August. He said that while watching from a field he saw Tamils setting fire to his house and damaging his plantation of chillies.

(9) V. Kumaran of Kalattawa stated that his sister and her husband Punchi Thamby Gunadasan lived there with him. On 17th August, Gunadasan left for Kandy to buy vegetables and had not been seen again. Their house was burnt on 18th August and their boutique on the 19th by a mob. He eid he identified Alfred Soysa’s son Vasantha in the mob.

Two witnesses gave evidence in which they complained ofpolice misbehaviour.

(1) W. Dharmalingam, a teacher trainee of Palaly Training College, spoke to having seen P.C. Bulath Silva and 2 other policemen damaging a taxi parked by the Jaffna-Kandy Road at Notchimadam on 20th or 21st August. It bore No. I Sri 8658. On the same afternoon, he said, he saw P.C. Bulath Silva coming to that spot in lorry No. 24 Sri 5976 and setting fire to that taxi.

(2) S. Kanapathipillai of Nariakulam, ex-Chairman of the Village Council of Sinna Cheddikulam, said that on 4th September, he met S.I. Grey and P.C. 2977 Peiris when he was returning from Pavakkulam. Pieris asked him ” Are you the leader of the T.U.L.F. ? ” and hit him. He complained to the Cheddi- kulam police, but no action had been taken. A week later, a truck with soldiers drove up to his house with a tractor driver Somapala. They forced him to execute a writing admitting that he owed Somapala Rs. 2,000. When the A.G.A., to whom he complained, took him to the Co-ordinating Offcer, the latter showed him the writing and advised him not to be afraid.

When S.I. Grey was giving evidence long afterwards regarding election speeches, he was cross-examined about this complaint. He admitted having met this witness When he was with P.C. Pieris, but he denied that Pieris assaulted him. Nobody had questioned him about the alleged complaint. Colonel de Alwis denied that he had received any complaint from S. Kanapathipillai, for, if he had, he would have inquired into it.

Inspector Muhajireen was in charge of the special police post set up at Vavuniya from 24th August, to complaints of the public. He said that he received 185 complaints during the disturbances and inquired into all of them. As a result of his inquiries 22 prosecutions were filed and one case was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions arising out of the murder by shooting at Parakrama Farm. No case was filed in respect of the attacks on Tamil shops in Vavuniya on 21st and 22nd. August, because there was no evidence implicating anybody in particular.

Although Dr. S. Vythilingam has stated heehad heard nothing about his complaint, the Inspector stated that M.C. Case No. 15207 was filed on that complaint and an open warrant had been issued for the arrest of the accused. As regards the complaints of Miss M. Saunderarajah, G. Govindasamy, G. Suppiah, G. Arulappan and C. M. Ariyaratnam the Inspector stated that no prosecuüons were launched because there was the evidence only of the com- plainant. If there were no supporting witnesses, I. think it would not have served any purpose to file any cases in Court in those matters.


This is a village between Va.vuniya and Mannar. Complaints against the Police and Army were made by 4 witnesses in respect of offences alleged to have been committed there.

(l) V. Ambalavanar, Credit Manager, M.P.C.S., stated that 10 to 15 police- men entered his offce carrying rifles, on the morning of 29th August. They •wore no numerals and came there in a land rover. They attacked the employees and a customer with rifle butts : they assaulted cyclists and smashed their cycles. •He complained to the A.G.A., Thunukkai.

(2) V. Sivarajah, clerk of the same omce, complained of an assault on him that same morning, when he was riding to work. on his cycle.

(3) S. Ragunathan, Branch Manager, M.P.C.S., Mallawi, complained Of a similar assault when he was cycling to Thunukkai.

(4) N. Thangarajah; Branch Manager, M.P.C.S.’, Cheniankutam, Thunukkai’ stated that some Soldiers came by lorry and a van to his shop on 17th August : they assaulted him with belts and a rifle.

Mr. M. Karthigesu, A.G.A.. Thunukkai, stated that he received 6 com- plaints from employees of the M.P.C.S. (including the first 3 mentioned above) and 2 complaints from members of the public regarding assaults by the Mannar Police. No identification was possible because they had not stated the numbers of the land rovers used, or of the other vehicles in which the offenders had travelled.

Witness V. Ganeshamoorthy stated that he had worked under K. M. Panis Silva in the latter’s paddy field at Thunukkai about 15 miles from Mankulam. On the night of 20th August, when he and his employer were sleeping in a hut in that field, 4 persons came there including one Dharmachandran who squeezed his neck. He ran into the jungle; when he returned, nobody was there and his employer and his gun were also missing. He complained to the Mankulam Police, but Panis Silva was not found.


Witness Y. H. Silva, a nephew of the same Panis Silva had also searched for his uncle without success. He complained that his hotel and shop, which he had run since 1963 at Mankulam, were attacked and burnt between 17th August and 3rd September after he had left Mankulam during the disturbances. He complained about this to the police.

S. Satkunarajah, a trolleyman in the C.G.R at Mankulam stated that on 17th August afternoon he was waiting to collect the tablet from the Yarl Devi. A convoy of Police and Army vehicles came there and the soldiers in the last jeep struck him with their rifle butts. He regained consciousness that night in hospital. His evidence was corroborated by S. Vipulanandan another worker in the C.G.R.

T. Sunderalingam was running a boutique at Mankulam. On 29th August, he said, 2 Army jeeps arrived in the morning and ordered that all boutiques should be closed. He later saw a soldier who came in jeep No. 31 Sri 454 belonging to the Land Development Department, throwing something on his boutique and setting fire to it. 4 other shops were also set on fire. He complained to the Mankulam Police.


There! is a farm called Parakrama Farm there managed by Anton Rodrigo. P. D. Nicholas Julius, a worker there, stated that on the afternoon of 20th August, 2 or 3 persons including one Mylvaganam borrowed a tractor from the farm. About 15 minutes later a crowd came there and shot at the farm workers. He ran away and on his return the next morning he saw some Tamils there who set fire to the farm bungalow. Gonsal Rodrigo, Anton’s father, stated that the police informed him on 22nd August that his son had been injured and subsequently died. Inspector Kandasamy of the Vavuniya Police stated that he saw the body Of Anton at Cheddikulam on the 21st night. Another man named Sivalingam was killed at’ about the same time.

Mullaitivu Town and District

Sub Inspector David, who was 0.1.C., Mullaitivu, from I lth July 1976 to 31st December, 1977, stated in evidence that the area in his charge was about 800 square miles, which included 44 miles along the coast. He had under his command 2 Sub Inspectors, 1 Sergeant, 11 Constables, I driver and I jeep. There were about 7000 Sinhalese and over 21,000 Tamils in that area. Much of the evidence relating to incidents that occurred in August and September 1977 is centered on Kokkilai. a fishing village about 21 miles from Mullaitivu town.

Harmony existed between the Sinhalese and the Tamils until 19th August, when 3 wadiyas in Mullaitivu were set on fire and some Tamil speaking Sinhalese from Negombo were assaulted by Tamils ; there were also seven complaints of arson made by Sinhalese and Tamils against each other that day and on 20th August.

Witness M. A. Anthony Fernando stated that he had been carrying on a fishing business and a dry fish business at Chundikulam Salai and other places about 141 miles North of Mullaitivu. On 19th August when he was at Chundi- kulam a crowd of Tamils carrying weapons rushed to the place where he and his workers were. They ordered the witness and the others with him to transport about 25 bags of rice, dry fish and chillies to their camp.

After that the witness and his party went by boat to Salai, where there were Sinhalese fishermen : they saw their wadiya and nets being set on fire by the Tamils. Later they went by boat to Mullaitivu. Altogether about 700 persons were taken to Mullaitivu refugee camp on the 20th evening, some in tractors and some on feet.

The witness said that he was not permitted to make his complaint at Mullaitivu Police Station, so he made it at Negombo Police Station on the 30th when he went there, because it was his village. He also transported the rest of his party to Negombo at his own expense,

He estimated his total damages at 5 ½  lakhs.

A. M. Premadasa stated that he was carrying on a business called ‘Mala Bakery’ at Mullaitivu in a building constructed by him on a land owned by one Muthiah, at a cost of Rs. 12,000 He also built a house there for RS. 8»• On 18th August, fearing trouble he locked up his house and went to an Army Camp. On the 19th he learnt that his house had been set on fire. The Mullai- tivu Police refused to entertain his complaint.

He stayed in the Army camp till the 24th with about 1,000 other refugees’ and then came to Anuradhapura. When he returned to Mullaitivu a month later, he found the bakery Jciln had been damaged and his house broken down; His total losses were Rs. 29,900.

A serious situation arose on the night of 21st August at Kokkilai, both at the village proper and at Kokkilai Muhattuvaram. to S.L David, there are Tamils permanently resident at the while at Muhattuwaram there were 35 to 40 Sinhala families permanently resident and also some Tamil families. Migrant Sinhalese fishermen come to Muha’.tuvaram during the fishing season. On that night nearly all the wadiyas at Muhattuvaram were burnt and also many of the wadiyas at Kokkilai. 59 complaints of arson were made by Sinhalese and 21 were made by Tamils.

On the 22nd the Sinhalese made 22 complaints of arson, while Tamils made one complaint of arson and one complaint of house-breaking and theft. One of the complaints made was in regard to the burning of fisheries Harbour Corporation Buildings, where witnesses Shanthi Perera and P. L. Premadasa were the Security Offcer and the watcher respectively.

On the 23rd also complaints of arson were made—34 by Sinhalese and 24 by Tamils, according to S.I. David.

I do not think that any blame can be attached to S.L David for these inci— dents. He stated that he did not have suffcient persormel whom he could station at Kokkilai to prevent the violence that took place there. On the 22nd he posted 2 constables there, and on the 23rd evening S.L Balasingham took over with a police party, after the villagers of Kokkilai had complained that from Pulmoddai and Padaviya were giving them trouble.

Captain Jayawardene and an Army Platoon were stationed at Mullaitivu.

On the 24th there was very little trouble. A conference was held that day in Mullaitivu, presided over by the Minister of which was by the Co-ordinating Mr. Sellathambu, M.P., the A.G.A., Sel. David and other omcials. According to S.L David, no complaints were made about the conduct of the Police or Army by anybody and the Minister commended the good work done by them.

On the 25th the Tamils about I I of arson, while the Sinha- lese complained of one case of rape and of robbery. S.L David that the wadiya belonging to Mr. Sellathamby, the lwuse of Gunam and the tavern of one Sunderalingam and 6 other wadiyas of Tamils were set on fire. He went there, and people from the beach hellEd him to put out fires and thereby saved SO to other waidyas being destroyed. By that day the Sinhalese had all left Mullaitivu, for 2 or 3 families, and incidents subsided after that day.

On 31st August, Captain Jayawardene came to Mullaitivu with a platoon and pnce appears to have prevailed thereafter. Mr. Sellathambu spoke with appreciation of the work done by him and his men, but did not put much value on the services of S.I. David and the Volunteer Army Unit under Capt. Jayawardene. I am not prepared to find fault with S.I. David or Catp. Jayawardene. The latter gave evidence to rebut the made against him by Mr. Sellathambu and I am satisfied that he discharged his duties emcienuy and nothing to his discredit has been made out. I found S.I. David to be police offcer who did all he could to maintain order’ in his area, but he was much handicapped by a shortage of men and vehicles.

It is most unfortunate that so many wadiyas were destroyed by fire in Kokkilai village and Muhattuvaram, but as they were thatched huts erected close to each other, it was inevitable that a fire once started would spread very quickly to all huts before preventive action could be taken.

Mr. Sellathambu referred to fishing disputes at Kokkilai as a possible source of trouble in the future, tmless regulations are framed to control the right to fish in the lagoons along the 50 miles stretch of coast line of the Mullaitivu Electorate. He said that about 7,000 migrant fishermen flock to the lagoons the inland tanks, mainly from the west coast, to the detriment of the local fishermen. form of administraüve control of fishing might be considered, the local fishermen being given a prior right if they apply for it. Mr. Sella- thambu was questioned regarding the allomlent of land by the Government to Sinhalese, who are chosen to colonise land in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. He said he had no objection to that, provided the requirements of the people of those are first met. He relied on the Chelvanayakam- Senanayake Pact of 1965 which stipulated that condition and also gave prefe• rence to Tamils in adjoining areas and landless elsewhere. He admitted that the President had since stated that will be settled in Sinhalese areas and Sinhalese in Tamil areas.

When asked by Senior State Counsel whether the allocation of land according to that Pact would not lead to communal segregation, he denied that it would. Already, he said, a little over 200,000 Sinhalese live in the Northern and Eastern Provinces ; and it is his praty’s policy that they would not agree to the Govemment using colonisation as a means to make the Tamil people minorities in their own areas, as had happened in Kantalai village.


This village is situated about equidistant from Mullaitivu and Paranthen. An estate D. L. O. Watte in it had two workers, W. D Dharmadasa and his wife, Dayawathie, who gave evidence.

They stated that on the morning of 20th August a crowd of 40 Tamils came there, attacked them both, and took them tø a place 4 miles away where she was raped by 3 persons. When they returned to their house, they found that it had been looted.

A Roman Catholic Priest came to their rescue and took them to his church at Valaiam. From there the Mullaitivu Police took them to the Police Station and recorded their statements on 1st September.

There is no other evidence to identify the assailants, nor does an identification parade appear to have been held. No medical evidence has been led. The case may be a genuine case of rape, but I do not think a prosecution will be successful.


Mannar Town and District

(1) There were no disturbances in Mannar District before 23rd August. On that morning, according to E. Kandasamy, Watcher of the Government Farm, Murunkan, a Tamil bakery at Murunkan was set on fire mile from the Police Station, Murunkan. He further stated that at about midnight on the 23rd when he was on his rounds, 2 persons attacked him and took his gun and torch.

(2) That night Mrs. M. A. Perera who was living with her 3 sons in a village called Palampitiya, on a 10 acre block of land 2} miles from Madhu Church, had gone to sleep at about 10.30 p.m. Sometime later, she and her eldest son Lester were shot dead while her other two sons were injured by gun shots. Their second son, Sudharman, has spoken to the incidents of that night. Her husband gave evidence, but he was not at the scene that night. I am not satis- fied that the identity of the man who fired the fatal shot has been established.

Mr. P. S. Soosaithasan, M.P. for Mannar, said that in his opinion the motive for the killing was not communal. Mrs. Perera and her sons had lived happily there for some time and there had been no communal differences. I doubt the correctness of this opinion.

(3) On the 24th, probably after the news reached Mannar about the killing of Mrs. Perera and her son, the Army and the Police (with A.S.P. Victor Perera) of Mannar appear to have gone to Thedchanamarathamadhu, which is surrounded by thick jungle. Mr. Soosaithasan said that 21 houses and all the property of the villagers including harvested paddy were burnt and destroyed : the villagers were mercilessly assaulted, taken to Murunkan Police Station, and tortured: their guns were confiscated and had not been returned. He visited that village on the 25th and saw the destruction. All he could see was burnt houses. He went into the jungle and called out and some of the men came to meet him. In the adjoining of Palampiddy also he found deserted houses, as the villagers had gone into the thé jungle, but he was able to meet some of them. He met the Commanding Offcer of the Army, who agreed to order his men not to cross the railway line near Madhu Road boundary or go anywhere close to the villages.

 (4) Witnesses A. Soorikumaran, M. Ponnampalam and T. Gunaveerasingham all of Thedchanamaruthamadhu, have spoken to the ill-treatment they received at the hands of Army personnel who came to their houses. M Ponnampalam has given a detailed account of how he and 4 others, A. Naga lingam, P. Sathasivam, A. Yoganathan and V. Navaratnam—were taken by Army men and A.S.P. Victor Perera and brutally treated ; they were then sent to Mannar Hospital where they were handcuffed and chained to their beds. The 0.1.C. Murunkan, Mr. Ratnapala, was not accused of cruelty or misbehaviour, but constables Gunapitiya and Dissanayake were ; and so was the A.S.P. who, said Mr. Soosaithasan, knew neither Tamil nor English— an absurd situation from the point of view of public relations.

(5) There is also the evidence of Rev. Fr. Senthilvel, Administrator of Madhu Church, that on the 24th evening he received a message sent to him by the villagers, through the caretaker of Arnolda Farm, that the Army and Police had come and were burning their houses and they had all fled into the jungle : they wanted the Government Agent to ask the Army to stop coming to that area. Fr. Senthilvel said that he drove to Mannar and spoke to the Government Agent and then drove to Thallady Camp and spoke to Col. Selladorai that night. On the 26th he took Col. de Silva (who had been sent from Colombo to inquire into the happenings) and Col. Selladorai in his jeep, to show them the houses which had been burnt and to meet the villagers there. The state of the village, as described by MI . Scosaithasan and by Fr. Senthilvel, was one of suffering and tragedy. There is strong evidence to prove that army and police personnel committed offences against persons and property.

(6) S. Savarimuttu, a boutique keeper of Thallady, Mannar, stated that he ran a boutique near the Army Camp. When he was in it on the 26th night, 2 Army men set fire to it and it was destroyed. The Mannar Police Station was visible from that spot and the police came there at about midnight and he made a statement. No action has been taken since then. His loss amounted to Rs. 5,000.

According to Mr. Soosaithasan, the curfew was a cover for the criminal activities of the and the Army on the 29th night in Mannar Bazaar. Fire engulfed 12 shops there and the people were helpless to put it out owing to the curfew : the entire bazaar of nearly 500 shops and houses would have been reduced to ashes if the District Judge, Mr. Suntheralingam, had not called out the people and the Police to extinguish the fire. Once the curfew was lifted on 1st September there were no further incidents and the traders opened their shops.

Witness T. Ganeshan who had a business establishment in Mannar said that his shop was burnt on the 29th night during the curfew. He heard an explosion and saw 5 or 6 men running towards the beach, wearing Khaki shorts and boots• The Station was about 100 yards fmm his shop and about 200 yards from the main bazaar. No one came to put out the fire until the District Judge appeared. He estimated his damages at Rs. 47,000. Witness K. Veeravagu said that his shop in the bazaar was burnt that night and he suffered damages in Rs. 75,000. Other traders have given similar evidence of their shops having been destroyed by fire. M. Jayapragasam owned Saraswathi Stores in Mannar Market. The curfew was on when, on the 29th night, his assistant informed him that his shop was on fire. He went there at about 5 a.m. He said that he informed the Government Agent that if the curfew is not lifted, the shops would not be opened. It was lifted after that.

Mr. Soosaithasan made the point that Mannar had never seen any violence before. It used to be a wholly Tamil area with only a few Sinhalese families but the situation was fast changing. One of the reasons for that, he said, was the stationing of large Army units having no amnity with the surroundings. They were almost all Sinhalese : and they harassed the people, who dreaded them.

Mr. Soosaithasan stated that the original idea of having the Army there was to prevent illicit immigration, but that problem had been solved as the inflow had greatly diminished many years ago. They now played the role of an army of occupation with their vehicles, equipment and guns : and the army personnel gradually began to harass the people and such behaviour had become the order of the day. He also stated that the Commanding Colonel in Mannar (referring to Colonel Selvadorai) had, as a result of the indiscipline and communalism among his men, retired prematurely and left the shores of this country.

To rebut these allegations Senior State Counsel called Major N. Wickremaratne who had served in Mannar for 4 periods between 1965 and 1997. He denied the charge that the Army had acted as an army ofoccupation or that the soldiers had misbehaved, or harassed the people. He mentioned instances when they had been of service to the people in the area and had acted in the best interest of the public. The Army was necessary there. he said, to prevent smuggling, illicit immigration, terrorist activities and to maintain internal security. He also stated that in the Army there were men of all races and religions : there was no discrimination between them.

Colonel W. N. de Silva was also called by -Senior State Counsel. He stated that he was sent to Mannar, and arrived there at ‘1.00 p.m. on 24th August. He found that the necessary security precautions had not been taken by Colonel Selvadurai, the Co-ordinating Offcer. He had to persuade employees of the Petroleum and Cashew Corporations to stay at their stations, which some had already left because such precautions had not been taken.

He denied that it was the District Judge who wasxesponsible for getting the bazaar fire extinguished : he did not see that omcer there at all, when he went there. It was the army patrols who discovered the fire end they with the police put it out after taking action to prevent it spreading.

There is no evidence to prove who started the fire, but I see no reason to. reject the evidence of Colonel de Silva as to how it was extinguished.

There had also been charges in the Police set-up, said Mr. Soosaithasany with Sinhalese members of the Force increasing and Tamil diminishing. Their attitude to the people was one of indifference and they were not able to speak the language of the people.

As in the case of Mullaitivu, there was trouble in the fishing industry owing to the tremendous increase of migrants and middlemen. A permit system was necessary to avoid the outbreak of violence. A third cause of communal disharmony, Mr., Soosaithasan said, was the import of outsiders by State Corporations, particularly the Cashew Plantations Corporation. They preferred to employ Sinhalese from outside, rather than local Tamils and Muslims. On the Oil Drlling Project, he said, only 5 locals were employed out of hundreds working on it. Hundreds of Sinhalese families had been imported and the local people were ignored. Peace and harmony were thus endangered.

At the time of giving evidence, he stated that refugees were pouring into the Mannar Area and relief was necessary by allocation of State land, housing and other facilities and employment in the Public and Corporation sectors. He particularly mentioned the allocation of houses and land in the Cashew Planta- tions at Kondachchi, whereby a powerful Sinhalese minority was built up in Mannar.

I now refer to acts of lawlessness on the part of the Army which have been spoken to by witnesses as having been committed on 29th August at Sivapuram and Selvapuram.

(i) Sunderasa Sarma, offciating priest of the Sivan Temple at Sivapuram„ stated that poojas were performed by him daily at 8.30 a.m. On 29th August, he was in the inner sanctum at that time and was getting ready for that purpose when he heard an explosion and gun shots. On coming outside he saw a jeep from which 2 Army personnel got down, while 2 others ran to his house and attacked the quarters in which his wife and children resided. The former 2 levelled their rifles at him and summoned him. When he walked up to them, one hit him on his cheek with his rifle butt ; although he was wearing the holy thread, he was asked who he was. They asked him as to who fired at the lorry the previous day clearly referring to the shooting of P.C. Balendran and the party of fishermen who went to Vavunikulam Tank on the 28th. He said he was not aware of anything and did not get out of the Temple. The other also hit him, al hough he fell at their feet and made them understand that he was apriest of the Temple. He was dragged towards his house and later taken away in the jeep to Mankulam and from there to Vavuniya Army Camp, where he was assaulted again.

On the following day he was taken to Mankulam Police Station and before the Mankulam Magistrate, and he made statements at both places. He was next sent to Jaffna Hospital for 14 days where he was seriously ill. The Admission card issued to him at the hospital was produced. Ultimately he was produced before the Mannar Magistrate and released on bail.

No proceedings appear to have been taken against him at the timo he gave evidence. I am not aware why he was produced before the Police or the or why he had to give bail. Colonel de Alwis, Co-ordinating Offcer, Vavuniya District, admitted that he met this priest when he was brought to Vavuniya by soldiers who had arrested him. He said that he saw no injuries on the priest, who was hale and hearty. It was his understanding that the soldiers had brought the priest there because the latter knew who were the culprits in a shooting incident in which soldiers were injured, but did not dis-‘ close their names. H.Q.I. de Silva has also stated that he saw no injuries on the priest.

am quite satisfied, despite the evidence to the contrary, that the priest’s evidence that he was severely beaten up by the soldiers who arrested him and that his stay in Jaffna Hospital was necessitated by the injuries they inflicted is true. With great respect to the Mannar it appears to me that the wrong person was produced before him and ordered to give bail : it was the soldiers who should have been so dealt with as the offenders, but unfortunately nobody seems to have been interested in him.

(ii) N. Thambiah of Sivapuram said that at about 9 a.m. when he was on his way home he heard gun shots. He saw a soldier holding one Shanmuga- lingam who was raising his hands and crying out : the soldier then let him go and shot him. The witness later found him dead.

(iii) This witness said that he later saw the body of another boy from Sivapuram who was also shot dead : the Magistrate held an inquest at Pandiyankulam which he attended. He is obviously referring to the deceased R. Sellathurai whose body was lying near that of Shanmugalingam. The inquest proceedings provide evidence in respect of S deaths.

(iv) S. Murugesu of Selvapuram said that when he and his sons were at home, he heard gun shots at about 7.30 a.m. 2 soldiers then entered his house and he and one son ran to the jungle. He then heard 4 or 5 gun shots. When he returned home next morning he found his house completely burnt and his son who had not run to the jungle lying dead of gun shot injuries. He gave evidence at the inquest and identified the body of his son Chandrasekeran.

(v) P. Sundreswaram of Selvapuram said that at about 7.30 a.m. soldiers entered his premises and he ran to the jungle, leaving his father behind. He saw his father Perambalam being seized by soldiers and mercilessly assaulted : they then asked him to run and shot him. When he retu’rned home after 2 days his father was lying dead in a pool of blood. The inquest proceedings show that his father Perambalam’s body was seen by the Magistrate.

 (vi) The inquest proceedings mention yet another deceased person named Nallalingam. They were held on 1st -September by the Mannar Magistrate, who returned a verdict of homicide after he received the post mortem reports, which showed that all these 5 persons died of gun shot injuries.

Two other witnesses gave evidence charging Army pet sonnel with unlawful behaviour.

(i) K. Podisingham of Selvapuran said that on that morning, when he was talking to the Munrumurippu Grama Sewaka, Mr. Anthonipillai, 2 soldiers got out of a jeep and shouted to them. The Grama Sevaka ran, followed by the soldiers. One of them fired at him and he fell. 3 other soldiers searched the witness’ house and set fire to it along with large quantities of dried ‘chillies and bags of paddy. He estimated his losses at Rs. 10,000.

(ii) E. Sathasivam of Selvapuram said that when some soldiers entered his compound that morning he got into a pit. His house was ransacked and set on fire. His damages amouned to Rs 4,000.


(1) I Shall now mention certain incidents svWich occUrred at or near this village, which is in the Mannar District.

(2) Witness K. G. Pieris Appuhamy is a migrant fisherman of Toduwawa in the Chilaw District. He and about 60 other fishermen made their customary expedition to Vavunikulam Tank in August 1977 : they brought their fishing gear and boats by lorry and lived in 14 wadiyas. On 17th August when communal tension started those wadjyas were set on fire at about 6 p.m., while they were fishing. He accused the Tamils of having done that and also used firearms. Next morning they sent message to the D.R.O. who brought a bus and took them to Mankulam and Trom there to Vavuniya Police Station. They returned them to Toduwawa.

(3) The witness stated that he and .14 other fishermen returned to the tank on 28th August, escorted by a, Policeman from Vavuniya• Police Station. As their nets were missing, they loaded their boats into the lorry and were about to return to their village when a gang of 20 to 25 Tamils fired at them. Ruban Fernando was killed first and the policemen escorting themNas killed next : 4 other fishermen were killed after that. The survivors jumped into the tank, their lorry was burnt and the survivors then walked through the jungle to Mankulam Police Station. The M.P. for Wennappuwa came there by heli- copter and the survivors found refuge in the Buddhist Temple at Vavuniya. The evidence set out above was not challengd by anybody.

 (4) Mr. X. M. Sellathambu, M.P. for Mullaitivu, stated that hit’ was an imprudent act of the Vavuniya Police to have sent those fishermen to Vavuni- kulam escorted by one policeman. He attended the inquest held by Mr. Suntheralingam, the Mannar Magistrate. Policemen in uniform shouted at him and one of them said ” Get out. Have you come to drink Sinhalese blood here ?” and levelled their guns at him. The shouting and jeering by the policemen continued even in the presence of the Magistrate and the A.S.P., Vavuniya, Mr. Seneviratne Banda, who did not stop it.

(5) P. Benedict Fernando, a fisherman of Toduwawa, stated that according to custom he and about 20 others came to fish in Tenniyankulam Tank in August 1977 : -it is 18 miles from Vavunikulam. They built 4 wadiyas. On 15th August one Kandasamy told them to keep their goods in his house as trouble was erupting and they did so. On the 17th he told them of the burning of wadiyas at Vavunikulam and that the same culprits were coming towards Tenniyankulam. Later, he saw the Manager of the Co-operative Store and •some others come to the wadiyas and set fire to them all. He claimed that Rs. 60,000 worth of goods had been destroyed. The witness was sure that this incident occurred on the 17th. He is probably correct because Mr. K. Kulendran, A.G.A., Manthai East, said in evidence that he was informed on the 18th by a migrant fisherman at Vavunikulam that he and his party Nanted protection to return to their houses and 56 of them were escorted as far as Mankulam.

(6) Mr. Kulendran also gave evidence regarding the death ot 5 Tamils on 29th August at Vavunikulam. He was informed of this on the 30th and the Mannar Magistrate held an inquest on 1st September. The deceased were Kandiah Perambalam, Selvam Nagalingam, Murugan Sanderasegaram, Ramasamy Selladorai and Subramaniam Shanmugam.

(7) Mr. Kulendran stated that he had also received complaints from 2 M. P. C. S. Branch Managres about assault on the•m and thefts of money committed on 29th August. The complainants have given evidence.

(i) T. V. Selvaratnam, Branch Manager, M. P. C. S., ‘Sivapuram, said that . on that day he was taking cash collections to the main office at Vavunikulam (amounting to Rs. 1,800) with Paramanandan on one cycle. On the way they met a police jeepwith policemen in uniform who ordered them to stop. P.C. 9923 put his belt round the witness’ neck A.S.P. Victor Perera of Mannar was also there. The witness and Paramanandan were assaulted and their money taken from them, also the witness’ wrist ‘watch.q• The witness lost consciousness, which he regained only in Mallakam Hospital : from there he was transferred to Jaffna Hospitai for 25 days. He could not work for 3 months. After leaving hospital he complained to Mr. Kulendran.

(ii) A. Paramanandan, Branch Manager, M. P. C. S., Vavunikulam, gave evidence similar to that of the previous witness. He had Rs. 1,700 which he was taking with him. He lost that money, his watch and ring. He said P.C. 16350 Vincent and the A.S.P. assaulted him. The A.G.A. said that he recorded the statements of these witnesses and forwarded them to the G.A but no action was taken after that.


Kandy Town

(l) Mr. A. T. Sunderam was the Municipal Commissioner, Kandy, from 15th August, 1975, and Special Commissioner, Kandy, from 28th July to 22nd August, 1977. He stated that the disturbances began there on the evening of 18th August, when the Thali of-the wife of the Secretary, Indian High Commission, was snatched outside the Queen’s Hotel.

On the 19th he attended ofice and although a curfew was imposed from 11 a.m. he worked there till 1.30 p.m. He obtained a curfew pass from Mr. Shanmugam, Superintendent of Police, who promised—as the Headquarters Inspector also did—to send a jeep to protect the area near his house.

After visiting the Electrical Department, he went home, As he wanted to see that the essential srevices were maintained, he walked with his son to the Municipal Workshop and from there to the Fire Station, then to the river intake at Getambe, the pumping plant and the water purification plant. He finally called at the Police Station to make sure that the jeep had gone to his house and he was told that it was all right. He decided to return home at about 4.30 p.m.

On reaching his neighbour’s house he was informed that his house had been looted by about 19 persons. At that stage a police jeep arrived with armed policemen and with orders to place 2 policemen to guard his house. He told them that they had come too late. His clothes, his collection of valuable books, his furniture (except for one bed and one chair) and other valuables had been stolen, burnt and damaged. His poultry had been killed and removed and his dog injured.

His wife and children were given shelter by friends, while he went to the refugee camp.

(2) Mr. E. H. Thambirajah, a former employee of the Ceylon Tobacco co.,  was dining at home on 18th August. He heard the front door bell ring and on opening it he found about 50 persons there. They broke into his bouse through a side door, broke the glass panes and electric bulbs and left with what they could carry away. His wife and daughter were also in the house at the time. He went to the house opposite his, where he met a Buddhist priest whom he knew. The priest and the inmates of that house repaired the broken door and the priest telephoned the police.

On the 19th evening a gang of about 200 came. Saying that he was a Tamil, they smashed up his belongings and ordered him and his family to A Sinhalese friend drove them in his car to the Police Station from where he was taken to the hospital to have a head injury attended to.

On the 20th he retumed to his house and found it empty. His ar had been stolen and abandoned at Aruppola. He went to a refugee emp that night and stayed there till the 28th. Everything he had, including his saving of 43 years, was lost.

(3) Mr. P. P. Coomaraswamy Was living in Halloluwa Road. He was a retired planter. On 19th August at about 11.30 a.m. about 20 persons smashed his doors and windows and entered his house when he was alone. They damag- ed his and took away what they could. The police arrived there at 6.30 p.m. and left at 8.00 p.m. After that, 5 or 6 persons eme there and stole his ring and his remaining belongings. He stated that one Bawa was the ring leader. All this took place while there was a curfew. Mr. J. N. Coomara- swamy, his son, stated that the police could not arrest Bawa, but an army officer arrested him and recovered some of the stolen property. He leant that a prosecution had been instituted in M. C., Kandy, No. 47652, on 3rd April, 1978, and summons had been issued returnable 2nd October, 1978.

(4) Witness K. W. S. Appuhamy is a partner of A. D. Perera & Co., which ran 5 toddy tavems and one arrack tavern. All the employees are Tamils. No doubt for that reason, all 6 taverns were attacked on 19th August at about 10.00 a.m. and so was the main offce at Aruppola where the witness A. P. Chris- tian was working. He was injured and his hand was fractured. Rs. 72,800 being the collections in the offæ was removed by the attackers.

(5) M. Ramalingam owned a shop called Maharanis at 27, Trincomalæ Street. It was attacked between 9 and 10 a.m. on 19th August, and his residence was attacked that aftemoon. He was in Colombo that day.

(6) S. Sithambarampillai Arunasalam and his son-in-law, P. P. Somasun- deram, owned a shop called Glory Textiles at 125, Trincomalee Street, where a textile and pawnbroker ‘s business was carried on. On 19th August, when the former was at home, he was informed that his shop had been looted and he went there immediately. He suffered heavy losses. The latter, when he heard rumours of fish boxes arriving at Kandy with human remains, hid behind his house.

(7) S. Karuppiah owned Shanthi at 27, Raja Vidiya. He closed it on 18th August on instructions given by the police. On the 19th, when he closed it at 9.30 a.m. and was leaving, a crowd of about 200 attacked it, looted it and assaulted his brother who was in it. A police party used tear gas on the crowd, who took away the loot. He said that Sinhalese and some Muslims were in the crowd.

 (8) N. Muthukumaru owned a textile shop called Nadarajahs at 14, Trincomalee Street. On 19th August, at 9.00 a.m. a crowd entered it when he and his brother were in it and attacked it. At that same time he saw S. M. Kandasamy ‘s shop, Maharanis and Ganapathy Stores being attacked. That evening Sinniah Stores and the Wijeya Cafe were attacked, and when the Police and the Army came and fired one shot the crowd ran away.

The witness also spoke of Paramjothi Stores having been looted on the 18th night and 19th morning while the police were patrolling the area. The police took no action even when Parasakthi Stores was attacked and the iron safe taken out of it and dragged along the. road.

Mr. Choksy who led the evidence of the last 5 witnesses informed me that there were several other instances of looting and mischief regarding which he had instructions, but he did not wish to call all the witnesses because of the time that would be consumed if he did so.



(l) P. Suppiah and his wife lived in Ampitiya where they ran a dairy. There are Sinhalese colonies named Dambawela and Aligama near their residence. At about midnight on 18th August, Mrs. Suppiah saw a man with a sword outside a window which was broken. She and husband held on to the front door in order to prevent it being opened. A gunshot was fired and the pellets struck her face and eyes. She has lost her eye sight completely. She has been paid Rs. 5,200 as compensation.

Mr. Suppiah stated that he was also injured by pellets. All their household goods, 2 cows and some goats were stolen, in addition to 30 bushels of pepper, II sovereigns and a sewing machine. More than 12 Tamil houses there were attacked.

(2) Mr. M. P. Nadesan, Senior Tax Offcer, Inland Revenue Department, Kandy, gave evidence in camera. On 18th August at about 7.30 p.m. his house in Ampitiya was attacked. He and his family went into hiding. He saw women, men and children carrying away his belongings. There is a Sinhalese Colony named Ellahena near his house.

(3) Witness P. Andiappen had been living in the Kandy District since birth• He is a trader. Arrangements had been made for his daughter to be married on 20th August. On the 18th about 7.00 p.m. a crowd came to his house and demanded Rs. 2,000 and. a gun . He turned down their demand. Later’ 5 persons entered the house and demanded their jewellery, and the jewellery they were wearing was handed over. Still later, 30 persons came in broke open a cupboard containing jewellery, which they removed together with Rs. 10,000• in cash. The witness ran out in fear, When he returned on the 19th morning everything in the house had been taken away. He informed the police on the 21st. He said he identified 14 of the offenders, who had comefrom Pallegama•

 (4) Mr. M. P. Subramaniam, an Audit clerk residing at Ulpothakumbura in Ampitiya, stated that on the 19th morning he heard some gun shots and saw a crowd approaching. They first attacked his brother-in-law ‘s house which was near his. He and his family ran into the jungle. When they returned that night he found doors and windows had been broken and his goods removed. On the 20th they went to a refugee camp.

(5) Mr.. S. Thambiah, a retired P.W.D. Overseer, was residing at Kadugas- pana in Ampitiya. On the evening of 19th August, 3 persons Milton, Ratnapala and Mr. Illangakoon ‘s second son—who were colonists, came and demanded his gun. They attacked him. So he ran away and they damaged his belong- ings or removed them and set fire to his house. He informed the Police on 31st.

(6) A. Satyapillai had a dairy and suppied milk to the residents of Kandy. On 19th August at about 1.00 p.m. a gang attacked and looted his house. 2 more gangs did the same until 6.00 p.m., and they also injured his mother and his sister. Mr. Abeywardene, a neighbour, gave them food and shelter and attended to their needs.

(7) M. Packiam went to work in Kandy on 18th August. He heard persons in the market speaking of rumours they had heard regarding bodies sent in fish boxes, Sinhalese having been killed in Jaffna, and a Buddhist Tanple tlEre having been damaged. After he returned home at 7.30 p.m. his house was attacked and he knew 14 out of the crowd of 50 who did that. They loote4 everything in his house.

(8) P. Muthukaruppan of Ampitiya worked in Kandy, where he hard rumours on the 18th evening of a policeman having been killed in Jaffna and his body having been sent to Kandy Market. On the 18th night and about noon on the 19th, gangs looted his house. They came from Nigatenne Coiony, which adjoined his land, and most of them were unemployed. I was informed that 2 persons had been charged in M. C., Kandy, No. 48658 in this connection.

(9) Mr. R. Govindasamy owns Kamadchy Land Estate, Talatuoya, 50 acres in extent. His ancestors had lived there since 1850. He was preparing to go to India for his daughter ‘s wedding in August 1977. He drove to the Kandy Kachcheri for an inquiry on 19th August. It was postponed and as the curfew began at 11.00 a.m. he was driving home when a crowd of about 200 pulled him out of his car, stripped him and assaulted•him. They also took his watch, driving licence and Rs. 100 and damaged his car to the extent of Rs. 25,500. He was allowed to drive away and he reached home.

(10) Mr. R. Sevendiappillai Ramasamy owned Manikkawatte ‘Estate, Gurudeniya, of 30 acres. On the morning of 19th August he heard of troubie, and sent his children and grand children to the Cocoa Plantation, while he stayed at home. Seeing a large crowd approaching, he and his son ran to the jungle.

The crowd forcibly entered his house, looted it and set fire to it. Only walls remained. He stated that all the Tamil smallholders in Gurudeniya similarly attacked and suffered damages.

(11) V. Balasubramaniam of ran a boutique there. On the evening of 19th August, a crowd attacked the shop of Ramalingam, then his boutique and also the houses of his sister and of other Tamils. His boutique and his house ware seton fire. He said he mentioned the names of the attackers to the Talatuoya Police.


(l) Mr. S. Thambirajah was Administrative Assistant, Kandy Municipal Council. He said he lost everything he owned in the 1958 disturbances. In 1973 he, his sister and his 2 brothers built 4 houses for themselves in Padiwatte, 31 miles from Kandy. On 18th August about 7.30 p.m. a mob attacked his brother ‘s house and ran away when the inmates fired shots in the air. The witness went to Mr. Ivan Wijesuriya ‘s house and the S.P. and A.S.P. were informed by telephone of the incident, but the police never came. On the 19th all 4 members of the ran to a neighbour ‘s house and immediately their houses were attacked. That night all their houses were set on fire. The curfew imposed at 11.00 a.m. that day was ignored by the mobs, who were moving about everywhere. The witness stated that his house was looted and completely Where occupied a Sinhalese owned house, it was left undamaged but the goods belonging to the occupier were stolen.

(2) Rev. M. G. Nallathamby, a priest of St. Paul’s Church, Kandy, was also living in Padiwatte. He had been the Principal of 2 schools over a period of 28 years. On the 18th evening he leamt of disturbances in Kandy. At about 6.30 p.m. a Tamil boutique and house were looted and at about 10.00 p.m. he heard Mr. Weerasingham ‘s house being stoned. Realizing that the dis- turbances were at his gate, he and his family prayed and committed themselves to God. A mob of about 20 persons sat outside his fence for about half an hour and then went away. On the 19th morning Fr. Nallathamby heard the rumour about bodies of Sinhalese girls arriving in Kandy in fish boxes and the Naga Vihara having been set on fire, and he took steps to see that these rumours wore brought to the notice of the police and the highest authorities. He saw men moving about, each carrying a knife attached to a handle about 3 feet long which could have been used to kill and fok no other purpose. At about noon 8 group of about 15 men spoke to Mrs. Nallathamby, who is a Sinhalese lady, and they told her that they were going to break up the house ; but they eventually left, taKng with them only her pair of ear studs. Nothing else happened to the family of Fr. Nallathamby. They were fortunate, because the other houses in tlBt area which were owned by Tamils wore destroyed,

 (3) Thevani Arunasalam was living in Nattaranpotha, about 4 miles from Kandy. She ran a dairy on a leased land, which was about 100 yards away from the Sinhalese occupied Pansalwatte Colony. On 19th August, at about 10 a.m. a crowd of about 100 set fire to her house and removed her cows, goats and other belongings.

Certain incidents which occurred at the School of Agriculture, Kundasale, will now be set out. There are 5 such incidents spoken to.

(4) Mr. A. who was occupying quarters in the school premises, had gone to Jaffna when the disturbances broke out. His quarters were looted and furniture, jewellery, clothes, etc., stolen.

(5) Mr. K. Sivapathan, a lecturer, was at this time in Japan on a Scholarship. His father Mr. Kandappu and his family had left for Jaffna on 13th August, and in their absence his house was looted and the contents stolen.

(6) Mr. R. Padmanathan, who was working in the school, was living in the school premises. At about 7 p.m. on the 18th, a mob attacked the Tamil Veterinary Surgeon’s quarters and the witness’ house. He and his family found refuge in the houses of Sinhalese offcers.

(7) Mr. D. A. Packiyanathan was holidaying at Kundasale, where his wife was working in the school. Her house was attacked and ransacked, while he and his family were at a refugee camp to which they had been taken on the 19th morning.

