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“Is dedicating a life to helping needy people a crime”? The life and untimely death of my sister, Maheswary Velautham

by Velautham Sarveswaran

(June 21, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Maheswary Acca was born on 17th July 1953. Our father was a bus driver attached to the Ceylon Transport Board (CTB) and our mother was a teacher at Karaveddy Saraswathy Vidyalaya. We were ten children in our family, seven sisters and three brothers. As the first seven children were daughters, my parents kept trying for further children until they had a boy, the eighth, which was me. Maheswary (Mahes) Acca was the third in our family. After studying at Saraswathy Vidyalaya and Point Pedro Hindu Ladies College she entered University of Colombo in 1972 and read for an LLB law degree. After leaving university, Mahes Acca immediately took a job at the National Archives in Colombo. This was necessary due to our family’s financial situation following our father’s death in 1974. She was later apprenticed under Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) president Mr Murugesu Sivasithamparam, who was also from our home town of Karaveddy and a close relative of our father.

I do not have any personal knowledge of her career as a young practicing lawyer in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I am, therefore, reproducing two paragraphs from an article written by Sharika Thiranagama, who spent some time with Mahes Acca as part of her academic research and recorded her conversations in 2003. The two paragraphs are reproduced below:

‘After taking oaths, she (Maheswary) became a junior lawyer in a Colombo based firm. Within a few months she was catapulted into the forefront of the firm. She began having to ask the clerks in the courts for advice constantly, but soon she had learned the ropes. In a short period she had become ‘a popular and confident lawyer’ handling all kinds of commercial and civil cases. She became particularly famous for divorce and maintenance cases and for being able to get generous compensation for the women she represented. It was those cases where she could link individual stories to points of law that she enjoyed the most. These years were immensely important for her, as she told me, “I realized then that everyone has the same minds, and that there is no difference between men and women, that was the first time I realised I was capable of doing something”. Her charm and good relationships with notoriously difficult judges was well known. Maheswary told me of how the well known human rights lawyer Mr K Kandaswamy told her, when he met her again in India years later, how on seemingly un-winnable cases or cases seen before particular judges, the consensus in the firm was that Maheswary would deal with it.

In the late seventies with the political climate turning against Tamils, many of the senior Tamil lawyers in Colombo decided that it would be important to file a legal case in Tamil. They asked Maheswary to file an eviction case she was handling in Tamil. She had not even been practicing for that long and was uncertain of what to do, but duly filed her case in Tamil. She remembered that the clerk in the court smiled as they received the file and handed it to the judge. The judge decided to accept the filing. The news soon spread that the first case had been filed in Tamil in Colombo. The matter was referred to the Supreme Court, and Maheswary smiled as she remembered how all the top Tamil lawyers attended the court to hear the Supreme Court decision. The decision went in their favour; they had successfully established that any case could also be filed in Tamil in any part of Sri Lanka. Remembering the case while we were talking, Maheswary mused that she must return to that Supreme Court order someday.’

Following the 1977 anti-Tamil riots in Sri Lanka, an organisation called the Tamil Refugees Rehabilitation Organization (TRRO) was established by trade unionist Mr K C Nithyanantha with the help of Mr Kandasamy. TRRO was set up to help the refugees who were affected by the anti-Tamil riots. Mahes Acca volunteered her services to the TRRO. After the July 1983 nationwide anti-Tamil pogrom, a group of expatriates in London including Mr Kandasamy, Fr James Pathinathar, now in Mullaitheevu, and Mr Varathakumar set up the Tamil Information Centre (TIC) in London and in India, with one office in Madras and another in Madurai. The purpose of the TIC was to promote the Tamils’ struggle for freedom and to inform the world of human right violations in Sri Lanka. At Mr Kandasamy’s request Mahes Acca went over to Tamil Nadu to run the Madurai TIC. Mr Kandasamy was later abducted in June 1988 by a so-called Tamil liberation movement and was presumed killed.