(8) Mr. P. Gnanasekeram was a Veterinary Surgeon at the Government Farm and his wife was a Veterinary Surgeon at Peradeniya. Having heard on the 18th that their house would be attacked, they went to the house of Mr. Ariya- ratne for the night. That night his house was looted and everything stolen or damaged. On the 19th morning he went there with 2 Army omcers, and saw 2 or 3 persons searching for loot and another 2 or 3 persons carrying swords. He complained that these persons were not arrested, although the swords were taken from them. Subsequently, an Army Offcer him his jewellery box, containing only 4 or 5 sovereigns worth of jewellery and a thali- kodi, although there had been 22 sovereigns worth of jewellery and a larger thalikodi in it. Lieutenant Colonel Dias, who was in charge of the teams which looked for looted items, stated that to the best of his knowledge the articles returned to this witness were the only articles belonging to him that had been recovered.

(9) Mr. A. V. Parasurama Perumålpillai was living on his land of 8 acres in Amunugama, Kundasale. He stated that his family owned it from the time of the Sinhalese Kings and that he was a descendant of sculptors who had worked for those kings. The previous Government had acquired 10 acres out of the land of 18 acres which he had owned. On 18th August his house was burnt down at night. On the 19th morning he complained to the Kandy Police and to the Wattegama Police, naming some of the culprits. No action had been taken over that ; or over the cutting Of his wife’s nephew Jayaseelan on 18th August by Tikiri Banda, of which also he had informed the police. Although he had associated with the Sinhalese in Amunugama, his friends had been his attackers. He said that his sister-in-law Parvathy’s house had also been burnt, He complained that although he had petitioned and sent tele- grams to everyone he could think of, his land remains in the possession of ,trespassers. And although Ranatunge, son of Punchi Banda, attacked his house, he bas since been appointed Head Baas of the Ceylon Transport Board.

(10) The last witness’ sister-in-law, Parvathy, stated that out of 9 acres she had owned, 7 acres were acquired ; and other lands belonging to Tamils were similarly acquired by the previous Government and distributed to villagers. In August 1977, the villagers had driven them out of their lands and they have been made landless by colonists being settled on their remaining lands.

(11) K. V. Nadesan, retired Foreman of the Department of Agriculture, was living with his wife and daughter at Puwakkandura near Kundasale. On the evening of 19th August, when a big crowd was approaching his house, they ran to his neighbour, Mr. Shelton Silva’s house. The crowd removed every- thing from the witness’ house, and he saw one Karunasinghe, a farm worker, carrying-away 2 Of his brass lamps.

(12) Mr. S. Muthiah of Nattarampotha, Kundasale, was the Manager of Lucky Land Biscuits Co., established there in 1964. The Company employed 250 persons of which only 20 were Tamils. They were all trained by him. On 18th August at about 7.30 p.m., a gang came shouting ” Tamils will be killed ” : they came from Mawatte (Mahawatte) and Sirimalwatte Colonies from which 200 girls used to come to work for the Company. They entered the factory, one Jagath cut the witness ; they damaged the entire factory and the machines, looted it, set fire to it, burnt the store room, the lorry, etc., and removed some machines.

When another factory was attacked, the police were telephoned to at 7.30 p.m. but they arrived after everything was over, at 9 p.m. He estimated the loss at Rs. 217,000. He stated that Luckyland Bakery close by, belonging to his cousins, was also attacked and looted.

(13) Mr.R. V. Selladurai, who described himself as a retired Trade Unionist, of Nattarampotha started animal husbandry and a poultry farm in 1971. On acre 17 perches of land he had 3 cows, 30 rabbits and 508 birds in August 1977. On 19th August, at 9.30 a.m. he saw 12persons carrying long sticks on which barbed wire had been wrapped going to Gnanendram’s house : they were joined by 40 others from Mahawatte Colony and they attacked and looted that house. They next attacked the witness’ house and looted it. He lost Rs.17,574 worth of jewellery, cash, etc. He made his first complaint on 29th August to the Army at Trinity College. The names of the first 12 persons he saw were given by him and his witnesses to the police on 13th September. Only after 3 ½  months did the Menikhinna Police take action. He had raised a loan of Rs. ‘5,000 from a bank to start his farm and although he asked for time to settle it he was not given time.

(14) A. Subramaniam and his family had lived in Pallekelle for generations. On 18th August night he heard shouts when a neighbour’s house was attacked. His house was attacked next by a crowd who entered it. They took his sister’s jewellery under threats, removed his belongings, set fire to his furniture. Mr. Samarasinghe took the witness into his house. 2 other neighbouring houses were looted. On the 19th the looters returned and removed more goods. On the 20th a Police jeep took the witness and his family to St. Sylvester’s College.

(15) L. Sivanathan was living on the Pallekelle Division of Rajawela Estate. On the morning of 19th August, 2 line rooms were attacked : that night 40 to 50 persons from Pachakade Colony, which is close by, attacked the witness’ line room and 10 other rooms and they left. It was the only line attacked, because it was on the village boundary.

(16) P. Suppiah was the proprietor of Kanna Industry, Kundasale, which employed 22 workers, all Sinhalese from the Colonies of Pansalwatte, Mahawatte and Arangala. On 18th August about 6.30 p.m. a crowd broke into the factory and assaulted him. He had 2 lorries : one was pushed down a precipice and the other was set on fire. The factory was looted and it was also damaged His house was also looted. The witness ran away with his family and returned on the 19th. He has closed down the business. His losses are about Rs. 98,000. The Police have instituted criminal proceedings.

(17) W. Parvathy of Gaimaduwa, Kundasale had lived on a leased land of 3} acres for 15 years. She and her father had planted it, dug a well, built a house and run a dairy and poultry farm on it. Her brother Poosalingam and his Sinhalese wife Elizabeth also came to live there after their father died in 1966 : they kept a cow and goats. Her sister Vissalatchi lived on acre close by. All 3 families had young children. Early on 19th August some Sinhalese youths plucked some young coconuts on her land, abused the witnessand went away. A series of invasions by groups followed. They looted her house, her cattle, poultry and Elizabeth’s goats. In the evening they burnt her house and Visalatchi’s house, and attacked Elizabeth’s house.

On the 20th the Army took these unfortunate Tamils to the Trinity College Refugee Camp. When the camp was closed, they had nowhere to go and had nothing to call their own. The D.R.O. took them to their land, but the lessor would not let them stay there. So they went to Visalatchi’s land, put up a tent and stayed there up to the time the witness gave evidence : but they had not received any compensation. They assessed their losses at Rs. 35,000. Even the witness’ cow which the Department of Agriculture had loaned to her was removed by the Department, on the ground that she no longer had any land. This was the last of many blows which this unfortunate lady received, and it effectively prevented her eking out an existence, after she had lost everything else she possessed.

Mrs. V. Poosalingam Elizabeth, the Sinhalese sister-in-law of the last witness, stated that her husband died in July 1977. On 19th August a crowd stole one goat from her, then returned and burnt her house after looting it. She mentioned the names of the attackers when she made a statement to the Police She has 4 children aged 18 to 4 and nothing else to call her own.

V. Visalatchi also gave evidence agreeing with what the 2 previous had stated. She said she has nothing left.


(1) Mrs. K. Subramaniam is the wife of the Assistant Postmaster, Katugastotæ At about 9 p.m. on 18th August she saw a burning torch outside the window of her room. She next saw it being thrown into the room. She and her child went with her husband to the house of postal peon Wickremasinghee Next morning she found her room completely burnt.

(2) On 19th August at 11 a.m. a curfew was imposed. Sri A. K. T. Chandra- sekeram, Priest of the Katugastota Pillaiyar Temple, said that about 15 minutes later hand bombs were thrown and his house was. attacked ; then the Temple doors were broken and bombs were thrown on its roof. He hid and watched while the attack went on. He saw Somasiri and 3 others (all of whom he named) continuing their foul deeds : they were living near by. While attacking the Temple they rang the Temple bell. He estimated the damage to the Temple at 2 lakhs and to two houses belonging to the Temple at Rs. 7,500.

(3) Mrs. N. Kumarajothi was living in a house next to the Sithivinayagar Temple at Katugastota. On 19th August, shortly after the curfew began at 11 a.m. a crowd attacked Dr. Kanagasunderam’s house which adjoins the Temple, they then next attacked Mr. Muthu Reddiar’s house. Both houses were burnt. They then invaded the Temple. They broke the statue, the altar and other articles ; the statue of Ganadeiyo was removed from the Holy of Holies and dashed on the ground. Doors were set on fire. A second attack was made at about 1 p.m. and the rest of the Temple was destroyed. Her brother Shanmugarajah was attacked. Her house was burnt. She stopped a police jeep which came there and her family was taken in it to the Police Station. She gave the police the names of the attackers. Her father Mr. G. Karuppiah said he owned the house in which his daughter lived. He found it looted and burnt. He lost cash and jewellery himself.

Mr. K. Shanmugarajah, son of Mr. G. Karuppiah, said that he was hit with clubs and stripped by the crowd. He mentioned the names of his assailants to the Police, who took him to a refugee camp.

(4) Mr. P. Muthu Reddiar, already mentioned, said that on 19th August a crowd looted his house and set it on fire, also his daughter’s house, and another house that he had rented out. His losses were Rs. 77,000, his daughter’s were Rs. 5200 and his rented house was damaged to the extent of Rs. 15,000.

He was the caretaker of the Sithivinayagar Temple. The damages to it were 2 lakhs and it had to be abandoned.

(5) Mr. R. Nadarajah stated that he was ,living in Katugastota on his land which had a mixed plantation. At about noon on 19th August, while the curfew was on, a crowd stoned his house. He ran away to a neighbour ‘s house with his family. His own house and his neighbour ‘s house were broken up. The crowd then went to the house of Mrs. Sellamma Ponniah which was close to his house and attacked that.

(6) Mrs. Sellammah Ponniah stated that she had been living in Katugastota with her family since 1948. When the crowd attacked her house at about 1.00 p.m. she and her daughter were taken by a neighbour, Mr. Silva, into his house. Her house was looted and burnt.

(7) Dr. V. Kanagasunderam was attached to the Katugastota Hospital. At about noon on 19th August he and his brother-in-law met a crowd which attacked both of them. When the two of them went to the witness’ house, the crowd attacked and looted it and attacked them both in a neighbour ‘s house to which they went for refuge.

(8) Also on 19th August during the curfew, in the afternoon, Mrs. Janaki Arunasalam ‘s house in Katugastota was attacked by a Sinhalese crowd and looted. She gave the names of the attackers to the Police.

(9) Mr. Michael Joseph traded in cotton waste which he bought from power- looms, including the one at Polgolla, near Katugastota. On 18th August he went to Polgolla for that purpose and was asked to come on the 19th. When he did so, he was asked to go to the office. On his way there he met a clerk Karunatilaka and a labourer Ranasinghe and the former asked him if he was a Tamil and hit him in his stomach, while the latter also hit him. When he fell, they kicked him. He ran to the Stores and complained to the Storekeeper Stevens who asked the 2 assailants why they acted in that way : those 2 and 2 others told the Storekeeper to send him away as he was a Tamil. The witness then ran towards the office and then to the main road, pursued by 4 others, who then assaulted him and stole the money the witness had brought to buy cotton waste.

A boy who was in a house adjoining the omce invited the witness inside for his safety. A crowd of about 15 persons told the lady of the house (a witness, Mrs. de Niese) to turn Joseph out and stoned the house. Mrs. de Niese agreed to send him out on condition they did not assault him.

Mr. Joseph came out of that house and was chased by the crowd which was waiting there for him. In that crowd was one Gunasekera, Assistant Manager of the Powerloom, who had also spoken to Mrs. de Niese while Joseph was sheltering himself in that house. Joseph ran and was pushed by the crowd into the water near the Polgolla Dam. When he came out and waited for a bus, the crowd assaulted him. Eventually he reached his house at Galigamuwa on the 20th night. I omit some of the shocking details of the treatment he under- went.

Mrs. de Niese in evidence spoke of the screaming crowd who demanded that the Tamil be put out of her house, she mentioned that when she asked Guna- sekera what the trouble was, he demanded that she put the Tamil out and if she did not he would damage her house. A clerk at the Powerloom undertook to see that there would be no trouble, so she asked Joseph to leave and gave hima sarong to wear over his torn clothes—torn by the screaming crowd who were out for his blood. The clerk took charge of him, but the crowd pushed him into the water.

Gunasekera’s conduct in demanding that Joseph be put out of that house in that situation, with the threat he uttered if Mrs. de Niese failed to do so, is disgraceful. He showed himself to be unfit to hold any position of responsi- bility. He joined the unlawful assembly and shared its common object. I reject his evidence in which he denied that he played any part in this criminal enterprise.

(10) Mr. Ivor Murugupillaii who was Senior Medical Laboratory Techno- logist, General Hospital, Kandy, was residingat No. 128, Watapuluwa Housing Scheme, Kandy (near Katugastota) in August 1977. He has died since he wrote a letter dated 27th May, 1978, to the Attorney-General, in which he described what he and his family underwent on 18th and 19th August, before he had an opportunity to give evidence. The letter was forwarded by the Attorney- General to this Commission: it showed that the writer wished to give evidence before the Commission.

It is stated therein that on the 18th night a gang broke into his house and partially wrecked its contents. In spite of the curfew which was in force on the 19th, his house and other houses in that quarter were again attacked at about midnight and the attackers removed everything they could lay their hands on. When the Police were informed, they replied that they had no vehicles in which to reach the scene. He complained that although he made a lengthy statement to the Police, he was not given a copy of it in spite of many requests for it.

(l l) A. Manickarajah lived and traded in gunny bags and bottles at Devi Stores, Katugastota Road. He stated that on 18th August moming a jeep with the words ” we must kill the Tamils ” written on it in tar passed his house. It was an Agricultural Department Jeep. 2 men later told him to close his shop but he refused. When he was going to the Kandy Police Station that even- ing he saw refugees in 5 or 6 trucks coming from Dambulla to the refugee camp at the Pillayar Temple. That night he went to Ampitiya by taxi. 2 persons, Lakshman and Srimath, attacked the taxi and the witness was robbed of Rs. 50 and his wrist watch. He complained to the Kandy Police. On the 19th his shop was looted. In Trincomalee Street, Kandy, he saw a mob damaging the Kanthasamy Tyre Stores and stealing tyres ; they also looted the Maharani and the Gowri Stores. During these incidents the Police merely looked on. He said that articles worth Rs. 10,500 were stolen from him.

(12) Mr. S. Kulasekeram who lived at 212/20, Katugastota Road, was employ- ed in the Inland Revenue Department. On 19th August at noon a crowd came towards his house, so he and his family left it and went to their neighbours. When they returned after 20 minutes they found that everything had been smashed up or stolen. They lived in a refugee camp for 10 days.

(13) Mr. S. R. S. Reddy is a proprietory planter and trader who lived near Nugawela on the Kurunegala Road, about 6 miles from Kandy. He owned the Nugatenna Tea Factory, which was there. On 19th August he was travelling in his car towards Kandy and did not stop although there were groups or people who tried to stop him at Nugawela and Katugastota. He reached Trincomalee Street and saw the looting of shops and went on to the Police Station. Superintendent of Police, Shanmugam, gave him a Police sergeant to escort him back to his house at 3 p.m. When he arrived there he saw his house being looted and burnt.

He returned to Kandy and told Mr. Shanmugam that his tea factory was going to be burnt ; and hour later he learnt that it had been burnt. He estimated his total losses at Rs. 753,286.30 : after deducting the value of the Insurance Policies, his net loss was Rs. 641,786.30.

(14) Sebastian Reddy, the son of the last witness, stated that he was in his father’s house on the 19th morning with his mother and brother. A curfew was imposed from I I a.m. While they were at lunch he heard the windows being smashed. He went out and spoke to the crowd that had gathered 50 to 60 persons were shoufrxg and they threw 8tones at him. They then entered the house saying ‘The Chief Incumbent of Naga Vihara has been murdered and none of you will be spared”. His brother was assaulted the crowd smashed everything. Some villagers came to his rescue and fought with the crowd, they then ran away. hour later the crowd returned with weapons and the villagers fled, while he was assaulted.

(15) Miss K. Mahalingam of No. 19, Katugastota Road, said that at about 6.30 p.m. on 19th August, a nwd of about 50, among whom she recogüzed 2 brothers Upali and Kaluputha, came to her house and removed all her jewellery, sarees and other valuables. She and her mother were attacked • she was hit with a stick, round which barbed wire had been wrapped. Articles worth Rs. 28,000 were stolen.

(16) Mr. Thiagarajah is a goldsmith of Werellegama. On 19th August a crowd attacked his house and set fire to it. He said he identified 4 persons of that area, viz. : Tilage, Kulatunge, Jinne and Podi Nilame among the crowd. His loss amounted to Rs. 129,000. Goods worth Rs. 1,000 were recovered later. He had not heard of any action having been taken against those men.

(17) Mr. A. G. Manuel was living in Katugastota on 19th August. When he was at home that morning he saw a crowd of about 100 persons approaching his premises. He ran out with his family to a neighbour’s house, from where he heard the sound of his house being attacked. Everything was smashed, his animals were attacked and injured, some were burnt alive and his dog was killed. At about midnight he went to the Police Station and made a complaint. He mentioned 17 attackers by name. A High Court case is pending in this connection. He estimated his losses at Rs. 72,000, including the value of his wife’s jewellery.


(l) Angamma, wife of Suppiah, lived in Mahakande, Hindagala. On 19th August at about 1 p.m., she took refuge in a Sinhalese house. A crowd went to her house where her husband was and assaulted him. They damaged the house. Her husband was taken to hospital on the 20th and he died on the 21st. Goods were stolen from the house, which she said were worth about Rs. 25,000. She mentioned the names of 3 assailants of her husband.

(2) M. P. Suppiah is a jeweller who had his business at Brownrigg Street, Kandy, and was residing in Augusta Road, Peradeniya. He was at home on 19th August at about 10 a.m. when stones were thrown at it and a little later a crowd of about 200 men, women and children came there shouting that the Tamils must be killed. He took his wife and children to one Gunasekera’s house. The crowd broke into his house and removed all his He did not identify anybody. His losses were assessed at Rs. 64,020.

 (3) M. Sinniah lived in a Government house at Ganoruwa, P«adeniya. On 19th August a crowd which had attacked other houses there came and damaged some of his belonging. The Army took him to Kandy. On the 20th his son informed him that his house had been looted. When he went back to it after 8 or 9 days he found it had been burnt.

(4) Mrs. L. Shanmugarajah was living in Peradeniya Road, Kandy, with her children, while her husband was Head Clerk of Hunuwella Group, Opanaike. On 18th August at about 8.30 p.m. a crowd came up to her door and demanded that it be opened. When she opened it they asked for Rs. 500 she gave them Rs. 50 and they left. On the 19th morning an armed mob came and broke the door and windows. She and her children ran through the back door and took refuge in a Sinhalese house and from there they went to a refugee amp. When she returned to her house on the 31st she found that everything had been stolen.

(5) Dr. R. Narendiran was a Lecturer in the School of Veterinary Science, Peradeniya University. He is a Ph.D. and M.Sc. In August 1977 he was staying in Pilimatalawa, 2 miles from the University and mile from the Theological College with his wife, son, 2 brothers and an old lady. On 19th August he had begun his morning lecture when he was informed that his house was being attacked. He went to the Peradeniya Police Station, picked up a Sub Inspector and a constable with a revolver and Sten Gun and drove to his house. He found it had been looted. His wife and the other had gone to the Theological College. One Sarath Karunaratne him the names of those who led the looting and the witness conveyed that to the Police, but they refused to take any action or to guard the house. He interviewed Superintendent of Police, Shanmugam, who referred him to Asst. Superintendent of Police, Seneviratne. From his house (to which he retu•ned with his 2 brothers and 3 students) the witness saw buses being stopped and Tamils pulled out and assaulted and stripped. At about 1.30 p.m. a mob of about 50 came towards his house, led by one Jayasinghe, carrying clubs with spikes fitted at right angles. They yelled for the wimess and the witness and the 3 students ran. The Grama Sevaka refused to give refuge. They reached the Theological College where the Bishop of was staying. mxe Bishop and Rev. Soma Perera, Principal of the College, left by car but returned, as the curfew was on. eme Bishop then went by car to Peradeniya Police Station, from where a jeep with 2 constables armed with rifles arrived. The jeep left. Now follows an almost though I have no doubt a true account of what happened thereafter. The mob advanced and argued with the 2 constables. A Trinity College Bus then came with soldiers, who arrested 12 rioters. All the Tamils and the 12 rioters were taken to the %eological College. %ere the bus driver argued with the soldiers. He was described as Banda, a brother of Navaratne (former Deputy Minister of Agriculture). In the result, the mob and the bus driver won ; the rioters were released ; the refuges and the soldiers went to St. Sylvester’s College refugee camp, including the witness. The 2 constables presumably carried their rifles and walked back ‘to the Police Station. The witness stated that nobody was administering the camp, so hc and some engineers ran •it. On the first day, Muslim traders brought some bread ; on the third day the Social Services Department officials arranged to supply food. On the fourth day the Government Agent, Mr. Damunupola, looked at the camp from the gate. On the fifth day Mr. Damunupola’ said he would open the Trinity College camp and he did so. Some injured persons were sent to Kandy Hospital to have their wounds dressed : they returned within ‘an hour saying that they were assaulted by a hospital attendant. The witness stated that he lost his unpublished Ph.D. thesis and some books. He resigned his appointment as hc could not obtain quarters in thc Campus. Some of his bulky furniture was recoverd from various houses occupied by men who had been brought there under the Land Reform Scheme. The villagers of that area did not join in tbe looting. His total loss was Rs. 100,000 after deducting the value of some articles which ,were recovered. His opinion was that only Supdt. of Police, Shanmugam, was concerned over what was happening while the other police officers were smiling and in a gay mood.

(6) Mr. M. Kanagarajah Nayagam is a retired Bank Executive of the Hatton National Bank, Kandy.. He has been a resident of Kandy for 40 years and is a keen Hindu social worker. He collected • funds to build the Murugan Temple in the University Campus at Peradeniya. He helped refugees in the disturbances of 1958 and 1977 when they were given shelter at the Pillayar Kovil in Katukele, Kandy. On the morning of 18th August he heard rumours that the Naga Vihara, Jaffna, had been destroyed, Buddhist Priests had been killed, and mutilated bodies of Sinhalese had been sent in fish boxes.. That evening he sawmbout 2,000 refugees in the Pillayar Kovil. On the 19th -the number of refugees was about 5,000. Some had lost their houses and belon- gings. They stayed there till the 24th. Mr. Nayagam collected food and fed them, but some left for Jaffna and other places, while others went to Trinity College, St.’ Sylvester’s College or the Seminary at Ampitiya for refuge. On the 19th night he learnt of the destruction of the Kurunchi Kumaran Murugan Temple at the University and on the 23rd he visited it with the police. He found that statues, images, the Priest’s house, the peacock and the peahen had been destroyed. The oil lamps and many other articles in the Temple were also destroyed or stolen. He estimated that it would require 41 lakhs to restore theu Temple.

In his opinion no provocation had been given by the•lndian estate workers for the attacks on them. He was aware•thata worker had been shot dead by the Police at Devon Estate, Talawakelle, in May 1977. At or about that time the resident workers on Sanguhar and Delta North Estates were attacked and their lines looted and damaged.

Estates near Kandy

(I) Mr. Cfioksy led evidence of attacks made on some estates,svhich disclosed that, as in so many other instances, (l) there was widespread destruction of Jine rOorns, many of which were burnt after being looted, (2) the occupant’ were treated with cruelty, (3) the Management and thePolice were often power• less against the attackers, (4) the curfew was ignored, (5) the• attackers were invariably colonists and villagers living in the vicinity, who were able io make successive attacks, (6) one of the objectives was to compel the workers to leave those estates. He first called witnesses to speak to what took place on Uduwela Estate.

(2) Mr. K. Sundara Schoolmaster of that estate land had Jived’ there in the Middle Division since 1961. There were 4 Divisions, each with lines for resident workers. On 19th, August at 9 a-m. neighbouring villagers stole fowls from the resident labourers. At 11 a.m. a curfew- was declared; so the labourers returned to their lines. A gang later came from Uduwela Udagama village shouting “Tamils must be killed”. They included men resident labourers led by Wilbert, watcher in the Middle Division, who lived in that village. The witness’ door twas broken open and he and his daughter were cut by Wilbert : the gang looted his house, The Police arrived at 5 p.m. and the witness went with them to the Hospital.

(3) Miss. K. Rajeswary, also a teacher on that estate, lived with the last witness. She said that goods belonging to him were stolen. 2 or 3 lines were attacked on thes 19th and 12 or 13 lines were burnt on the 20th.

(4) Mr. Devadasan, a teacher who was living in the Middle Division, said that he informed the Senior S.D., Mr. Weerasekera, of the attack on the School- master’s house, and Mr. Weerasekera told him that the _Police had no vehicle in which to come to the estate. This is borne out by the Superintendent’s afhdavit : heis Mr. Ratwatte. On the 20th at about 11.30 a.m. amob attacked the Middle Division. The police did not come to the estate that day, althougW the labourers were attacked by the mob and lay bleeding, Seeing what had happened on the 19th, it is surprising that the Police did not patrol that estate on the 20th or even placed an armed guard there. This witness stated that after the attack on the 20th, he ran to Galaha Group and stayed there for 2 days. There were no incidents there, because the Police had arrived there promptly.

(3) S. Joseph, who had worked on the Lower Division of Uduwela Estate for 30 years related how about 500 persons from the village attacked it on the 19th and broke into the line rooms of the Tamil workers, while the lines of resident Sinhalese were not attacked.

(6) R. Velu, a worker in the Upper Division, also complained of line rooms there being attacked by Sinhalese from adjoining villages, on the 19th. He went to Galaha Group for one week and when he returned he was not re-employ- ed : Banda, an estate watcher, was occupying his room. He complained that non-resident workers were being engaged in place of the former resident workers, though he admitted that some Tamils had left the estate to go to other estates where more Tamils than Sinhalese were employed. A similar complaint was made by P. Veeriah of Uragala Division, whose line room was looted. He said that Sinhalese outsiders were being recruited in preference to the children of Tamil workers.

(7) Adjoining Uragala Division of Uduwela Estate is Meetiyagala Estate, Udawela—of 32 acres owned by one Nallathamby. S.P. Selvarajah, the Super- visor, said that he saw a crowd going towards Indurugolla Estate on 19th August at about 10 a.m. and returning with fowls and corrugated sheets. He also saw his uncle’s house, which is near a colony, being attacked. The crowd then came to Meetiyagala Estate that day and the next day and attacked it. The rooms of Tamil families were looted, while the room of the only Sinhalese family was not looted. The house and shop of Sithambaram Pillai who lived on that estate and ran a business were attacked and burnt, causing great losses. The witness stated that one R. V. M. Tillekeratne, who was a teacher in Puhu- liadde School, was a leader of the lawless crowd. After these incidents the children of 25 families living on Uduwela Estate had not attended that school, considering what type of teacher Tillekeratne was. Another witness M. Weerappan of Meetiyagala also implicated Tillekeratne.

(8) Y. Anthony was general Kanakapulle on Hantane Estate which adjoins Uduwela Estate. On 19th August at about 9 p.m. the Quarters of Nagoor, driver Selliah and this witness were attacked by villagers living below the estate. They stole jewellery and other things. The Superintendent, Mr. Asirivathan, arrived with Army personnel when the witness raised an alarm : they patrolled the estate and nothing further happened. On the 20th Hantane and Uduwela workers were in Hantane factory. A gang of villagers came on the road above the factory, but dispersed when the Army appeared. But they attacked and looted 3 line rooms below the factory including the witness’, causing loss to him.

(9) Miss R. Thanam stated that her family owned Kahatagaldeniya Estate adjoining Uduwela Estate, for 100 years. Her estate is 8 acres in extent• On 19th August, at about 11 a.m. a crowd threw stones at her house shouting ” You Tamils, run away “, and damaged her house. They came from the adjoining village. They then broke the doors of her house and her sister’s house, entered and looted them. Hef family house and her uncle Balakrishnan’s houses were burnt. She identified Martin, Batta and Ganitha as members Of the crowd. She and the other members of the family now live in a small thatched house on their estate of 8 acres.

 (10) The next four witnesses have spoken to incidents that occurred on Duncrub Estate, Alawatugoda. Mr. K. Dorairajah is a retired Assistant Commissioner of Emigration and Immigration who lived on and owned it. On 19th August at about 1.30 p.m. he heard stones falling on the line rooms and saw labourers running about. A mob then looted their lines. 15 minutes later his house was attacked and looted. Next morning he learnt that the factory had been looted and damaged on the 19th night.

He assessed the damages to his house at Rs. 12,000 and to the factory at Rs. 40,000. R. Karuppiah, the caretaker of the bungalow, said that a mob of 25 to 30 persons attacked it, including Ariyadasa, Kalu Malli, Saban and Heen Banda. Mrs. Rajani Eswari Kumari, daughter of late Mr. Navaratnam of Duncrub Estate, was teaching in a Muslim School at Alawatugoda. She had a small infant. Hearing of an impending attack, she collected some articles and left her house. She first went to the Sinhalese Teamaker’s house, then to a Sinhalese labourer’s house and them to a paddy field where she 2 days ; finally, she went to a Muslim Schoolmaster’s house. Her house and the factory were burnt and her belongings stolen.

(11) S. M. Kadiravel Subramaniam who was in charge of Dankotuwa Estate, Alawatugoda, agreed with the accounts of the previous 3 witnesses as to what happened. The factory on that estate was damaged and the tea and other contents of it were burnt. He identified Somaratne, Marikkar, Iqbal and Pasi as some members of the mob that did the damage.

(12) This seems to me to be an appropriate place to refer to the evidence or Mr. M. K. Suppiah, Industrial Relations Offcerof the Ceylon Workers’ Congress, for whom he had worked for 26 years. He stated that the incidents of 1977 were 4 times as bad as those of 1958.

In March 1977 Choisy Estate, Pundaluoya, was attacked by outsiders claiming to be a Committee headed by Mr. Weerasekera, M.P. for Kotmale. The workers were chased out of the estate, and the Committee divided the estate calling themselves the People’s Committee. The same fate overtook the workers of Balapokuna Estate, which was close to Choisy Estate. The Ceylon Workers’ Congress intervened and it was agreed that the workers would be re-employed. They were, no doubt, Tamils. The workers were similarly ousted from Dartry and Orion Estates in the Gampola District and from Moolgama Estate. In May 1977 workers were ousted from Sanguhar and Delta Estates, the object being to distribute those estates among Sinhalese colonists. Other estates where workers were treated in the same lawless manner in 1977 were, according to the witness, Uduwela in Kandy and Karandupona in Kegalle.

He complained that politicians were involved in ‘these unlawful acts and public vehicles were used u them to transport villagers to the scene of the disturbances. The Police took no action in spite of having been given prior warning by the Congress. I was informed that it was only after this witness gave evidence, that Court proceedings in respect of the Sanguhar disturbances were instituted.

He pointed out that the Congress was not a communal body. It had 50,000 Sinhalese members out of a total membership of 4,00,000. Its political wing was represented by Mr. S. Thondaman, M. P. It made no demand for a sepa- rate State for Tamils, but it did demand human rights for plantation workers, a solution of the language dispute, citizenship rights and better provisions as regards employment and education for the workers.

He attributed the disturbances of 1977 to 3 causes : (1) The villagers thought that they could get possession of the estates if the Tamil workers were chased out, (2) jealousy felt by Sinhalese against the traders of Indian origin up- country, (3) promises made by rejected and defeated politicians of doubtful honesty belonging to the previous Government, who promised the masses that they would obtain land and other benefits for them. Relating his expe- riences on ajourney by bus from Colombo to Kandy, he said that he left Colombo on 19th August. At Galigamuwa -he was pulled out, stripped down to his underpants and robbed of his docvments, wrist watch and wedding ring.

At Kegalle, where the bus halted, he saw armed but inactive policemen looking on at active mobs. At Pilimatalawa railway crossing he was again taken out of the bus, assaulted, stripped and told to walk. A householder gave him a sarong, but was threatened if he gave the witness shelter So the witness walked through fields and when he was walking along the road a police jeep gave him a lift to the Peradeniya Police Station and then to Kandy Hospital. He disliked the atmosphere in that Hospital, so he left it in the 20th morning.

He suggested the following remedies tc avert a recurrence of such incidents :

(l) Equal opportunities of education, employment, etc„ to Indian workers ; also the grant of citizenship after long residence, (2) equal rights in the distribu- tion of lands, (3) avoid breaking-up estates which would result in the displace- ment of resident labourers, (4) avoid setting up colonies close to estates, (5) appoint and absorb into the police and public departments more persons of Indian origin, who could help their fellow-national$ during troubled times.


(l). Mr. V. P. Subramaniam belonged to a family which owned land in Kandy since 1899. He established his business in Wattegama in 1964 ; and in 1977 his stock in trade was worth 8 lakhs and insured for 3 lakhs. His business was the biggest in Wattegama and the building which housed it was worth 2 lakhs and belonged to him. It was attacked on 19th August at 7.30 p.m. although a curfew had been declared at 11.00 a.m. At about 6.00 p.m. he heard a whistle, the lights in the town went out, crowds surrounded the shops and houses and threw stones at them. He said he saw 3 shops in Udurawana Road on fire. A jeep and a car stopped opposite his shop, a big crowd gathered and bombs were thrown into it, The attackers were Sinhalese.

On the 20th morning he went to the Police Station and a constable told him that if the police had opened fire the crowd would have burnt the Station. He lost one million rupees. His opinion was that business rivalry was the cause of the attacks. His shop was in front of the Police Station where there was an 0.1.C., Sub Inspector Wijesinghe and about 25 eonstables. There were about 54 Tamil shops in Wattegama and all were looted and burnt, causing losses of 75 to 80 lakhs. Looting continued on the 20th morning. He said he saw one Cyril Fernando looting when he was on his way to the refugee camp in Kandy

(2) Mr. N. Rajendran was a trader of Wattegama. He stated that on t19th. August he heard a gun shot, after which a crowd of 25 to 30 persons came from the Maha Vidyalaya, threw stones at a row of 12 Tamil houses behind the Police Station (known as Marie lines), threw stones at his house breaking the doors and windows and looted and burnt his house and his shop. His losses were Rs. 115,000 on his house and Rs. 35,000 on his shop.

(3) Mr. P. Thamotherampillai had a business in textiles there since 1947. He too referred to a crowd gathering at Balika Maha Vidyalaya, a whistle being blown, the lights failing. His shop ws attacked, among about 50 Tamil shops, that evening. Thé police took no action. His loss was Rs. 75,000.

(4) Mr. P. Mutthiah was a textile manufacturer who ran a handloom industry which employed 70 Sinhalese girls trained by him. The annual turnover ‘there was 5 lakhs. He also ran a textile printing workshop which employed 20 Sinhalese girls, the annual turnover of which was 3} lakhs. The weaving and sales centres were within 50 yards of the Police Station.

Despite the curfew from 11.00 a.m. on 19th August, crowds gathered •near the Maha Vidyalaya amount ng to about 200 persons. When the police were informed, they replied that they were helpless. 2 persons were burnt alive in the fires that were started. He stated that 27 iron safes including his were stolen and forced open. Even on the 20th, when there was a whole day curfew, looting continued.

His losses were assessed at 2 ½  lakhs.

(5) Another trader Mr. M. Arumugam who had lived there for over 25 years owned a shop called Sivalingam and Co., which dealt in hardware. It suffered the fate of so many others and his loss was estimated at 3 ½  lakhs. He complained that on the day he gave evidence before the Commission, 17th July, 1978, Cyril Fernando, Nho has been mentioned earlier, told him ” If you want peace it will be peace, if you want war it will be war “. He understood those words to contain a threat to him if he gave evidence implicating Fernando.

 (6) Mr. M. Vaithüingam had a shop ” Sri Ramajayan Stores ” in Udurawana Road. His shop and house were attacked on the night of 19th August. He stated that when he was hiding behind his house Cyril Fernando, Cyril Natani, Lawrence, Senani and 4 or 5 others came there. He heard the words ” All have vanished. We will carry on with our work He assessed his losses at Rs. 120,000.

(7) A. Karupanapillai was a pawnbroker and textile dealer in Main Street he also dealt in jewellery. His shop was attacked on the 20th at 6 a.m. and by 10.30 a.m. it had been looted.

(8) M. Subramaniam had a shop in Main Street where he sold sundry items, and he lived in the same premises which are about 20 yards from the Police Station. His shop was looted, and so was his house, while his iron safe was broken open on that night of 19th August. He estimated his losses at Rs. 135,000.

(9) S. R. Doraisamy had been trading in Wattegama since 1939. He closed his shop ” Ceylon Kambili Stores ” early on the 19th owing to the curfew. That evening his shop was one of those attacked by crowds, who looted and set fire to it. On the 20th moming he went to the Police Station and asked for protection : he then saw looted goods being removed in lorries and vans. He went to a refugee camp. His losses were assessed at Rs. 197,500.

(10) A. M. Nadesan had a shop ” Mohanraj ” in Kandy Road. He com- plained to the police about the behaviour of the crowd of about 300 on the evening of 19th August. The police replied ” They are hooting at us. What can we do ” ? The rowdy elements were roaming about on the road in spite of the curfew. He saw his shop being broken into. Valuable goods were stolen from it. No summons in any case had been received by him at the time he gave evidence. His losses were assessed at about Rs. 52,000.

(l l) M. Thailapillai owned Thanalakshimi Stores and Selvarani Stores which were attacked on the 19th. His safe was broken and left in the back yard of the Police Station. His damages were assessed at about Rs. 155,000.

(12) Y. Nadesapillai was the owner of several businesses at Wattegama. They were all looted and he said his losses totalled Rs. 365,850.

(13) V. Periyasamy had a shop there from 1963, which was broken into and looted on the 19th evening. The entire stock of textiles, 3 sewing machines and his iron safe were taken away. When the mob came, he stated, the nn away. His loss was Rs. 27,000.

(14) P. Sukumaran was a trader whose gocery store was looted. He said he suffered losses amounting to Rs. 90,000.

I have the gist ofthe evidence of the many witnesses who came before the Commission. At the time of their appearance, they appeared to be still in fear and anxiety, though one year had elapsed.

Madulkelle and Panwila

(l) S. Sandanam was employed as a night watchman in the Lift Irrigation Farm Unit of the Irrigation Farm Unit, Rajanganaya. He was a permanent employee of the Irrigation Department. On 17th August, a lorry load of about 10 or 15 persons came to his workplace and called out to the Tamils. Through fear he jumped out of the machine room in which he was and the intruders caught him and assaulted him. He escaped from them and spent 3 days in the jungle. On the 23rd he complained to the Panwila Police. He asked for .a transfer but was refused it and he is now employed as a casiEl employee in the P.W.D. on a daily paid basis.

He seeks reinstatement in his former post, but in a different area. His request deserves careful consideration.

(2) P. Balasubramaniam of Tawalantenne, Panwila, ran a boutique there. On the night of 19th August, stores were thrown at it and a crowd attacked it. He stated that he identified 6 persons whose names he mentioned in his statement to the Panwila Police on the 24th. When he ran out of his boutique they set fire to it. He estimated his losses at Rs. 60,000.

(3) S. Mailwaganam was a resident labourer on Glaston Division, Galpilla Group, Panwila, for over 30 years. On 19th August at about 8 p.m. he stated, stones were thrown at the line rooms. A crowd which included Bodidasa Kangany and his son Jayaweera attacked 15 families. The other 2 Division of the group were also attacked. Bodidasa was arrested and bailed out and employed again in spite of protests in writing made by the Ceylon Workers’ Congress to the Superintendent : the protests evoked, I was told, no response.


S. P. Palaniandy Pillai is a trader of Huluganga who ran Jayalakshimi Stores there, Subramaniam & Co. in Kandy, and a transport agency. He stated that on 18th August at about 5.30 p.m. Tamil shops in Yatinuwara Street, Kandy, were attacked. On the 19th morning gangs attacked his shop, Subra- maniam & Co., in that street. The police were there with rifles but did nothing. On the 20th, he went to the Kandy Police Station to complain, but they would not record his statement, and told him to complain to Amirthalingam. The witness’ Agala Estate of 25 acres had a house on it which the villagers set on fire. His total losses were Rs. 33,983. He said that 0.1.C. Deheragoda of Panwila did good work and saved the Tamils. On the 24th he made a statement to the police.

Teldeniya, Rangana and Medamahanuwar•

(1) S. Rajagopal was a trader doing business at Teldeniya and Urugala. On 18th August he came to Kandy, but as disturbmoes had begun he returned atonoetoTeldQiya and then to Urugalawherehe lived. On the 19th morning went to Teldeniya he saw about 15 Tamil shops including his own broken into and looted : that had happened on the 18th night. All those shops were only aboUt 200 yards from the Police Station. The lorry belonging to the firm of Vythilingam Pulle; which had been parked opposite the Police Station on the 49th, was set on fire while the curfew was in force. He stated that Urugalal was the scene of many incidents on the •19th night, even when armed policemen were present. 3 Tamil houses were attacked, but the policemen who were only 300 yards away took no action. At about 5.00 p.m. that day when a crowd approached the town, the Police fired in the air and the crowd ran away. But when they came again at 7.00 p.m. nothing was done to disperse them. The witness’ shop at Urugala was atacked, in addition to 5 other Tamil shops. They were looted and damaged. The Police Inspector told the witness he could not save his shop and advised his to run away and save his life. The witness assessed his losses at Urugala at Rs. 40,000 and his losses at Teldeniya at Rs. 17,828.

(2) M. K. Perumal is a cultivator at Dunumila in the Teldeniya area. He owned 12 acres of which 9} acres were cultivated by him. His children were educated in Sinhala. On 19th August, about 10 to 20 persons came to his house, damaged it and took away all his possessions including his gun. He said that they came from adjoining villages, and 8 of them were known to him. The witness had jewellery made for his 2 unmarried daughters, and the attackers knew that. He complained to the Police on the 25th.

(3) P. Manickam owned and cultivated a small holding of 3 acres in Kengalla, 4 miles from Teldeniya. It was his sole means of livelihood. Twice in one day crowds attacked his house and looted it. He informed the Police on 21st August ; and when he was returning home after making his complaint, 2 persons came and set fire to his house.

He mentioned the names of 7 attackers to the police, but got back nothing of his stolen possessions.

He stated that other Tamil houses in that area were looted and burnt and several small holders have abandoned their holdings and left, although they had lived there for several years like the witness’ father who was the Village Headman there.

(4) Mr. P. Suppiah is a trader doing business at 176, Colombo Street, Kandy. He lived in Kengalla. On 19th August at about 6.000.m. about -75 persons came to his house shouting threats. He mentioned the names of 7 of them. He informed the police about this on 23rd August, stating that his house had been set on fire by them after theylooted it. 3 or 4 other Tamil houses near his were also attacked.

 (5) Mrs. Rajeswari Sithambaram was living on Moragolla Estate, Medgmaha- nuwara which is 7} acres in extent. She also had a dairy there. On 19th August, she saw 2 lorry loads of people going to her, neighbour Ponnarnbalam’s house and attacking it. She was not in her house at the time. Before she could return home, she saw 3 persons entering her house. They looted it and set fire to it. They next assaulted her and took her jewellery. She knew the persons involved as they lived 300 yards, from her house. cattle shed which cost Rs. 3,000 to build was burnt.

Owing to the experiences she went through, she and hcr family have settled in Trincomtllee.

(6). M. R. Subramaniam, a Kangany on Cottangange Estate, Rangalla said that on 19th August at about 4.30 p.m. a crowd of about 200 persons from Galaboda Village attacked the houses of several Tamils. Not a single Sinhalese house was attacked. He stated that CYiil Rajapakse, a Supervisor on the estatc•; led thc attack ; he rnentioned others who took part in it. A second attack was made that night by another gang and a third at about 2.00 a.m. on the 20th.

(7) T. Vellayan hid lived on Woodside Estate, Medamahanuwara, since birth. On 19th August, 50 or 60 pc:sons from the Colonies assaulted him and he regained consci0Z1sness only on the 22nd. His shop was burnt, all his goods were stolen from his line room and he is now une:np’oyed. He has a wife and 5 children, 3 ofNhom are working on the estate and supporting him. He said his losses amounted to Rs. 19,000 including the jewellery stolen.

(8) N. Thangarajah lived on Duckwari Division of Duckwari Group, Ran- galla. On 19th August, he was running a grocery shop in Rangalla Bazaar, and he went to Te!deniya to purchase goods for it, taking Rs. 500. He found that Tamil boutiques there had been burnt, and he was returning by bus when he was attacked by Sinhalese who stole his money. The P)lice arrested 2 of them. When he reached his shop, he found it had been looted.

(9) K. Velu was working on Duckwari Group on 19th August, but labourers were ordered to return to their lines at noon, He saw about 75 to 100 persons coming from Galabodawatte and Werap:tiya villages and attacking 40 line rooms. The police came there only on the 20th. Earlier, about 20 persons came and damaged line rooms and stole all the fowls on Lolgama Division on which the witnezs lived. The police who came during the attack arrested 4 persons.

(10) R. Th naletehumi, aged 18, also worked on Lolgama Division and lived with her parents. On 19th August, she saw po •sons coming from Galabodawatte Colony. They attacked her line roo•an, and 6 men carried her to the ten bushes and raped her. She complained later to her mother. The police were informed on the 20th and they came and recorded her statement. She was admitted •to Teldeniya Hospital.

A prosecution was filed in the High Court of Kandy. I was informed that 4 accused were convicted of rape, It is gratifying to record that cases filed in that Court over the communal disturbances were dealt with speedily.

 (11) V. K. Gopalasingham of Nagakumbura, Kengalle, owned 2 ½  acres where he jived and worked on mixed plantation. On 19th August at about 1.30 p.m. a crowd attacked the village and his house as well as about 15 other houses were looted and burnt. A large Tamil population which had lived there for generations have now left it and Sinhalese are now occupying these lands. He stated that 2 persons, Annamalai and Velu Savar, were killed by that crowd.

(12) Mrs. Govindasamy Gandhiwathy of Panjipitiya, Kengalle, is a widow with 10 children who was living on her land of 1} acres. On 19th August at about 1.30 p.m. a crowd looted and burnt her house. (13) In the same village lived R. Kanakaratnam, whose house was also looted and burnt that day. He stated that a case M. C. Menikhinna, No. 44137 had been filed against 2 accused.

Hanguranketa, Hewaheta, Deltota, Galaha, Rikillagaskada

(l) S. Sivam lived, on Ernest Valley Division of Hanguranketa Group with his ‘Wife and family. • His wife was aeacher there: On 19th August at about 6 p.m. 3 young men came to his house and said they would not spare his life as their people were being assaulted in Jaffna. They whistled and a gang arrived. So he and his family ran away leaving the gang there to loot his house and other houses. When the Police arrived there on the 26th he made a statement to them.

(2) K. Sinniah was a labourer on the same Division of that Group. He said that the Group Was attacked by persons from the surrounding colonies on the 19th evening : he was the Ceylon Workers’ Congress leader on that Division and he informed the Estate Superintendent of the attack on the last witness’ house, but tire Superintendent (Mr. Percy Herat) took no action• The witness next saw about 150 persons approaching from Happuwela village they attacked the lines next to the school teacher” house. The Superintendent went on the 20th morning to inform the Police. Another attack on l? lines was made on the 20th about mid-day and finally an attack on 28 line rooms• For 5 days thereafter over 200 workers stayed in the factory through fear• No line rooms occupied by Sinhalese workers were attacked,

(3) P. Ramasamy was f vorker on Wilbassa Division of the same Group• On 19th August at about 7.30 p.m. about 18 persons broke. into his line room and, looted ite He mentioned the names of 6 persons who he identified’ After they left, another gang came at about 9.30 p.m. and yet another at about 2 a.m. on the 20th. He and his family hid in the jungle and in drains. The Police came with the Superintendent after noon on the 20th. Some rooms had been set on fire by the gangs. He said proceedings had been filed against some persons.

(4) S. Nallathamby was cultivating tobacco on a land of 7 acres at Happu- watte near Hanguranketa. On 19th August at about 5 p.m. a gang of about 50 persons attacked and looted his house and broke the walls. The tobacco which he had was heaped up and burnt. He gave the names of some of the attackers to the Police.

(5) Mr. S. Subramaniam was a teacher on Rutland Estate, Hewaheta. 20th August was the last day of the Temple festival on the Estate and he went to it at about 9 a.m. He said he saw about 40 persons, who were not workers on the Estate, coming out of the factory with the Superintendent, Mr. K. M. Ratnayake, a Conductor, Nanayakkara, 2 tea makers and 2 supervisors : they assembled about 30 feet from the Temple. After the Superintendent and the other members of the staff left, the 40 persons went to the line rooms carrying weapons and attacked them. When the witness ran to his quarters passing thc house of a Supervisor named Nimal, the latter said “You Tamil, what do you say now ?” and kicked him ; and he and Supervisor, J. B. Dissa- nayake, hooted when the witness’ house was attacked.

He complained to the Police on the 21st. 4 sets of line rooms were damaged and looted.

(6) P. Ponniah, a worKet- of Rutland Estate, stated that on 18th August a gang composed of persons from Daipe, Kalpe and Anguwela villages came to Katugala Division where he worked. They attacked the Temple there till about 4 p.m. He informed the Superintendent at 8.30 a.m. next day, but he took no action. The witness informed the Folice on the 26th. As a result 2 workers Serugan, and Muthusamy, who had bought tickets to go to India could not leave because their passports etc., were destroyed.

(7) M. Suppiah was living on 2 acres of Kawatamana Colony which had been acquired 20 years ago by the Government from Rutland Estate. He planted tobacco on it and his was the only Tamil family out of 56 families in that Colony. On the night of 18th August his neighbour Gunatileke said he would protect Suppiah in spite of trouble elsewhere. On the 19th at about II .30 a.m. Gunati?eke came with about 50 others to the witness’ house : they looted •it and left. He informed the Police on the 20th and named 2 others who M ere in the gang. 3 arrests were made.

 (8) P. Suppiah of Medagama Division, Bowlana Group, Deltota, stated that after the Estate was vested in the State, the entire Division of 250 acres with 130 resident workers in 84 line rooms was carved out and allotted to Sinhalese villagers by the previous Government. Only 4 or 5 Tamil workers were given lots of one acre per family. On 19th August 60 to 65 line rooms •on the Estate were attacked and looted and 3 cows were burnt alive. Among the attackers were persons who had been allotted land from thc Estate. The resident Tamils were now unemployed. The Police had filed criminal prosecutions.

(9) P. Subramaniam of the Factory Division, Bowlana Group, stated that out of 5 sets of line rooms in that Division, 2 sets containing about 32 rooms were attacked and the Estate watcher, Gunadasa, was among the attackers. He identified others also whom he mentioned to the Police. A thriving estate had been reduced to jungle. 250 acres had been allotted to villagers in that Division, but they reside on land which they already The witness was now earning about Rs. 2.50 per day plucking tea leaf.

(10) M. K. V. Sellathurai, a tobacco cultivator, said he was living with his father who ovmed 8 acres of tobacco near Deltota. On 21st August his house was attacked and damaged by Sinhalese who stole his belongings.

(11) R. Alagan of upper Division, Ambalamana Estate, Galaha, said that relations between the Tamil and Sinhalese workers had been cordial for several years. On 19th August he went to his room because a curfew was on. Then about 300 persons from the surrounding villages attacked Selliah K. P’s house : they next attacked the Hindu Temple and damaged some statues and removed others. The attackers included 2 Sinhalese kanganies and a conductor. They next attacked all the lines occupied by Tamils, looted and burnt them. 16 families who were ready to leave for India Jost everything : their work on the Estate was stopped because their visas had expired : they had no means to rehabilitate themselves. The workers lost about 2 iaichs. The Lower Division was not affected because the villages were far from it.

(12) P. S. Shanmugam of Haloya, Nilambe in Galaha was the retired Teamaker of Wariyagala Estate, Galaha. He bought 3 acres near that estate and ran a dairy. His land was surrounded by Sinhalese villagers whom he knew. On 19th August about noon, line rooms on Wariyagalcwere attacked near his house and Tamil workers ran to his house for shelter. At about 7 p.m. a gang attacked the witness’ house and looted it. A case has been brought against some of them.

(13) Mrs. S. Nageswari, wife of Periannan Sivalingam, ran a shop in her house at Poramadulla, Rikillagaskada. Her husband was employed as a salesman in a Motor Stores shop in Panchikawatte. They had two children. On 17th August, she stated, a gang attacked her house and shop and looted them at about 6 p.m. causing heavy losses.

On 26th August she received a message that her husband was warded in the General Hospital, Colombo : he died on 27th August. His death certificate has been produced. She said she applied for compensation but had not received any. Her brother, P. Govindasamy, stated that P. Sivalingam had received burns when his (Govindasamy’s) shop called “Alpine Store” in Old Moor Street, Pettah, was set on fire on 24th August. He saw Sivalingam in Hospital critically burnt.


(l) K. Muniandy bought 2 acres out of Farm Group Estate, Kadugannawa, and resided on it and planted it. Hc also ran a poultry farm of 600 chickens and 800 laying birds. On 19th August at about 7.30 p.m. he heard voices and saw one Wije leading about 10 toe 15 persons towards his house. They entered and looted the house, while another gang came and stole 150 fowls, wire mesh, chicken mash, his wife’s jewellery and cash amounting to Rs. 2,700, they also smashed 3,700 eggs which had been packed.

He informed the Police, and Wije and one Dharma (who cut Lhe witness’ son with a sword) were being prosecuted. His total loss was Rs. 35,000 and he finds it impossible to pay the instalments on a loan of Rs. 15,000 which he had obtained in order to start his farm.

(2) Wembly Estate, Watapola, is about 6 miles from Kadugannawa. 100 acres had been carved out of it for a colony for Sinhalese. On another 150 acres there were 50 Tamil families. On the evening of 19th August the Tamil line rooms of the Estate were attacked by Sinhalese colonists and villagers who burnt 36 line rooms. One of the residents of those rcoms, Mrs. Selvarani Thangavel, hid in the jungle ; she stated that she heard Ranasinghe, whom she knew, and another person saying that they had cut 2 persons and wanted to cut 2 more. Some hours later she saw her father-in-law dead, with his neok cut. Although the proprietor informed •the Police on the 19th, they did not come there till 3 p.m. on the 20th. The workers had only temporary sheds now to live in.

(3) Also living on Wembly Estate, on a portion called Bambarakelle of that estate, was living the witness Mrs. Palaniamma Sivalingam with 6 other Tamil families. On the night of 19th August the houses of those 6 families were attacked, looted and burnt : on the morning of the 20th the witness’ house was attacked and burnt. One Ranasinghe assaulted her mother and her brother and the latter died on the spot : he was the breadwinner of thc family. The Police came there at about 1.30 p.m. and opened fire, but the gang escaped.

(4) Andiyagala Estate, Menikdiwela, formerly consisted of 350 acres out of this, 323 acres were alienated to villagers and became Andiyatenna Colony. Although it had a Tamil labour force of 160 resident workers, of whom 45 were Ceylon citizens, not one of them got any land from there although they applied for it. Consequently they had to seek employment in the adjoining villages and underwent hardship. On 19th August the colonists attacked the workers’ lines and 3 sets of 38 rooms were burnt. The workers werc housed in Kirimittia School for 4 months : thereafter the Ceylon Workers’ Congress found work for them elsewhere, and none of them are now on the Estatc. Mr. Choksy stated that their ancestors had opened up those jungle areas and pianted them, although they have now been driven out.


A Ramiah. worker on Thambiligala Estate, Ulapane, said thet there were 200 Tamil resident workers on it. They comprised 53 families which had been on it for generations. In September 1976 an attempt was made by the Land Reform Commission to alienate the Estate to villagers and the workers cbjectcd. Iu July 1977 the Government Agent undertook not to alienate the Estate. On 18th August night villagers attacked the lines and injured workers. Although the Police were informed of the trouble that day, they did not come io the scene. On the 19th afternoon another attack was made and the lines were destroyed. The police arrived at 6 p.m., in the sense that 2 policemen came and told the workers to gather in the school building, where they stayed for 3 days. Only 14 families were left because the others departed in fear.


V. Pachchamuthu was a worker on Dotaloya Estate. He stated that on 19tb August work was stopped on the Estate, because there was trouble on the adjoining estate. On the 20th morning he went to the Lower Division and a crowd which was near the Co-operative Store assaulted him. He could not identify any of them. They-then assaulted the Estate driver, Marimuthu, and attacked his line room. He complained to the Police who took him to Aranayake Hospital on the 21st evening. I was informed by Senior State Counsel that the Police have not taken any action because the witness did not state who his attackers were.


S. Sinnappan had retired from the C.G.R. and was living on a leased land near the Railway Station. On 19th August at about 2 p.m. stones were thrown at his house . at about 6 p.m. one Samaranayake, a railway porter, entered his house and assaulted him and his wife and snatched her thalikodi and chain On the 20th at about 10 p.m. a C.G.R. gatekeeper, Sangadasa, one Sutha and others threw stones and assaulted his grand-daughter.


Nuwara Eliya

 (l) Maria Soosai, a salesman at Selvam Traders, Nuwara Eliya, got married on 19th August. His brother-in-law Anthony Jebamalai had come to Nuwara Eliya for the wedding, and that evening he went to the town about mile away. When he was returning, he was stabbed when a crowd attacked him near the Kachcheri and the Police Station. The witness Soosai went with some others to the spot and carried the injured man to his house. He then telephoned the police, and asked them to take the injured man to the hospital : but the police did nothing, their excuse being that they had no vehicle or officers to send.

The injured man died shortly afterwards, and the witness made a statement next day to the police. There were witnesses to identify the assailants. The deceased left a widow and 5 children, of whom the eldest was 14 years old. The widow applied for compensation, but had not yet received any.

(2) P. Sithambaram was a labourer since 1944 on Ambewela Farm. There were 12 other Tamil families resident there. On the night of 21st August, while he was in his quarters with his family, they were attacked by a gang and had to run away. His son had petrol thrown on him was injured, but neither the Managernor the Assistant Manager of the Farm transported his son to hospital or provided a vehicle for that purpose : they said that they had informed the police, but the police did not arrive for 3 days.

The witness had to walk to Warwick Estate and ask the Ceylon Workers’ Congress offce in Nuwara Eliya to intervene. The Congress offce telephoned to the Army who arrived after 3 days and took his son to hospital. The police -arrived still later.

He had everything ready to travel to India, but everything was looted. He was not employed at the Farm after this incident, though he was living there, because the Farm Manager did not give him work on the ground that his Visa had expired. I took this matter up with the higher authorities who were considerate enough to direct that this witness be provided with work : I was glad to be informed that workers in a similar unfortunate position would be treated with equal consideration.


Matale Town and District

(l) Mr. M. Thangarajah was formerly the Chief Clerk in the Offce of the Assistant Government Agent there. He stated that on 19th August he was residing in Nagolla Road with his wife and children. At about 6.30 p.m. when the curfew was on, 25 to 30 armed youths came there, and smashed the doors and windows. He ran to the labourers’ lines, and from there he saw his belongings being taken away. He owned 2 houses, one of which was completely and the other partially burnt. His losses were estimated at about one lakh.

 (2) P. Sandanam, a P. W. D. labourer of Mahaweia, Matale, stated that on 18th August when he and his family were at home in thc evening, a crowd of about 200 persons surrounded his house and called him and his brother out When they went out they were assaulted, and fell unconscious. His pregnant wife was treated similarly. On the 20th he took her to hospital, where she had a miscarriage. His house was completely looted. He identified 4 assailants.

(3) There was a very grave series of offences cominitted at Kotagoda, Matale, on the evening of 18th August. About 35 persons went to the house of P. Ramasami Pillai. He was hit and he fell down : his house was looted. His 6 daughters, between the ages of 27 years and 12 years, were taken to a jungle about 500 yards away and raped. He said that 8 or 9 men did that. He complained to the Matalc police next day. 20 accused were indicted in the High Court of Kandy, and on 6th June, 1978 nine accused were convicted of rape and sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from 5 to 10 years. II other accused were convicted of arson and/or looting.

(4) Mrs. Manonmani Nampath of Pallepola, Matale, said that she was living about 3 miles from Matale Town. On 18th August there was a curfew from 4.00 p.m. Her parents, brothers and sisters were with her. At about 8.30 p.m. about 12 persons wearing masks and carrying weapons entered her house, dragged her into the kitchen and 8 men raped her. She identified one of them as Gamini, but could not give the names ef the others. She was in hospital for 8 days.

(5) Mrs. Natchiamma Somu of Asgiriya, Matale, was the mother of 5 children aged between 21 years and 9 years. Her husband was in the Merchant Navy. On the night of 18th August, her husband was at home and the family was asleep in one room. Some persons entered the room and shot her husband dead. Her brother Suppiah who was also in the house was also shot, and died that night. She did not identify the assailants. The Matale Police were informed, and a case was pending in the High Court of Kandy against some Sinhalese accused.

(6) Mrs. Maheswary Mariasengal, aged 17, stated that on 18th August, a crowd came in 2 lorries to her parents’ home in Sellagamma, Matale, where she was also living. Her father ran out : he was caught and beaten. The rest of the family ran away. She heard a gun shot, and after the crowd left she returned to where her father was lying dead. Compensation has been paid to his widow and children.

(7) Miss S. Kamala Devi of Andawela, Matale District (17 miles from the town) said that 20 Tamil families were living there. Her family owned a culti- vated extent of 106 acres. On 19th August, a large crowd attacked her parents’ house. She knew II of the. persons who damaged the house. They also attacked her sisters’ and brothers’ houses. 8 of the 20 Tamil houses were attacked The Mahawela Police were informed.

 (8) P. Ramiah was a labourer on PansaJatenna Estate, Matalc, Adjoining it is the village of Pallegama. He stated that on the afternoon of 18th August, a gang of persons walked towards the line rooms. They set fire to one Loga- nathan’s boutique : they took Rs. 100 from the wife of Suppiahpulle. They then entered the line rooms, damaged and looted them and chased out the occupants. He identified one of the attackers as Appuhamy’s SOD from Pallegama. The Police have filed cases against some of the persons.

(9) Miss Alaganselvi Valliamma was a worker on Hunasgiriya Estate, Elkaduwa, and also a leader of the Women’s Branch of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress in the Matale District. She had been employed there since 1962, and her parents had been there for 45 years. In 1971 the estate management proposed to construct a hotel there ; but as it would have meant the demolition of line rooms occupied by 32 families, the occupants refused to vacate them. Each family was given acre and Rs. 400 to build a house in settlement of the dispute, and the line rooms were demolished. It was the first time any estate management settled Tamil workers in a colony on the estate.

On 20th August, morning, the witness saw the estate van being used to trans- port people to the estate from Mala Colony, and people going ahead of the van carrying weapons. Those persons first attacked the Hunasgiriya Division line rooms, droye the workers out, looted them and set them on fire. They next came to the 8 acres colony mentioned earlier, where the witness was living, and attacked the houses on it and looted them. The occupants ran away : they returned when the Army arrived, and found all the houses damaged and 4 houses burnt. A labourer named Santhanam was found dead. Each family was given Rs. 450, but the workers could not reconstruct their houses, and so they live in cattle sheds, verandhas of line rooms, and rooms of creches. No living quarters had yet been provided by the management. The 8 acres were not occupied as it is in jungle and not in a safe area.

The settlement of workers on their own allotments thus failed owing to the acts of the adjoining villagers. The management has, however, agreed to build quarters for the displaced workers in a different area. No criminal proceedings have been filed, according to information given to me by Senior State Counsel, as the assailants were not known or identified.

(10) At Ukkuwela the Sri Subramaniswamy Temple was attacked by a crowd on 20th August. They damaged it, and looted and set fire to the Priest’s quarters. Mr. N. Thangavelu, President of the Board of Trustees, has des- cribed the incidents. The statues and the holy of holies were damaged. He said that he complained to the Matale Police on the 22nd and gave the names of some of the attackers. He estimated the damage at one lakh.

(11) S. Govindasamy of Ratwatte Estate, Ukkuwela, said that on 20th August, at about 8 p.m. 50 Sinhalese came there and carried away poultc• Next night again about 8 p.m. about 100 persons attacked the Tea Maker’s house and workers’ lines, having come from neighbouring villages. About 26 line rooms were affected, and the witness’ room was burnt. The Lower Division, the Mooragala Division, and Ovilikanda Division were all attacked, and about 325 labourers suffered losses. Each family was given Rs. 550 by the management.

(12) Mrs. Kumari Ramasamy of Bandarapola, Matale, said that her family had lived there for 5 generations. Her son Subramaniam ran a Weaving Mill which employed 200 Sinhalese. On 19th August, at about 6 p.m. an armed crowd of 40 to 50 people came along thc road shouting that Tamils should be killed ; the same thing happened on the 20th morning. She said she suffered damages in Rs. 55,000.

(13) Mrs. R. M. Vclupillai was living with her husband on Weragama Division of Wariyapola Group in the Matale District. Her husband was the estate Schoolmaster. On 19th August, a labourer reported an attack on the Lower Division, and soon afterwards there was an attack on the lines above her house. When she ran out of her house, a man cut her and snatched her thalikodi and ran off. Shesaid he was Lucas of Dunkolawatte. She was taken to hospital.

(14) Mr. M. A. Nagaratnam, a retired factory offcer, was living in Palapath wela in the Matale District. On 17th August, he saw Sinhalese slogans ” Kill Tamils ” painted on buses. On the 19th at about 8 p.m. when he and his family were at home, a crowd broke into his house and he and his family ran out through the rear door. They were unable to find shelter in a neighbour’s house. Next day he went to his house and found that everything in it had been looted. His house was damaged. The attackers were arrested and bailed out, and he identified 3 of them viz. : Tilake, Chutti Banda and Bandw They were from Colonies.

(15) Miss Pandeeswari Kalimuthu of Udupihilla, Matale, said that on 20th August, she was warned of an impending attack. So she and the other members of her family went to the house of a Schoolmaster named Tennekoon. Her house was burnt after the Muthu Vinayagar Temple was burnt.

(16) S. Alagappan, a labourer of Ukuwela, related his experiences on a bus journey he made from Colombo to Kandy on 18th August. He was with about 15 other Tamils. After they passed Nittambuwa people stopped the bus, dragged out the Tamils, and assaulted them : they then put them back into the bus after taking their belongings. Further attacks on them took place at 2 other places. When they reached Kegalle, the driver and conductor ordered them to get out. They then went to the Police Station, from where they were taken to the Town Hall. At the Police Station they met several other bus passengers, numbering about 1,000. The refugees were in a deplor- able state, some of them being naked, After spending 4 days in the TOMI Hail, the witness was brought to Kandy.


 (I) Mr. M. A. Jeganathan was a Government Surveyor living in the heart Of Dambulla. Violence erupted there on the afternoon of 17th August. A gang entered his house at about 3.30 p.m., looted it and set it on fire. His personal belongings worth Rs. 8,000 and Government property worth Rs. 6.500 were burnt. He escaped to the next house and stayed there till midnight. when the Army came and took him to the Police Station. P.S. David who was in charge of the station refused to give him protection or to record his statement. An A.S.P. from Matale took the refugees to Matale, and then sent them to Kandy on the 18th.

(2) Mr. S. Devarajan was Executive Engineer. Dambulla, and his wife was Dental Surgeon in the hospital. His quarters were looted by a mob on 17th August, and so were the quarters of Mr. Sivasinam. the Works Supervisor. He said P. S. David, acting 0.1.C. of the Police Station. was missing from 2 to 9 p.m. and when he did appear he was quite drunk. The Police had refused to give him a policeman to guard his quarters, sayrng that 22 policemen had been killed at Jaffna.

(3) Mr. V. Sathanandan, a Civil Engineer of the River Valleys Development Board, was stationed at Dambulla. with his office and quarters at Katugeliyawa, 10 miles away. Having learnt of the trouble on 17th August, he obtained a van and took his wife and child, and another Engineer Mr. Sivanesan. towards the Police Station but could not reach it because he was obstructed by his minor employees. He returned to his quarters, from where an offciaJ jeep removed his child and his baggage. Later a crowd entered his quarters and mercilessly assaulted him, his wife, and Mr. Sivanesan. He mentioned Orma— Pillai, Abeysena Piyadasa and L. T. de Silva as some of the attackers. They and all the others who assaulted him were his employees. They stole his wife’s jewels and Sivanesan’s purse. The three of them found shelter in a ,Muslim Village a few miles away. Later the police arrived there and took them to Dambulla and then to Kandy. He mentioned that Mr. of the River Valleys Development Board rescued about ISO Tamils, including his own party, and protected them till they were taken to Kandy on the 18th.

(4) The largest shop in Dambulla was that of A. S. Sangarapillai & Sons. A salesman R. Jayasena giving evidence stated that it was attacked at 2 p.m. on 17th August, by a mob who then looted it and set on fire. Petrol was poured on an employee named Ratnaraja and then set on fire, but he did not die. Witness S. Somasundaram, the Manager, said that when he went later to the Police Station, P. S. David who was there was drunk and refused to record his statement, and also abused him for coming there and disturbing him. The Janna Police recorded his statement next day. Thetr losses were Rs. 675,000


Kurunegala Town

 (5) About 2 miles from Dambulla is a village called Ibbankatuwa. Some 50 Tamil families, who earlier worked on up-country estates, cultivated about 300 acres there. Close to it, a colony of Sinhalese had sprung up in connection with the Mahaveli Development Scheme. Witness V. Kandasamy stated that on the night of 17th August, thc Tamil houses were all set on the attackers came from that fire, and the occupants ran into thc jungle colony. When the Tamils returned to their homes on the 18th an armed crowd attacked them. One Sunderarajah was cut on his hand and later died, leaving 2 young children ; one Poopalan was stabbed by a man called Wije, and fell dead after running up to the witness V. Kandasamy : one Suppiah was clubbed and cut and he died on the spot. The witness also spoke to 3 cases of rape. His sister-in-law Seetha Letchumi was raped by Wije : a girl named Desy was raped by 5 men ; and yet another girl Mariamma was also raped. The witness also spoke to having seen the bodies of 2 other Tamils, whom he knew, in the Dambulla hospital mortuary. These 50 familise have since left Ibbankatuwa, and many of them have gone to Kilinochchi where they work as casual labourers. Senior State Counsel informed me that 6 suspects were on bail in M.C., Dambulla, Case No. 7924, in respect of the deaths of the 3 persons mentioned above, and the connected papers have been forwarded to the Director ot Public Prosecutions.

(6) Another witness S. Navaratnam has also spoken to these events. He said that his parents, his sister and himself were living on a six acre block at Ibbankatuwa. At about 7 p.m. on 17th August, a crowd of 60 or 70 Sinhalese came armed, in lorries and tractors, from the direction of the Dambulu Oya Development Scheme, and set fire to his and many other houses. They ran into the jungle for safety. On the 18th at about I p.m. they heard somebody stating ” You all come out, we will take you to the Police Station “. When they came out of the jungle, 10 to 15 persons armed with swords and knives attacked them, and he saw the 3 named men being fatally attacked. He said he identified 3 assailants at an identification parade held in the Dambulla Court.

(7) Mrs. Maheswari Nadarajah stated that her husband was working for the River Valleys Development Board at Galhiriya, between Dambulla and Kekirawa, as a Supervisor. On 23rd August, she received a police message asking her to go to Kekirawa to identify his body, but she did not go because the police refused to escort her. She had since received a sum of Rs. 12,900 from the Social Services Department


Kurunegala Town

(1) Mr. C. Dharnmaratnam owned a coconut land of 8 acres called Galgoda Estate at Hindag )lla, 4} miles from Kurunegala. He had a poultry farm of about 600 birds on it. On 18th August, two gangs attacked it in the evening, each gang congesting of 50 to 75 persons. The second. gang assaulted him and his wife, kicked and stripped them, pulled his wife along the ground by her hair and took he? jewellery. When he went next morning to his house, he found that Rs. 4,000 had been stolen and his motor cycle damaged.

He complained to the Polico on 23rd August and mentioned the narne; of some of the gangs including Premaratne of Wewegedeca and a neigh- bour David : he also identified 6 pet-sons at an identification parade held that day. He has made allegations against S.I. Seneviratne of Mawathagama Police and A.S.P. Rajeswaram : he has also complained, not unjustly, of indifferent handling of the cmse generally by the police despite frequent appezls he made to senior officers to investigate his czse diligently.

He has estimated his Josses at Rs. 94,437. The unfortunate feature of this case is the suffering he and his wife underwent, although he and his family have done their best to integrate themselves with the Sinh’lese. He, his son, his brother, and his sisters-in-law are married to Sinhalese.

(2) V. R. Gopalan ran a grocery business in Kurunegala. On 17th August at about 6.30 p.m. he boarded a bus to go to his house 6 miles away. On the journey some Sinhalese asked if there were Tamils in the bus and assaulted him.  They took Rs. 300 from him. Next day he came to his shop, and in his absence his house was looted On the 19th when he came to his shop, he saw over 15 Tamil shops being attacked in the bazaar, including a part of his shop. There were policemen in the bazaar, but they did not use their guns. On the 20th thc disorders ended after the Army was called inr His losses were estimated at Rs. 30,000 from his house and Rs. 1,000 from his shop.

(3) Mr. S. Selvaraja, a teacher af St. Anne ‘s College, was travelling from Kankesanturai to Kurunegala on the night mail train of 16th August. When the train reached Anuradhapura. he was attacked, and he lost his suitcase„ attache case, purse and wrist watch. He weat from place to place and eventually went to Point Pedro in an oil train. He then learnt that his house had been looted on the 19th during the curfew. He estimated his losses from his house at Rs. 6,000 and the belongings he lost at Anuradhapura at Rsv 6,682. A case against the looters is pending.

(4) Mrs. Nagamma Kichchan was Jiving with her husband on Woodland Estate, Melsiripura, about 15 miles from Kurunegala. About 20 Tamil families were living on that 50-acre extent of land. On 20th August at about 11.00 a.m.. she saw a lorry coming to the land with a crowd of persons. They dragged a girl called Innasiamma, who was carrying an infant, from a line room. She saw her husband Kichchan being hit on the head with a mammoty. The; crowd then set fire to the Kanak.apulle ‘s quarters.

When she went up to her husband, he was dead. The Police came that evening and removedhis body. She “as taken to a refugee camp at Kurunegala, Now her brother, who has 16 others dependent on •him,is supporting her and her 8 children aged 15 to 3 years. She .was, paid Rs. 3,000 as compensation, but is unemployed.

(5) K. Ramiah was a worker on Dodandalawa Estate, Rambodagalla. He stated that on 17th August a crowd from Weuda attacked houses on that estate, and 26 Tamil families were rendered destitute. He mentioned 5 members of the crowd, and said that he identified 4 of them at an identification parade. He informed the police on the 18th. On the 19th one Sinnathamby was murdered.

(6) M. Thiagarajah had a shop at; Wariyapola. On 19th August at about 11.30 a.m. a C. T. B. bus stopped outside his shop and people armed with wea- pons alighted from it. He ran behind the shop and heard it being broken up, while policemen were on duty at a junction 30 yards away with their guns. He said he complained at the Police Station on the 20th butthe 0.1.C.merely said ” Our police offcers are being attacked, cut and sent in fish boxes. How can we entertain your complaint ? ” On the 21st he was sent to a refugee camp, and from there to Jaffna. He complained at the Kayts Police Station about the attack on his shop and the conduct of the Wariyapola Police.

He wanted to restart his business in the same premises, and asked his landlady Mrs. Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake, M. P. for Wariyapola, to be allowed to do so. She replied by asking him to renounce all his rights in the shop building, and he refused to accede, to her request. He stated that when he later met her, she informed him that she could not give the building to him as there will be trouble: He had occupied it for 10 years.

(7) T. V. Ramachandran was a resident of Dummalasuriya, about 10 miles from Kuliyapitiya. On 20th August at about 9.30 p.m. 7 or 8 persons came to his house and called out to him. When he opened the door, they attacked him with clubs, searched his house, and removed all the valuables after locking him in a room. He complained to the Police next morning and was taken to Kuliya- pitiya Hospital. Fearing that Tamils in the Hospital would be attacked, he left the Hospital.

The assailants were charged in Court and two of them were jailed. Proceedings were pending against 4 other accused.


(1) Mr. K. ; Vignarajah, Assistant Superintendent of’ Wadduwa Estate, Yatigaloluwa, said that on 17th’ August he came by train from Colombo to Polgahawela. He, went; to the Police Station where he found 35 or 40 men, women and children who had’ been assaulted and robbed on the train. He took his wife and children also there with the help of the police, and they stayed there for 12′ days: ‘ On’ the’ 18th he’ went to the estate bungalow and found it håd been looted, and most of his belongings to the value of Rs. 11,500 were missing: The estate gun had been stolen ‘from (the watcher. He praised the work ofthe 0.1.C.;• Inspector T. D. M. Godamune, and his staff. On the 29th the witness left for Jaffna.

(2) Mr. P. Ponnambalam, who mill ethere,i said ‘that there was curfew from 5 p.m. on 19th August’ At about R p.m. his mill was burnt by a gang which had earlier attacked Tamil ,shops: they were youths in their twenties. On the 20th when the witness was in Colombo, his house J was attacked’ and burnt: The Kathiresan Temple was also set on fire, and its statues destroyed.’ The damages he suffered were about ‘one lakh, and the damages to the Temple were about Rs. ’60;000.

(3) Mrs. M. S. Dharmarajah, a Sinhalese lady married to a Tamil gentleman, said that tension prevailed there from 20th Augusta ‘By 8 a.m. that day she saw Tamil houses being attacked and. the occupants running away. A man named, Ariyadasa Baas invited her and her, husband to go to a ‘ place of safety, and came 3 times for that purpose. She went instead to the Convent, while her husband and her father-in-law went to a friend’s house. On the 21st morning she found her house had been looted and burnt. She complained to the police against Ariyadasa Baas as being one of those who attcaked her house, and she had been informed that a case against him was pending.


(1) Mrs. Ignatius Rasiah stated that her deceased husband owned a business there called Rasiah & Sons. 3 generations had carried it on, and a large sum of money had been invested in it. When the shop was set on fire on 19th August her husband was also killed. She claimed damages in a sum of 21 lakhs. She became destitute, with 5 children between the ages of 19 years and 5 years. I have since been informed that the Ministry of Social Services has paid her compensation for the death of her husband.

(2) Her husband’s nephew, Mr, L. E; Sahayanathan, stated attack on that shop started on 18th August, when 2, persons tried to break into it. On the 19th when the attacks on the Tamil shops began, he and others gathered at Mr. Mapa•s house, but that housetoo was attacked.

(3) Mr. M. L. B. Mapa who gave evidence in camera said that he owned 15 shop buildings there, Itenanted by Tamils and Sinhalese. When rumours of Impending trouble started, he opened his house to Tamils who came in with their baggage : the Sinhalese watched what was happening. 19th afternoon there were hundreds on the road as it was a weekly fair day. They were joined by about 800 workers from the Thullliriya Mill. When he tele- phoned to the police, he was assured that they would give protection to them. The burning of his’ shop buildings then begarål When he next telephoned to the police, they merely: raised the receiver and put it down.

A crowd marched to his residence and asked whether there were any Tamils there. He replied that there were, and they were his tenants. The crowd invaded his residence and searched all the rooms : they found all the Tamils gathered in one room, assaulted them and dragged them into the compound and killed Ignatius Rasiah and Gopalan alias Rajagopal. They then look the straw from a straw thatched hut in the garden, poured coconut oil on it, and used it to burn the Tamils who were lying fallen there. 3 Tamils were badly burnt in that way, and one of them—Ratnasingham—fiad not recovered even in July 1978. Everything in his residence was taken away by the mob

The police, he said, did not come there till 9.30 p.m. But the Army came there at about 4 p.m., and the crowd ran away. The Army removed the burning straw from the bodies of the fallen victims. When the police arrived, they showed no keenness to take the injured persons to hospital. They said, “Why do you show so much mercy to these Tamils ? Our Sinhalese boys have been killed in Jaffna”. The rumours regarding the cut up bodies of Sinhalese boys and girls, the killing of the High Priest of Naga Vihara, and the sending of bodies in fish crates were repeated by more than one policemen. However, in the end the police removed 14 injured persons to Kurunegala Hospital. The Police Station was less than mile from the bazaar.

(4) Mr. R. F. Ratnasingham mentioned above was a shop owner there He said that his body was covered with straw, on which coconut oil was poured. and then set alight. His losses were estimated at 2} lakhs. His son R. F. Christie was also severely assaulted.

(5) Witness B. A. Rayappu stated that he ran a textile business there for 15 years. On 19th August his shop was closed, and he was inside it with his employees. At about 2 p.m. he heard the front door being broken open, so he went out through the rear door into a Sinhalese shop and watched. A crowd of about 500 looted his shop, damaged the furniture and set fire to the shop other Tamil shops were treated in a like manner. He saw a Police jeep parked about 50 yards away with an Inspector, and a constable who was armed : he also saw an Army vehicle there with several armed personnel. They did nothing. The crowd shouted that there was a Tamil in the shop in which he had taken refuge ; they entered it, and the witness was handed over to them. They dragged him to a lamp post, saying that they would tie him there and burn him. He looked towards the Inspector of the Alawwa Police Station and the constable, who watched the incident and did nothing. When he was being tied up, he heard the voice of a man called Sudumahattaya who was working at Thulhiriya. That man came running up and said that nobody was to hurt him : he released the witness from the crowd. walked with him to the Police jeep, and handed him over to the Inspector. The witness was next handed over to another Sinhalese friend in the latter’s house.

Two Tamil constables later came there in ajecp, and saying that they themselves could not stay in Alawwa they took him to Kurunegala Police Station, from where he was sent to Jaffna. He said he suffered damages of one lakh.  


(l) The disturbances here began early on 17th August when the train from Jaffna arri’Æd at 6.30 a.m. having been delayed at Anuradhapura. It contained a crowd of Sinhalese thugs, according to Mr. A. Kandasamy, the Station Master who scnt it on its way. After working all day he went that night to the police Station, from where he was sent in a bus loaded with 160 passengers o Vavuniya. When he returned to his Station he round that all his belongings had been stolen.

(2) Mr. K. V. Ganesharajah owncd a shop there. He said that there were 25 shops, 16 owned by Tamils and the rest rented to Tamils. The former were looted and burnt, and the latter were looted. The police took no action, even when stolen goods were carried past the Police Station. When the witness returncd from Vavuniya, whither he h’ d been taken by bus, he round only a grinding stone left.

(3) Mr. A. Sivanandan was the colc representative there of Lipton Ltd. At 11.00 p.m. on the 17th a gang looted his house, and then came to the house of his neighbour Mr. Abeysekera, where he had gone for shelter, and assaul cd him. Thc Rajah Corporation premises, on;y 100 yard from the Police Station, were looted. The Offccr in charge of the Police SR-ion named Mapitigama, refuscd to record the witness’ statement. The po!ice wore afraid of thc crowd and did not fire : they put a safe belonging to Sumathamby Stores and contain- ing money into a truck, but a mob stopped the truck and took the safe. He said he lost Rs. 32,000 plus stocks worth Rs. 13,000 about which he made a complaint to the Jaffna Police. All that was recovered from his stocks was a box containing 5 pounds of tea on 20th August.

(4) Sh i V. I. Subramaniam lyer was offciating Priest of the Sri Kathiresan Temple. On 17th August it was attacked, and on the 18th he and his family went away by bus (which he said contained 176 refugees).

(5) Mr. S. Coomaraswamy was President of the Sri Subramaniam Kovil. The statue, bull, chariot, and the Sanctum Sanctorum were damaged by a gang, and the loss was estimated at Rs. 50,000. Thc Priest’s quarters were damaged. The witness’s shop and rice mill were destroyed and he said he suffered losses amounting to Rs. 300,000.

(6) The most serious case of looting and arson in Maho occurred at Polpiti- gama on Walawwawatte Estate belonging to Mr. S. J. Kadirgamar Q.C. On 19th August, the Superintendent Mr. J. A. A. Perera was in the estate bungalow with his family and guests. When he learnt that a crowd was approaching in search of Tamils, he sent the only 2 Tamil families to safe places. At 9.30 a.m. a gang of youths asked to search the bungalow for Tamils, including Mr. & Mrs. Kedirgamar (who were then in England). The gang were armed and drunk. They ransacked the bungalow, demanded and obtained the 2 guns and cartridges and gun licence from the estate watcher and Mr. Perera, and ordered all the occupants to take what they could and leave immediately. From a farmer ‘s house to which they went, Mr. Perera saw that the bungalow was on fire. He and the others went to the house of Mr. Muthu Banda, President of the Cultivation Committee, nile away, where they stayed till the 21st. On that day Naval personnel arrived in 2 jeeps, and Mr. Perera has acknowledg- ed the help and kindness which they rendered to him in assisting him and his family to go to Kurunegala.

On the 24th he made a statement to the Kandy Police, and on the 29th he returned to the estate. He estimated the damages suffered by the owner at Rs. 2,85,000, and by him at Rs. 30,000. He learnt that 22 persons had been arrested by the Maho Police over these incidents.

(7) The last witness who spoke to events at Maho was Mr. S. R. Shanmuga- lingam, then Relief Postmaster, Maho. He stated in his evidence given in camera that in addition to his other duties he attended to the telephone switch board, connecting trunk calls from Maho to other stations. On 17th August, he went to the Maho Railway Station to receive the mail from the train which arrived from Jaffna that morning. It arrived 3 hours late, and he saw Tamil passengers in it being assaulted : the same thing happened when passengers were waiting to take the train to Batticaloa.

That night at about 7.00 p.m. a mob looted and burnt 19 Tamil shops in the Maho bazaar. About hour later the H. Q. I. of Maho Police Station (tele- phone No. 534) asked the witness for telephone No. 6222 Kurunegala. He connected the two numbers and heard a speaker from the Kurunegala number saying ” 1 am the S. P. “. The witness told him that No. 534 wanted to speak, the H.Q.I. then said : ” All the shops had been looted and burnt. Still they are doing that “, to which the S. P. replied “good show” and asked whether any lives had been lost, and the H.Q.I. replied ” So far nothing “. The conver- sation then ended, and the witness disconnected the line.

On the 20th morning the witness went to the Railway Station to entrain for Jaffna, and he was attacked by the railway employees and one Dharmadasa, the son of an engine driver ; so he ran to the Post Offce to escape the mob. Later a police jeep took him to the Maho Hospital, from where he was taken to the Kurunegala refugee ump, and then to Jaffna that night. He was admitted to Jaffna Hospital on the 21st, and later he was treated in Mullaitivu Hospital.

In respect of his listening to the particular telephone conversation which he described, he said that he was expected to listen and keep the call under observation in order to see that there was no breakdown. The evidence given by the witness surprised me. It is a matter for inqurY by the Superiors of those two officers.


Kegalle Town and District

 (l) The Sri Kathiresan Temple is only mile from the Offce of the Superin- tendsnt of Police, Kegalle. Thiagarajah Kurukkal, the offciating priest, stated that at about 1.30 p.m. on 19th August, a teargas bomb was thrown into the Temple. He and his son ran into the inner sanctum and locked themselves in till 7 p.m., when the police arrived. The attackers had stoned the Temple and stolen the money in the till. He estimated the damages to the Temple at Rs. 20,000 and the value of the personal belongings he lost at Rs. 15,000.

The watcher of the Temple, V. Raman, said that on 19th August, a mob came to the Temple premises and attacked him. Hc was cut all over his body with a razor blade. His room was ransacked and looted and he lost his savings amounting to Rs. 600. When he went to the hospital he was driven out because he was a Tamil, and a Sinhalese Ayurvedic Doctor later treated him.

(2) S. Pandaram owned a sundry boutique in Kegalle which he ran for 10 years. On 19th August at about 7.30 a.m. a large crowd attacked all the Tamil shops there, so he closed his boutique and escaped through the rear door. When he returned at about 12.30 p.m., he found his boutique damaged and looted. He sought refuge in the Town Hall, wilh over 1,000 other Tamil refugees, for 4 days. He said all the Tamil shops there, numbering about 30, •suffered the same fate.

(3) Dr. P. Kandiah was the Medical Offcer of Health, Rambukkana, in August 1977. He was residing about l ½  miles from Kegalle. On 19th August, Mr. Ranaweera, a Sinhalese gentleman, advised him to close his house and he did so. He and his family moved into Mr. Ranaweera’s house leaving all their belongings behind. That same evening a mob looted his house and set fire to it. The operation lasted all night and during it an ambulance took him to the Kegalle Hospital, from where he moved into the hospital quarters which a friend was occupying. He complained on the 22nd to the Kegalle Police, who recovered some of the stolen goods and arrested some persons. He was informed by the police that a case had been filed, but in December 1978, when giving evidence, he stated that he had not yet received summons. He said he had lost goods to the value of one lakh. He has lived all his life and worked only in Sinhalese areas. He could not think of any reason why he should have been treated in that way, except for one fact that he was a Tamil.

I shall now mention certain incidents in the Kegalle District.

(I) G. Sivaperumal was a tapper on Pindeniya Estate, Kegalle, about 10 miles from the town. On 19th August, a gang attacked his lines and went away. On the 20th a gang attacked them again. In all 4 sets of lines with 41 rooms Were attacked. They were looted and his family was assaulted. He stated that he complained to the Pindeniya Police and named 3 attackers whom he identified.

 (2) P. R. Ratnayake was a Kangany on Ambanpitiya Estate, Kegalle, and had worked there for 40 years. He occupied a room in a set of lines OCCUpied by Tamils. on 19th August, when he was returning home after his day’s work he saw about 25 Sinhala youths carrying away poultry and the Tamil workers running away. At about 7.30 p.m., he heard lines near his being attacked and he saw about 25 persons approaching his room : they entered it, damaged his pictures saying that he was a Tamil and cut him and his wife. All 10 rooms in his set of lines were looted and he suffered damages in Rs. 2,600. He and his wife were in hospital for 8 and 11 days respectively.

(3) Mrs. P. Jebamalai was living on Ambanpiuya Estate with her parents. On 19th August, line rooms were attacked, so she fled to the jungle. The Kanakapulle’s quarters were set on fire that day. On the 20th she returned and as the workers lines were burnt she returned to the jungle. One Somapala offered her protection and took her and her mother to the Dodantenne Pansala where she and her mother stayed in the Preaching Hall. 3 youths came there at about 10 p.m. and took her to a scrub jungle, where all of them raped her. She told her mother about what had happened and they returned to their line room. 6 days later she was admitted to the Kegalle Hospital where she stayed for 4 days : the police recorded her statement. Although she stated that she could identify the youths from Dodantenne, though she did not know their names, she was not taken 10 that village to point them out.

(4) Karandupona Estate, Kegalle, was first attacked on the evening of 18th August. 2 sets of line rooms were that evening’s target and the Superintendent, Mr. D. H. Pathirana, sent a message to the Police. An 80 year old occupant of a line room died and the police came on the 19th for the post-mortem proceedings. A crowd came at the same time to attack Mr. Pathirana’s bungalow, but they left owing to the presence of the police. The police returned to their Station.

According to Mr. Pathirana, an attack was made on some line rooms that afternoon when the workers we:e taking refuge in his bungalow : the attackers then came armed towards his bungalow. He went and met them, and they told him that they had come from Kegalle, in order to take revenge on the Tamils, because dead bodies ot’ Siphalese had been sent from Jaffna in fish boxes. There was a conflict of testimony as to what happened thereafter— whether the workers were told by Mr. Pathirana to worship the mob and they did so, or not. However, the line rooms were attacked on that day also. The total losses suffered by the labourers was estimated by Mr. Pathirana at Rs. 250,000 and each labourer was paid a sum of Rs. 600 as compensation. 1 have heard Mr. Pathirana’s account of the action he took to ensure the welfare of the workers : 1 do not accept the allegation that he asked them to show any respect for a gang of lawless men, who had the impudence to tell him that they had come there to commit crimes.

 (5) Also on Karandupona Estate, witness T. Balakrishnan said that a worker Raju was murdered by the mob. A worker S. Sellayi said that she was raped by the son of Baby Nona, another estate worker and she had made a statement to the police about that. Another worker S. Kandaie also complained of having been raped by an estate watcher Medduma and stated that she had informed the police about that.

(6) Another complaint of rape was Jnade by P. Sinnakaruppan, a worker on Rosyth Estate, Kegalle. She stated that attacks on lines there began on 19th August : and on the 20th, 4 men dragged her to the jungle and raped her. She was taken to a refugee camp. On the 21st the Superintendent took her back to the estate and on the 24th she entered hospital and made a statement to the police.

(7) Hikgoda Estate. Undugoda, also became the scene of unruly behaviour on the part of 15 young,men on the evening of 19th August. Mr. M. Velaiden who was Chief Clerk there said that they threw stones at his house and among them were the children of the estate workers. Later estate workers and their children—about 200 in all—came there armed. He and his family locked themselves in a room. while the gang was looting the house. The factory watcher and his 2 sons, and a rubber tapper, caused serious injuries to him. The witness eventually went to the rubber-maker’s house and sent word to the Superintendent, Mr. Edirisinghe, about what was going on. The latter ‘s response was that he would come on the following day. On the following day the Superintendent wrote to the witness to complain to the police, which he did on the 24th and some persons were arrested a week later. All the Tamil labourers’ lines were attacked, mostly by non-resident Sinhalese labourers. None of the stolen property was recovered by the Police. The total losses were estimated at Rs. 125,000.

(8) Mr. S. Sinniah, Field Offcer of Newland Estate, Mawanella, said that on 19th August, 4 sets of line rooms were attacked or burnt by villagers, who also attacked and burnt his quarters. On the 20th he went to the town and found his shop there had been looted and also a house near the shop, in which his wife and children were living. The 19th was the day on which nearly all Tamil shops and houses were attacked in Mawanella.

(9) Coomaraswamy lyer Thiagarajah Sarma, Chief Priest of the Sri Kathiresan Temple at Mawanella, since 1961, said that the Temple was renovated in 1969 at a cost of Rs. 100,000. The majority of the worshippers were Buddhists and there were also about 5,000 Hindus. On 19th August at noon a large mob came there armed and threatened to attack him, shouting that Buddhist priests were being killed in Jaffna and Hindu priests shou’.d be killed. They damaged the idols ; they broke into the Holy of Holies which only a priest enters and removed everything from it ; and they set fire to the Temple. 8 Shops which belonged to the Temple were damaged ; 2 others which had been rented to Sinhalese tenants were not damaged.

He complained that although the police were there and saw the attack, they took no action against the mob. The damages to the Temple and its Property were estimated at Rs. 100,000 and the losses suffered by the witness at Rs. 15,000.

(10) At Utuwankande, in the Mawanella police area, Kandiah Selliah ran a small boutique, having been born and bred and educated in Sinhalese there. Having learnt of the attack on the Mawanella Temple he closed his boutique on the morning of 19th August and went home. At about 2.00 p.m. his boutique and house were attacked and he recognised 6 of the attackers. The O.I.C. Police and the M. P., Mr. Beligammana visited his house. A criminal case is pending. He said that he, his mother and his sister had suffered damages.

(11) At Warakapola there is the Mariamman Temple, of which the witness Mrs. Ratnam Rasiah ‘s husband is trustee. On 19th August, a gang set fire to the house of the priest and then damaged the hall of the temple and the deity. She said that the temple was rcbuilt at a cost of Rs. II 000. She herself was a witness of these incidents. The gang first looted her house, the attack being led by her tenant Dahanayake ; and although the Police Inspector Wijendra was living next door, he merely looked on and did nothing to stop the mischief. She estimated her personal losses at Rs. 160,000.

(12) Mr. R. S. Kamalasekeram was living at Warakapola with his wife family and carrying on an industry called Rajasingham Investments about one mile from the town. He went to Colombo on 18th August, while his wife and children had gone to the house of Mr. Liyanasekera, Attorney-at-Law, for their safety. He learnt on the 22nd that his house furniture and his entire stock of trade had been burnt on the 19th and he was given the names of the offenders. He made a statement at Police Headquarters, Colombo, mentioning their names and the names of his witnesses, the offenders all being Sinhalese. At the time of giving evidence in July 1978, no prosecution had been instituted. He estimated his damages at Rs. 62,163.

(13) About 5 miles from Mawanella is an estate called Ambadeniya Group in Aranayake. The witness K. S. Kandasamy, whose father was Head Kangany there and has retired, stated that on 19th August, he went to the house of Jaya- tissa, Grama Sevaka of Rambukkana, and asked for protection in view of the pending disturbances. Far from affording him protection, Jayatissa and a crowd led by this Grama Sevaka chased the witness who ran and locked himself in his own house. Jayat•issa’s brother, Karunadasa, threw a hand bomb and set fire to the house; both brothers looted the house and caused damage to the extent of Rs. 20,000 in lost goods and Rs. 82,000 to the building. Thc •witness stated that Jayatissa was interdicted.

 (14) M. U. Gajapathy had been living with his father and his familyfor a long time on Haloya Estate, Niyandurupola, in the Warakapola Police area. On 19th August, night, a mob attacked the line in which they were living, and the witness’ father received injuries from which he died. The witness’ 2 cars were burnt the next morning. He suffered damages in Rs. 45,000.

The Warakapola police inquired, but the attackers were not identified.

(15) Mrs. Selvarani Kulendai was residing on Gasnawa Estate, Nelundeniya, with her parents, working there as a labourer. She was then unmarried. On 19th August, the Superintendent warned them to take refuge, so she and her mother went to one Gunapala’s house which was on the estate boundary. That night a mob arrived and assaulted her and her mother. 6 men raped her behind Gunapala’s house : they were 2 who were named Sunil, Tillekeratne, Ariyawanse, Tilaka and Kulasiri ; all of whom she knew because they lived close to the estate. They were about 20 years old.

On the 20th morning she went to her line room and found it looted. She did not stay there. On the 21st, she returned to the estate, the Dedigama Police came there and recorded her complaint, and she was taken to hospital on the 25th, and examined by a Doctor.

She stated that there was a case pending over the incident.

(16) P. Chettiapillai was a trader who ran a shop at Tuntota, one mile room Dedigama. His daughter Dhanaletchimi also had a shop *mile from Dedigama Police Station. He stated that on the evening of 19th August: a crowd attacked his shop and damaged it : he informed the police that night. His daughter’s. shop was also attacked, and she suffered damages in consequence.


Mr. M. S. Michael was the Superintendent of Agmeer Estate, Yatiyantota. 15th August, at about 8 p.m., a gang ofSinhalese labourers, some of them non- resident workers of the estate, came to his bungalow and ordered him to vacate it immediately. He did so, and they then looted it entirely. We identified them and knew their names, and informed the police about the incident. He said that a case was pending in the Magistrate’s Court, Ruwanwella. His losses amounted to Rs. 7,332.


In dealing with the incidents that occurred in Trincomalee I will not detail them in strict chronological order but, instead, in the order in which evidence Was led first by the T.R.R.O. Counsel and later by the Sinha!a Mahajana Peramuna Counsel. Both sets of incidents cover the same areas (the District and the town being described separately) and, as a result, chronological overlap is inevitable.

Trincomalee Town and District

The first incident of a communal nature was described by Mr. R. Visvalingam, Field Assistant of the Anti-Malaria Campaign, Kantalai. He heard on 19th August, when he was working at the Central Dispensary there, that Sinhalese had been assaulting Tamils at Dambulla. He left by bus to go to Trincomalee. At noon, about 3 miles from Kantalai, a Sinhalese crowd stopped the bus, dragged him Cüt and assaulted him. They also as- aulted Dr. Sinnethamby, Rcliof Assistant Mcdical Practitioner, who was in that bus. Both of them were robbed of their belongings, and had to go to Trincomalee Hospital for treatment. A third victim of violence that day was mentioned by Mr. E, Gunawardenc. S.P., Trincomalee. Having heard of Tamils in buses being harassed, he drove to Kantalci that afternoon. On the way he rescued a Tamil bus passenger whose face I-end been burnt with Malatheon insecticide.

2. That night there was an outbreak of violence in the Sugar Corporation premises at Kantalai. Mr. R. Gunarajah, Senior Research Offeer, was attacked in his quarters. Although he was taken to Trincoma\ee hospital, he died of his injuries on the 21st morning. His motor car was burnt. A servant named Ramiah working under Mr. Chandrasekera, the Accountant, Was cut and killed on the 19th night.

Mr. V. Kanagasabai, Mechanical Engineer, and his wife and child were also attacked and injured ; also his brother Mr. V. Sellasunderam, who was staying with them and working under Mr. Gunarajah. A crowd of about 50 Sinhalese attacked them, who Mr. Sellasunderam felt sure were Corporation employees.

3. Near Kantalai, 5 Tamil families were living in Agbopura Colony. The other families living there were Sinhalese.

(1) P. Balasingham stated that he and his family had lived there for about 10 years, and his parents before that. On the night of 19th August, an armed crowd came to his compound. He heard gunfire ; and they all ran out. His house was looted and his cattle stolen. One Ukku Banda was convicted and ordered to pay him Rs. 2,000 as compensation, in M. C., Kantalai, No. 12704.

(2) V. Rasammah who was living there with a son and 7 daughters stated that her house was also attacked and looted, probably by the same crowd, as the same Ukku Banda was charged over this incident also.

(3) E. Ariyakutty had been living in that Colony since 1956. Having heard that his 3 houses would be attacked on tbe 20th evening, he took his wife and 4 children away, leaving his 2 sons and his son-in-law to guard the houses• Next morning he found all 3 houses had been burnt. The witness’ son A. Muthulingam, stated that at about 9.30 p.m. a gang of Sinhalese attacked the 3 houses and looted and burnt them. He identified 5 persons and informed the Kantalai Police at about 3 a.m. A criminal case against these persons was pending in M.C., Kantalai.

Two further incidents that took place in Kantalai have been spoken to.

(1) On 20th August, witness R. Canagasabai drove his car EY 7035 from Trincoma!ec to Thampalakamam, with 3 others in it. On the return journey, at Palamkottai at about 11.00 a.m., a crowd of about 15 Sinhalese stopped the car, dragged out the occupants, and assaulted them. The crowd ran away on seeing a taxi approaching. The witness went in that taxi to Uppuveli Police Station about 1 1 miles away, and complained. The Police came by bus with the witness to the spot, and found the car had been burnt. The occupants of thc car had fortunately been taken away before the burning.

(2) Witnss A. Sunderalingam had been running a boutique in Main Street, Kanta!ai, for 4 ynrs. He closed his shop on 20th August, and when he went to it next morning he found it had been looted. L was lootcd a second tine on the 23rd night.

A few miles from Agbopura Colony is Periaru Colony in Potankadu. The following incidents in that Colony have been spoken to by witnesses, all having taken place on 22nd August

(l) Witness G. Rajagopal stated that he had lived there with his parents all his life. Sinhalese and Tamils, the former being in the majority, lived in that Colony. On the 22nd afternoon D. B. Weerakoon told him that the Sinhalese were coming that night, because they had been suffering in other places. So the witness, his brother Kandasamy, and their brother-in-law Vadivel kept vigil in their compound. At about 1.00 a.m. the informant Weerakoon and a crowd of Sinhalese came there. Wcerakoon set fire to a fence and the roof of a house, and also shot Kandasamy dead. 3 other persons Dharme, Mahinda and Samarakoon were in the crowd. When ran into the house and brought out his four year old child and his wife, Samarakoon snatched the child, stabbed it and threw it into the burning house. Vadivel was the next to be shot dead. A police jeep arrived at about dawn and removed the 3 bodies. A criminal case was filed in the High Court of Kandy, No. 383/78 over this incident. Vadivel ‘s widow Letchimi stated that he left 5 children. She had received Rs. 11,200 as compensation for the loss of her husband and child, and her brother had received Rs. 800 for the burnt house.

(2) Witness S. Theivanaipillai stated that there were 9 families living for many years in that colony. They all moved out on the 22nd evening because of rumours, and they went into the jungle. All 9 houses were burnt that night. The Police took them to a refugee camp for 6 days, and after that to another colony where they are living peacefully with Sinhalese families round them.

(3) S. Murugupillai had been living there for about 14 years. On thc 22nd he was returning home by bus when he was dragged out and assaulted by Sinhalese whom he did not know. He went to a refugee camp. On returning home, he found his house had been looted and his livestock stolen.

(4) R. Kathiragamathamby and his family were living in Potankadu. On the 22nd night a Sinhalese crowd came to their house, and they went to a Muslim house. Their house and about 35 Tamil houses in Kantatai were burnt, he said. Out of this act of great evil, I think it is true to say that much good came.

Witness S. E. Ratnayake, Inquirer into Sudden Deaths of Kantalai, related how after these burnings some Sinhalese leaders of Kantalai came to the assis- tance of the Tamils. A meeting was held on 25th August, which was attended by the M. P. for Seruwila, the Grama Sevakas, Police Offcers and others. Sub- scriptions were raised, Rs. 7,000 was collected, and over 100 Tamil refugees were looked after in a camp till the 30th August. Cadjans were given to build houses and rehabilitation work was carried out in earnest. Mr. E. Gunawar- dene, S.P., has also spoken to the good work done to help the Tamils in distress and to pursuade them not to leave that area. According to S. E. Ratnayake the Sinhalese in that area number about 20,000, while the Tamils are about 1,762. This is a striking example of how peace can prevail between the two communities, and an acknowledgement of the right of a minority to live along with a majority. Since that time peace reigns there.

Three other incidents Mhich occurred on 22nd August elsewhere will be mentioned here.

(l) Witness Joseph Anthony of Trincomalee was travelling by bus to Kandy, After it had passed Kantalai Rest House, a Sinhalese crowd stopped the bus, pulled him out and assaulted him. On the approach of a Navy jeep they all fled in another bus. The witness was treated for 4 stab injuries in Trincomalee hospital.

(2) S. Sinnasamy, a labourer in the Port Cargo Corporation, was living in Thampalakamam with his family. His house and the 2 houses of his brothers- in-law Muthulingam and Kandasamy were burnt by a crowd that night. He complained to the Grama Sevaka and the Kantalai Police. Interim payments have been made to these 3 house owners.

(3) P. Shanmugam had been living at Sivayogapuram or Mihindupura about 3 miles from the hot wells of Kanniyai, for about 20 years with about 10 other Tamil families. They all took refuge on the 22nd night in the Nadesan Temple premises. At about 10.00 p.m. when he and S. Sivagnanam (cashier of the Bank of Ceylon) were sitting on the temple steps, a dog barked and Sivagna- nam flashed his torch. A gun was fired and Sivagnanam cried out. The occupants of an Army jeep which passed that way a little later were informed Of the shooting, and they undertook to inform the police. Uppuveli Police Station was only 3 miles away, but the police did not arrive till 10.00 a.m. by which time Sivagnanam had died. A boy named A. Rajendran was also injured by the same gunshot. The jeep took him, but not Sivagnanam, to hospital’

Three cases of missing persons, who had not been found and who, I think, may be presumed to be dead, will now be mentioned.

(1) Sinniah Periyanan and his wife Letchimi, were living in Pankulam with their 4 children. He left for Trincomalee on the 22nd August morning and was never seen again. On the 24th a neighbour Pakiam told Letchimi that she had seen Periyanan’s body lying near the turn to Wilgam Vihara, and Letchimi informed the Uppuveli police. Northing further has been heard of the husband.

(2) Marudamuthu and his wife Jayadevi were living at Kanniyai. He was working on a farm at Velveri. On the evening of 22nd August, witness saw Maradamuthu and one Murugiah walking towards the turn to Wilgam Vihara, and he later saw 7 or 8 Sinhalese attacking them and carrying them into the jungle. He made a statement to the Trincomalee Police about 15 days later. Jayadevi stated that she had received compensation for her husband’s death from the Government.

(3) Shanmuganathan, son of witness B. Muruguptlai, was last seen on the morning of 24th August, when he was getting into a van driven by a Sinhalese. Murugupillai and his other son Manikarajah searched for the missing man. Notices were published in a newspaper, and the Trincomalee and Uppuveli Police were informed. He had 3 children aged 9, 6 and 5 years.

In all 3 cases the circumstances point to the missing men having met their death under tragic circumstances in the disturbed conditions then prevailing in the country. The Minister of Social Services to whom I wrote accepted this view in other cases that I brought to his notice, and paid compensation to the widows of husbands who had been presumed dead. I think that a similar course of action may be taken in the cases of S. Periyanan and B. Shanmuga- nathan, whose heirs have suffered hardships owing to the loss of the bread- winner of the family. Six which occurred at Morawewa and Pankulam have been spoken to.

(I) Witness M. Nadarajah of Morawewa complained that on 24th August, at about 5 a.m. a police jeep, containing P. W. Vincent of Uppuveli Police- Station and Pankulam Police post, and 2 other persons, came to his house. They killed and took 8 goats belonging to him and also carried away 2 other goats alive. He complained about this to Mr. Sampanthan, M.P.

(2) S. Sundararajah of Pankulam stated that on 25th August, about 5.30 a.m. he saw Maradamuttu’s house being set on fire by Jayasekera, M. G. Perera and Nimal. He reported this to the Pankulam police post, and to a special police team on 13th September. When the S.P., P.S. Vincent, the A.G.A. and Mr. Sampanthan came there later to restore the accused Jayasekera came there and at Mr. Sampanthan’s request he was arrested by P.S. Vincent. No case had, apparently, been filed against him.242 SRI LANKA SESSIONAL PAPERS, 1980

(3) Witness Arunthavanathan and his father had been doing business at Pankulam sincc 1964. Their provision store was burgled and burnt, and the machinery of their rice mill stolen, on the night of 22nd August. The witness was shot and removed to hospital. His damages were heavy. I accept the evidence of the burglary and theft, but I reject his evidence as to who shot him as it is belated and therefore worthless. No names had been mentioned by him in earlier statements he made to the police.

(4) Also on thc 22nd night A. Subramaniam’s store at Pankulam was burgled and burnt to his great loss. Hc was not there at the time.

(5) On that same night, according to Mrs. V. Thevanayagam, her shop at Pankulam was damaged and looted. She also complained that on the 25th morning some sailors camc there, assaulted 2 of her sons and took one of them to the Police Station ; also that they shot dead a girl named Mallika and a boy named Gnanam and damaged her housc and a two-wheeled tractor. I was concerned about the killing of thc girl and thc boy, and I would have held a full inquiry into that part of the incident had not Senior State Counsel informed me that the Director of Public Prosecutions had dcci ded that no indictment should be filed in respect of those deaths. Thc father of thc boy Gnanam, S. Sinnathamby, stated that the Government had paid him Rs. 3,000 as compensalion for the death of his son.

(6) Another incident, in which a mother and her son died under tragic circumstances, was spoken to by Pathmajothi, wife of Nagalingam, who was living at Nallakuliiyawa in Pankulam. On the night of 23rd August, she, her chi!drcn, her sisters, her mother Karuppaie, and her brother Pathmanantham and his wife and children went to sleep in one house. Early next morning, she stated, she heard people moving about near the kitchen ; and on coming out, she saw 5 armed Sinhalese who spoke in Sinhalese. Thoy ransacked the house. One man fired at Pathmanantham, and his mothcr tried to protect him ; both of them collapsed, and the man ran away.

The roof of their housc had been sct on fire by the men, and the mother and son were both burnt to death in the fire. The witness made a statement to the Uppuveli Police that day. Pathmanantham’s wifc has, she said, been paid Rs. 4,725 as compensation, and money h IS deposited to the credit of the younger sister of the witness.

One incident at Nilaveli has been spoken to.

On 26th August, according to witness S. Dharmalingams a cultivator Of Nilaveli, he went in a tractor with 4 others to thresh his paddy at about 10 a.m. He had been cultivating 15 acres of paddy which were irrigated by the Periyakulam Tank, and he owned a tractor 26 Sri 1067.

At about 1 p.m. a vehicle containing soldiers and Sinhalese civilians came along the Wilgam Vihara Road, and a gun was fircd by them. The witness and his party ran and hid. He saw soldiers with rifles and bayonets damaging his tractor : they pierced the tyres. One Louis Sree also damaged the tractor. They then left.

The witness complained to Inspector Ranaweera of the Kuchchaveli Police and implicated Louis Sree but the witness’ statement was not recorded till 15 days later. A casc has been filed in the Magistrate’s Court against Louis Sree. The damages to the tractor are assessed at Rs. 9,820, apart from parts which have been remoyed from it.

I have up to this point summarised the evidence led by Mr. Siva Rajaratnam relating to incidents that occurred outside Trincomalee town, between 18 and 26 August. I shall now refer to the evidence he led regarding incidents in the town between 20th August and 5th September, in which Tamil persons were the aggrieved parties.

(1) On 20th August, witness Mariadas was the Cashier and S. Uruthramoorthy was the proprietor of Koneswaram Cafe, which is situated opposite the main Bus Stand and the Vegetable market. At about 4 p.m. the catZ was being clcsed because a curfew began at 5 p.m. Then 15 to 20 Sinhalese including one Dayananda entered it and smashed a glass almirah and bottles. ‘I hev then went to the Pillayar Stores next door and damaged it, as its proprietor S. Thiagarajah has stated.

On the 23rd both establishments were burnt at night. S. Thiagarajah stated that his damages were Rs. 60,000 and S.Uruthramoorthy claimed that his were Rs. 36,579.40.

(2) Mrs. Nagapooshani Mariampulle was living in Lake House Quarters at Mud Cove. 8 houses thej•e were occupied by Sinhalese and 8 by Tamils. On 21st August, about 9 p.m. during the curfew, she said, a van with 4 cc 5 persons including one H. S. Wijesooriya alias Chinthamani was driven up there, and he called out that Sinhalese in Kanta!ai were being killed ; why are they keeping quiet ? After about hour the van and its occupants left. She said that on the 22nd at about 4 or 5 a.m. that van came again, and bread brought in it was distributed among Sinhalese families. At about 3 p.m. that day about 25 Sinhalese came and chased her from her house, looted it and damaged the furniture. Her father informed the Police of that on the 23rd. The witness said, she identified Baby Mahattaya, Vincent Perera, Ariyadæsa. Jinadasa, Lenty and Lenty’s son-in-law among the attackers on the 22nd evening. She claimed Rs. 3,000 compensation.

She stated that the van was Chintamani’s van : she knew him well and had seen him in the fish market. No case had been filed against anybody.

H. S. Wijesooriya in his evidence denied that he went near Lake House Quarters on the 21st night his van or uttered the words which Mrs. Mariampulle accused him of uttering. I prefer to believe Mrs. Mariampulle. Wijesooriya at first denied that he obtained curfew passes and later admitted that he did ; he was issued such passes for his bakery and tea boutique business and for his trade in fish. As regards the incidents near his house on the 22nd to which I shall next refer, nobody claimed to have seen him there ; and I accept his denial that he had anything to do with them.

(3) There were several incidents at Sirimapura on the Uppuvclli Road. on the 22nd and I shall now mention them.

(a) T. Thavarajah, a firewood vendor, hawked firewood in a cart. He was reluctant to speak of his experiences, but he did say that at about 4 p.m. or later he was assaulted and stabbed and his cart was damaged by Sinhalese near Chintamani’s house.

He also saw one Chitraveloo being attacked. The witness mentioned one Dallas as one who incited the crowd to attack him and other Tamils. He was taken to hospital in a Navy truck, but strangely no policemen came there to record his statement. It was a time when many injured persons who were victims of communal violence would have been treated in Trincomalee Hospital. It was a serious lapse on the part of the hospital authorities if they failed to inform the police of the admission of such persons, including this witness, to the hospital.

(b) Mrs. Annaletchumi Chitraveloo said that her husband, who was a Coxswain left for work at about 8 a.m. on the 22nd. She heard of his death at 3.30 p.m. at Uppuveli. She was paid Rs. 8,680 as compen- sation by the Government.

(c) Mrs. Ranji Balasingham, a school teacher, is the wife of Mr. K. Balasingham, an Attorney-at-Law and Personnel Manager, Trincomalee Tea Administration. She stated that on the 22nd Mr. Seevaratnam, Superintendent of St.Coomb’s Estate, Talawakelle, who was spending a holiday with his wife and children in Tnncomalee, drove her and his wife in his car 2 Sri 7137 to town. When they were returning, she saw about 100 persons in front of Chintamnai’s house armed with clubs, abusing in Sinhala, and approaching the car : they threw stones at the car and broke the windscreen. The car struck a parapet wall and halted. A stone struck Mr. Seevaratnam.

All 3 of them got out of the car and ran to the Railway Station and informed the Navy. Naval personnel came in 2 vehicles and by then the car was burning. H. Q. L, Rukman de Silva of Uppuveli Police was told that the witness and Mr. Seevaratnam identified one of the persons in the crowd named Ukkul, but the Police did nothing in regard to that man. Nor did a special police team from Colombo take any action. Mr Secvaratnam also gave evidence. A stone hit his face and caused partial paralysis of his face. His car was woth Rs. but was not insured against civil commotions. It was a total wreck, and he claimed compensation.

(d) K. Thambipillai, a C. T. B. driver of Trjncomalee, stated that he was driving bus I C 2573 on the 22nd. To go to the Depot he had to drive past Chintamani’s house, and 100 to 150 persons stopped it : all were Sinhalese. When he went past that spot a hand bomb was thrown and it struck his head, which was injured. His hand was burnt. He was in hospital for 20 days. He claimed compensation. This happened about I} miles from Uppuveli Police Station,

(e) Witness P. Krishnakumar, who normally lives in Colombo, was cycling from the Railway Station at about 2.00 p.m. on the 22nd when he was stopped by 7 or 8 persons. One person stabbed him twice on his chest, he was hit with an iron rod on his head and jaw, his wrist watch was taken, and he was dragged to a cemetery near Chintamani ‘s house. Kerosene oil was poured on him. He ran and jumped into the sea. He was rescued and handed over to the police, who sent him to hospital, where he stayed 12 days.

(f) S. Madavan was cycling on the 22nd about 2.30 p.m. to the Kerosene oil shed. 40 to 50 Sinhalese stopped him, assaulted and stabbed him and took his cycle and his money. He was in hospital for 5 days.

(4) Evidence was given by K. Rajanathan, a C.T.B. conductor, of an attack on him on the afternoon of 22nd August, when he was returning home from the Port Cargo Corporation premises on his cycle. A Sinhalese person ran up with a knife and stabbed him on his neck and chest : 3 other Sinhalese persons then came up : one cut him on his right hand and right arm and he also received injuries on both hands and a leg. A Navy jeep took him to hospital where he stayed till 16th September and from there he was taken to Jaffna Hospital for 6 weeks. He was on medical leave for 15 months, and has not received his salary since February 1978.

(5) S. Gnananapragasam, a peon in the Sri Lanka Navy, stated that he got Into a bus at the main Bus Stand after 2.30 p.m. to return home to Palaiyuthu. 3 men carrying clubs got in and said in Sinhala ” Our people get down Only Tamils were left in the bus and they were hit. He fell and fractured his hand. His wrist watch and Rs. 400 were taken from him. P. Soma- SUnderam, a mason, ‘Aho also went to that Bus Stand that day at about 3 p.m. got into a bus. He stated that 2 or 3 Sinhalese got in and shouted, ” Our people get down He was hit with clubs, and ran away. He entered hospital and left it on the 24th.

I shall next mention 5 incidents that occurred at Palaiyuthu and elsewhere in the town on 22nd August.

(1) R. Sahadevan, a labourer, said that when he was at home in Palaiyuthu at about 3.30 p.m. a neighbour informed him that his step brother, P. Selva- nayagam, had been attacked by Sinhalese and was lying on the ground at Abeyapura. He went there but did not approach the spot because there about 15 Sinhalese with weapons there. The spot was on the Kandy Road opposite the liquor shop of M. P. M. Silva. Hc failed to persuade airmen or policemen to remove his step-brother, bul that evening thc injured ran removed to hospital and he was given the dead body on the 24th for cremation. He said Rs. 5,600 had been raid to the widow and a like sum to her 7 minor childrcn.

(2) R. Jesudasan said that about 3.00 p.m. that afternoon he was cycling home, having drawn his salary from the Port Cargo Corporation. When he reached M. P. M. Silva ‘s liquor shop, 20 to 25 Sinhalese held his cycle. One kicked him and another cut him with a sword. A police van took him to hos- pital where he stayed for 4 days.

(3) P. Chitraveloo, a fisherman, said that he wcnt by cart to Trincomalee and returned ov\ing to disturbances there. He gave P. Rajendram a lift from Mud Cove Junction. At Palaiyuthu Junction a Sinhalese crowd attacked them. Rajendran fell on the road and 2 Sinhalese with knives were holding him. He later saw Rajendran ‘s dead body and madc a statement to the police. about one month later.

(4) K. Sadadcharan, a process server, living at Thulasipuram said he saw a It was Seevaratnam, man being assaulted at about 2.00 p.m. on thc road. a C. T. B. conductor, who died. That night fire balls were thrown on the houses of Sellathurai and Santhiyapillai. On the 23rd or 24th Kandasamy ‘s house was burnt and the witness’ house was burnt on the 24th. All the houses were only 3CO yards from Uppuveli Police Station. He claimed Rs. 15,000 as compensation.

(5) S. Satchithanandavel, a fisherman, who kept his boat and nets on the beach at Back Bay, like about 75 other Tamils, said that when he was at home on 22nd August, he heard that nets had been burnt there that afternoon. He went there and saw that one boat and 6 or 7 nets had been burnt. The Naval Fire Brigade came and extinguished thc fire. His net was burnt. The present cost of a net was Rs. 3,000, but the Fisheries Department paid him Rs. 500.

(6) On 26th August, K. Alagcsan, driver of Gopalakrishnan’s taxi, parked the taxi at Marathady Junction along Main Street. It was hired at 2.30 p.m. and eventually arrived at Yogan Stores along Central Road. Opposite that spot is Union Bakery owned by Chintamani ‘s son, Wimalasena. K. Alagesan stated that Wimalasena and about 15 others came up shouting ” catch him ” and one Nondy Wilbert smashed his windscreen. He complained at IIIC Police Station.

 (7) Mrs. Ammapulle Andiaiyar Udyar was living behind Lake House Quarters at Mud Cove. On 5th September at about 8.00 p.m. she saw, 6 persons near her fence. She identified Piyasena, Saranapala and Piyascna, she stated, threw a bomb which injured her husband, another bomb fell on her roof and 4 lighted torches also fell on her roof. The house was destroyed. Shc complained the next day to the police, but no case had been filed.

(8) D. Somasunderam, a watcher of the Ceylon Fertilizer Corporation, stated that on the morning of 8th September, stones were thrown at his house. 2 Army men and 8 Sinhalese were standing on a hillock between Mud Cove and Linganagar(where he was residing). At noon lighted torches werc thrown on the house, which was set on fire. 12 Tamil houses were burnt that day. V. Arumaithurai, a pensioner living at Linganagar, spoke about the same inci- dent. He stated that the Sinhalese (and not the Army men who were with them) threw their lighted torches on the Tamil houses, and his house too was burnt. He claimed compensation for his house. He added that the Naval Fire Brigade came there to extinguish the fires.

(9) Mr. K. Velupillai, Principal of Sri Koneswaram Maha Vidyalaya, gave evidence that on 3rd September, hc with his sons went to extinguish a fire which had started on the fcnce of house No. 341, Ambuvallipuram. Hc was residing in that quarter earlier. At that time, a Navai jeep arrived there with a Petty. Offcer and a man named Sumane. Those two persons got down from t.l:w jeep and the Petty Offcer slapped Mr. Velupillai and warned him not to leave his house. On the next day, Mr. Velupillai said he compalined abotg this incident to Mr. Sampanthan.

I find that there is a prima facie case made out against the Petty Offcer whö acted in the way described. I do not know what the man Sumane was doing in the jeep at the time, but his name has also transpired with reference to an earlier incident of 5th June, about which this witness gave evidence. At about 5 p.m. that day, he said, S.I. Lasantha de Silva, P.S. Vincent and 3 policemen, all of Uppuveli Police Station, entered his compound at house No. 315 Where he was then residing. They were followed by a crowd of Sinhalese carrying weapons.

Vincent hit Mr. Velupillai’s son and the other police offcers assaulted the Other members of his family, who were then ordered by some Air Force persons to sit on the ground and raise their hands up. They were then ordered to creep through barbed wire fence. The Sinhalese crowd which, he said, included Sumane (mentioned earlier), Gune, and K. H. Dharmadasa, looted his house. The members of the family were then marched to Abeypura, a distance of 300 Yards, followed by Sinhalese who hooted and jee-ed at them. They were then taken in a police jeep to Uppvveli Police Station and locked up till 9 p.m., after which they were sent home in a jeep. On6th June, Mr. Velup Itai was admitted to hospital, where, he said, he made a statement to the police ; and on 15th June, he, his wife and 3 sons made statements to the A.S.P. No action was taken to charge tho members of the family, nor was any action taken by the police arising out of the statements mado by the family to the A.S.P.

I was greatly improssed by this witness’ cvidenco and I am quite satisfied that a prima facie case of unlawful arrest and assault has been made out by him against the members of the Uppuveli Police force mentioned by him. I was informed by Senior State Counscl that the A.S.P’s decision, after he held an inquiry, was that no action should be taken. Presumably he rejected the evidencc of Mr. Velupillai and the members of his family. I am not satisfied with this outcomeof Mr. Velup llai’s evidence of tho departmental inquiry held by the A.S.P. have been other instances spoken to during the hearings of this Commission where members of the Armed Services and Police Force have been accused of high-handed behaviour. If they want to secure the co-operation of the public in the execution of their duties in keeping the peace, they must learn to behave decently and set an example to the ordinary citizens as to how the latter should behave. It is also the duty of their superior officers to take notice of complaints made against subordinate officers, if they are serious about the maintenance of discipline.

In the case of Mr. Velupillai’s complaint against the police, he was not even informed of the result of the disciplinary inquiry held, I was told by A.S.P. Jayasuriya. This is a most unsatisfactory procedure, which does not inspire the confidence of the person who made the complaint and who in my opinion— obviously not in the opinion of the police — is the party most concerned and interested. An A.S.P. who having seen the weak and sickly, Mr. Velu- Pillai, came to the conclusion that he would behave in a disorderly manner, is hardly a person who is capable of making an impartial decision. It is most unfortunate that the S.P., Mr. Gunawardene, was unaware of this unsavoury episode till after it was too late for him to put matters right.

I shall now summarise the evidence led by Messrs. Gunatileke, Wiejtunge Karunaratne relating to the incidents in Trincomalee.

(1) The Venerable K. Dhammalankara Thero of the Forest Hermitage, Andankulama, stated that on 21st August, when he was waiting to receive alms tho people who were bringing alms shouted that they were attacked by Tamils. He looked down from his rock cave and saw Tamils running away with clubs in their hands. On the 25th one Somawathie, whom he knew, complained to him that her husband had been injured by Tamils. He found injuries on the husband’s body : the latter was in hospital when tho witness visited him again. During the August-September disturbances he found that articles in his temple had been damaged, and ho produccd broken pieces of Dhammachakra and a Buddha Statue.

 (2) Mr. G. V. Pushpa Jayanthi stated that she, her husband, W. G. Lionel,  and their daughter Nilmini (18 months old), Lionel’s brother, Wilson. and brother-in-law, Sugathadasa, were living in Trincomalæ, where the men worked in a carpentry workshop belonging to one Chitravel. On the morning of 21st August, a man told her in Tamil to leave their house. Owing to earlier incidents that had occurred, they left the house about noon and walked towards Palamkotte. She saw 2 persons walking ahead of thorn carrying guns aryl ordered her party to stop.

One of the men fired and she was hit in her arm and fell. The other man then fired and her husband was hit twice and died. Wilson and Sugathadasa ran away, but were killed by two shots.

Four Tamil youths helped her to reach the main road with her child, from where a police vehicle took them to Trincomalee Hospital that afternoon. On the 25th she was taken to Kandy Hospital at night and operated upon. After one month she was discharged. Two weeks later she met Inspector Majeed at Kantalai Police Station. When they were walking along a footpath she saw the man who shot her. Shc said his name was Thangarajah and hc lived at Pattimerdu. All their goods were missing when she went to the house in Trine malee where they had lived.

Compensation had been paid to her and her child for her husband’s death. But she complained bitterly that she was neglected in Trincomalee Hospital by the doctors and nurses. She said she was not given food or drink or medical treatment and the only nourishment she received was supplied by persons working in the market.

I decided that an investigation of these complaints was necessary ; and Dr. Xavier, the Consultant Surgeon of the Hospital, was also anxious that it should be made.

The witness was admitted to the hospital at 3.30 p.m. Dr. Xavier stated that he was there at that time and he took her at once to the operating theatre. He found a compound comminuted fracture of the right upper arm and some other injuries on the right side of the lower chest and on the thigh. Only the first injury needed immediate treatment. He reduced the fracture by a temporary splintage, which hedid in the ward. He used plaster of paris to keep the parts in position. Pethedin was given to alleviate the pain and saline was ordered.

As he could not assess the damage, if any, to any organs, he ordered that her blood should be grouped and blood kept in readiness to be used in case an operation became necessary. Her blood group was B positive. An X’ray was done at 4.25 p.m. He and 5 other doctors, he said, saw the patient every day. The X’ray showed that there was one and some fragments of bone in the arm and no pellets anywhere else to cause injury to internal organs.

He said that splinting was given priority in such a case and next was the tprevention of infection. Solid food was not given. Water was permitted ‘and that was the duty of the nurses. She was put on anti-biotics such as penicillin and streptomycin and tetanus toxoid was given. His report sent with the patient to Kandy Hospital when she was taken by ambulance on the 25th mentions these facts and also that permanent surgery was delayed till the swelling on the arm subsided and the infection was controlled.

There was no dispute between Dr. Xavier and the witness Dr. Wickrcmasinghe, Consultant Surgeon of Kandy Hospital, who was called by Senior State Counsel, that in such a case splintage and temporary plaster is the first line of treatment in surgery. Dr. Wickremasinghe said that if such treatment is given soon after admission, it is left to the surgeon to decide on further treatment. He may postpone definitive surgery, and he would decide if a blood transfusion was necessary.

The patient arrived at’ Kandy Hospital at 11.55 p.m. on the 25th and Dr. Wickremasinghe examined her shortly thereafter. He found her in a state of shock and thaf could have been caused by loss of blood, rubbing of fracture ends of bones, ånxiety due to thc loss of close relatives and the transport to Kandy. An X’ray was ordered. Saline was given at Kandy O.P.D. on admission, as well as anti-biotics, penicillin and streptomycin. Blood trans- Cusion began at 8 a.m. on the 26th and was completed at 3 p.m. At 10 a.m. ihe was taken for surgery.

A point made by Dr. Wickremasinghe was that one X ‘ray taken at Kandy showed that the bone had not been properly set : that would only be discovered by an X’ray taken after the temporary splintage, which was not done at Trincomalee. He seemed to suggest that during transport the position may have slightly worsened.

‘e He madc it clear that the main bullet is still lodged in the arm : all he removed at the operation were some of the metallic fragments. When the patient was discharged, that bullet was still there. This is important, because the patient stated that a pellet was removed from her right arm and another from her left leg and she prodåced before me 2 pellets which she alleged had been so removed during the operdtion. AS it was a judicial case, said Dr. Wickremasinghe ho pellets or fragments removed would have been given to the patient but only to the J.M.O. Dr. Wickremasinghe also stated that she did not complain to him of having been neglected at Trincomalee Hospital. He was of the opinion that, on the evidence before him, Dr. Xavier’s line of treatment was correct. The witness Pushpa Jayanthi was a false witness when she gave evidence of her treatment in that hospital. She complained that, apart from her examination at admission, she was not examined by a doctor ; that her arm was not dressed at Trincomalee Hospital, and the injury was only covered with a plain bandage.

The then Matron of that hospital, Mrs. K. Kodituwakku, complained that the patient was not given a blood transfusion, the treatment rendered to the arm was inadequate and she contrasted the unsatisfactory way the patient was treated with the treatment given to Mr. Gunarajah of the Sugar Corporation. She was not the only witness to speak thus. Even the Sinhalese Lift Attendant at the hospital and a Sinhalese vegetable and fish dealer in the market, T. H. Wimalapala, expressed their opinions and dissatisfaction with the treatment meted out to Sinhalese patients at the Trincomalee Hospital. I regret that 7 other Sinhalese patients treated there during those troubled days gave evidence accusing the doctors of having neglected them. Dr. Xavier produced their Bedhead Tickets and refuted their allegations. It appeared to me that a concerted effort was made by a group of persons hostile to Dr. Xavier to defame him without any justification. A similar false story was spread against the doctors of the Jaffna Hospital. I have written elsewhere in this report of the harm done by false rumours which were circulated during this period by evil-minded persons who had no knowledge of the real facts.

Dr. Xavier was not aware of the reason for the transfer of the injured woman to Kandy Hospital. As Mr. Gunawardcne, S.P., stated it had nothing to do with the treatment she was given at Trincomalee Hospital. It was on an order made by the Deputy Minister of Defence, in order to avoid a diffcult situation which would have arisen if thc bodies of the 3 dead men had been taken to Kandy, as their relatives wished. As a compromise, they were buried in Trincomalee, while the widow was transferred to Kandy Hospital. Dr. Xavier was glad to learn that the transfer was not a reflection on him.

I am glad that the inquiry into his treatment has enabled him to clear his name in the face of charges of ineffciency and communalism.

(3) S. C. Steinwall, a labourer of Mihindupura, stated that on 22nd August when he was in his house with his family a crowd of Tamils shouted and threatened him at about 9 p.m. Their leader was one Saba. He, therefore, took his family to a house close by and later saw his house on fire. He complained to the police on the 23rd.

(4) H. Deeman Fernando, a carpenter who had worked at Kannyai from 1963, stated that on the 22nd four Tamils—Mahadevan, Nadarajah, Thevan and Selvam ordered him to leave by that evening. They came again at night and threatened to set fire to him and his shed. So he and his assistant went into the jungle. Thevan set fire to his shed : and when he went next day with the police he found all his tools, stock of timber, etc., destroyed.

(5) The Venerable A. Seelawansa Thero of the Wilgam Raja Maha Vihara, Nilaveli, stated that on the 23rd four or five gun shots were fired at his temple that night and the pellet marks were still visible. He also said that the boutiques Harischandra and William Singho near the temple were completely burnt.

 (6) M. Appuhamy stated that on 2nd September, 5 or 6 Tamils set fire to his house and that of his neighbour G. Peiris. Both houses were destroyed. He had been paid compensation by the State.

(7) On 21st August C. Baby Singho was in his furniture shop in Main Street which he had owned since 1950. Adjoining it was a carpentry shed. A curfew was to begin at 6 p.m. At about that time he had closed ail the shutters except two and he was watching the road. He saw a man at the Sivan Street Junction carrying a paper bag. He closed all the shutters and Went to the shed and lay on a table watching thc road. He then saw the same man, opposite his shop, throwing the paper bag into thc Shed. There was a loud explosion and flame, which killed a dog who was under the table. The witness’ toes were injured. His workmen extinguished the fire which started in the shed. He informed the police.

(8) Winess A. T. Missi Nona was carrying on a coir yarn business at 3rd Cross Street. Across the road was Lumbini Stores owned by a relative and next to that another coir yarn business. On 21st August, all 3 establishments were set on fire at about midninght and she extinguished the fire in her shop. The army and the police came there, and removed torches madc of rags from the roof. Diesel oil and kerosene had been splashed on the front of her shop.

(9) S. Peter Silva, a fisherman of Palaiyuthu, stated that on 22nd August he was walking home at about 3 p.m. when he was abused and attacked by a crowd of Tamils. He was removed to hospital, where he stayed until 3rd September.

(10) C. B. Siriyawathie of Palletotam was living on an allotment given to her by the Government. On 22nd August a Tamil crowd ousted her from it and she took refuge in Sirimapura, from where she saw the houses of Sinhalese living in Pullikulam colony on fire. Not a single Sinhalese was left in pullikulam. On her return to Palletotam, she found that Tamils had built houses where her house had stood. She also produced 13 affdavits from 13 persons who had been similarly ousted from Palletotam. They all asked for compensation and land on which they could build new houses.

(11) Similar evidence was given by P. Alice Nona and J. M. Wimalawathie, who stated that they had built houses on allotments given to them in Palletotam, in January 1975. On 22nd August they were ousted by Tamils and ran for shelter to the adjoining garden of the Roman Catholic priest. They asked for land on which they could build houses, because the Tamils had demolished their houses and built houses for themselves on their allotments. They also sked for compensation.

 (12) Witness H. B. Jayawathieof Sirirnapura stated that her father Hendrick Singho, a fisherman, went out to sea on 3rd September. On 5th September his body was found floating in the sea. It was brought ashore. and it had 3 injuries and a rope was tied round the right ankle with a ‘torr weighing 20 Fs. attached to the end. There was no evidence as to how he came by his death. Dr. Xavier has given evidence as to the probable cause of death. He had seen the body. the D.M.O’S post-mortem report, and the report Of Professor H. V. J. Fernando made on certain material sent to him. Dr. Xavier ruled out the possibility of the deceased having been attacked. injured, and put into the sea. His opinion was that the deceased got drowned, and the rope was tied round his ankle after death. If his opinion is accepted. this death was not caused by homicide.

(13) H. Nandawathie and 5 Other Sinhala families were livingat Rakadawatta, when on 5th September all their houses were burnt down. She produced her own affidavit and those of 4 other persons. She stated that they have now returned there and built new houses.

(14) Mr. Gunawardcne. S.P., spoke to 2 houses at cxcupied by Sinhalese. having been burnt on 7th September. One of them belonged to L. Dayawathie, who stated that her house was burnt when she was away from home. She claimed compensation.

Incidents which occurred between 3rd 6th 197

I was doubtful at one stage whether the details of these incidents were relevant. because they did not occur during tha period. August and September 1977. It was said by some witnesses that these incidents were the cause of, or tho factor which aggravated, the violence that broke out in August. I, therefore, allowed cvidence regarding them to be led.

I do not now see any need to analyse the detads, or to decide who is to be blamed for their occurrence. They arose when the ashes ofthe late Mr. S. J. V. Chelvanayakam were brought to Tnneomaleo on 3rd Juw I do not accept the suggestion that the ashes were brought to cre•te a political environment favourable to Mr. Sampanthan and the T.U.L.F., or to divide the country. It was a normal and justifiable event, organized with the object of allowing the Tamils of Trincomalee to pay their respects to the ranains of a revered and distinguished Tamil politician, who had been their leader for years and had earned their respect and affection.

Nor do I accept the theory that the communal disturbances of August, were in fact a continuation of the June disturbances. The terms of this Commission are not framed on that basis. Moreover, if there had been any substance in that theory, there would have post-election violence as happened in other parts of the Island.

It was suggested to Mr. Sampanthan that he was mainly responsible for the bloodshed in that area, and he denied it as a most irresponsible suggestion. I accept his denial. He has always maintained that he was against Violence from any source, and I am satisfied that he was.

On June 3rd, 1977, according to Mr. E. J. dc Silva, the then Government Agent, communal violence and disharmony was first observed in Trincomalee. That evening the ashes were brought to the town and taken in procession from the Airport to the Tamil Maha Vidyalaya. Motor cars and bicycles were in the procession, which was a peaceful one. It was when people were returning to the town for the Vidyalaya that violence broke out. A tractor or two are said to have been among the vehicles that made the return journey.

There has been a conflict of evidence as to what caused the violence to break out. Iam satisfied that the events of those 4 days were not a cause of the events of August and September, so I shall not analyse them. They do not concern the issues I have to decide on this Commission. Mr. Gunawardene, S.P., said that when he returned to Trincomalee on the 3rd night and went to the hospital it looked like a battlefield. On the 4th it was agreed that the procession and public meeting which had been planned to take place in the town, should be cancelled. During those days between the 3rd and the 6th both Sinhalese and Tamils suffered in person and property.

General Observations on the evenG of August and September, 1917

After the events of June, 1977, nothing took place until on 17th August. At 6.30 p.m. on the 18th Mr. E. J. de Silva was informed that a bomb had been thrown into the premises of Pilgrims Rest, which is just outside Fort Fredrick, but no damage resulted except to an araliya tree. On the 19th an appeal to the public, for peace and harmony, was printed in the names of the Government Agent, the Superintendent of Police, and Mr. Sampanthan, and distributed. Despite the appeal, violence erupted in the district on the 19th, and in the town on the 20th, as I have shown elsewhere. Mr. de Silva was appointed Co-ordinating Offcer of the District that night, and it was clearly established that he performed his duties with conspicuous thoroughness and impartiality.

An all-island curfew was imposed from 5 p.m. on the 22nd.

The incidents that took place, both in the town and outside it, establish that in Trincomalee as in many other parts of the Island the criminal elements paid no regard whatsoever to a curfew. They roamed about as they pleased and defied the curfew order and the criminal law, and the police appear to have been powerless to enforce the order or the law.

It was proved that the police force was inadequate both in numbers and equipment to restore order. It is on them that the public primarily rely to see that the peace is maintained, and when they failed the authorities fell back on the Armed Services in Trincomalee.

The curfew impossed from the 20th to the 22nd was marred by attacks on 2 establishments—Koneswaram Cafe and Pillayar Stores that very evening. The police would surely have becn thcre at that time, yet no move seems to have becn made by anybody to stop the brazen defiance of the law.

Mr. de Silva stated that he instructed the police and the armed services to open fire when it was necessary, and to be in readiness to do that. I see nothing in the evidence to show that his instructions were obeyed, even though they were given with the instructions of the Government to add weight to them. The shooting at Thampalakamam which resulted in 3 deaths was during this curfew, but it occurred under totally different circumstances which made it impossible for anybody to prevent it happening.

Monday, 22nd August, earned the description ” Black Monday “, because there were so many instances of violence. Six of them occurred at almost the same spot on the Uppuveli Road, in quick succession, and not felr from the Railway Station. The explanation given by Mr. Gunawardene was that the Uppuveli Police extends from the town to Kahatagasdigiliya 40 miles away. There was only one jeep available for its use. A mob can gather in a short time, commit an offence speedily, and dispersc at once before the police even learn of the incident : that was, apparetnly, what happened at the spot I have mentioned. Short of posting armed men there the whole day, there does not appear to be any way of preventing such a situation. Even mobile patrols, which tbs police and the armed services used, will not be able to prevent it.

A static guard posted at any point will mcrely result in violence erupting elsewhere. A mogile patrol will probably not reach that point without being spotted by persons keeping a look-out for it. A possible, though drastic, remedy used in other countries, is to empower law-enforcement offcers to shoot at sight when they see that a mob has gathered in one spot.

A point made by Mr. Gunawardene, when explaining why disturbances or acts of violence occur, was that people have no respect today for a policemen’s uniform. He cited the instance of 3 policemen having been shot dead when they were guarding a Bank in Jaffna. Other similar instances were common. There is no doubt that when lawlessness increases in a country, the arm of the law must be strengthened, and the law-enforcement authorities given the necessary power to deal adequately with a diffcult situation. Extreme force is sometimes necessary to bring a situation under control, and the police should for that reason be given adequate teeth to stop an outbreak of violence.

Mr. Gunawardene stated that, in view of the possible outbreak of violence in Trincomalee, he took the precaution of asking Inspector Majeed of Kantalai Police Station whether he had made proper security arrangements regarding the employees of the Sugar Corporation. He was told that Majeed was satis- fied with the measures taken. I regret to say that the security precautions were totally inadequate, as has been proved by what happened to the Tamil Officers. residing there in offcial quarters.

I called for the Information Book entries relating to incidents that had hap _ pened in the Corporation premises in the recent past. They showed that there had been a series of complaints made by Tamil employees in respect of offences committed, and it appeared to me that they had been subjected to continuous harassment by fellow employees. I shall mention some of them.

(1) on 5th June, 1977, S. Dharmarajah, Master Carpenter of the Corporation„ complained that about midnight on the 4th, 3 persons woke him up and said ” Do you know the Trincomalee incident. Come out “. He ran out of his room and they chased him. Later he found that his radio worth Rs. 2,500 had been stolen.

(2) On the same night C. Ramakrishnan, Property Foreman of the Corpo- ration, complained that a crowd of 10 persons entered his quarters and stole goods. He had informed the Resident General Manager also.

(3) On 7th June, watcher T. Krishnapillai complained that the hut in which he lived had been burnt down the previous day ; and 3 Tamil Agricultural Offcers of the Corporation complained that their rooms had been entered and some of their belongings stolen.

(4) On 16th August, a ficld watcher complained that his gun had been stolen from his room.

In all these cases it seemed to me that no culprits had been traced, despite inquiries made by the Police. It was clear that in the area occupied by the Corporation there was a fairly large population of thieves and undesirable persons.

I think any police offcer should have anticipated that, when the opportunity came to repeat in that area what had been happening in other parts of the country, the Tamils would have become the victims of unprovoked attacks. As Inspector in charge of Kantalai Police Station, Majeed should have been aware of the complaints that had been made, and taken suitable steps to prevent an outbreak of violence in the Corporation premises. This he had failed to do.

The Resident General Manager, Mr. C. Mettananda, rejected offers made by the Police to tighten security. This is surprising, since he had returned to Kantalai from Kandy on the 19th, and a curfew had been imposed at II a.m. in the Kandy District owing to the violence that equpted there on the 18th. Mr. V. Kanagasabai, Mechanical Engineer of the Corporation, was out of the Island when this Commission was sitting. In a Memorandum which he sent in, he staled that the attackers were obviously minor Sinhalese employees Of’ the Corporation living within the Corporation premises, because the villages are about 5 miles away from the factory, and there were security points at the Corporation boundaries. His house was within the factory premises where the Security Services are readily available, yet these services also seem to have been unconcerned about the safety of the occupants Of the houses there- Mr. Kanagasabai also stated in his Memorandum that ” anonymous hand- written posters appeared on the walls of certain sections of the Corporation, inducing the Sinhalese te commence communal disturbances in the Corporation. Even at that crucial stage, neither the Resident General Manager nor the Security Offcers took any notice of this ”

Mr. Gunawardene mentioned an incident which occurred on the 22nd August afternoon, when tension was very high in Trincomalee. He was in the market square when 2 mobs were converging on each other. He fired one revolver shot at each mob and they vanished. At the same time a bomb thrown from •the balcony of former M.P. Mr. Neminathan fell about two feet from him.

Mr. Sampanthan complained about the manner in which curfew passes had been issued. Mr. K. C. Liyanage, A.G.A., took steps to issue such passes without delay, to enable essential services to be maintained. He stated that he satisfied himself that those who applied, really needed the passes. Mr. E. J. de Silva said that on the 22nd Mr. Sampanthan complained to him that passes were being issued to undesirables, but he did not mention their names when -asked to do so. Nor did Mr. Sampanthan raise the matter on the 23rd at a conference held at Navy House. Mr. de Silva’s complaint against Mr. Sam- panthan was that the latter made damaging allegations but mentioned no names, •so that it was not possible for him to go into the matter. Mr. Sampanthan •was later apologetic over the matter, he said when questioned, and explained that he had gone on what he had heard.

Mr. Liyanage stated that when Mr. Sampanthan questioned him on this matter, he gave him the register of passes issued, so that he could inspect it : and Mr. Sampanthan then said that his information must be wrong.

In his evidence-in-chief Mr. Sampanthan repeated his charge, and under •cross-examination by Senior State Counsel he again stated that curfew passes were issued indiscriminately and that a large number of Sinhalese traders went all over the place in vehicles, talking to Sinhalese. This is surely a “non sequiter”, for why should not Sinhalese traders with passes talk to other Sinhalese ? As a lawyer of experience Mr. Sampanthan should have known that vague allegations, such as he had made, will not sumce to establish even a prima facie case. I find that nothing irregular was done in the matter of these passes.

Mr. de Silva, for his part, protested against certain statements made in Mr. Sampanthan’s evidence. They were (1) that the law-enforcement authorities in Trincomalee were inactive and failed in their responsibilities (2) that they had aided the offenders, and (3) that the troubles were brought, under control mainly by his intervention. I am not anxious to judge between the active, energetic and enthusiastic Member of Parliament (who would have judged all public officers by his standard and found many of them Wanting) and the equally emcient and devoted Co-ordinating Offcer (who obviously spent every moment watching the activities of the lay, -enforcement forces in his efforts to quell the disturbances).

But on point (1) I think Mr. Sampanthan was referring to the many instances of crimes committed against the Tamils, particularly on 22nd August, and he placed the blame for this on the Police. He was entitled to express his dissatis- faction. On point (2) he was probably referring to the failure to enforce the curfew laus and to prevent crowds assembling and committing crimes. Hc has praised some offcers and blamed others, which shows that his condemnation was not wholesale. On point (3) I find it diffcult to uphold his claim.



This question is set out in section 2 of the Terms of Reference.

I have already referred at length in Chapter III to the ‘various incidents, acts and offences which were committed between 13th August and 15th September, 1977. When doing so, I have also mentioned the persons, bodies of persons and organisations, if any, who committed or conspired .or abetted the commission of the acts specified.

It was more convenient to deal with the nature and particulars of the incidents and the persons or bodies responsible for them, together.

The evidence led by different organisations, individuals and the State regarding the commission of offences often pointed to specific persons having been the offenders. In other instances, the offenders were unknown or were members o? a mob who could not be identified.

In some instances, I had the accused persons summoned and I heard what they had to say and I came to a decision OIT the facts. But this method could be used only sparingly, because it would have involved summoning thoSe named offenders if their whereabouts were known, and that would not have I been possible in most cases. I have, therefore, where I was satisfied that the evidence given by the injured party established a prima facie case, upheld his claim to damages or compensation. It may be that his claim will subsequently be found to be false and that he suffered no loss, in which case Vhe would not be entitled to receive anything. In most cases, injured parties assessed the damages they suffered : but I do not think such assessment can be aceepted as accurate? That is why I have recommended ‘that panels should be appointed, to verify and assess what would be a reasonable sum to be paid by the State to those persons who actually suffered damage.



This subject is covered by Section 3 (a) of the Terms of Reference.

Several Memoranda were received on this subject.

Fr. Caspersz dealt with the subject thus :

(1) Speedy and well-supervised disbursement of adequate compensation is necessary.

(2) Re-settlement of hardworking families in the North-Central and Eastern Provinces will help the country to be self-sufficient.

(3) Rehabilitation through settlement should guarantee that the families will be the main beneficiaries of their efforts to produce food and will not be exploited by landlords and others.

(4) Where people are still living in insecurity and fear, they should be transferred to more secure places.

(5) Persons, whether landlords or other possessors of lands, who were ousted forcibly, should be restored to possession.

The Bishop of Kurunegala summarised the problems that existed as follows :

(1) Relief to destitute persons which included over 5,000 Tamils of plantation origin ; refugees of Jaffna origin who were accommodated by relatives or friends ; and a limited number of Sinhala refugees or friends ; and a limited number of Sinhala refugees who were being supported by Govern- ment relief programmes.

(2) Some estate workers who had suffered looting and violence had been helped by organisations, but others had received nothing.

(3) Government servants who had fled from insecure places of work were being paid salaries only if they had returned to work, unless proper leave was obtained. Only some had been transferred to secure places : all whose requests were genuine should be transferred.

(4) Craftsmen, artisans or small traders who lost their means of livelihood shpuld be given some form of capital in order to resume work.

The Federation of Tamil Trade Unions suggested, as measures of rehabilita- üon of victims of the disturbances, the transfer of Tamil employees to Tamil areas ; the provision of housing facilities in safe places and security arrange- merits ; and the option of retirement for employees who do not want to continue in employment under the Government, with adequate compensation for loss Of career.

The Tamil Refugees Rehabilitation Organisation suggested that, in addition to the above, Tamils who had to leave their land and property in Sinhalese areas and do not wish to return to them, should be given land in other areas where they will have a sense of security, In such cases, it was suggested by the Association of Affected Tamil Officers, the government should buy those lands at the market value, as that Was the only way to obtain a reasonable price for’ them.

Dr. Balasingham, President of the Affected Tamil Officers’ Association, suggested the decentralisation of the public service, with a view to reducing tho number of Tamil officers required to serve in Colombo. This would also result in various branches of the public service being moved to the North. Such a step, he said, would be more convenient for members of the public also : at present they have to travel to Colombo for many purposes which could be conveniently attended to in Jaffna.

I would advise that all these suggestions be considered by the Government. They have been put forward by public officers who had, in many cases, gone through days of great anxiety and distress. Some of them had suffered severe losses of money and property, and members of their families had also gone through severe mental strain. i can well understand and sympathise with them, and their reluctance to run the risk of a repetition of the experiences they had undergone. Wherever possible, I think action should be taken to allay their fears.

While a mass of evidence has been led before me to show what so many citizens and public officers suffered during the disturbances, little evidence was placed by witnesses with regard to the need for rehabilitation as it existed after the lapse of 18 months or two years. Mr. W. T. Jayasinghe, who was in charge of rehabilitation, stated in evidence on 16th May, 1979, that rehabilitation was over and there was no problem left. I do not think he was referring to the requests made by the organisations which I have just been setting out. He stated that about 30,000 Tamil persons had been in refugee camps : a good part of them had returned to their original houses ; to others land had been given or they were working on lands belonging to other people. The govern- ment, he said, had spent about twenty million rupees on rehabilitation, and there were no more refugee camps.

Mr. Jayasinghe admitted that the Tamil Refugees Rehabilitation Organisation had applied to be granted the status of an Approved Charity. He stated that it had not complied with certain conditions laid down by the Government, and that it was Government policy that all assistance offered by outside agencies for rehabilitation, should be sent to the Government.

On the question of compensation, it has been said that while it is true that laws providing compensation to victims of crime are rare, they are desirable.

” They should be framed as part of the effort to do justice, when a crime has occurred as a symptom of social disunity and a further disruption of the social order. If we are to regard justice after a crime as social restoration, victims Should be compensated. When a community has becn wounded by a crime, the community has not been made whole while its living members who have most grievously suffered for the crime are uncompensatcd ” (Crime and Justice in America, by Professor L. Harold de Wolf (1975) page 195).

Whatever may be the rule in this Island under normal conditions, the inci- dents which occured during the spedcified period were of such an extreme nature and so widespread, that an exception should be made as regards the payment of compensation to all those persons who were adversely affected. I suggest that full compensation for all losses sustained should be paid to all such persons by the Government. I have recapitulated the evidence given by witnesses. But there are also 275 affdavits filed by affected persons which should be taken into consideration when compensation is being assessed. A great deal of time was saved by the production of these afidavits.

In some cases the sufferers have, either in evidence given by them or by way Of affidavits, given their own estimates of the damages they sustained. It was not possible for me to examine the correctness of these estimates and arrive at accurate findings on the actual damages sustained. To have attempted to do so would have prolonged these proceedings unduly. It will be necessary to have the claims made by those who suffered losses carefully investigated by persons who are competent to assess the quantum of compensation which should be paid in each case.

There have been many cases where public servants and others have been killed in the prime of life, leaving widows and children. They could have worked, in some instances, for many more years and their heirs would have received larger pensions if they had done so.

Their dependants’ have suffered by losing the bread-winner under such circumstances, while if he had enjoyed the normal life expectancy they would have been in a much more favourable situation. Such cases should be suitably dealt with, and an enhanced pension paid to the heirs.

I recommend that all persons who suffered damages arising out of the inci- dents which occurred during the period 13th August, 1977 to 15th September, 1977, be paid full compensation to the extent of such damages. Any sums already received from the Government, or payable by reason Of insurance policies in their favour, should of course be deducted.

A Report of the Government Assistance to victims of the disturbances furnished to me by Mr. Tissa Devendra, Secretary to this Commission, is reproduced here.

Government Assistance to Victims of the Communal Disturbances of August/ September, 1977

I was Director of Social Services when the Communal Riots of August/Sept- ember, 1977 broke out. I took prompt action, in close consultation with Mr:. W. T. Jayasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, to alleviate the distress of the victims, give them some immediate compensation and to return them to their homes, wherever possible.


One hundred and one camps for refugees were established in the most affected areas under the supervision of the Government Agents and guarded by the Security forces. Free food and basic medical facilities were provided and ready access was given to voluntary, social welfare and religious organizations who co-operated in assistingthe government’s effort. The camps were administered by Government Offcials, most often Social Services Offcers. These camps were established in Government buildings, schools and temples. In many cases the camps were run only for a few weeks until the refugees left. In a few cases they continued for some time longer. The presence of these camps and their readiness to accept refugees at any hour was given wide publicity. Thousands of refugees utilised this facility in their hour of need. The camps were closed only after the refugees were transported to places of their choice or returned home.

The total cost borne by the Government in running these camps was Rs. 2,006,757.


Refugees were transported by Government to places of their choice and back to their original homes from their camps. A number of refugees from Colombo were transported to Jaffna by air (Air Ceylon) and sea (Ceylon Shipping Corporation). The rest of the refugees were transported by road (by the C.T.B. and rest by Government and Service vehicles).

The total cost paid out by the Government to the three statutory bodies is Rs. 2,539,203 (Air Ceylon, Ceylon Shipping Corporation and the C.T.B.). This excludes the expenditure incurred by Government Departments and the Services proper as they were absorbed into the normal Government travelling costs.

Compensation for Losses

In August itself circulars were issued by me, as Director of Social Services, to the Government Agents to make a prompt survey of losses and damages incurred by victims, even when they were absent, so that there would be some immediate record Of the extent of damage. Special instructions were given by Government approving ex-gratia payments to persons affected, up to a sum of Rs. 800 per family for the repair of damaged houses and Rs. 50 for the purchase of kitchen utensils, etc. As a special case, this assistance was paid even to those who lived in rented houses, those who lived on encroachments as well as the non-nationals. The last threc categories are normally not entitled to any assistance from the State, but in these exceptional circumstances assistance was extended to them on humanitarian grounds. These payments were, however, restricted to those whose monthly income for the entire family had been less than Rs. 300 a month.

Payments made by the Government Agents amounted to Rs. 343,900. These payments were made to victims other than those in estate areas.

Compensation Paid to Estate Workers

Similar compensation was paid to cstatc labourers and their families. These labourers in small private estates were paid by the Government Agents sum of Rs. 82,285.

The two State Corporations (the Janatha Estate Development Board and the State Plantations Corporation) paid a total of Rs. 1,420,019.

Compensation for Deaths and Injuries

In September, 1977 itself arrangements were made to makc immediate ex-gratia payments of Rs. 3,000 to the widows/families of those who were killed during, the disturbances. According to records 128 were killed during the distur- bances and compensation was paid to their widows/familics. Subsequently increased compensation calculated on the basis of the Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance was paid to these widows/families.

The total paid was Rs. 1,119,250. Similarly ex-gratia paymcntfi werc made to disabled persons by Government Agents ; the total paid was Rs. 168,289.

Religious Institutions

The State also paid compensation to religious institutions which had been damaged during the disturbances. Compensation paid totalled to Rs. 202,115.


The Insurance Corporation informs me that it has paid, up to date—25th March, 1980, a total of Rs. 8,953,320 against claims made by victims of disturbances.

I give below a comprehensive statement of government expenditure on the victims of the disturbances,


Tissa Devendra.



This subject is covered by Section 3 (b) of thc Terms of Reference.

I have already expressed my views on the cry for Eelam raised by the T.U.L.F. The Ven. Madihe Pannasiha, Fr. Caspersz and many other persons have stated that it was the main causc of the disturbances. Therefore, the first measure I would recommend, to prevent a recurrence of the disturbances, is that this claim be abandoned.

The Federation of Tamil Trade Unions in its Memorandum dated 16th January 1978 stated, “Itis a stark truth, which none could deny or shoud ignore, that this communal disharmony (between the Sinhalese and Tamils including Muslims) has existed and could not be remedied for over two millenia. It is impossible for the two communities to live toge•her. In the opinion of the Federation it is in two separatc and independent states, one for the Sinhalese and the other for the Tamils, that there could be peace and harmony ” Mr. Amirthalingam in his Memorandum dated 12th June, 1979, stated that ” the only long term remedy to prevent a recurrence of such incidents in the recognition of the right of the two nations to rule themselves in their respective homelands “. I regret that I am quite unab!e to agrcc with this demand.

The Ceylon Workers Congress in its Memorandum complained that the law enforcement machinery of the State, and in particular the Police, by and large failed to discharge its function of protecting thc victims and preventing incidents : I agree that in many instances the truth of this observation has been borne out.

It happened in several places that the Police were inadequately equipped with men and vehicles to render assistance speedily or at all. In other places, however, even though the Police were at the scene of incidents carrying arms, they were inactive and merely played the role of passive spectators. Another unsatisfactory situation that has been spoken to in the evidence was that there was a lack of co-orperation between the senior Police Offcers and their sub- ordinates. Incidents that happened in the town of Kandy and on Uduwela Estate, Kandy, bear out the defects I have just referred to; but there were many other places where action which could have been taken to restore order, was not taken.

The explanation may be (l) that during and after the Insurgency the cadre was increased by about 9,000 and the period of training was considerably reduced ; (2) the method of selection of recruits was changed, and some whom the I. G. P. had selected were rejected by tho Cabinet, who took the responsi- bility of making the appointments ; (3) when discip’ine in society has broken down, recruits from the same society will tend to be undisciplined ; (4) inter- ference by politicians who gave orders to police offcers mostly orally.

Mr. Stanley Scnanayake, former I. G. P., has spoken on these matters, and I am satisfied that they had a great deal to do with the unsatisfactory handling of the grave disorder in many places.

I have read the 3rd Edition (1960) of the Ceylon Police Department Orders framed under Section 56 of the Police Ordinancc. If these orders were cons— tantly borne in mind and carried out, many of the lapses on the part of Police Offcers, which have been pointed out by witnesses, would not have occurred The orders relating to unlawful assemblies and crowds and how to deal with them seem to have been often ignored. I might mention particularly Kandy, Wattegama, Teldeniya, Kekirawa, and Polgahawela and there were other places also where the Police were incapable of dealing with people who broke the curfew regulations, and cither ignorant of their right to, or were for some reason reluctant to firc at mobs which had deliberately assembled prior to attacking places of business and committing grave crimes.

The necessity to disperse a mob by firing, when it was in the act of looting and burning and killing, should be obvious to any reasonable policeman. He should not be deterred from doing so, merely because an inquiry may be held later into the circumstances. When the law has empowered any person to commit death or grievous hurt—whether he is a police offcer or not af er giving due warning to desist or to disperse, it would be wrong to look on and do nothing. There were instances where under such circumstances not even a single round was fired into the air. At Wattegama, where a mob of about 3,000 prsons were permitted to gather during curfew hours near the Police Station and descend on the bazaar, the Police were content to stay in the Police Station in order to guard it. They seemed to have forgotten the Firing Orders which every police offcer was expected to memorize. On the other hand, it happened at Kekirawa that when a message was received by the Police that A.S.P., Chandra Mendis, was coming there from Anuradhapura, the Police who had refused to fire a single shot became active. Three policemen each fired a round in the air, and a crowd of about 10,000 persons was reduced to 10 or 15. Police inactivity or indi fference could be a strong incentive to a mob to continue their lawless acts.

It happened in Trincomalee that a mob, which had repeatedly gathered in a particular area and attacked passing vehicles, dispersed as soon as they learnt that a Police vehicle was approaching. After a while, the mob would gather again in that area and repeat its previous performances. Mr. Edward Gunawar- dene, S. P., Trincomalee at that time, stated that the only way to prevent that kind of nuisance was to empower the security forces to shoot a mob at sight. He showed no reluctance to use his revolver when he fired at 2 mobs who were confronting each other, and saw them both vanish. By long tradition the Ceylon Police, like the British Police, do not as a general practice carry firearms. They have been trained to use them, and are equipped with them when an emergency arises, in order that they may deal with armed criminals and political terrorists. It is a matter for the consideration of the government whether further action is necessary to deal with threats to security in particular areas of the Island, especially when terrorists, who shoot and kill unarmed police oflicers and run away, are active.

Two matters which affect the Police were brought to my notice •

(1) The language or communication gap between police omcers and the public in certain parts of the Island. It is very desirable, if not essential, that police should be able to communicate without diffculty with the people in the area where they are stationed. Misunderstandings could be avoided if there is mutual intercourse between the two parties ,

(2) An impression which existed in the minds of some police offcers was that their race or religion is a factor to be considered when action has to bc taken. It should be impressed on all police offcers, that when they are in uniform or on duty they cease to be Sinhalese or Tamils or Muslims. They must then under all circumstances act fairly and impartially and fearlessly, heedless of their own race or religion.

Finally, I would recommend that the Police should have suffcient man- power, be equipped with an adequate supply of vehicles, and be given clear instructions which they should always have in mind, so that they may be able to take swift, stem, and sumcient action to suppress an outbreak of violence.

Evidence has been led of articles published in Newspapers and pamphlets both here and abroad, containing racialist propaganda.

I do not wish to give particulars of those articles ; but it should have been obvious to anybody reading them that they were intended to, or were at least calculated to, rouse the feelings of one race against another. Itis a IoW rtandard of journalism that gives publicity to such material. As for the pamphlets, they have often been published to give vent to imaginary wrongdoings by one race against the other. They are mischievous attempts, to further the cause of those who complain that they are downtrodden, and I have no doubt they are circulated far and wide in order to gain the sympathy and support of all countries.

When such appeals to racial feelings are made, they can do a great deal Of damage to the cause of racial harmony. They probably had that effect before the outbreak of disturbances in August 1977.

The widespread damage done to temples and sacred place during the dis- turbances, and for some time prior to 1977, has the need for early action to be taken by the police and all the appropriate government authorities, to prevent a grave situation arising. It has been shown that complaints made to the authorities over the damage done to at Trincomalee and Kiliveddy went unhe•ded until those trees were completely destroyed. It is to the credit of the adherents of Buddhism that they exercised restraint in the face of grave provocation. It is to be hoped that in future a less lethargic attitude will be adopted by the authorities to whom such complaints are made.

I would also refer, while I am on this subject. to the considerable turmoil that existed in certain tea plantation areas in the first half of 1977. after the nationalization of estates. particularly in the Gampola. Pussellawa and Kotmale districts. Tamil citizens by descent or registration were ignored, and Sinhalese peasants were preferred when estate land was alienated and re-allocated. The Tamil estate workers in several estates were thrown out of them. Their dis- placement in a heartless manner was followed by the shooting of workers on Devon Estate, and looting, arson and physical violence on Sanquhar and Delta Estates, in a wave of communal terrorism.

All this and more was pointed out by the Bishops of Colombo, ChiJaw Kandy, Kurunegala and the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Colombo and the Secretary of the Methodist Church in a Memorandum published in the Ceylon Catholic Messenger newspaper of 3rd July, 1977. Evidence was given by Mr. M. K. Suppiah, Industrial Relations Offcer of the Ceylon Workers Congress, who spoke about estate workers on Choisy and Balapokuna Estates in Pundaluoya having been chased out by a gang of men who called themselves a People’s Committee, and were led by a Member of Parliament. The same lawless proceedings took place on Dartry, Mulgama and Orion Estates in Gampola.

Mr. Shanmugam, S.P., Kandy at that time, spoke to two incidents of violence on Delta and Sanquhar estates in May 1977. It was elicited from him that despite early warnings given to the police, that attacks were imminent, no action was taken to maintain order and prevent breaches of the peace.

Another regrettable feature of those tragic days was the long delays that occurred both in the launching of prosecutions and the hearing of the cases in the courts. A case which wgs filed on 24th July, 1977, over the incidents on Delta estate against 42 accused, was still pending on 12th July, 1978. No case was filed over the incidents on Sanquhar estate until 25th July, 1978, and that too only after pointed attention had been drawn to the omission by lawyers who appeared before this Commission.

The lessons to be learnt from the facts I have mentioned are that (l) if lawlessness is not immediatley nipped in the bud, it can grow fast and spread over a large area ; (2) if the law is not enforced both by the Police and the Courts with all deliberate speed, it will cease to exercise that essential discipline over the lives of lawbreakers, which is the guarantee of peace and order in the country.

I would attribute the callous and criminal behaviour of villagers and colonists towards the many thousand estate workers living near them in August 1977, to the success which attended their incursions in March and May, 1977. Mr. Suppiah blamed the politicians, some of whom promised their supporters lands and other benefits, while others even led the unlawful invasions of the houses of inoffensive workers who were forcibly ousted.

It is deplorable that, as Mr. Jayasinghe stated, some Members of Parliament aided and abetted or instigated the wrongdoers. He also said that a Member of Parliament was responsible for accelerating the programme for selecting and settling villagers on estates around Gampola and ousting the estate workers therefrom.

The tragedy was heightened by the failure of the Police, who had been warned, to take preventive action at once.

There is no place for political violence in a democracy. It should be outlawed and stamped out speedily.

The All Ceylon Buddhist Congress in its Memorandum of 17th March, 1979, mentioned somc of the Buddhist sacred and other places damaged during the disturbances at Jaffna and Kilinochchi. It pointed out the amnity between Hinduism and Buddhism and the mutual understanding between the followers of these religions which had led to peace and unity, except in one or two exceptional cases.

It suggested certain measures to prevent a recurrence of the incidents, some of them being :

(l) The establishment of Buddhist and Hindu cultural centres, and a Hindu- Buddhist Museum in the North ; and a special Faculty in the Jaffna University for research on Buddhist and Hindu culture.

(2) The State should take adequate steps to preserve Buddhist ruins all over the country and to protect Buddhist pilgrims.

(3) The State should encourage the printing of books which promote unity between Sinhalese and Tamils.

(4) A Unit should be set up by the State to correct wrong information which may jeopardise Hindu-Buddhist relations, to stop all anti-national and divisive activities and propaganda, and to check foreign aid received by liberation movements that aim to damage Hindu-Buddhist unity.

 (5) The govemment should set up new industries in Jaffna peninsula, and provide employment and housing for both Sinhalese and Tamils.

(6) Facilities should be provided for persons who left Jaffna to return there for re-employment.

I commend these suggestions as worthy of consideration.

Those who belong to a minority community should not have to live in a state of fear and frustration. Where there are pockets of minority communities living within a majority community, the State should provide the necessary security. Fr. Bernard and Mr. Amirthalingam have mentioned this matter. Lord Acton has said : ” The most certain tcst by which we judge whether a. country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities “.

Fr. Caspersz mentioned in his Memorandum certain steps which might be taken to remove the rcmotc and proximate causes which were responsible for the disturbanccs. I mention some:

(l) The teaching of history, geography, language and religion in schocl and University should be motivated by the need to unite, without making uniform, the various in our richly plural-cultural society.

(2) It is cssential to teach Tamil to Sinhalese children and vice versa. Much prcjudicc is due to ignorance of the other ‘s language and culture. Unity in diversity is achieved by knowledge of them.

(3) Both Sinhalese and Tamil must be made complusory for eligibility to government employment at any level ; and certainly English at the tertiary stage of education, and if possible at the primary and secondary stages.

(4) Action is necessary to convincc people of the Government ‘s determina- tion to achieve the inter-communal harmony necessary for socio-economic progress. He gave as instances C. G. R. and C. T. B. signs, name boards and announcements which should be in all 3 languages : and ban on the broadcasting of songs that encourage communalism.

(5) Efforts are necessary to integrate, without assimilating, the Tamil estate population with the Sinhalese village.

(6) Economic stagnation and unemployment, expecially of the youths between 18 and 25, must be overcome. Action is necessary to make Sinhalese and Tamil youths join hands to ensure a better future.

(7) Confidence should be created in all, that the law enforcement machinery act surety and swiftly at thc slightest sign of communal disturbance or public hooliganism, or as soon as rumours begin.

(8) All leaders of communities should join to remove past misunderstandings and build a society where everyone can live without fear or injustice. Harping pn communal matters must cease.

 (9) Thc force of Religion should be used to defeat the forces of Evil.

(10) School children should mix in order to understand each other.

Fr. Bernard, suggesting remedies to prevent a recurrence of communal dis. turbanees, called for the moral education of both Sinhalesc and Tamils and others. towards genuine non-Golence. All religious leaders should take part in that exercise, in order to change the hearts of the people. They should inculcate respect for the rights of others, such as rcspect for life, respect for sex, respect for property rights. A man he said. should be taught to bclieve that we are all human beings, instead of considering others as being Buddhists, Hindus, or Christians. I cannot refrain from quoång here a tributc paid, on his death, to a former Bishop of Colombo, the Right Revd. A. R. Graham— Cambell by the Revd. R. Bower—Yin : ” He rose above all barriers of speech, language, colour, race, culture or religion by speaking a language understood by all, the language of love ”

May it not be that we havo been too obsessed with questions of race, creed, caste and langauge 2 Is it not time that each of us attached more importance to his membership of one nation, and paid more heed to the duties and obliga- tions that devolve on him in that situation ? The problem we face is not a new one. Near the end of the troubled year 1786 in the United States of America, George Washington, soon to become first President, made this appeal : ” Let us cast aside the remembrance of past wrongs, past g-ievances, of past differe- nces. Let prejudices, unreasonable jealousies, and local interests yield—Let us look to our national character, and to things beyond the present moment— Wisdom and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm “.

” Fortunately, a world-famous conciliator was also on the scene. Benjamin Franklin, already the patron Saint of Prudence and Practicality, had agreed to head the Pennsylvania delegation to the General Assembly at the age of 82. He dramatized thc need for compromise by showing a phial containing a two- headcd snake. He observed that the reptile, if its heads took oppositc sides on the way to a stream, might die of thirst unless the difference were accom- modated. He might have added, ” The wise and the brave dares own he was wrong Franklin taught them all the art of conciliation needed to make the Constitution work, and how to make a principled concession of principles to give full scope to ” thc unearned increment created by human accord (Ralph T. Ketcham).

In our day too, we look forw•ard to leders who can appreciate the noes- sity to settle outstanding issues, which have arisen between the communitrs. by the method of friendly discussion. The national interest requires that there should be patriotic collaboration across the party battie LirB. We neod exponents of the politics of reconciliation who believe that the business of a statesman is not so much to define and questions as to blend oppositm and strike balances ‘9. ” Politics as Lord Home has said. ” is a profession, not for the bully with a bludgeon but for the artist with a baton

Three subjects in dispute between the government and the T. U. L. F. apper to me to be : Education, Employment. and Colonisation. I have heard very little evidence on these matters, and I would rather not express any views for that reason. I have no doubt that it is næcssary to lay down guide-lines, preferably after a meeting betweca the Government and the T. U. L F.. where the existing areas of conflict can be discussed.



I have concluded my inquiries and my report, save for a few observations which I should like to make.

02. It is generally acknowledged that the preservation of law and order is the first essential of civilisation. There is an old story about some shipwrecked sailors who, after many weeks spent tossing on uncharted seas, spotted an island with an object standing up on it. They approached it, and found it to be a they cxc’aimed, ” It is a civilised country “. In a gibbet. ” Thank God ! ” country which boasts of a hangman, thcre is no great risk of being scalped by savages or catcn by cannibals.

03. Civilisation can no longer be taken for granted. It is being challenged from within in many countries. There has becn student unrest and revolt, •there are the hippies, and now there are terrorists. They have been termcd ideological saboteurs, who are undermining cstablished values without putting anything in their place. They lowcr the morale of the people by attempting to destroy the existing system.

04. To add to the confusion, we live in an age of indiscriminately destruc- Itive nuclear weapons, when all human life is at risk and there will be no winner if a nuclear war breaks out.

05. Many may think that a new barbarism has descended on the world, ‘bringing with it deprivation and unhappiness. One has only to listen to a news broadcast, or read a newspaper which carries news of what is happening round the world, to make one wonder what the next disaster or tragedy will be. Embassies are no longer immune from attack by students and guerillas ; diplomats are held as hostages, though even primitive man was accustomed to respect their immunity ; judges have been kidnapped and murdered. Such incidents have become so frequent, that they no longer seem to suprise the public•

06. There is an increasing disrcgard of human dignity everywhere. The rule of law is being constantly broken and encroached on by the rule of violence• Corruption and dishonesty are not unknown. Force is regularly used in the pursuit of political aims.

07. When I was tracing the course of events in the first Chapter of this Rcport, I drew attention to a steady growth of lawlessness which appeared to be leading to something approaching anarchy. Hand bombs were being manu- factured and used to cause destruction ; firearms were used for the murder or attempted murder of political opponents and inconvenient witnesses of crimes ; burglaries were committed in order to collect the weapons and ammunit;on ; public property was attacked and damaged merely becausc the Government was unpopular with a certain section of the community, although it was a lawfully and constitutionally appointed government of the entire Island ; youths in their twenties wielded arms to dispose of persons whose views did not coincide with their own, and robbed banks to obtain funds to buy such arms ; inflam- matory and abusive speeches were made on public platforms against the Govern- ment and the police ; hunger strikes scheduled to last a few hours were staged even in the premises of the Courts of Law, disrupting the work of the judges ; and school children wcre mobilised to join these law breaking crowds who staged their frequent hartals, and were thus induc•zd into politics under compulsion.

08. In the middle of August 1977 began the aftermath of the events of the preceding years. Tue nature of the incidents of those years, and their pro- longed history, would not have passed unnoticcd in other parts of the Island. They would surely have made an impact on persons living outside the Jaffna peninsula. News of incidents in which Sinhalese living in the peninsula, Bud- dhist priests, and Buddhist sacred places, wcre treated disrespectfully, would have reached the inhabitants of the other districts. News of what was happening in Jaffna on 15th and 16th August, coupled with greatly exaggerated rumours concerning Sinhalese University students who were there, police omcers, the Buddhist Temple and its High Priest, added fucl to fire and started a conflagration in the other parts of the Island.

09. One lesson, and the principal one, to be learnt from the evidence which was led before, me, is that violence is a profitless and mischievous mcthod of trying to achievc any objective, political or otherwise. It leads to intense suffering and the unnecessary sacrifice of innocent people : they are the victims, while those who engineer and perpetrate the many unparadonable crimes escape unscathed.

10. Another lesson is that there live in this Island a solid, incorruptible core of decent, law-abiding citizens of all races and religions, of which any country can be proud. In many instances that have been spoken to, men and women spontaneously risked their lives to play a heroic role. These splendid persons proved that courage and charity can survive under all circumstances, and when most needed. Some have been mentioned by name, while the others arc name- less. They understood and practised the duty of obedience to the unenforce- able, which is tho test of civilisation in any country. There is no law which compels a person to rescue a drowning man, or to decy a howling mob, or to hide a neighbour or even P.n unknown man fleeing like some poor animal from a crowd bent on killing him.

I I. Similar instanecs were provided in India during the Hindu-Moslem riots of 1946, where chivalry triumphed in the midst of frenzy. Mahatma Gandhi said of such inspiring exhibitions Of compassion : ” Mankind would die if there v,crc no exhibition any timc or anywhere of the divine in man ”

12. One can contrast with those shining examples of bravery given by ordinary men and women, the crowds of men, women and even children who comprised the mobs that roamed the streets of towns and villages. They shared ” a unity of purpose, passion and hatred which merges the many minds of a crowd into the mindlessness of a mob. No mob has ever protected any liberty, its own ; but if not put down it always winds up in an orgy of lawlessness which respects no liberties. The crowd mind is never tolerant of any opinion which does not conform to its herd opinion. Brave with the courage of numbers, mobs endanger liberty as well as order “. Thus has Mr. Justice Jackson of the U.S. Supreme Court spoken of the danger ot tolerating mob rule.

13. A cause of disturbances of August and September 1977 may be said to bc a decline in spiritual values. Four great religions of the world have a multi- tude of adhe,-onts in this Island. How often they must have listened to sermons preachcd about spiritual and moral values, love, compassion, tolerance, and the sanctity which attaches to every individual ! Yet thea seems to be a lack of spiritual depth, a shallowness of religious influence. and a want of self-control, among certain swtions of our people.

14. Thc incidents that occurred also show that there is a cleavage between tho Sinhalese and Tamil races. To use a metaphor which describos the two streams of law and equity, ” though they run in the same channel they run side by side, and do not mingle thcir watcrs This cleavage is unfortunately brought into the open by the less reputable members of thcso races, when there is civil disorder.

15. I think it can be confidently said that the middle classes of both races have mixed freely in all the bigger towns. They move in the same social circles and clubs : they work together in the same professions, business circles and trades ; they speak to each other in the same language. But I do not think the same can be said of the other classes from which come the rowdies, the rioters, and the law-breakers who provide the mobs and marauding gangs,

16. Despite the lack of integration Of the two races, there need be no recurrence of the events of 1977, if they could accept and practise a practical message of one sentence, which has come down the centuries. It was referred to by Lord Hailsham, when he spoke of what should be the ultimate aim of everyone in public life. He said he had recently came across a quotation from Cicero, orator, lawyer, philospher and politician, who died at the hands of his political enemies 40 years or more before the birth Of Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity. It : We have a natural propensity to love our fellowmen, and that, after all, is the foundation of law Lord Hailsban continued : It is this inarticulate feeling trying to struggle out of the confuJOL of the modern world which I believe to be the true Mill of the inarticulate majority ”

17. Before I end, I wish to quote a passage which appears at the end of the evidence given by Fr. Caspersz. It is this : ” Thc ultimate solution of the problem of the inter-communal relationships in our country lies in the estab- lishment of a genuinely socialist society. In this society every man, woman and child will be given due place not because one is a Sinhalese, a Tamil, a Muslim or a Burgher, not because one is a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Christian,or a Muslim, but because one is a human being with inalienable human rights and human responsibilities. The immediate solution lies in all the leaders of our country. the Icaders of all political parties, of all communal and religious groups, getting together to provide the climate for the rapid socio-economic development of our country. These leaders today belong to the middle class. They must realise that communal conflicts which since 1956 have been recurring periodically, are inimical to the socio-economic progress of our country. In- deed, they are inimical to the interests of the middle class itself. The leaders of the majority community and the majority religious group must realise that the minorities have their rights and that the redress of their grievances needs to be given full weight. They must remember that parliamentary democracy is the rule of the majority with the consent of the minorities. The leaders must start their deliberations at a round table or elsewhere on two inalterable premises. The first is that the country should never again witness events such as those of August 1977, which are a disgrace to a country which professes to live by the ideals of Metta, Karuna, Mudita, and Upckha, by the ideals of brotherhood and compassion. The second premise is that the country should not fritter away its time and its energy in inter-communal violence and conflict, while the main task that awaits it is the liberation of all our people from poverty, unemployment, hunger, ignorance, and disease”.

18. I have one more duty to perform, and it is a pleasant one. It is to express my grateful appreciation of the work done by all thosc officers who served on the staff of thc Commission, I thank Mr. Tissa Devendra (Secretary), Mr. R. S. Sivasubramaniam (Assistant Secretary), Mr. S. D. Abeywickrema (Offce Assistant). Mr. D. J. S. Ranaweera, Mr. M. S. Kandasamy (Interpreters), Mr. P. Thilagadas, Mr. T. P. Fernando, Mr. S. E. L. Silva (Stenographers) and Mr. A. J. Lunuwila (Clerk). Their efficient and loyal services, always readily and cheerfully made available to me, made my task much lighter and more pleasant than it would otherwise have been.

19. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the help and guidance I received from the lawyers who appeared. They gave me the benefit of their advico and views on the several questions of law which arose during the hearings. By their crOSS-oxamination of witnesses, and by leading the evidenco of other witnesses, they were also able to assist me to arrive more easily at decisions on disputed questions of fact.


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The Childhood Hero of Ceylon




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Sri Lanka -The War Fueled by ‘Peace’



By Palitha M. Senanayake

This book was first published in Sri Lanka in 2010 under ISBN-978-955-52965-0-2

The forward

‘Truth triumphs at the end’ is a universal maxim that few would hasten to question. This is because civilized thinking is necessarily based on facts to construct models of inductive and deductive reasoning. World civilization cannot move forward for better unless its collective judgments are based on facts and fundamental truths. However, the study of facts, events, and logic presented in ‘Sri Lanka -The War Fueled by Peace”, make the reader doubt, whether truth, by virtue of being the truth alone, could always triumph under all circumstances?

It is a fact that Sri Lanka managed to defeat the most pernicious terrorist organization in the world having grappled with it for 34 years but the reality of the victory is that it was not brought about by the power of truth of the situation but because certain events, that coalesced at a particular time, manage to overcome the covert and overt organized forces that contributed to this conflict. The fact that artifice, as against the truth, held sway for 34 years shows that, had those events not coincided at the time, the conflict probably would have dragged on forever, making death and destruction, continue as they did. Therefore, power and organization may, not only suppress truth, but would also make falsity to mascaraed as the truth. In that respect, the author has made a very valid case of the role played by the vested interests and tendentious propaganda in the Sri Lankan conflict.

The author, with extensive research, incisive thinking and logical reasoning, has a built up a convincing case to prove that everything about the Sri Lankan conflict is exactly the opposite of what is popularly believed to be. The one who is said to be the aggrieved has been the real aggressor while the predicator of all that aggression had been projected as the aggressor. The ‘Peace activists’ under the guise of peace have been promoting the conflict to serve the needs of the national and international questionable elements. Thus, ‘Tamil grievances in Sri Lanka’ is a pretext to draw the support of the international community towards a bigger goal of the privileged Sri Lanka Tamil community.

Sri Lanka could not defeat terrorism not because it did not have the capacity to do so but because its leaders, influenced by powerful sinister forces and sometimes due to their own servile upbringing, refused to recognize the true causes and the forces that contribute to this conflict.

There are reactionary elements in every country or society that will hold on to their privileges at all costs preventing the progressive advancement of nation/society. In such a scenario, the more acceptable way for a responsible regime would be to manage the transition gradually through peaceful means, obviating extreme action. However, when the situation reaches a point where the reactionaries, not only tenaciously resist progressive change, but chose to react with a proxy war to protect their parochial interests, the Government will have no alternative but to vanquish those elements by the use of force.

The world powers have a responsibility to act with empathy, diligence and a sense of reasoning to be worthy of their global advocacy on paradigms of Global civilization such as international justice, human rights, freedom of expression, etc..  On the other hand, if the world powers chose to use these very paradigms to further their political, economic and expansionist ends, such action will bring about a confidence crisis in Global leadership pushing the world in to more chaos and conflicts. This, quite tenably, is the position taken by the author.

This is an enlightening book that opens new vistas of thinking on the Sri Lankan conflict with its national and international dimensions and hence it should be widely read by those who desire an in-depth knowledge of the subject.

Nihal Ratnayake
Director – Editorials
Lake House Newspaper Group

4th January 2010

The Preface

Sri Lanka was mired in a blood-letting conflict for years. The misery it enacted saddened me like any other countryman who wished to live in peace with self- respect and basic human decencies. The protracted nature of that conflict also created a sense of foreboding with regard to the future of the country, making even the lives of our future generations pegged in hopelessness. This prompted me, into some serious thinking about this whole scenario, leading to years of research and analytical thinking as to the causes and genesis of this conflict.

The more I studied this problem, the more it appeared that there were incongruities and paradoxes in our conventional thinking on this subject, and hence for that very reason, the plethora of ‘solutions’ that were meant to address this issue over the years, have had exactly the opposite effect in exacerbating, rather than solving, this conflict. What was even more pernicious was that it was becoming increasingly clear that the forces of vested interests that stood to gain from this conflict were flexing their national and international muscles, in a subtle and complex way to blind the nation and its leaders so that the nation continues on this road of self-destruction. The need of the hour therefore, was clear, objective and ‘non-tendentious’ analysis of the many prognoses available to understand the problem. After all, understanding a problem comprehensively, they say, is equal to solving it in half.

The success of science lies in its unflinching probity into the ultimate truth about the nature of forces and substances that make our planet earth and the universe. There is no room for conjecture in science and even a hypothesis will have a limited life. Therefore, in that context, the truth about this conflict should be of concern to all who are genuinely interested in solving this conflict, once and for all. 

However, it is inevitable that every person who attempts to write on this subject will bring his own prejudice, values and pathos to bear on the facts and judgments expressed because no man is an ‘Island’ of his own making. Yet, being mindful of the purpose of this exercise and the need to unravel this intriguing complex, I have striven to do justice to the subject even though the analysis and conclusions may sometimes appear ‘out of the box’ and against the thinking that is made be ‘popularly held’. If we do not have the courage to call spade a ‘spade’ we will never dig the land to unearth the root causes but instead would continue to scratch the surface. 

It was Rajith Zoysa of WAPS, World Alliance of Peace in Sri Lanka who first suggested that I should make a collection of all my newspaper articles on the subject into a book. In considering that suggestion, it occurred to me that those articles were written in the contexts and times applicable to situations, and a book on the other hand, should deal with the subject matter more comprehensively and systematically. Then, it was my initiation in to ‘Prof. F R Jayasuriya foundation’, a non-profit making organization, by my schoolmate Keerthi Jayasuriya, that laid the foundation for me to accomplish this task.

It was in January 2008, when the Government forces were locked in an intense battle with the LTTE, generating a lot of adverse publicity against the country in the western media, that I decided to make my findings and thinking into a book. However, the task of completing the book took some time and the Government forces were able to complete the armed operation successfully, before the book could see the print of day. However, it is only the armed manifestation of this complex issue, that the Government forces were able to overcome and not the insidious causes and forces that fashioned this conflict. Identifying such subverting and disguised vested interests should be of concern to those who are interested in understanding this conflict. Therefore, from that perspective this book would still serve a vital area of national interest.

While acknowledging with gratitude all those who helped me in this task, I must single out Mr Cecil Dharmasena for kindly undertaking the editing of this volume, Mr D C A Gunawardene, Director, Department of Census and Statistics for providing national census and Mr S. Pathiravithana, former Features Editor of Ceylon Daily News, for all the intellectual inputs. Mr Nihal Ratnayake, Director Editorials, Lake House group. was gracious enough to contribute by volunteering with a Forward.

Palitha M Senanayake
Madilande Walawwe,

15th October 2009. 


This book is dedicated to all those persons, who died and were wounded, due to this conflict; the Sri Lankan soldiers in the course of their duty, the LTTE members motivated by misplaced racial condensations to achieve a Pan- Tamil state, and the civilians who were the all too unfortunate victims.

On behalf of all of them, this book intends to espouse the thought that, “violence, brings in its wake, death destruction and immense misery, and is the basal point in humanity. Thus, in the long run, it does not pay to contribute, knowingly or unknowingly, and for whatever reason, towards violence.  Violence is bound to boomerang and has no lasting power, and that is because violence is not based on righteousness.  Righteousness is the only basis of enduring world peace and civilized living.

Book Summary

  • Prologue
  • 1st Chapter   –  From where do we start?                                       page   11
  • 2nd Chapter   –  The Paradox                                                             page   19
  • 3rd  Chapter  –  Geography, Demography, Geology and History.Page   28
  • 4th  Chapter  –   Negotiations                                                             Page    39
  • 5Th Chapter  –  The Current Military operation                             Page   61
  • 6th  Chapter   –  Discrimination in Sri Lankan Society                  Page  80
  • 7th  Chapter   –  The Cause- According to Tamils                            Page  90
  • 8th   Chapter  –  Brutality, the nemesis of grievances                 page  118
  • 9th   Chapter  – Genesis of the Tamil problem                               Page 138
  • 10th Chapter  – Hyped Tamil Grievances Subverting Genuine Sinhala        Page  155
  • 11th Chapter  – Pre- Colonialism to Post- Colonialism.                 Page  170
  • 12th Chapter  – National Integration Vs. Post Independent Dichotomies.     Page  183
  • 13th Chapter  – Colonial stripes on the Tiger                                 page  199
  • 14th Chapter  – Pan Tamil State & ‘Exodus’ in the making          Page  215
  • 15th Chapter  – Propaganda, English media and Dubious media agendas     Page   225 
  • 16th Chapter  – New Face of Colonialism Diaspora and the NGO                page   244
  • 17th Chapter  – The New Strategy of ‘Re- Colonization’.            Page   262
  • 18th Chapter  – West’s Agenda for South Asia and Sri Lanka   page   284
  • 19th Chapter  – India and the Indo -Lanka Accord                      page   293
  • 20th Chapter  –  The Way Forward                                                  page   311
  • Epilogue.


The Curtain comes down…

He sat in his makeshift bunker in a small patch of land, ruminating the events of the past few months. Where did he go wrong and what could he have done differently? He had gone through similar situations before but none of those had been as precarious and as sterile as it is this time!

His clothes were drenched, having been buried in the murky waters of the lagoon for hours. That was how he escaped the daytime operation by the Sri Lankan army. He saw his once elite bodyguards being killed by the forces, but he lay motionless buried up to his neck in the sandy mud. These certainly were difficult times. Even more difficult than the incipient stages of his battle when he was young, and was unknown.

His personal pistol, with No.001. inscribed on it, hung around his waist wrapped in polythene to prevent water seeping in. His LTTE identity card issued on 01.01.07 with his designation as the ‘Leader of the LTTE’ and his date of birth, hung around his neck along with the metal tag bearing No.001. He had everything an average member of the LTTE would have, except the cyanide valve which is the hallmark of the movement. That may sound somewhat strange, for death does not seemed to be an option for a man who admonished all his followers to choose between death and their ‘cause’.

Another polythene bag lay beside him. That contained personal paraphernalia, requirements of the hour; his diabetic drugs, insulin; antiseptic cream for the wounds and some dressings and moisturizing cream. However, he held in his hand the most important of all his possessions right at that moment. And that was his satellite phone. He was awaiting responses from a few he had contacted to bail him out of the situation. “If only I could wrangle myself out of this, I will know how!” he thought.

He had no clear news about his son who was manning the ‘boys’ on the other side of the lagoon. Did he die and was he not told about it? Now there is hardly anybody coming to him with the battle updates. Yesterday, even Pulidevan and Nadesan who went with a white flag fluttering could not work it out. There had been too many suicide cadres disguising themselves as surrenders, so the SL army has now become wise. In any case how can I possibly surrender to the SL army?

In a moment of emotion, the thoughts about his wife Mathivathini, daughter Dwaraka and the youngest son Balakrishnan flashed across his mind: will I ever see them again! The world doesn’t seem to be rotating the way it once did, any longer!

He thought about Chris Patten the Chief of the European Union who came all the way to Kilinochchi to shake hands with him. Where is Solheim who promised to get him surrendered to a third party. Where is Bob Rae, Simon Hughes, Keith Vaz and the whole works, his international friends. What is KP (the LTTE’s international man) doing? He is only asking us whether we could release the civilian people. In any case now they had been taken by the SL army, 2 days ago. The last to leave were the ‘Mahavir families’ and most of them were prepared to die with us! But then, why did they go at this crucial hour??

Idi Amin, for all his idiocies, was dead right when he said that ‘the only wrong thing Hitler did, was to lose the war’. People are funny; they all subscribe to the victor and the loser is always wrong. Now that I have lost the war, nobody, even those who idolized me, will have anything in my favor.

“Have I really exhausted all my avenues of saving myself? What happened to those decoys I sent as refugees to tell the SL army that I had escaped in a submarine? It doesn’t seem to have worked. Then the advanced party sent towards the jungle exit near the A35 highway also got killed. That was the only way I could have escaped into the jungle”. He started dosing off for he had not had ‘a proper sleep’ or a meal for days.

Gunfire at dawn shook him awake, and it sounded so close. ‘Wish I could continue dreaming than waking into this nightmare!’ He thought of crawling back into the lagoon water, “but it is awfully sticky and chilly and maybe I will die of pneumonia if I continue in this water. Where are these fellows, my handpicked bodyguards?”

The sound of guns is now getting closer. There is an ambulance parked a few meters away on the water’s edge. “I should get into that and hide myself”, he hoped against hope and took a few steps to run. Just then he saw the advancing soldiers and one of his remaining bodyguards coming out of the nearby bush firing towards them. That is Nithi, the best out of the lot.

“Anna, they are coming” he shouted at him.

That was the last he heard before the guns started to explode. Nithi got thrown in his direction with his head in two pieces. In fact, he fell so close to him that he even felt the taste of blood with parts of Nithi’ head shattered across his face. ‘Taste of death’ he thought and impulsively reached for his gun.

‘Have they seen me or can I run?’ He could only take a few steps forward stealthily: he felt something excruciating hitting him on the head and the whole body became numb. His legs would not obey his orders anymore!

“So, this is it!” he thought, ‘This is what it is like to die!” and the whole thing became blurred and dark and his heavy body just collapsed on the wet sandy mud of the lagoon ending a 34 year period of vainglorious and insolent bravado.

The man who said, “The problem with some of you people is that you can’t see blood. You have to kill!” lay in a pool of blood, but not before he caused the deaths of more than hundred thousand Sri Lankans, Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. His moribund acts of deliberately targeting the country’s economic nerve centers, also caused more than US$ 20billion worth of directs damage to the national economy. Then, to accomplish all this, he collected well beyond US$ 15 billion over a period of 30 years from the Sri Lankan Tamil expatriates living in the west.

The tragedy however is that, at the end of all this mayhem and murder in the name of ‘liberation of Tamils’, the ones wealthy, cultured and educated Sri Lankan Tamil community found itself reduced to a pitiable position with some displaced, some disoriented and some living abroad as asylum seekers with gun culture and crime reigning supreme. Even in population strength, as the current numbers would suggest, the Ceylon Tamils population today is estimated to be around 9% of the Sri Lankan population as against the pre-conflict 12 %.

If the country was pushed back by 30 years, the country’s most privileged minority, the Tamils, were pushed back by 100 years. The story therefore, of Sri Lanka’s 33year old ‘Tamil liberation struggle’, is certainly a story full of intrigue and incongruity!

Chapter 1

From where do we start this??

Writing or discussing the massacres and mayhem, Sri Lanka as a nation is undergoing at present, with a fervent wish of ‘wishing them away’ could be a moral compulsion for any one of the country’s citizens. The issue however is that violence, often premeditated and targeting civilians, takes place with such regularity and monotony that it is difficult to decide as to how and where one should start relating these events.

The year 2008 dawned on Sri Lanka, as it did on any other part of the globe. A few hours in to the New Year however, the news broke out that T Maheshwaran, a Member of Parliament representing Colombo district in the United National Party, a Tamil by ethnicity, was gunned down at the Ponnambalam Vaghishwar Kovil at Kotahena in the North of Colombo when he was attending his customary pooja on the first of every month. He had been shot at point-blank range as he entered the Kovil, by a person who had been waiting in ambush for his arrival. Mr Maheshwaran’s security officers had returned the fire injuring the fleeing assailant who was trying to mingle among the terrified crowd. He was eventually overpowered and arrested and his identity was established as Valentine Collin Jonathan, a Tamil from Gurunagar in the Jaffna district in north Sri Lanka.

41year old T. Maheshawaran, in addition to being a Member of Parliament, was a rich businessman owning a few businesses including a shipping company in Colombo. Although a native of Jaffna he had been resident and established in Colombo for the past 30 years. His death left the lives of his wife Vijayakala and 2 children devastated and in a mire of business and politics. Even though he often championed the cause of his fellow Tamils, being an opposition member from the UNP, he was well accepted in Government circles and even among Muslim members and his funeral was overshadowed by the attendance of Government and Opposition politicians’ far outnumbering even members of his own community.

The motive behind the killing was not immediately known but the assailant, a Roman Catholic Tamil, has been serving in the Tamil VIP security circles including that of Minister Douglas Devenanda, a rival Tamil politician. Besides the fact that a micro pistol had been used in the assassination, a hallmark of LTTE killings, this had been a rare occasion where the killer had been apprehended in a condition to make interrogation possible. Since of late, the Mr Maheshwaran had been critical of the Government and particularly of Douglas Devanada his fellow Tamil Minister in the Government. There had also been an earlier unsuccessful attempt on Mr Maheshwaran’s life. The opposition United National Party, as usual, tried to make a political capital out of the situation, accusing the Government of contributing to the event by its recent attempt to economize on Mr. Maheshwaran’s security.

However, as things fell in to place it was revealed that the killer had been contracted by the LTTE to eliminate the Tamil Parliamentarian. The LTTE is an organization that eliminates anybody and anything that stands in its way and the official conjecture was that the popularity of Maheshwaran was not to the liking of the LTTE which seeks to project itself in the role of ‘sole representative’ of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Maheshwaran, equally fluent in Sinhala, was gaining popularity even in his native Jaffna and was increasingly becoming a symbol of communal unity. The LTTE on the other hand had always worked to keep the two communities polarized.

On 3rd January2008 an army bus taking wounded soldiers from the Army headquarters to the Narahenpita Army hospital came under attack at the Slave Island junction in Colombo. The claymore attack had been carried out from the Manning Mansion, one of the oldest buildings and a former Governor’s residence, now made into a hotel. The attack killed 5, including 2 soldiers, 3 pedestrians and wounded 28. There was an A/L student from a prominent school and his mother among the dead. 

On 6th January2008 a Seaman on a tip-off discovered 8.72 kgs of C4 Explosive material and 1kg steel balls, in the vicinity of the ‘Crow Island’ boatyard, north of Colombo. According to the informant the material had been brought to Colombo to trigger explosions in 4 different public places during rush hour in Colombo. 

On 8th January2008 a claymore attack was directed at the convoy of Government Minister Hon Mr D.M Dassanayake at Thudella, Jaela in the western province of Sri Lanka. The minister died while being admitted to the Negombo hospital and his bodyguard too succumbed to his injuries. Although the killings had all the LTTE hallmarks, it was not clear as to why the LTTE should kill this low profile Minister who had little personal and official interaction with the LTTE, making the investigators suspect even political enmity.

When they removed the deceased Minister’s valuable at the hospital mortuary they found a packet of sweets and a storybook the Minister had bought for his13yar old daughter. Mr Dasanayake was such a family man that his ministerial colleagues maintained that he avoided assignment which require official travel abroad, since being away from the family was not very much to his liking; and even when he finally makes a trip, he become a problem for the others in the entourage because of his incessant requests to return home.

The Minister’s funeral was held at his native Anamaduwa with the attendance of a record crowd. Grief was overflowing with people, elderly and young, filling past the casket sobbing, wailing and some even expressing anger at the untimely death. Mr Dasanayake had been a very popular man with his own inimitable style of doing things. As for the identity of the killer it was later established that The LTTE had carried out this attack expecting the ministerial entourage to be that of the Minster Jeyaraj Fernadopulle, a Tamil and a close associate of President Mahinda Rajapakse who also takes the same route home. Hence the assassination of D M Dassanayake had been an assassination due to mistaken identity.  

On 15th January 2008, 27-year-old Chandralatha boarded the Buttala bound Sri Lanka Transport bus no. 62-6427 at Neadalle, a small village town in South East Sri Lanka. She is a teacher in the Maligavila Junior school just 6 miles from Neadella. As the time was around 7.15 am, the bus was packed to capacity with office workers, garment factory girls and even school children. For Chandralatha the bus ride was mere monotony as she took this bus to work every day: but that day being a Tuesday which is the ‘fair day’ at Buttala, the bus was oozing out with passengers and luggage.

The bus started to gather speed after collecting a few more passengers at the halt near the ‘third-mile post’. Climbing the Veliara hill, the crowded bus was proceeding at a snail’s pace. As the bus passed the shrubbery patch of terrain on to its right there was a deafening sound jolting the bus out of its course. There was screaming and whining and the bus skidded and came to rest in the roadside drain and Chandralatha was awestruck.

In seconds screams turned to wails and then they became more decipherable and they ranged from ‘Bomb attack’ to ‘they are throwing bombs’. Befuddled and in a severe state of shock Chanralatha saw people fallen on the floor and outside the bus with clothes torn and blood-spattered with pieces of glass and iron scattered all over. She tried to break free from the crowd but virtually got pushed out with the crowd. In the pandemonium, she fell into the drain but dragged herself on to the edge of the road.

Battered and bruised the passengers just tried to gather themselves when they heard the sound of gunfire. Wails gave way to screams again and those who were on the road started running helter-skelter ‘There! There! They are shooting from atop the mountain’ somebody cried and they all started running towards the shrub jungle for cover. As she ran for her dear life, Chandralatha felt a queer painful sensation down her left arm and Blood started to drip down her sari and the hand became numb. She realized that she had been shot in the arm and in a moment of frenzy and panic she ran faster expecting the next shot to pierce her head. There was unceasing sound of gunfire and Chandralatha ran faster and faster with the crowd fearing that the black-clad gun totting menace would catch up with her any moment.

She thought of her little son still asleep in his cot and her husband working at the village Co-operative. Oh what an end to me! But what did I do to deserve this tragic end? It was a maddening dash. She remembers people tripping over bushes and brushing the trees; falling down and then collecting themselves up again. Even elderly women, driven by mortal fear with eyes wide as ever were scrambling across with their saris tucked up to their knees.

The reverberating sound of firing became less and less menacing and they must have run about half a mile by now. Chandralatha was feeling dizzy but she was determined to save her self for the sake of the little son. The crowd now started talking to each other. Still panting and in shock nobody could talk properly and some could not be made to listen. After having half run, half walked, another good distance, they came upon a by road in the jungle. Then, the sound of an approaching vehicle! A tractor took the bend and it was carrying a load of newly threshed paddy chaff.

The sight of disheveled strangers, with some limping along in blood splattered clothes, made the tractor driver stop his vehicle. The men in the crowd stuttered the confusing details to the tractor driver, and then he volunteered to take all of them to the main road.  Since almost all of them had some injury or the other the driver suggested that they go to the primary hospital close by. Chandralatha felt her legs sore: her stomach started to churn as she clambered and laid herself by the stacks of paddy chaff on the tractor carriage. With blood still dripping down her hand she felt faintish despite the sigh of relief. The tractor started with a jerk and she looked at the sky: it was all spinning around her. She embraced a stack of chaff.

The claymore attack and shooting of the public passenger bus at Weliara took the lives of 30 (13 men 14 women and 3 children) and injured 62, some seriously, whose only concern was to live in peace within their own little worlds. Chandralatha survived to relate the story of the worst experience any human could possibly undergo in a lifetime.

On 16th January 2008, at nightfall two members of the civil defense force, Karunaratne (5264) and Sarath Kumara (36632) came out to the Thanamalvila- Tambegamuwa road near the village called Kalawelgala. They had been put on special alert following the bus bomb blast at a nearby village two days ago. Hence naturally their discussion centered around the bomb blast that took many lives and the possibility of the LTTE members still roaming about in the jungles. They expressed obvious reservations about fighting the ‘armed to the teeth’ LTTE with the type of old weapons they had in possession. Just then they noticed some shadows walking towards them on the road and a more focused look revealed that the advancing party was in uniform. The picture, at once reminded them of the morning news headline where the   Government had promised to provide ‘adequate security to the villages in the area’. ‘This is really quick work’, they thought, but just then the noise of gunfire broke out and both Karunaratne and Sarath Kumara dropped dead on the road. That night the LTTE killed 11 villagers including a school principal name Sugathadasa in the Kalawegala village, some of them while having their dinner.

On 1st of February 2008, a time bomb exploded at the Dehiwala Zoo, in the vicinity of Colombo near the entrance to ‘Kurulu Uyana’( Bird Park). As it was not a crowded holiday and the time was in the morning, the bomb was not very damaging and it injured only six persons, two of them seriously. The bomb appeared to have targeted school children who normally visit the only zoo near Colombo during that time.

On 2nd February 2008 at dawn, the Anuradhapura bound private sector public transport bus from Kandy, in central Sri Lanka, took off sharp on time at 5.15 a m.. Since the bus reaches Anuradhapura, in the North Central Province, around 8.30 a.m., the bus was popular among the en-route office workers of Anuradhapura.  The bus was always well patronized, but on that particular day morning (2nd Feb.) since there was a religious festival at Shri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura, the bus had a crowd that it could hardly accommodate.

The bus reached Dambulla, a halfway point, around 7.30 am and the driver Sarath Wijesiri was maneuvering the bus to park at the Dambulla public bus stand. There was this bus from Polonnaruwa obstructing his way causing him to slow down for a few moments. Just then there was a loud explosive noise that made Wejesiri lose his senses. It must have been a few minutes before he regained consciousness to see that the left door was ajar and there were pieces of glass all over the place. He realized that it was a big explosion and the rear side of the bus was considerably affected. He remembered limping out of the bus as if in a daze and coming out to see what really hit him in the rear. There was thick black smoke and nothing was visible but he realized that the explosion had taken place inside the bus! The explosion in the Anuradhapura bound passenger bus at Dambulla killed 19 civilians and wounded 75.  The conductor of the bus. W.A. Sunil, later recounted that two persons who boarded the bus at Matale and got off at Naula could have left a parcel bomb in the rear of the bus.

On 2nd February 2008 afternoon at Padaviya, an agricultural village in the east of Sri Lanka, a passenger bus plying from Parakramapura to Janakapura on the Welioya- Athawetunuwewa road became the target of a claymore attack, killing 12 passengers and injuring17. After the bomb hit the front left part of the bus the wounded driver had taken the bus another 200 yards before he eventually collapsed. The driver later explained that he took the bus a comfortable distance after the attack, because he expected the attackers to shoot at fleeing passengers had he stopped at the very scene of the accident. Therefore, the first thing that struck him after he realized that the bus was under attack was to drive as farther as the injuries would permit him to.

On 3rd February 2008 (Sunday) the baseball team from D.S. Senanayake College (a popular school in Colombo) returned to Colombo after taking part in the baseball tournament at Kandy University grounds. Baseball is not a popular game in Sri Lanka and very few schools have teams playing baseball. D S Senanayake College, being a school patronized by upper-middle-class parents of Sri Lanka was one of the few such ‘outbound’ schools. 7 members of the baseball team and their coach died when they walked into the explosion at the Fort Railway station in Colombo set off by a suicide woman who had come in the previous Vavuniya train.

The public media was outpouring with grief, carrying moving stories of abject despondency of the parents, partly because it was an occasion where 8 promising young sportsman had their lives tragically plucked off in their prime and also because they were not just ‘hoi polloi’, the victims in everyday attacks. Among the many grief-stricken accounts, one stood out for its touching nature. That was the story related by the surgeon who treated the mortally wounded 17-year-old Thivanka Thissera at the Colombo general hospital.

Although Thivanka had serious injuries to his chest and head, he was conscious. The hospital authorities decided to subject him to an emergency operation as that was the only way of saving his life. Thivanka, realizing the seriousness of his condition fervently called out for a member of the medical team in whom his fate rested. But his pleading had a different tone to it. He said that he was the only child in his family and his parents looked after him like a ‘flower’. All the aspirations of his parents centered around him and he felt very bad about the situation he was in purely from his parent’s standpoint. He was not afraid to die but when he thought the gloom and doom that would bring to his parent’s lives he dreaded the very thought of it and felt they deserve a better deal from him for all that they had done to him. So he implored with the Doctor to save his life at least for his parents’ sake.

The Doctors tried their best but Thivanka’s injuries proved to be too lethal. When Thivanka was pronounced dead the following day the Chief Surgeon looked as equally distraught as the parents themselves. The suicide bomb attack on the Fort Railway station in Colombo resulted in the deaths of 16 civilians with 22 injured.

These are the events that greeted the people of Sri Lanka in chronological order over the first 35 days of the year 2008 (i.e. from 1st January to 4th February 2008). It is a series of tragedies where one tragic events emerges, overshadowing the one that occurred just before, giving the impression that for some reason the country’s civil administration has lost control of the situation. This has been happening in Sri Lanka for the past 33 years where a separatist Tamil movement killed Alfred Duraiappah, the Tamil mayor of Jaffna in 1975; and since then the number of persons died as a result of this separatist conflict is estimated to have cost the country 80,000 lives and Us $ 20 billion worth of collateral damage.

The above incidents, include 5 attacks within a space of 9 days, deliberately and indiscriminately aimed at, women, children, infirm, and the infants, killing108 of them and injuring more than 800. These are premeditated attacks against innocent defenseless people who have nothing to do with the Government and the politics of Sri Lanka. Who is responsible for this carnage and how could these people ensure their protection and how did this country manage such depths of absolute despondency! What could possibly be the reason for this?

The architect of these premeditated cruel acts of violence against the innocent civilians of the country is an organization that styled itself as the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), an organization that is fighting to carve out a separate state for the Tamil community in the North of a country where the majority is Sinhalese. They claim that they have been discriminated against and persecuted since independence from Britain in 1948 and therefore, are left with no alternative but to pursue a course of separation.

There are English educated Sinhalese who agree with this position and they write to the English press saying that the cause of all this is the 1956 language issue, the letter ‘Shri’ on vehicle licenses, or the 1983 riots. But haven’t all these been rectified now? Tamil has been made a national language in 1978 and it is now an official language in par with Sinhalese. The letter ‘Shri’ has been done away with in 1991 by President Premadasa. Today the percentage of Tamils who have settled themselves down in Colombo, far exceeds the percentage of Tamils that were there in 1983. Yet these apologists continue to echo the propaganda of the Tamil Diaspora thereby justifying the crimes of the LTTE indirectly. What is the cause, that is so sacred on this earth that is worth fighting for, by killing innocent civilians and what are the life’s rights, these terrorists are aiming to win by snuffing out life itself?

The former President of Sri Lanka, M/s Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranathunge, who reigned for two periods from 1994 to 2005, was a fervent believer of the premise that the present conflict is the result of historical grievances suffered by the Tamil community and their grievance should be addressed by devolving political power to the periphery. She often maintained that ’If you eliminate Prabhakaran, more Prabhakaran would be born!’ She was trying to build up a school of thought that the more a race or a community is aggrieved, the more violent, the repercussions would be on those who perpetrate those grievances. Yet, quite unfortunately, her knowledge of Sri Lankan history never stretched beyond July 83. Her thinking was quite in contrast to that of her own mother (three times Prime minister and former Chairman of the Non-Aligned Nations) who called the Tamils in Sri Lanka “one of the most privileged communities, anywhere in the world”.

Even the leader of the alternative Government to M /s Kumaranatunge, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe of the UNP believed in a similar solution and during his brief 3year stint as the Prime Minister he entered in to an armistice, a Cease Fire Agreement with the LTTE where he offered them virtually everything they had been demanding and was so optimistically committed to his ‘peace process’ that he even conceded certain concessions that are beyond the office of the Prime Minister.

The question then is, if both these leaders, being members of the Sinhalese community, had such confidence in their solution to this debilitating problem, why could they not implement this solution between them during the last 11 years of their tenure and solve this problem? Beyond that, why is the LTTE so incessantly cruel towards a community that has democratically elected such benign and understanding leaders?

However on the obverse, it was during M/s Kumaratunge’s regime that the LTTE atrocities increased making up to the highest number of deaths of security forces personnel and civilians casualties, and also causing extensive collateral damage amounting to billions, driving the Sri Lankan economy to a negative growth situation.Ranil Wickremesinghe’s regime pandered to the LTTE so much making them entertain the thoughts of separatism to a point where they even banned the Sri Lankan elections in 2005 from taking place in Tamil areas, declaring to the world that ‘the Sri Lankan elections have no bearing to their Ealam territory’. By and large, towards the end of 2005 Sri Lanka as a nation was on the verge of being declared a ‘failed state’. Therefore, an analysis of the recent event connected to this problem may not support this theory of Kumaratunga and Wickremesinghe.

Further, if this logic of M /S Kumaranatunge and Wickremesinghe is to be accepted, those communities who had been subjected to grievances all over the world should have spawned equally, or more violent, terror groups in response to the suppression they had been subjected to, for years. In that context, it is common knowledge in world history that there had been ethnically cleansed communities in the world such as, the Red Indians in North America, the Mauries in New Zealand, the Aborigines in Australia and the Incas in South America. These communities have been marginalized throughout the years with suppression by the colonial powers to the point of extinction today. Similarly, there had been Black slaves in the United States and the practice of ‘apartheid’ in former South Africa subjecting those communities to the most violent of legacies for a humankind. Therefore, the paradox is that it is neither in the United States, nor in Australia, Newzealand or South Africa, but in Sri Lanka that this ‘most brutal and ruthless’ terror outfit in the world emerged. How did Sri Lanka, less develop and small, managed this feat?

As responsible citizens of Sri Lanka, it is our duty to pause for a moment and think what really is happening to our country! We have left our fate, on this crucial issue in the hands of ‘political theorists’ and ‘the international community’ for their experiments for far too long. It is not advisable for us to be passive spectators any longer, for with such indiscriminate massacres nobody is safe and next time it could be either you or me! There is separatist’s terrorism in well over 100 countries of the 192 strong UN members: but none has it as badly as we Sri Lankans do.

These unrestrained attacks against the civilians set out above, continue to raise security concerns in the Government and among the civilians in general adding more responsibilities to the already stretched public security apparatus in Sri Lanka. The situation appeared so hopeless that the authorities and the concerned civilians looked askance for protection not knowing where to start and how to coordinate a situation which appeared so vulnerable and equally volatile.

The buses started screening every passenger and often employed an additional person to check the passengers and their luggage. Family members, especially the father and the mother, never travelled in the same bus because they feared that the children will lose both parents if the terrorist set a bomb in that bus. There were security concerns in Central Bus and Train terminals where the Government had to deploy a special Civil Defense Force. The marketplaces heightened their security: big supermarkets started special security programs: school authorities started strengthening their security demanding that parents too should play an active part; every Government office and Corporation had to pay special attention in view of the current indiscriminate carnage. No private sector company, firm, an agency or even the smallest of the wayside boutiques could count themselves out of this situation and even the tutories conducting private tuition classes, which have mushroomed over the years with the competitive University entrance exams, felt especially vulnerable in view of the congregation of young people for weekend classes. Hospitals, co-operatives, Post offices, Petrol sheds, Public eating places: and you name it, they all had security concerns and were working to strengthen, incurring extra costs and effort. And with all that nobody was still feeling safe in a context where the attacks are so unpredictable and indiscriminate.

Such a paranoid security situation in a country, would invariably bring about a host of social and economic problems, in its wake; the farmers could not transport their produce without hindrance to the store, the vendors could not ply their delivery networks without constant interruptions and delay, a passenger could not take his luggage, even a briefcase, without being subjected to extensive checks. A pregnant woman could not avoid the probing eye and would not always yield the respect and chivalry that the Sri Lankan society has been used to: school children could not sometimes take all their books to school; and huge traffic jams ensued at the entrance to most towns as security personnel searched the vehicles for potential car bombs: parking became ever more difficult in the towns with only those areas considered secure, being designated as vehicle parks.

The worst tragedy however, is that these deaths and mortal injuries have become so much of a monotony in the lives of Sri Lankans that they tend to treat such occurrences as mere statistics when in actual fact they should arouse an immense amount of grief and emotion in a country where family bonds are strong. Sri Lanka, with its Buddhist majority consider all forms of life to be so sacred; people even obstruct the job of the ‘stray dog catcher’ through compassion for the animals and the average Sri Lankan even entertains moral compunctions about killing mosquitoes.

 People of Sri Lanka for all their failings deserve a better deal than this and for that matter why should any set of humans undergo such deliberate acts of crimes to be so cruelly unleashed on its innocent people? 

Yet with all this diagnoses, reasoning, and counter-reasoning, the position in Sri Lanka appear complicated, hyped and paradoxical, requiring a comprehensive study as to whether this murderous separatist campaign is a result of this alleged ‘discrimination’ or on the other hand an organized effort to destabilize a small country.

While the Sri Lankan leaders appear to be so apologetic about the activities of the LTTE the FBI fact book for the year 2007 devotes quite some space in its international security status report describing the LTTE as the most dangerous and extremist terrorist outfit in the world. “In its campaign to seize control of the country from the Sinhalese majority and create an independent Tamil state, the LTTE has launched, suicide attacks, assassinated politicians, and committed all kinds of crimes to finance its operations. The rebel groups ruthless activities have inspired terrorist groups worldwide, including Al Qaeda in Iraq” added the FBI report.

This report confirms the happenings in Sri Lanka and dispels doubts entertained by any student of the Sri Lankan conflict as to the nature and character of this organization called the LTTE. The LTTE beyond doubt is the world No. 1 terrorist organization. Having accepted that position, the concern then of the world community should be focused to ascertain how Sri Lanka, being a comparatively insignificant player in world affairs spawned the role model terrorist organization that poses such significant threat, first to Sri Lanka’s own existence and then to world peace in general. Therefore, in the current context of the world, with such hype on ‘war against terror’, the Sri Lankan scenario, should be an interesting ‘case study’.


Chapter 2


The paradox


While the country as a whole is subjected to such misery in the hands of the worst terror outfit in the world, Sri Lanka as a nation has been able to register some positive features to its credit.


Sri Lanka is a democracy and its people have enjoyed the universal franchise for both sexes since 1931, making it the oldest democracy in South Asia. It is a two party democracy resembling the British system where different parties and coalitions have emerged as power players at different times as against the American two-party democracies where the two parties are institutionalized. Therefore, Sri Lanka has been a vibrant democracy with independent judiciary and an independent media to sustain and nurture it. What is remarkable is that the Sri Lankan democracy had stood the test of time surviving through many a calamity when other Asian countries have opted to adopt other extreme forms of Governments considered appropriate for the exigencies of time.


Sri Lanka’s national literacy rate has been consistently hovering around 90 % and that has been the envy of other Asian countries for some time now. The main reason for this could be found in the free education policy introduced by the Government in 1945 during the Donoughmore reforms on the eve of independence from Britain. Education in Sri Lanka is totally free up to University level and it is managed by the public sector. Even uniforms and textbooks are provided to the students. As a result the incidents of child labor in Sri Lanka are either rare or nonexistent. In Global terms 90% literacy rate could be an exclusive privilege associated with developed countries in the west.


According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Report for 2007, launched in April 2008, Sri Lanka ranks among the top 25 countries in gender equality. This ranking takes in to account the Education of women, violence against women, Career opportunities for them and their voice in the social decision-making process. Since there are more than 25 developed countries in the world, for a semi-developed country like Sri Lanka to rank within the first twenty-five in a 191member world community, is extraordinary and speaks volume of the Sri Lankan situation vis a vis gender. A new report published in Nov 2008 (CDN 24th Nov.2008) by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the gender gap in developing and developed countries for 2008, Sri Lanka is ranked 12th in the list of narrowest gender gap ahead of UK, Switzerland and France. The report ranks Nordic countries as having the greatest equality between the sexes with Norway replacing Sweden at the top.


Mr Nimal Siripala de Silva, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Health and Nutrition, disclosed over the National news on the 7th September 2008, quoting the Department of Census and Statistics that the current life expectancy rate in Sri Lanka is 76 years whereas in advanced countries such as the United States, it is 78 years. This fact has also been constantly highlighted in the WHO reports over the past few decades and it is indeed laudable for a country with comparatively low per capita income like Sri Lanka to maintain such a high level of life expectancy. An explanation for this could however be found in the country’s public-sector health service which is provided free at state cost. Sri Lanka has maintained comparatively high standards in its public health since independence and free health facilities were introduced in 1956. After the 1977 economic reforms the private sector was encouraged to invest in the health sector and today there are numerous private hospitals offering their services to the Sri Lankan public. Yet the situation today, even after 30 years of active private sector participation, even the wealthy Sri Lankans would concede that the public-sector health facilities are far above that of the private sector in terms of professionalism and competence of Doctors, Nurses and quality of health equipment. Public sector has a wide network of primary and base hospitals spread throughout the country while the private sector hospitals are mainly confined to the major commercial cities.


Sri Lanka has the lowest infection rate for HIV in Asia and that position could stand even in a global context if statistics are compared across the international arena. South-East Asia has the second highest percentage of HIV infected persons, 7.2 million, followed by Sub Saharan Africa. Nadira Gunetileka of the Anti-HIV campaign in Sri Lanka wrote to the CDN on 1st January 2007 on the recently concluded World Aids Day celebrations in New Delhi stating, “I was proud to represent Sri Lanka in the World Aids Day press tour organized by WHO due to one reason. It was that we Sri Lankans can hold our heads high and say that we are not among the other South Asian countries with a high level of HIV prevalence.”


International Finance Corporation, the Private sector arm of the World Bank in its report ‘Doing business 2007’ has ranked Sri Lanka as the 102nd out of 181 countries for ‘ease of doing business’. The report is compiled annually to gauge the ease in which business can be carried out in countries by measuring the reforms that ease the regulatory burden of doing business. The report identifies Sri Lanka as the leading reformer of business regulation in the South Asian region. “Sri Lanka, the top regional reformer, made it easier for business to obtain credit by strengthening the legal rights of creditors and enhancing the availability of credit information” the report said among other things. This report was issued in Sept. 2008.


The Per Capita income of an average Sri Lankan has reached US $ 2045 as per the current Sri Lanka Central Bank and World Bank records and this is the highest for any nation in South Asia. “Sri Lanka is an enigma. With an armed conflict on its hands she has been able to register an economic growth of little over 5 % or more during the recent past” said the Country Director of World Bank, Sri Lanka desk, Ms. Naoka Ishil, addressing National Business excellence awards ceremony organized by the National Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka at the Colombo Hilton on Monday the 19th November 2007. She also reported the level of poverty coming down from 22.7 % in 2002 to 15.2 % in 2007(reported in the Island of 21st November 2007).


The World Bank officials arrived in Sri Lanka on the 11th November 2008 to study Sri Lanka’s success story in already achieving three of the MDG’s (Millennium Development Goals) by the year 2008. MDG’s are set for achievement in the year 2015 and Sri Lanka has achieved three goals, Child mortality, Maternal mortality at childbirth and Longevity already by the year 2008, seven years before such goals are due.


Sri Lanka also has a cricket team that have achieved international fame winning the World cup for Cricket in 1996, the ultimate for the cricket playing nations, and ending up as runners-up in the year 2007. Although cricket is a game played by about 10 Commonwealth countries the fact that developed countries like Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand play Cricket in all its seriousness as their national sport, give credence to winning the Cricket World Cup. The Sri Lankan team has performed consistently well in the game in a manner second to none. The fact that Sri Lanka has humbled the Cricket-crazy India quite often maintaining the upper hand consistently proves the talent and ability of the country’s national players. In a recently concluded Test series between India and Sri Lanka it was Ian Chappel, the Australian commentator who said that “It is to the credit of little Sri Lanka with its comparatively small population to have beaten India so comprehensively and also the number of world class players Sri Lanka has gifted to world cricket is quite amazing”.


Every year the ICC, International Cricket Council, the world cricket governing body holds an award ceremony for the Cricket playing nations where they award teams and individual players awards for their performances during the year under review. Among its many awards the ICC recently added an award called ‘the award for the spirit of the game’. This award takes in to account a particular team’s conduct during the year and the contribution it has made to the game in playing it in the correct spirit. Sri Lanka team has always won the admiration of the cricket playing community as a team that is disciplined, honest and benign despite the vicissitudes associated with cricket’s current competitiveness. It is therefore not a coincidence that Sri Lanka won this award consecutively for the years 2006 and 2007 registering its capacity to play the game hard without subverting the rules and the spirit.


Sri Lanka, being a small country though, also has a few internationally renowned academics/professionals to its credit. Former Chairman of the Law of the Sea Conference at the UN Mr. Shirley Amerasinghe, former Secretary General of UNTCAD Mr. Gamini Corea, former Director of Research at NASA Dr. Ciril Ponnamperuma, current Vice President of the International Court of Justice at Hague Mr. C. G.Weeramantree, former Under Secretary General of UN Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala are all Sri Lankan who had illustrious careers at international level.


In the field of athletics Sri Lanka has two Olympic medalists and in Asian games they have consistently come second only to India overcoming the more populous nations like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Even in Commonwealth games Sri Lankan have stamped their class winning a number of crucial events.


The above certifications from International bodies and the performances at international level indicate that the average Sri Lankan is talented, intelligent, educated, flexible, adaptable and above all progressive. These facts also signify that Sri Lanka as a nation has been investing quite heavily on its people; so much so that it appears that the development strategy of the modern Sri Lankan nation has been centered around improvement of its human stock. These facts also help to maintain that the Sri Lankans as a people, are benign considerate and most of all, humane.


The question then is how could a nation that has invested so heavily on its people give rise to sectarianism where one section of the Sri Lankan community accuses the rest of discrimination to a point where that section justifies unleashing of brutal terror on the rest of the nation? 


The most unfortunate aspect about the country however is the international opinion it has earned over the years in the eyes of the ‘International Community’. As a matter of fact, the impressions about Sri Lanka among the big powers in the world has been negative to such a point, that it would invariably make the Sri Lankan public and their leaders wonder whether it is ‘terrorism’ or ‘International opinion’, that is the most prioritized national issue the country should address itself to right at this moment. 


In the highlights of a press conference issued by the UN Secretary-General titled ‘victims of Terrorism’ on the 9th September 2008 Mr Ban Ki Moon expressed concern over the recent military activities in Sri Lanka. Though ostensibly his worries are for civilians, there definitely is a message for the Sri Lankan Government in it where he expresses his reservations about the military activities launched by the current Sri Lankan government to rid the country of the spate of terrorism it has continuously experienced. It however is an irony that the four individuals chosen to speak at this press briefing were complete outsiders lacking in knowledge of the current SL situation when there are many victims of tiger terrorism, in India or Sri Lanka, or even in Britain, who have been bearing up for years the protracted nature of this struggle and its fallbacks. The terrorism highlighted by speakers at this event was of a global nature that may not necessarily find favor with the long-suffering victims of this malady in developing countries. The comments also stood out in their callowness for deliberately glossing over the interconnected nature of global terrorism.


What is of particular interest to Sri Lanka in this case is that these comments have come in a press briefing on ‘Victims of terrorism’ and that the Secretary-General appears to be concerned about the supposedly civilian casualties when the Sri Lankan Government is taking some overdue action against terrorism which is within its legitimate rights as a sovereign state. Is the Secretary-General oblivious to the fact again that it is unbridled terrorism that prompted this military action by the Government in the first place?


 In such a situation where the Government takes action to eliminate terrorism, does the Secretary-General consider such casualties, if any, to be victims of terrorism or casualties of anti-terror campaigns? If they are termed as ‘victims of terror’ that would tantamount to inferring that the Government is unleashing terror on its people who elected them.


Who are the terrorists? Is it the tested and proven internationally banned LTTE or is it the Sri Lankan Government that is trying to cage it? Does UN understand the intricacies of modern-day terrorism and the difficulties confronted by countries trying to eliminate it within? Or should it act or talk in such a way so as to bestow hope in deed or word on those who unleash terror with impunity? If the war on terror is high up in the UN agenda why is the UN trying to pressure the Sri Lankan Government that is fighting the most dreaded terrorist unit in the world? The important thing to note in the UN Secretary General’s Statement is that he is calling for a negotiated settlement to the conflict inferring that ‘if the Government accedes to the demands by the minority Tamils, perhaps the violence may cease’.


However, it is not only Mr Banki Moon who has thrown a spanner at the Sri Lankan Government’s recent military operations. Many other UN organizations and Governments of countries who matter in the global scenario have expressed reservations in different degrees about the Sri Lankan Government’s current military operation.    


Hillary Clinton did not win the Democratic ticket but her general comments on terrorism during her high-profile campaign could be taken as the typical American perception of the Sri Lankan issue. In an interview with the Guardian, as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, she was quoted as saying that ‘terrorism is a tool that has been utilized throughout history to achieve certain objectives. Some have been ideological and others territorial. There were personality-driven terrorist objectives’, she pointed out, ‘the bottom line is you can’t lump all terrorist together. What the Tamil Tigers are fighting for in Sri Lanka, or the Basque separatists in Spain or the insurgent in Al –Anbar province may only be connected by tactics. They may not share all that in terms of what is the philosophical or ideological underlings.” Ms Clinton said,“And I think one of the mistakes has been in painting all forms of terrorism with such a broad brush, which has not been particularly helpful in understanding what it is we were up against, when it comes to those who pursue terrorism for achieving ends they are seeking. I think we’ve got to do a much better job of clarifying what are the motivations, the raisons d’etre of terrorists.” Here, a senior and experienced US politician, one who had been in the white house for 8 years is admitting that there are different forms of terrorist, probably meaning that there are good terrorists and bad terrorists, but all have a cause and some may cease to be terrorist if we reason out and accede to their raisons d’etre of terrorism.


After the Tiger radio station was bombed by the Sri Lankan Airforce in November 2007 the Director-General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, (a Japanese) issued a statement deploring the attack and describing the VOT as a civilian facility. The thanked the Director-General for his stand while Sri Lankan’s abroad including those in Paris demonstrated against UNESCO.


The delegation from the European Union that visited Sri Lanka in June 2008 to appraise the situation in the country held a press conference on 12th June to disclose its stand on issues that are of concern to the EU in considering Sri Lanka’s case to grant another term of General System of Preference facility. This preferential facility helped Sri Lanka’s garment exports to the EU on a preferential basis over the years and income from garment exports is among the top foreign exchange earners for the country. The future of 350,000 Sri Lankan employees directly, and another 600, 000 jobs indirectly, depended on the continuity of the country’s Garment industry. 


The normal conditions the importers would be concerned when importing goods from developed countries are the compliance factor, the engagement of child labor, financial sustenance of employees etc. But however, in the case of renewing the GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka, the EU had been embroiled in other political factors beyond what would be of immediate and direct concern to the EU as an importer. They wanted Sri Lanka, to find what is called a ‘political solution’ to the country’s problems, to disarm paramilitary forces in the East, allow NGO’s to operate without hindrance, to stop harassing journalists and the media, and to generally improve the Governments record on human rights.  


The British minister Lord Malloch Brown made a rather unscheduled visit to Sri Lanka in August 2008.  During the course of interaction with the press, he raised a few concerns on human rights and touched on the GSP+ facility that Sri Lanka is awaiting towards the end of the year 2008. The net effect of his statement is that he can not guarantee the grant of the facility for another year as that solely depend on the measures the Sri Lankan Government would initiate to improve the human rights situation in the country. Since the EU generally take the British lead in matters connected to Sri Lanka, Lord Malloch Brown’s visit bore special significance on the country’s current international image.


On July 10th 2008, 3 United States Congressmen: Sherman of California, Pallone of New Jersey and Weller of Illinois: submitted a resolution H. RES. 1388 in the United States Congress. The resolution called on “The Government of the United States and the International community to support a transition to sustainable peace in Sri Lanka by, encouraging an International Human Rights monitoring presence, protecting the work of the civil society and media, facilitating access to humanitarian operations, and retaining democratic principals in which rule of law and justice pervades”. This resolution has since been referred to the Committee on Foreign affairs.


The officials of the UN, UNESCO and UNICEF are in and out of the LTTE held areas with no formalities to comply with, in their movements. In 2004 the EU Chief Chris Pattern visited the LTTE held area on his own with no invitation from the Government of Sri Lanka.


UNICEF issued a media release when the LTTE camp at Sencholai was bombed in Nov. 2007saying that it was a school for orphaned children. Later reports confirmed that it was a training camp of the LTTE and true the inmates were children because the LTTE recruit children to be trained as fighters. Thus it was plain that UNICEF had acted beyond its purview but no action was taken against the UNICEF head in Sri Lanka even to the extent of calling for explanation.


In November 2007 a UNICEF official was caught transporting some ready to eat meal packet in the sensitive area. The explanation given was that they were meant for the field staff of UNICEF. However, as there were thousands of packets that explanation was not found to be plausible. The authorities suspected that these packets were for the LTTE fighting cadres in the jungles. In September 2007 the deputy Foreign Minister of Sweden visited the LTTE area without even the knowledge of the SL Government. Only meek protests were registered by the Government on each of these occasions.


David Miliband, the British Secretary of State issued a press communiqué on the occasion of Sri Lanka’s 60th anniversary of independence on the 4th February 2008. Ironically, the former colonial master did not congratulate Sri Lanka for whatever her accomplishments have been during these years, at least even as a matter of courtesy. Instead, the communiqué criticized the country’s human rights record. There was not even a passing reference to the scourge of terror the country is faced with, but there is reference to disturbances to civilian life. Any international opinion maker reading Mr Miliband’s communiqué may well think that the Government in Sri Lanka is just raving mad!


There is a strong pro- LTTE lobby within the British Parliament headed by three MPs of the current Labour Government namely Keith vas, Brian Evans and Andrew Dismore. Over the years they have prevailed over the British Government to adopt a cold attitude about the events in Sri Lanka propagating it as a pariah state not sensitive to the legitimate aspirations of the minorities.


There is an even more influential lobby within the Canadian Parliament that is sponsored by the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada that acts as an apologist for the LTTE. The supporters of Tamil terrorism by name in the Canadian Parliament are too numerous to be mentioned but it is generally the NDP and the Liberal parties that support the LTTE. On February 4th of 2009 the Canadian parliament convened a special debate on the Sri Lankan situation and the participants of that debate included Jack Layton the leader of the NDP, and the Liberals Jim Karygiannis, Maria Minna, Judy Sgro, Derek Lee, John McKay, Bob Rae and Albina Guarnieri, and some new actors like Paul Dewar of the NDP. The debate was aimed at persuading the Canadian Government to take up the Sri Lankan issue with the International Crisis Group at the UN to invoke R2P on Sri Lanka.


The 9/11 attack in New York, made a number of Western countries including the EU face up to the reality of world terrorism and hence banned the LTTE in their respective countries. But Australia is one country where the LTTE is not banned up to this day in spite of the fact that even the CIA has acknowledged the LTTE to be the ‘most ruthless terror outfit in the world’.


A galaxy of ‘eminent’ International Human rights personalities visited Sri Lanka from October 2006 commencing with the visit of Mr Allen Rock, UN’s special representative on Child Soldiers. The prominent persons among these included Sir John Holmes, the Assistant Director of Humanitarian Affairs of the UN, and these visits culminated in the visit of M/s Louise Arbour, the Director General of Humanitarian affair of the UN. Mrs Arbour relying mainly on the reports submitted to her by NGO’s and INGOs operating in the country recommended a UN Human Rights Commission to be set up in Jaffna, in the north of Sri Lanka. Consequent to this recommendation a considerable amount of lobbying has gone on within the UN and also in the international diplomatic circles to implement this proposal.


The Government of Sri Lanka resisted the proposal as it viewed this move as a further complication to its international relations and further on the grounds that the situation in the country, for that matter even in the north, does not warrant such an international presence. In any event since the function of this commission is to be limited to monitoring only, it would only have served as a propaganda channel for persons with dubious agendas operating in the country.


 R 2 P or Responsibility to Protect, is the newest strategy devised by the International community to deal with troubled countries to alleviate their sufferings.  This is the duty of the ‘International Crisis Group’ which is a body formulated as a result of proposals made to the 60th session of the UNO to meet the crisis situations in the world. It functions under the auspices of the UNO discharging its functions under the dictates of the UN Security Council. Mr Gareth Evans, the former Australian Foreign Minister is the current chairman of this organization. He recently visited Sri Lanka on the invitation of the International Center for Ethnic studies, an NGO, and delivered a speech titled ‘The limits of state sovereignty and the responsibility to protect in the 21st century’. That was the eighth Neelan Thiruchelvasm lecture delivered at the BMICH on 29th July 2007. He declared that ‘The International Agencies including the UN has the right to warn, to generate effective preventive strategies and when necessary to mobilize effective reaction within the boundaries of the states. There will be situations when prevention fails and reaction becomes necessary” In defining reaction he says, “Reaction does not have to mean military reaction. It can involve political and diplomatic, economic and legal, pressure, all measures which can by themselves reach across the spectrum from persuasive to intrusive, and from less to more coercive.” Mr Evans’ speech was attractively phrased but it sounded equally threatening.


It would be interesting to learn the observations the front-runner in the US 2008 elections Senator, Barak Obama has made about the Sri Lankan situation. In answering written questions posed by Washington post in October 2008 Mr Obama had this to say about the current Sri Lankan situation

I presume both parties to the conflict believe that they can solve the conflict which continues from 1983 by military means. However,r this is unrealistic. It will result only in more deaths numbering thousands. Since 1983 more than 75,000 lives have been lost in the fighting between the Government and the LTTE. The LTTE considers itself as a freedom movement but the EU banned the LTTE as a terrorists organization almost two years ago. It is such a beautiful country and its people are very motivated. I feel genuine responsibility for the people of this country. If the violence increases, the international community has a responsibility to act.”


On the 21st May 2008 at the UN General Assembly elections for Human Rights Council, Sri Lanka failed to re-elect itself to a council seat after having contested the Asian region with five other Asian countries.  Seats are allocated for every region such as Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe etc. Sri Lanka obtained 101 votes (97 is required to qualifying to serve on the Council) but not enough to be included within the first four thereby losing to Pakistan. This was the result of an intense campaign conducted by Bishop Desmond Tutu, former US President Jimmy Carter and Argentine President Silva who were highly critical of Sri Lanka’s human rights record.


In May 2008 there had been an attempt, led by the British ambassador to Geneva Nick Thorne to have a motion at the UN Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka but the Government acting through its diplomatic channels managed to avoid it. But it is understood in the diplomatic circles that the same group of European countries who wanted to back it last time may try to present the same sometime this year.


On top of all this the BBC has been carrying on a campaign of vilification against the current Government in Sri Lanka. It often misquotes, then quotes from Tamilnet and then have recourse to ‘reliable sources’ (sources whose, not only reliability, but the very existence have been in doubt), whenever they wish to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka in the eyes of the world. It is not that Sri Lanka, placed in the vanguard of this fight against terror, never has issues that deserve exposure, but it is the way the news is presented, devoid of the moment’s empathy, and worst still deliberately constructed to damage the country’s image, that smacks of a malicious intent. 


This unfortunately is the position of Sri Lanka in the eyes of the international community. Such an image certainly does not augur well for a vulnerable and small country like Sri Lanka. This is not only unfortunate but appears unfathomable in the context of Sri Lanka’s problems in facing brutal terrorism on the one hand and endeavoring to sustain the living standards of its people on the other. What makes this situation somewhat incongruous is that this should happen at a time when there is a wider realization that ‘global terrorism’ is the number one scourge of the world community and hence the countries should work in co-operation with one another towards eliminating it.


 In such a scenario, for the western powers, euphemistically called the ‘international community’, to treat the country that bears the brunt of the worst terrorism so shabbily, Sri Lanka must have done something really unacceptable to the west. Honestly the persons who man the affairs in Sri Lanka must be finding the fight with the ruthless tigers comparatively easy compared to the diplomatic problems it continues to experience with the western powers. The big question then is why is Sri Lanka sandwiched between the worlds worst terror outfit and the western powers that have vowed to eliminate terror from the world?


Whether these western powers are right or wrong in their attitude to Sri Lanka is also a matter the preceding chapters of this book will address fairly extensively, However, on the face of things, it does not appear as if diplomacy has worked for Sri Lanka. A person trying to reason out this inconsistent situation would be faced with the following posers.

  • Is it an international crime for a country to fight back when it is faced with terrorism in its worst form, threatening the nation’s territorial integrity and its very existence?
  • Is it because the Sri Lankan Government has adopted a belligerent and intransigent attitude towards solving its long-standing national issue in defiance of the considered views of the International community?
  • Is it because the current Sri Lankan Government has adopted a bellicose attitude towards it minorities disregarding international practices and norms?
  • Is it because of some disoriented perception of the international diplomats on the situation in Sri Lanka, lacking in a comprehensive understanding of the real issues involved in the Sri Lankan conflict?
  • Is it because the ‘International community’ has a hidden agenda, devoid of world peace and humanitarian standards, motivated by economic advantage and global hegemony?


For those who are concerned about the country and its people, these posers and their unbiased examination should be of vital importance. Because it is only through careful examination of these that one could identify the reasons that bedevil Sri Lanka for this long. ‘A problem identified correctly’ they say, ‘is half solved’. That alone signifies how important it is to study the factors that have brought about the present state of affairs in the country with the view of making a honest effort in identify the causes that spawn those effects. If the efforts made are not honest then those who attempt to study and analyze this problem could, through their own sectarian interests, could place the blame on one community demonizing that community and the problem will either remain or exacerbate. Therefore, an honest diagnosis of the problem remains the key to addressing any ailment or problem effectively.


Science has overwhelmed the human society today because it is based on the ultimate truth and nothing but his truth. Where the absolute truth is not discernible science may rest its actions on a reasonably acceptable hypothesis, but no sooner the truth is unveiled the hypothesis is replaced and the future activities revised according to that factual situation. Hence the maxim that ‘truth triumphs at the end’ should hold good for Sri Lanka as it would for every progressive phenomenon, including science.


 In this context, the fact that this problem has been continuing for the past thirty years despite the solutions formulated and executed should make us doubt as to whether we have been wise and honest in our diagnosis. The important motivational factor that will drive any Sri Lankan towards a solution, is the reality that if not for this protracted problem every Sri Lankan would have been much more prosperous and less uncertain about his/her present and the future. Aren’t we all, irrespective of our communal or religious attachments humans with identically common physical, psychological and moral needs?  Therefore, anybody who makes a tendentious attempt at the Sri Lankan problem will only help prolong the agony of the country.


Thus, let us approach this study by taking on the questions posed above, one by one. As regards the order of this approach, since Sri Lanka seems to have earned the ire of the International community quite out of proportion, let us examine whether the Sri Lankan Government has been dogmatic and belligerent in its attitude to this problem in shunning the acceptable methods of solving sectarian problems, i.e. absence of dialogue and empathy. Let us therefore devote the ensuing chapter to examine this.


Chapter 3

Geography, Demography, Geology, History and Ethnic traits.


At the very outset, it would be opportune to get acquainted with basic facts about the country, such as its location, the ethnic/ religious composition, geology, ecology and history so that some idea can be formed of the background the conflict. These basics become so vital in view of the fact that some vociferous champions of the Sri Lankan issues in the West were found to be ignorant even of the location of Sri Lanka. Some others believed and may still believe, that the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka is all Christian and therefore is under persecution in a predominantly Buddhist country. Some others tend to think that Sri Lanka is a savage country where a very primitive people live. Hence the knowledge on such basics would help clear many popular misconceptions about Sri Lanka that have prevented an objective evaluation of the real problem at hand i.e. the LTTE and continuous strife, in all its ramifications.


Geography and Geology

 Sri Lanka is an Island of 65,610 square kilometers (25,000 square miles) situated in the Indian Ocean off the southern tip of the Indian sub-continent. More correctly it is to the South/East of India and the distance between the two countries, India and Sri Lanka, at their closest point is only 22 miles. It is a ‘teardrop’ shaped island situated close to the equator and therefore is a tropical country with a humid climate and a considerable degree of biodiversity in flora and fauna.


According to the National Geographic issue of 1981 “Tourist brochures rightly describe Sri Lanka as an Island paradise. It is blessed with a benign tropical climate and much fertile land. Apart from the fabled palm-fringed beaches, it has cool hills; great areas of forest: much wildlife; a profusion of ancient monuments; many towns and villages of great charm. The variety of multiplicity that you find in Sri Lanka is such that it appears as if much of the great diversity on planet earth has been projected into a little Island in a compact form”.


This is about the most concise description of the island that one could come across. What is unique about this little country is the amount of diversity that you could find within that comparatively small area of 25,000square miles. It is not that there is no diversity in other parts of this world and for that matter even in India itself. But, India being a huge country ought to have diversity in keeping with its own size.


There is a range of mountains in the center of Sri Lanka, aligned towards the south of the country, projecting up to 8300 feet above the sea level. This mountain range appears as if that is the area from which the whole island has been thrust out of the sea, as the downward sloping valleys surround these mountains. The origins of Sri Lanka’s 18 major rivers are located in this mountain range and therefore the rivers roll down to the sea cascading the mountains and then through the valleys.


You can experience the cool climes of the Himalayan foothills in these mountains and again there are areas in Sri Lanka where you could experience the aridness of the Sahara, i.e   towards the north of the island. In fact, it is this diversity that amazed many a traveler to the Island. Marco Polo called the Island the ‘pearl of the Indian ocean’ and Ibn Batuta identified it as Serendib signifying serendipity. Mark Twain, the American poet exclaimed Sri Lanka, “Dear me, it is beautiful! And most sumptuously tropical” and another famous fellow American Professor William Hull describes, ‘Ceylon like Cleopatra, is infinite variety’. Over the years, the Island was known as ‘Sinhaladeepa’ to the inhabitants, but travelers from different dialects and cultures adopted this with a tinge to suit their tongues. Hence it was known as Seylan to Arabs, Sinhalam or Seelam to the South Indians, Celao to the Portuguese, Ceylon to the British and ‘Lankadveepa’ to Indians as identified in the prehistoric Hindu chronicle Ramayana. It is an oddity in the English language that makes spelling of Ceylon start with a C and spelling of Sinhalese start with an S when both those terms are synonymous and symbiotic. The term “Ceylon” is an Anglicization of the term “Sinhale” or “Sihale” and therefore it should have either been spelled Seylon or else, Sinhalese should have been spelled ‘Cinhalese’.


It is the Southwest monsoon, that provide Sri Lanka with much of its rain and hence the western and the southern slopes of the country is generally wet and is known as the wet zone. The west and the south are generally glutted with rain for at least 10 out of the 12 months of the year. The northwest and south-east monsoons also bring rain but they are more seasonal and predictable than the south-west. The Northeast monsoon (October- December) could be considered the least active and therefore the northern part of the country remains comparatively, an arid zone.


Civilization & Demography

The current population in Sri Lanka is just under 20 million and the majority community in the Island is the Sinhalese comprising 74 % of the population. Of the origin of the Sinhalese race, the legend has it that in 543 BC a prodigal Prince from the Western Indian state of Orissa, Vijaya, after having been expelled from his Country, landed in the west of Lanka and spawned the Sinhalese race. However, there had been habitations in the Island by then. The Sinhalese language, culture, ethos and values have little resemblance with any community in the neighboring India, or for that matter anywhere in the world. Hence whatever the credibility behind this legendary tale, the fact remains that by virtue of the uniqueness of the Sinhalese race, the Sinhalese are a resultant race of evolution of natives with Indian input. It is also said that the author of Mahawamsa is Indian inclined and hence this extra weight on the Indian factor on the origin of the Singhalese race.


The Mahawamsa, the ancient Sinhala chronicle records the history of Lanka from 500 BC. The historical excavations are replete with artifacts and stone inscriptions to testify this fact. There are huge man-made reservoirs and pagodas made in the BC era surviving up to this day, former facilitating agriculture and the latter standing erect for the worshippers, signifying the legacy of a prosperous and stable Sinhala civilization in the Island. The ancient Sri Lankan Kings had Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, both in the North Central Sri Lanka, as the capitals of the Island nation. Since these capitals belonged to the Northcentral Sri Lanka and since the civilization was primarily agricultural, the kings had to provide a network of tanks to store water that is abundant in the rainy season, to be used during the rest of the year. This unique hydraulic civilization appears to have had its beginnings in the pre-historic era under the Naga tribe (prior to 500 BC), who have evolved and assimilated into mainstream Sinhala race.


As for the Tamils, there are two kinds of Tamils in Sri Lanka: one called the ‘Indian Tamils’ and the other called the ‘Sri Lankan Tamils’. The Indian Tamils are the descendants of Indian indentured labor brought to the country to engage in menial work in the Tea/ Coffee plantations by the British Raj during the 18th /20th centuries. These Tamils are mostly settled in the central hills of the country where the plantations are

Population of Sri Lanka by District & By Province (1981 Census)




 SL Tamil

  Indian Tamil



















   South Jaffna is now  








Kilinochchi district








































   Population main towns








    & coastal villages
































    Indian Tamils are








   dominant in N eleiya                    









































































































































































































































Island Total 









Source; Department of Census & Statistics; Statistical abstract 1982  


located and they represent 5.6 % of the country’s current population according to the last comprehensive census carried on in 1981.


There is a Muslim community who also speak Tamil but they have been consistently identifying themselves to be of a separate ethnic entity of its own tracing their ancestry to Arab and South Indian Moor merchants who frequented Sri Lanka for trade. The Sri Lankan Moors make up for 7.8 % of the country’s population. Their habitation is in ‘pockets’ spread across the country but with a noticeable degree of concentration in the eastern province where they were allowed to settle en-masse by Sinhala Kings when they were persecuted by the Portuguese on the Western seaboard in the 17th century.


The other Tamil community called the ‘Sri Lankan Tamils’ is the community at the center of this conflict. The Sri Lankan Tamils are predominantly settled in the north and some parts of the east but they too are spread across the country with a sizeable segment of them, (25%) living in Colombo in the west and other parts of the country. There is little doubt as to the origination of this community as they share the same linguistic, religious and cultural ethos of the Tamils in South India and historians assert that their migration and settlements started around the 13 century AD with the majority of them migrating during the early 19th century to obtain English education in Jaffna. It is difficult to ascertain the current strength of this community as no reliable surveys have been carried in the north and east due to the security constraints but according to the last official census carried out in those areas in 1981 the Sri Lankan Tamils comprise 11.6 % of the country’s population. However, since the north and east have been embroiled in this conflict for the past 34 years the current population ratio of the Sri Lankan Tamils is bound to be much less (with some estimates making it as low as 8 %) due mainly to, deaths of fighting cadres, migration abroad and the hampered growth rate due to incessant disturbances.


There are other minorities such as the Dutch burgers of European origin and Sri Lankan Malays of Indonesian origin who make up for the balance 1.0 % of Sri Lanka’s population.

However, since 1981 no country- wide census has been possible due to disturbances in two provinces. Yet the population based on 1981 census could be project to the current situation as follows.


Therefore, the Sri Lankan population, community wise, could be presented as follows,


   Sinhalese                              74.0 %.

   Sri Lankan Tamils               11.6 %

   Indian Tamils              5.6 %

   Ceylon Moor               7.8 %

   Others                          1.0 %  


Religious diversity and their origins

Religions wise, the breakup of the Sri Lankan population is more complex.  Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka during the reign of Emperor Asoka of India around 300 B C. Sri Lanka adopted Buddhism as the state religion and ever since the only religion in Sri Lanka has been Buddhism until the Portuguese invaders in 1505 brought on their wake the Roman Catholic religion. With the Portuguese invasion, the Sinhala Kingdom got pushed to Kandy confining its purview to the central hills and the Eastern slopes. The Portuguese invasion of the coastal areas of Ceylon was however inscribed as a period of turbulence and terror as coercion and duress were employed by the Portuguese to propagate their religion in the coastal belt.


The Portuguese also did not take to the Muslim religion kindly. This is because the Muslims had invaded Spain in Europe during the 17th century and hence they perceived Islam religion as a religion with an aggressive and pervading influence. The Muslim traders who were living in Sri Lanka’s western coast at the time were ordered by the Portuguese ‘to just get lost’ from the area of their control. The Muslims, faced between expulsion and extinction went before the Sinhala King Senarath of Kandy who accommodated them in the eastern parts of the country which was part of the Kandyan kingdom in the 17th century. Hence, the Muslim concentration in the present Eastern Province with pockets in the rest of the Island. The native Sinhalese King then lured the Dutch to rid the land of the Portuguese menace.


The Dutch having taken over from the Portuguese in 1658, and their religion being protestant Christianity, persecuted the Catholics and propagated Christianity in the coastal belt. The Christian religion in any case is less stringent and pervading in its practices and hence the Sinhala Kings found the Dutch a more than suitable replacement for marauding Portuguese.


The British arrived in the scene in 1796 and chased the Dutch. They took over the coastal belt and made two unsuccessful incursions into the Kandyan kingdom.  But eventually the British by their wily and discreet ways lured the Kandyan Chieftains who were disenchanted with despotic ways of the king of Kandy at the time, who was of South Indian origin. The British won the co-operation of the Kandyan Chieftains who revolted against the King and handed the reigns to Britain on an agreement called the ‘Kandyan convention’. Thus, the British became the first foreign power to accede to total power in Sri Lanka encompassing the whole Island land mass. 


The British however reneged on the ‘Convention’ which bestowed power on them. This resulted in numerous rebellious situations notable among which were the 1817/18 and 1848 uprising. The British responded with the military might of the empire and quelled the riots with unbridled ferocity. Britain, thereafter lost no time in implementing their infamous time-tested colonial tactics and reforms to make Sri Lanka another colony in its empire.  The British colonization of Sri Lanka lasted from 1796 to 1948, the year in which the country was declared an independent nation.


It should be noted that these colonial incursions were made in the name of ‘civilizing the heathens and pagans’. The British take-over however brought no new religion to the country but only consolidated the Protestant Christianity introduced by the Dutch. As a result, and also in spite of all these proselytization, the religious patronization among the Sri Lankan population at the turn of Independence 1948 stood as follows (1946 census),


Buddhist                      69.0 %

Catholics               4.8 %

Christians              3.1 %

Hindus                14.3 %

Muslims                7.8 %

Others                   1.0 %


This means that Catholics and Christians faiths were taken up by the Sinhalese, the Indian Tamil and the Sri Lankan Tamil communities with Muslims carrying on undisturbed with their religion. In other words, the 6% Catholics and 3.1 % Christians in the country is made up of Sinhalese, Indian Tamils and Sri Lankan Tamils. A more in-depth analysis would show that the proselytization among the Tamils (Indian and Sri Lankan) compared to their population strength is higher than that of the Sinhalese. Hence this resulted in a situation where the numerical strength of the Tamils among the Catholic and Christian religions tended to equal those of the Sinhalese. 


Just as much as Christians and Catholics have a common root, Buddhism and Hinduism also have a historic relationship. The greatest Indian dynasty known to the world is the Mayura Dynasty of King Chandragupta (400 BC) whose grandson was King Asoka. King Asoka’s character, tempered with valor and humanism, evolved to be the embodiment of Indian ethos over the years with Asoka’s chakra adorning the national flag of even modern-day India. It was King Asoka who dispatched his diplomatic emissaries led by his son, Mahinda with the message of ahimsa (Nonviolence) to Sri Lanka opening a new chapter in Sri Lankan civilization and also in the Indo Sri Lankan symbiosis. However after Asoka, Buddhism which is more intellectual /ascetic and less evocative on mundane matters was gradually suppressed by Indian Brahmins and hence Hinduism based on the ancient Indian edicts re-emerged as the religion in India.


Buddhism is a religion that is based on self-understanding and does not accept a creator. Buddhists consider the Hindu Gods such as Vishnu, to be transient states of supernatural beings awaiting eventual Buddahood. The Hindus on the other hand believe, Buddha to be the human manifestation of the most overbearing Hindu God Vishnu. Both communities believe in Karma and the cause and effect of secular matter.  Both accept vegetarianism as the most agreeable diet for human morals and metabolism. 


A noteworthy difference however, between these two religions is that Hinduism is a heavy cast structured religion whereas in Buddhism cast system has been abhorred. The Hindus believe that Brahma, the God of creation, spawned the different casts of humans from different parts of his body with a scale of purity attributed to different parts of the divine anatomy. Buddhists do not accept any such privileged or ostracized creation but advocates that a man becomes noble by deeds and not by mere birth.  This, notwithstanding, the two religions have been complementary to each other over the years with Buddhism providing the intellectual solace and Hinduism the supernatural palpability required in day to day affairs. This has been especially so in Sri Lanka where every Buddhist temple has a separate shrine for Hindu gods and every Hindu temple depicting Buddha as the ‘avatar’ of Vishnu. Even ancient Sinhala kings of Sri Lanka have often sought advice from Hindu gurus and have been devout disciples of Hindu Gods while declaring their dedication and commitment towards Buddhism which has nourished the island nations culture, values and ethos. It would be of relevance to mention here that never have there been riots in Sri Lanka on the grounds of religious beliefs, especially between Hindus and Buddhist.



Pre-Colonial History

The Sinhalese history (Sri Lanka History), before the advent of western powers with Portuguese, records 33 incursions to the country form the states in South India. These incursions have been from the Chola, Pandya and Kerala Kingdoms in India. But the official records refer to all these invasions as invasions by the ‘Damila’. The term Damila in the contemporary use is taken to means Tamils and hence it is popularly believed that all these invasions were by the Tamils in Tamil Nadu which is not really the case. These invasions though they are called ‘Damila invasions’ are actually invasions from different South Indian states as mentioned above. In the Dutch records, the inhabitants of Jaffna peninsula have been described as ‘mostly Malabar Muslims’, which is a community from Kerala, another South Indian state. But the Sinhalese records refer to them commonly as ‘Damila’. Therefore the term Damila in the Sinhala text is obviously meant to mean outside invaders (from all parts of India and even Indonesia )  and hence it is erroneous to believe that every time the Sinhala text referred to ‘Damila’ it should be taken to mean the Tamils of the present day Tamil Nadu. In fact the last King of Kandy had been from Andhra in Karnataka, India.


A few books have been written by Tamil scholars making a historical claim of Tamil habitation to the North and East of Sri Lanka. But these texts have seen the light of day only in the 17th century during the height of Tamil power under the Dutch and the British. They even claim that the last King of Kandy is a Tamil. The fact however is that the last King of Kandy, Sri Wickreme Rajasinghe is of Andhra dissent. Andhra is an ancient Kindom in Andra Pradesh in India and he ascended to the Sinhalese throne due to him being a brother to the Queen of King Nareandrasingha of Kandy. King Narendrasingha the penultimate King of Kandy had no heir to the throne. It is because of this practice of calling all Indians ‘Damila’ that the Sinhalese called him an ‘Andra Demala’. The language being Telugu (not Tamil) was not recognizable and therefore termed “andara demala “or “confused Tamil”.


Eminent historians like KM De Silva (Sinhalese) and Indrapala Kartheguisu (Tamil) have maintained that the settlements with Hindu people of South Indian origin have commenced in the Jaffna Peninsula during the 13th  century, with Hindu migration due Moghul persecution in India. They always maintain that they were migratory settlements confined to the peninsula with little significance as a kingdom with any degree of suzerainty.


Whatever the fictional claims certain Tamil intellectuals may make for the historical ownership of parts of Sri Lanka they are not able to hide the stark reality of their ethnic similarity with the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. Tamil Nadu is the home for 62 million Tamils and Sri Lanka just 22 miles south of this southern Indian tip, and has just 2 million Tamils in its northernmost area. Every ethnic group has only one area that could be called its homeland because that homeland is the source of its language, ethos, culture, tradition and genealogy. Hence it is not possible that one community could have sprung up from two different places in those tribal days and then yet maintain an identical language traditions and ethos. Narayan Swamy, the author of two popular books on the LTTE, and also a well-known apologist of the movement, parenthetically maintains in his many writings that, staying in Jaffna is no different to staying anywhere in Tamil Nadu because the language, the food, the customs, beliefs and even the celluloid heroes are identical. That makes it abundantly clear that the communities who inhabit Tamil Nadu and the Nothern parts of contemporary Sri Lanka are one and the same community with an unmistakable identity. A community with a distinct identity could have emanated and evolved only from one place and never from two places. Therefore, the homeland of the Tamils is the Tamil Nadu in India and all that ‘historical habitations’ in Sri Lanka is made up to strengthen their claims to the island.


On the other hand, there are no Sinhalese anywhere in the world and for that matter there isn’t a community anywhere in the world, including in India, that has the vaguest resemblance to the Sinhalese in Ceylon. Sinhalese civilization, language, ethos, customs and traditions are unique in their essence and therefore it is logical to conclude that Singhales are a set of people who have evolved over the years to form the mainstream civilization and ethos in the Island of Ceylon.   



A map of Sri Lanka with Tamil Nadu

A Chart giving the ethnic distribution-district wise.



Sinhala & Tamil traits.


A ‘National Geographic’ published in the 1960 described the natives of Ceylon as “Easy going and friendly Sinhalese comprises 7 out of every 10 of the population in Ceylon. The Tamils, descendants from South India, inhibit mainly the North of the Island and they are more circumspect and thrifty”. To a great extent that is a reflection of the general view held in the Sri Lankan society at the time. However there are generally accepted traits the Sri Lankan society would attribute to the two communities and a broader discussion of those characteristics may take the following pattern.


If you borrow money from a Tamil, however small the amount may be, you must return it. On the other hand, a Sinhalese would say “Chee, don’t be silly, you are not going to return that small sum, are you?”

 If somebody’s son is getting married the custom among Tamils is to give cash to the bride’s mother and a gift other than cash is generally not very welcome. Tamil society is particular when bestowing such gifts and often they go to the extent of keeping an account of ‘how much we gave ‘so and so’ so that when their own son is getting married they would expect the same amount from that ‘so and so’. Whereas among the Sinhalese, cash gift is taken as a rather ‘none caring’ gesture, just given to discharge an obligation. A noncash gift is considered an item specially bought with the couple in mind and therefore is considered a memento.


Tamils are more particular about the attendance of the invitees for the weddings. If their relations do not turn up for weddings and funerals, that itself would be considered a good enough reason to rescind the relationship whereas Sinhalese would feel bad if somebody doesn’t turn up after having accepted the invitation, but wouldn’t go that far.


It is customary for the Tamils to make cash gifts at funerals but the Sinhalese consider it demeaning to accept money but if the inmates of the funeral house are poor the Death Donation Society takes over the responsibility of collecting some funds for funeral expenses.


Sinhalese generally enjoy an idyllic lifestyle and they are farmers by generations who look to their paddy lands (mada) for paddy cultivation and non- paddy (goda) for other cultivations and are comparatively conventional in mentality. The Tamils may not confine themselves to farming but could be traders or brokers depending on what is more profitable.


A Sinhalese would be helpful even to the extent of parting with his own meal but would expect similar reciprocation from the others too; and could turn offensive when found wanting in the same spirit.


The Sinhalese use Coconut oil for cooking and other household chores whereas the Tamils use Gingelly oil in place. A Tamil man is normally associated in the Sinhalese society with the ‘smell of gingelly oil’.


The Jaffna Tamils generally consider themselves to be above the rest of the Tamils with a tinge of superiority, so much so, that a Tamil from Jaffna would always identify himself in Colombo circles as a ‘Jaffna Tamil’ with emphasis on Jaffna just to convey that he is no ordinary Tamil. They were considered more intelligent, thrifty and a cut above the rest of the Tamils. Similarly, the Tamils who domiciled themselves in Colombo who have progressively reduced their relationship with Jaffna eventually became ‘Colombo Tamils’, a more cosmopolitan group, and they in turn perceive the Jaffna man to be ‘more conservative’ and ‘communal minded’ than them. 


The divisive nature of the Tamil psyche is quite evident in the way they practiced their cast system. Tamils being Hindus, the caste system is at the core of the Hindu religion. They believe that ‘Brahma’ the God, created men from different parts of his body with a purpose and hence expect every section to conduct themselves according Brahma’s wishes. High casts Tamils are not expected to share the same well, the same Temple, same school and even the same mode of transport as the rest of the Tamils. Therefore, it is common knowledge among the other communities that the Tamils practice the caste system to the letter and there are tales narrated among the Sinhalese to describe in awe how events take extraordinary turns in Tamils society due mainly to cast issues.


Buddha is on record having revolted against the caste system in the ancient India and Buddhism says that ‘The determining factor of man’s caliber (cast) is that man’s deeds and not his birth”.  Despite the teachings there is some adherence to caste practices among Buddhist too because the division of labor practiced by Sinhala kings eventually got institutionalized as casts. But such practices among Sinhalese are not palpable and mainly confined to arranged marriages.


The dowry system at the time of marriage is practiced very stringently by the Tamils whereas this practice among the Sinhala community could be considered circumstantial. This is mainly because the Tamils are culturally closer to South Indian customs where the dowry system is practiced stringently. A Tamil man is expected to demand the dowry according to his profession. This is practiced to such a level of acceptability that a price tag is attributed in the Tamil society to different jobs or professions held by the prospective bridegroom. This, in real terms, means that ‘if the parents of a marriageable girl require a Doctor as their son in law they have to have so much by way of dowry’.  The custom among the Tamil community on dowry is such that when a family has marriageable males and females; the males essentially have to be marketed for a sufficient dowry, for if not, the females in the family would not be able to marry for lack of a dowry.  Sinhalese do not observe dowry with such intensity but it is generally considered that it would be prudent to take bride from a family that has the means to support the new couple rather than just getting married. Often the dowry is considered the privilege, ‘the boost’ of the bride’s father to say that his daughter was given in marriage ‘at this place with so much as support dowry’. Both communities believe in Astrology, Horoscopes and Arranged marriages, but “love” marriages are becoming increasingly common among the Sinhalese. 

In business circles a Tamil businessman is associated with reliability. On the whole, the distinction between an average Tamil and an average Sinhalese could best be described by the fate that befell Rajiv Gandhi when he tried to intervene in the Sri Lankan crisis in the 80’s. Vijithamuni Rohana, a Sinhalese naval rating, attempted to attack Rajiv Gandhi when he was inspecting the guard held in his honor by the SL Government on his visit to Sri Lanka to sign the Indo- Lanka accord. Gandhi escaped that bid unhurt but he was subsequently assassinated by Prabhakaran the Tamil LTTE leader whom he went out of the way to help. Rajiv Gandhi signed the accord in the midst of island-wide riots and Vijithamuni was obviously overwhelmed by the euphoria of the occasion of having to honor the man who has come to make an unwarranted interference in the affairs of his country. His action was not preplanned but a spur of the moment reaction. On the other hand, Prabhakaran’s action was meticulously planned devoid of emotion and even devoid of a sense of gratitude for the man who helped the LTTE.


The Sinhalese are generally emotional, effervescent, bubbly and may express anger as a means of rapprochement expecting the detractor to be apologetic and yielding. On the other hand, a Tamil shows less emotion and is calculative and revengeful. Even in religion the Buddhists believe revenge is a sin leading to protracted enmity while the Hindu believes that revenge is their right.


The Muslims on the other hand were projected as the craftiest and cunning, who always played out the unsuspecting Sinhalese. There was this famous story about how a Sinhalese and a Muslim bought a cow to rear in a ‘joint venture’.  The Muslim expresses his willingness to concede the front part to the Sinhalese since he was the senior partner and the Sinhalese gratefully accept that offer. But as time went the Sinhalese man kept feeding the cow while the Muslim collected the milk and the dung.


These however are general attributes, or rather prejudices, that are popular in the society but there could always be exceptions to these beliefs. A word however must be said about the belief that the Tamils are more intelligent and hardworking than the Sinhalese. The contributory factor to this belief is the high incidence of education among the Tamils. This of course is not due to any extra intelligence of the Tamils but rather due to the educational opportunities the Colonial Government made available to the Tamils as described in Chapter 9. About the ‘hard work’, Linda Van Shegan wrote to the Island of 7th September 1988 under “British Uplifted the education” where she maintains, ‘Even over a century ago Sri Lankan’s were lazy and choose work that did not require too much effort and expenditure of energy. That was the reason why the British were compelled to import Tamil labor from India to work in the Tea and rubber plantations. The situation has not changed at all.’ Gunaseela Vithanage published a rejoinder to this in the 20th September 1988 quoting Sir Emmerson Tennent, The British Colonial Secretary of the time. “Sinhalese will not work in the plantation because they would not work for the pittance offered to Tamil laborers, they would not stay in the line rooms and they would not attend estate work during the paddy harvesting and cultivation seasons. However there is yet another reason why they would not and that is that they were discouraged by the brutal treatment of superintendents and frauds concerning their pay”. Further according to Sir Emmerson Tennent it was the Sinhalese workers who felled the forest for the cultivation of coffee (later Tea and Rubber) cultivations. This work involved cutting down huge trees, burning them clearing the ground and preparing it for planting. This was difficult and arduous work but this was nothing for the Sinhalese peasant who was used to Chena cultivation and the Indian Tamil labor was not equal to the task.


This intelligence and hard work therefore is a colonial canard to get the more yielding communities to ride over the Sinhalese. The irony here is that the British could write in glowing terms of the hard work of the Indian Tamil laborers but where did the British leave them after all those years of hard work. They were the most marginalized of communities earning a bare minimum and living in line rooms where the space was only sufficient for the family members to stay standing.


Before Prabhakaran and Amirthalimgam ethnically cleansed Jaffna in 1978, there had been 33,000 Sinhalese living there as per the Govt. census. Most of those Sinhalese were engaged in Bakeries and Vehicle repair garages and those two professions were considered the ‘exclusive domains’ of the Sinhalese. Hence Tamils, for all their proclaimed ingenuity had to rely on the Sinhala mechanics to repair their vehicles even in those ‘superior days’. Further as we could observe in the preceding chapter it is the hubris of those who believed in a ‘Tamil superiority’ that contributed to this conflict. The incongruity of such thinking is that, Tamil Nadu was so desperately poor that British colonials were taking shiploads of Tamil labor to all parts of the world under conditions akin to slavery. So how come those who came to Ceylon, a few moons ago from the same Tamil stock, were so extraordinarily superior?































Chapter 4



Having acquainted with Sri Lanka and its people in the preceding chapter, we shall now proceed to examine the reasons for the country’s present predicament. If one is to judge the situation based on comments made by leaders of the International community, mainly of the western countries (quoted in the 2nd Chapter), it appears that Sri Lanka’s 30-year-old struggle against the scourge of terror has been due to the Government’s rigid policy towards the LTTE and its inability to understand their aspirations. Let us now examine this position.

Negotiation is the best and the most civilized method of overcoming an issue, dispute or an obstacle. Yet negotiations between two parties on a civil or commercial issue, is different from negotiations between a Government and a subversive group that have armed itself against the Government. Under normal circumstances, if an individual takes to arms against another, it becomes a crime and if a group take arms against the state it is subversion. Both these crimes are punishable by the law of the land because both may have their fall back on the country’s law and order situation and hence on the polity’s peace.


However, there are instances in world history where peoples have taken arms against their own State successfully, but in every one of those instance, the State happens to be either feudal or totalitarian. Sri Lanka is a vibrant democracy with an independent judiciary and a liberal press. Therefore, any individual or a group of individuals in a democracy is expected to seek recourse in judiciary for his or their grievances. When the judiciary is hampered by inadequacies of law, a democratic state can change its laws through its own people’s representatives. Therefore, the democratic system of governance obviates the need for the people to take to arms to redress their grievances. Taking arms against a democratic state is not like taking arms against a feudal state or a dictatorial rule because here you are taking arms against the wishes of the people.  Further when a democratically elected state opts to negotiate with a subversive group within its territory, the very fact of holding negotiations may signify that the state has acknowledged the need to treat that group of persons beyond the existing law and order situation. In other words, the state is undermining the basic tenants of democracy.  


Further, a Government that negotiates with terrorists do have some stakes in ensuring that the talks will end up in success reining the terrorist back into the mainstream, for failure to do that may mean a loss of face before the international. The message a situation of failure would convey is that, ‘even though the Government has acknowledged the legitimacy of the violence, it is not able to do anything about it’. Thus, the Government ends up admitting the cause and its inability rectify, bestowing a tremendous boost to the subversive group strengthening their position in the eyes of the world.

Therefore, a Government negotiating with a subversive group, will have to bear in mind the following imponderables which are the calculative elements in this gamble.

  1. Whether the subversive group has a problem that can not be addressed within the existing laws of the state.
  2. Whether the negotiations would end successfully by reaching a compromise wherein the subversive element would be reined in
  3. Whether such compromise would impinge upon the rights of other interest groups where a balance seemingly existed before.
  4. Whether such negotiations end up with no compromise bestowing only a degree of legitimacy and publicity to the causes that the group is espousing, thus making the situation worse.

While being conscious of this basic reality, let us now consider the stand Sri Lanka Government has taken on negotiating with the LTTE during the past 30 years.


Talks, the first round.

The first round of negotiations, between the SL Government and the ‘Tamil interest parties’ were held in the Capital of Bhutan, Thimpu in the year 1985. The term ‘Tamil interest parties’ has to be used here because at that time the Tamils were represented by the TULF (Tamil United Liberation Front), a party voted to the Parliament by the Tamil constituency, and a host of militant groups who had carried out an armed insurrection against the Government of Sri Lanka. Those militant groups comprised of TELO.(Tamil Elam Liberation Organization), PLOT (Peoples Liberation Organization for Tamil Elam), EPRLF (Ealam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation Front), EROS(Ealam Revolutionary Students Front) and the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam). TULF by reason of their election to Parliament in 1977and also by reason of there being no elections in that part of the country due to violence, represented Tamils as a democratic element while the other militant groups by the strength of their militancy, took part in these talks.


These talks were held under the patronage of India and Romesh Bandari; the Indian foreign Minister chaired the talks. The background to these talks was the continuing violent campaign unleashed by the militant separatist organizations as listed above since 1975.


Separatist sentiments were present within the Tamil community in Sri Lanka for some time and its roots could be identified into the 1920’s when Sri Lanka had communal representation in its legislature under the British. These sentiments had a symbiotic relationship with Tamil nationalism under the Madras Presidency in India at that time but India attaining independence in 1947 and the subsequent crackdown on the Dravidian movement by the Indian Central Government in the early 60’s took the wind out of the sails of the Tamil separatism.


However, the separation of East Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh by India in Dec 1971 renewed the separatist hopes in the south of Palk Strait and hence from 1972 rumblings of a Tamil homeland started to re-echo in the North of Sri Lanka. There was widespread anticipation in that an armed struggle in Tamil areas with the help of India may ensure the establishment of a Tamil state in Sri Lanka and as if to realize that dream the Tamils bestowed the mantle of democratic Tamil leadership on the more militant Amirthalingam from the ailing Chelvanayagam. Amirthalingam encouraged Tamil militancy among the youth, adoringly calling them the ‘boys’. There were widespread anti-government demonstrations in the North and the ‘boys’ literally took part in all these under the direction of Amirthalingam.


The first political assassination in Jaffna took place in 1975 when the popular pro-Government mayor, Alfred Duraiappah was shot down in a Hindu kovil and the assassin ironically attained stardom in the tribally charged Jaffna milieu. India commenced training camps in the North of India at Dehradun in 1978 confirming the expectations harbored by the Tamil leaders from 1971 and this opened up a new chapter in the Tamil campaign for a separate state in the north of Sri Lanka.


This separatists’ campaign lead to the riots of July 1983 July and the riots resulted in a considerable number of refugees arriving in India and leading to charges and counter-charges between the SL and Indian governments. India accused Sri Lanka of discriminating against the Tamils while Sri Lanka accused India of training and arming the militant groups. However with diplomacy and understanding of each other’s concerns, the two countries were able to establish a working rapport while agreeing to continue to work towards a mutually acceptable solution to the current impasse. Indian Diplomat G Parthasarathy was appointed as the go-between and the ‘Thimpu talks’ in 1985 as a result of this process.


The Sri Lankan Government of JR Jayawardene was not very happy having to talk to the terrorist who wrought havoc in the Sri Lankan life during those years but it was difficult for Sri Lanka to turn down the Indian initiative. Sri Lanka always knew that India was the key to neutralizing the Tamil separatist movement. Jayawardene was a hard and calculating bargainer. The fact that the talks had no mechanism to disarm the militants became an issue with Jayawardene and that having talks with armed separatist while they continue to hold arms was tantamount to acknowledging their right to hold arms. But Jayawardene had no choice and his main concern was to keep India happy so that India would stop training and arming the militants.


Considering all this, J R appointed his brother H.W. Jayawardene, an eminent lawyer, to lead the Sri Lankan delegation for the proposed talks. This was done to save the formal Government from having to talk to armed guerillas and at the same time not to discount the talks in the eyes of India. The delegation however was made up of competent professionals and constitutional lawyers including S L Gunasekera who had authored a number of books on the Tamil issue.  


Even though the primary purpose was to please India, the Sri Lanka delegation was hopeful of reaching a workable compromise with the help of the long arm of Indian diplomacy. The Government delegation made a presentation expressing its concerns which were quite in keeping with any other sovereign state placed in a similar situation and expected the Tamil delegation to reciprocate with proposal to devolve power within a unitary state. But to the utter dismay of the Sri Lankan delegation the Tamil representatives took their presentation time to let loose an acrimonious barrage of accusations at successive Sri Lankan governments and at the end forwarded certain conditions which they called as basic principles in formulating a solution to the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. They also made it a point to mention that these ‘principles’ are the basics and they were none ‘negotiable’.


The indomitable nature of these ‘principles’ were such that they were not only unacceptable to the Government from the position of its self-respect and sovereign status but were also steeped in impracticality considering the geographic and demographic realities of the country. Those principals which later became famous as ‘Thimpu Principals’ are as follows,


  • The recognition of the Tamil Speaking people as a distinct nation possessed of inalienable right of self-determination.
  • The recognition of the presently constituted North and Eastern provinces, as the exclusive homeland of the Tamil speaking people.
  • The recognition of the six Tamil secessionist militant groups represented at Thimpu as the sole representatives of the Tamil speaking people and
  • The grant of citizenship to all Tamils resident in Sri Lanka.


The nature of these demands signify separation and that amounted to declaration of war against the state of Sri Lanka. The Government delegation was dumbfounded and caught ‘off guard’ because they had come prepared to discuss a ‘political solution’ within one state and not to discuss the modalities of granting a separate state. The outrageous nature of these demands was that from the SL governments perspective one might wonder whether Sri Lanka should attend negotiations with a set of its renegades only to be told that their act of renege should be ‘recognized’.  This is exactly the situation that the Sri Lanka Government was fighting all this time to avoid and even the purpose of attending this negotiation. In more palpable terms the ‘talks’ turned out to be a situation where a sick man who attended a discussion to cure his sickness was bluntly offered the option of committing suicide. What was even more dismaying and indignant was that these were only the ‘basics’ which means the rest to come would naturally be based on these basic ‘inviolable’ principles.


Let us now consider these demands one by one for their practicality in relation to the Sri Lankan situation.


  • ‘An inalienable right of self-determination’ is a prerogative of a nation and even according to the UN Charter demanding such a right by a group is tantamount to demanding the right to secede and set up a separate state. As this ‘Tamil speaking people’ are scattered throughout the Island of Sri Lanka, the question then is (assuming that GOSL acknowledges this ‘right to self-determination’), how this particular right is going to be exercised by this ‘Tamil nation’ with its members living scattered all over within another nation i.e. Sri Lanka.


  • Historically, there is no basis for this demand as the Eastern province had been a part of the Kandyan kingdom until it was taken over by British by the grace of the 1815 Kandyan convention. As for the north the historical fact is that Tamil settlements took root in the Jaffna peninsula (which is a small part of the Northern Province) from the 13th century but there was no evidence worthy of mention to say that the peninsula was a separate kingdom with a suzerainty of its own.


  • Demographic basis for this demand, as when you consider the Tamil speaking people (which includes Muslims) is that, only about 35 % of these people live in the combined North and the East with 65% living outside this area. Therefore if the concentration of Tamil speaking people in the North and East is taken as the logical basis for this demand, by the same logic the rest of the Island would be the homeland of the Sinhalese or the non-Tamil speaking people. That would then make the majority of the Tamil speaking people resident outside their so-called ‘homeland’, a situation which is quite inconsistent with this concept of a ‘homeland’. The most noteworthy of all the inconsistencies here is that the use of the term ‘Tamil speaking people’ in this situation to imply the inclusion of Muslims who are ‘Tamil speaking’ but who do not identify themselves as Tamils. Muslims comprise 7% of Sri Lanka’s population with their own leaders and stands of their own, on national issues. They have never demanded a separate state. The question then is, how these Tamils who claim to be the sole representatives of the Tamils who comprise 11% of the population, arrogate the power to speak on behalf of another minority who has never seen ‘common cause’ with them. It was this position that subsequently led the Muslims to demand a separate state of their own in the east ‘in the event of a separate state being granted to the Tamils in the north’.


  • The clause relating to the ‘sole representative’ is the most illogical of all the conditions in that because by the very term ‘sole representative’ you should mean ‘one’ and not ‘six militant groups’ as is the case here. Since none of these groups had any democratic right to claim even to represent the Tamils, leave alone being the ‘sole representative’, the position then becomes clear that all these groups entertained dreams of totalitarian dominance over the Tamil community and for this they seek the recognition from the Sri Lanka government to legitimize this totalitarian dream. The silence of the TULF on this, where they are excluded from the position of being a ‘representative’, tantamount to their complicity to allow the Tamil community to accept armed groups as their leaders and thereby charter a path of violence to achieve their goal of a separate state.


  • This demand on ‘citizenship rights’ concerns ‘Indian Tamils’ and has nothing to do with ‘Ceylon Tamils’ with whom the negotiations were held. In any case these citizenships have been since granted as a result of the negotiations Mr Thondaman, leader of the ‘Indian Tamil’ community had with the JR Jayawardene Government. Again, this demand has no relevance to this negotiation because it is the Indian Tamils who were affected by this citizenship issue and they were always treated as a separate community with leaders of their own and were not represented in this Thimpu forum. It should be noted here that the UNP Government, mainly to strengthen its political base hastened to grant citizenship to the members of this group, merely on the production of an affidavit (a procedure unprecedented for granting citizenship anywhere in the world). Further these Indian plantation Tamils live in the center of the country away from the north an east among the Sinhalese population.



The talks ended only with one agreement and that was to ‘meet again’. The talks however confounded the worst Sri Lankan fears that the Tamils would use the forum to ‘internationalize’ their usual unfounded allegations or unreasonable demands.


The study of ‘Thimpu’ Principals become all the more important for the simple reason that the Tamil negotiators, during the many sessions of ‘Peace talks’ that followed over the 34 year period of this conflict, never thought it necessary to budge from this standpoint of the ‘Thimpu principles’.


In the modern-day society, there are accepted principles and practices on which the ownership of a person or a state is established to a particular object or a thing. But if a party with no apparent ownership tenaciously claims ownership, exercising extreme brinkmanship in doing so, then the tenacity with which that claim is made and the extremism of that brinkmanship may often create a degree of compunction in the mind of an outsider as to that obvious non-ownership. Then when you employ this tactic consistently the outsider may develop a sense of moral sympathy towards the claimant and eventually tend to view him as the rightful owner. Tamil leaders seem to have realized this proclivity in human affairs and appeared to have placed their faith in same in their bid to carve out a separate state for themselves out of Sri Lankan territory.


Although this first round of talks were not fruitful from the Sri Lankan perspective they became invaluable to two persons; one was the king of Bhutan, the host, and the other was the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. The King of Bhutan, after having studied the demands of the Tamils against the SL Government with much foresight, started a scheme to repatriate all the Indians that have made Bhutan their abode. Prabhakaran on the other hand was caught up with the word ‘sole representative’ and realized the trivial position of being one among the six ‘sole representatives’ and decided to work towards becoming the undisputed ‘sole representative’ of the Tamils. The Talks were attended by a period of ceasefire.


Talks, second round.

The second round of talks with the Tamil representatives and the GOSL started after the Indian Central Government made a direct interference in the Sri Lankan affairs by violating the Sri Lankan airspace in a bid to drop relief items to the LTTE, holed out in the jungles of Vedamarachchi on the 4th June 1987.This act was performed after a flotilla of boats sent by the Indian Government was turned back by the Sri Lankan navy two days before.


The incident hit a new low in the century’s old Indo- Lanka relations and there was much resentment in Sri Lanka about this act of aggression by India. India on the other hand maintained that it was done out of humanitarian considerations. This act and the concomitant deranged feelings however created an atmosphere where the two leaders Rajiv Gandhi and J R Jayawardene realized the need to appreciate each other’s concerns and the need to solve this thorny issue in the best interest of the two countries. Especially the Sri Lanka Government found itself cornered by the lack of international support for its cause against India as it’s powerful friends in the international community US and UK deserted Sri Lanka for all intents and purposes in favor of bigger India. A special word should be made of the Indian High Commissioner J N Dixit who often took advantage of the helpless position Sri Lanka was placed in to arrogate for himself the powers of an ‘Indian Viceroy’ in Sri Lanka to steamroll his views and those of his Government over the Sri Lankan leadership.


From the Indian perspective, Dixit insisted that whatever the agreement that India and Sri Lanka reached should cover the ‘concerns of India’ as well. When repeatedly asked what those concerns if any, beyond the Tamil issue would be, Dixit reiterated that India’s attitude to Sri Lanka would be determined by the following,


  • Reduction and phasing out of foreign military and intelligence personnel placed in Sri Lanka from United Kingdom, Pakistan, Israel, and South Africa and so on.
  • Sri Lanka should reorganize its foreign and defense policies and reduce its involvement with USA, China, Pakistan, Israel and South Africa.
  • Sri Lanka should give some assurance to India that its seaports and Airports would not be utilized by foreign powers antagonistic towards India or which impacted on India’s security interest negatively.
  • Sri Lanka should fulfill the assurance which it gave in 1985 that India would be given an opportunity to maintain the Trincomalee oil tank farms and that Sri Lanka will prevent foreign broadcasting stations like Voice of America being used for military purposes by countries like US and West Germany.


Initially Jayawardene rejected these concerns as being ‘excessive’. But the fact that he suggested Dixit to go ahead with the draft accord would signify the position Sri Lanka was placed in at the time.


Irrespective of the fact whether the Indo Lanka accord was a step in the right direction or whether it was a requirement of the time, it has to be admitted that the negotiating methods adopted by the Indian officials were commendable. The underlying reality was that with India mediating, the two parties to the conflict, i.e. GOSL and LTTE both had to face the moment of truth and reality. GOSL knew that as long as India remains on the side of the Tamil militants, with the relative international isolation of Sri Lanka, it is difficult for Sri Lanka to overcome them. The LTTE on the other hand, knew that without the support of India they could not survive either. Therefore, India by virtue of their persuasive position was able to ‘hammer out’ an agreement between the two parties.


These Talks however were not talks between two parties to the conflict like in 1985. They were more oriented towards achieving results and recognized the role of India as a mediator, adjudicator and finally the arbiter, all rolled into one. It was Indian officials such as J N Dixit, Nirupam Sen, Hardeep Puri and the Indian Ministers Narasimha Rao, Natwar Sing and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi himself who did most of the mediatory talking in this regard having a continuous dialogue with the Government in Colombo, Prabhakaran in Jaffna and even sometimes with MG Ramachandran of Tamil Nadu. It should be noted here that by 1987 Prabhakaran had managed to decimate all other militant groups by then and arrogated the Tamil leadership to himself. Even the TULF, although was still in existence, was not considered a force that mattered.


In that respect, and from the point of view of reaching a compromise between two parties with divergent personalities and emotional issues, the Indo Lanka accord should go down in the history as an accord which accomplished so much, albeit inimical to the interest of Sri Lanka, in so little a time. However, the Indian facilitation was finally able to obtain the nod and co-operation of all these parties of interests and the hardest part, had of course been obtaining Prabhakaran’s agreement to the accord. Thus, the Indo Lanka accord was signed on the 29th July 1987 between India and Sri Lanka.


Though the Accord was signed between the two countries, it very nearly became an agreement between GOSL and the LTTE. JRJ however insisted that the agreement should be between the two countries partly because of the international connotations and partly because of the Indian role as the underwriter in disarming the LTTE. Broadly, the Indo –Lanka Accord provided for the following,


  1. Sri Lanka is to bring forth legislation to create a system of Provincial Councils based on the territorial division of the 9 provinces that existed in Sri Lanka, providing for the election of Provincial Governments that will share power with the Central Government. It would be the responsibility of the Sri Lankan Government to overcome all forms of dissent, democratic or otherwise to the Accord in general and to the legislation in particular.


  1. The LTTE and the other armed groups are to disarm themselves with the Indian armed forces underwriting this operation for which their (Indian Forces) presence in Sri Lanka would be required for a period as dictated by the requirement of such operation. Operations by the Sri Lankan armed forces in the north and east of the country are to cease during this period and they (SL forces) are to be confined to barracks during this period of operation by the Indian forces.


  1. Tamil language is to be given official language status on par with the Sinhalese language in Sri Lanka.


  1. The northern and the eastern provinces of the country to be merged for a period of 1year of the Provincial government after which a plebiscite is to be held to determine whether north and east would continue to stay merged.


Of these JRJ and the SL Government entertained serious reservations on the merger of the North and East provinces and Tamil being made an official language in par with Sinhala. Jayawardene went through with it partly because he hadn’t a choice and partly because it contained the all-important condition of disarming the military. In his own shrewd way Jayawardene knew that whatever the situation the agreement would lead to India had to contain the LTTE within the agreement and that would not be an easy task. However majority in Sri Lanka realized the danger inherent in this agreement and riots broke out all over Sri Lanka the day Rajiv Gandhi arrived to sign the Accord. Ronald Ragan the US President sent a congratulatory message to reach him in Colombo for ‘the bold effort he had taken to assist in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka’ and had further stated that he ‘was willing to assist in any manner for implementing its provisions’.


The SL Government declared curfew on the 29th July as the opposition parties, JVP and the SLFP was out on the streets protesting against the agreement and the atmosphere in Colombo was tensed. On the 30th morning around 10 am the agreement was signed and as customary a guard of honor was presented by the SL government to the visiting Head of state. A naval rating by the name of Vijithamuni attempted to hit Rajiv Gandhi with his rifle but, but was overpowered by the Sri Lanka naval Chief of staff.


Riots continued in Sri Lanka with public utilities and property being destroyed and Indian goods being boycotted. Jayawardene however pressed ahead with his part of the agreement. The Provincial Council bill and the Tamil language special provisions act were passed in Parliament. The JVP continued its campaign of agitation against the Jayawardene government and as Jayawardene mobilized the security forces now relieved from their duties in the North in the southern part to quell JVP rioters. The protests movement went underground and manifested in the form of hit and run attacks against the Government establishments and officers.


In the northern front, the Indian Peace Keeping forces were mobilized at Palaly on the 29th June 1987 even before the ‘ink on the agreement could dry’. When commented by the speed with which the IPKF was mobilized in Sri Lanka Lieutenant general Depinder Sing commanding officer of the IPKF commented that they were able to accomplish mobilization in record time because they had contingency plans for mobilizing in (or invasion of ) Sri Lanka through the 54th infantry regiment stationed in Madras from May 1987.


In August an attempt was made on the life of the Sri Lankan President J R Jayawardene allegedly by some members of the JVP by throwing a grenade into the Cabinet room in the Parliament. The grenade did explode but the President and the Prime Minister who was present at the time escaped with minor injuries. A senior Minister Mr Keerthi Abeywickreme was killed and the National Security Minister Mr Lalith Athulathmudali was seriously injured in the explosion.  


Within a week of this mobilization a ceremony was held in Jaffna to mark the token handing over (not surrender) of weapons by the LTTE. The Sri Lankan government in turn announced amnesty for all Tiger cadres. But two months after this ‘handing over ceremony’ seeds of discord were brewing between the LTTE and the IPKF. The LTTE obviously were reluctant collaborators to this Accord primarily due to their being more geared to fighting than for any peace. The events that followed would prove that Prabhakaran, being the good guerilla or terrorist, he was, was a very poor (or not at all) peacetime leader. According to Depinder Singh’s book IPKF in Sri Lanka, “The LTTE leadership could never understand, or did not want to understand that the Indian Government’s ability to continue to support Tamils in Sri Lanka politically would be enhanced if the LTTE displayed full respect and commitment to the Accord.”


Hardly 3 months into the Accord the LTTE and the IPKF got embroiled in the bitterest of wars culminating in the death of 1500 IPKF men and about 5,000 injured, most of them losing at least a limb. The fighting would rage on for 4 years until the conflict reached the next phase where Mr Premedasa assumed duties as the Sri Lankan President and ordered the IPKF out of the country in March 1990. IPKF finally leaves Sri Lanka not only with its mission unaccomplished but with heavy loss in men and armaments and worst of all with its pride badly dented. In a twist of fate LTTE launched a book in the year 1991 titled The Satanic forces describing the IPKF as the ‘worst indiscipline army and a plundering force to have deployed by anywhere in the world’.


In the political front, the Sri Lankan legislators passed new legislation installing Provincial Councils. The elections were held, albeit amidst LTTE violence and counter operations by the IPKF, to the North East Provincial Council. A person by the name of Varatharajah Perumal got elected as the Chief Minister. He was in more ways than one propped up and maintained in power by the IPKF’s military arm. No sooner the IPKF made its exit, the Chief Minister of the North/ East also decided to seek political asylum in India but not before he declared a ‘Unilateral Declaration of Independence’ for the North/East province in defiance of the Government of Sri Lanka. That act not only sent the North/East Provincial government into disarray but also confirmed the Sinhala hard-line position that ‘the Indian mediation in Sri Lanka was not impartial and would eventually destabilize the country’.


While those were the activities that entailed the Indo Lanka Accord in the North the Accord brought the South of Sri Lanka virtually into an anarchic situation due to the subversive activities of the JVP.  The public transport was only functioning when and where it was possible for it to function. The schools were virtually closed. The banks and Government institutions functioned in fits and starts. Public utilities like the Electricity Board and the hospitals were functioning more as luxuries than as basic utilities. Funds were being solicited from the public in the name of ‘struggle against the Indian invasion’ by invisible hands. All forms of political and personal rivalries were being enacted including murder under the cover of JVP subversion. The country virtually came to an ungovernable position and JR found himself in a situation where his carefully handpicked successors, like Lalith Athulathmudali / Gamini Dissanayake and his natural successor, R Premadasa, were all either revolting or not co-operating with him, in the governance.


It was said that even though JR was to complete his two terms in 1990 he had plans of passing an amendment to the country’s Constitution which would enable him to have another term. However, JR’s political life, synonymous with the entirety of the post-independent politics in Sri Lanka, came to a somewhat abrupt end due to his inability to quell the riots that followed the enforcement of the Indo –Lanka accord. Going for a Presidential election appeared to be the only way out for JR and the country and hence he was compelled to call an end to his term and declare elections.


During this period, Indian goods and Indian establishments were boycotted and even TATA lorries and buses were set on fire on the roads. Evidently there were number of extrajudicial killing squads in operation, some for the purpose of creating more confusion and some trying to help Government to restore order. However, the subversive activities lasted for 2 full years in the south inflicting untold difficulties to the ordinary masses and by the time they thinned out in 1989 an estimated 50, 000 persons had been killed.


Talks: The Third round.

The third round of Peace talks commenced between the LTTE and the Premadasa Government of Sri Lanka in August 1989.

Jayawardene’s Government had fallen out from public grace towards the end of its term, mainly due to its signing of the Indo Lanka Accord.  Jayawardena, after having completed two terms in office was forced by the political reality of the time to relinquish whatever remaining dreams he had with the Sri Lankan polity. In a politically tragic end to a towering and chequered career, JR Jayawardene, after having prevailed so much over his party throughout his tenure, cut a sorry figure towards the end and was not endowed even with the required power to decide his political successor. Given the choice Jayawardene would have considered all three; his Prime Minister: his National Security Minister and his Mahaweli Developments Minister, all as likely successors. But the circumstances the country was placed in, with the IPKF and the LTTE at one end and the JVP and the SL forces at the other end, created a very volatile picture of the Sri Lankan political scenario making JRJ a virtual spent force in SL politics. Law and order situation was under serious threat with JVP resorting to hit and run and underground operations. Anarchy was the order of the day and the economic activity was grinding to halt with southern parts of the country under siege. It was not at all a happy situation for a candidate to offer himself to the fray, especially when the JVP had threatened to kill the first five who come to cast their votes at the Presidential election.


Premadasa being the man used to the rough and tumble came forward and won the Presidential election held on the 19th December 1988 by the skin of his teeth. That too, because by virtue of him being the most vociferous critic of the Indo Lanka accord in the JR Jayawardene Government.


By then the LTTE had been fighting the IPKF in the most hostile way imaginable. The LTTE wanted the IPKF menace, having named it the most ‘satanic (unprofessional) of forces’, out from Sri Lanka. The LTTE also knew of Premadasa’s anti-Indian stance and that it suited their agenda so well. The LTTE made overtures to befriend Premadasa.


Premadasa was a man with a populist philosophy and pragmatic ways in politics and always identified himself with the marginalized section of society. He had a unique record of not losing a single election he contested since he first appeared in the Sri Lankan political firmament as a local government MP in the early 60’s. Even when his party (the UNP) got defeated very badly Premadasa stood out winning with an enhanced majority. He was a man blessed with an extraordinary knack to command popularity and an ability to make things happen.


When the LTTE first made overtures in late 1989 the impression it may have created in Premadasa would have been one of a long-lost relative trying to establish contacts now that he has become the President. Having known the persevering and fighting capacity of the LTTE, Premadasa obviously had some respect towards the LTTE as a force that can make things happen. The manner and alacrity with which the rapport was established between the LTTE and the Premadasa government suggested that there was a lot of mutuality between the two parties and that they could sustain a relationship based on common interest. This was a time that the LTTE was weakened by two years of fighting with the IPKF and hence was badly in need of a recess and a time for recuperation. In addition to the IPKF the Varathrajah Provincial government of the North East had been training and arming the Tamil National Army with the help of the Indian RAW, ostensibly to police and take over the law and order situation with the expected exit of the IPKF. The TNA too, had its guns pointed at the LTTE and hence the LTTE was having a hard time in the jungles. Premadasa in his enthusiasm overlooked these factors which discounted LTTE’s position among the Tamils in the north. In his mind, he thought he should make use of this rare opportunity that came his way and was as lavish as he possibly could have been with the LTTE. He took that up as a challenge for his populism which had never let him down in politics.


The third round of peace talks bet