Another organisation called the Movement for Integration of Refugees in Tamil Nadu (MIRT) was also set up in Madurai at that time to looking after the needs of refugees in Tamil Nadu. Mahes Acca was also made responsible for that organisation and she visited the refugee camps frequently and catered to the needs of the people. MIRT also ran medical camps for the refugees in Mandapam, Madurai and other camps in the southern area of Tamil Nadu. Mahes Acca established wider contacts with the media and helped propagate the Tamil cause. She was also helpful to many Tamils who found themselves stranded in Tamil Nadu at that time without a place of refuge or money to buy food. I worked for my sister in Madurai during this period and was a personal witness to thousands of people benefiting from her work.

I had been a third year engineering student at University of Peradeniya in 1983. I was among a group of youths arrested without cause in 1984 and detained for more than a month at Gurunagar Army Camp on suspicion of being a member of an armed movement. After my release, I went to India and worked with my sister at the TIC in Madurai. I remained working for her for four years until after the Indo-Sri Lanka accord, when I went back to University of Peradeniya in 1988 to continue my studies and from there went on to Britain in 1989.

There is a wide misconception and belief that Mahes Acca was a member of Tamil Ealam Liberation Organisation (TELO), one of the Tamil militant groups. Because two of our brothers (Vigneswaran also known as Kamban and Ganeswaran) were members of TELO, people believed that she was also part of it. This was not true. I was close to my sister during this time and I knew that she was not a member of any of the armed militant groups. She did, however, have contacts with all groups and all of them came to the TIC at different times for help and discussions. She never favoured a single group and always acted impartially.

The TIC in London, in its press lease on 14th May 2008, stated that ‘Mahes Acca was often under tremendous pressure from the various Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups, but was able by her intelligent and persuasive ability to steer the TIC on the path of the purpose for which it was created’. As an example of the pressures and threats she faced at the TIC, I can recall an incident in which members of a small militant group called TELA threatened my sister with a gun. These kinds of threats or pressures never intimidated her from doing what she wanted to do, helping needy people.

After the Indo - Lanka accord in 1988, the Madurai TIC was closed and Mahes Acca moved to Chennai where she again began working for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. She also became increasingly spiritual and become a disciple of Swami Chinmayananda at this time. It was Douglas Devanantha, the Leader of the Ealam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP), who had persuaded her that she could be of more service to her people in Sri Lanka than in India. She returned to Colombo in the mid-1990s and started a Human Rights organization called the Forum for Human Dignity. Initially, Mr Devanantha provided the financial assistance to set up this organisation.

Mahes Acca’s aim was to help many Tamils who were being detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). One of her achievements was in securing the release of hundreds of Tamils detained in various prisons in Sri Lanka. Her organization also devoted itself to cases of persons detained in Negombo under the immigration act. The Forum for Human Dignity was a non-profit making charity and she did not charge for her services. She even used her own money to bail out some young people from prison. Once, Mahes Acca told me over a telephone conversation of a father and his two sons who were the bread winners of their family and who were in prison and that neither the family nor my sister had the means to pay the court and bail them out. She asked me whether I could raise funds to help the family. I did send the necessary funds and helped in the release of those men from prison. Mahes Acca never looked at who was she helping to be released from prisons. She was beyond politics and helped all Tamil young men; some of them were believed to be members or supporters of various militant organisations. She also concentrated on the plight of Sri Lankan women exploited as housemaids in middle-eastern countries. Following the Tsunami devastation, she immediately provided the necessary assistance to the affected people through their ministry and later on she involved with a number of charities in building shelters for the Tsunami victims in the East.

Throughout more than three decades of her public life, Mahes Acca never expected or accepted anything in return for her services to needy people. I asked my sister several times to come and settle in the UK. She told me that she considered she would not be of use if she came to the UK and that she could do much more for the suffering and helpless people in Sri Lanka. I believe this is why she associated herself with the EPDP. She believed that this gave her the necessary power to help. All she was doing was advising the minister on how best to help needy people. Whenever I phoned Mahes Acca, she wasn’t interested in family gossip. Instead she would always talk about the suffering of the people and how best she could try and help. After the closure of the only land route (A9) to the Jaffna Peninsula and when supplies stopped to the peninsula, she went over to Tamil Nadu on her own initiative and stayed there for many weeks to meet politicians there and persuade them to speak to their central government to obtain help for the people of Jaffna.

As Mahes Acca wanted to play a part in public life, she contested the last Sri Lankan general election as an EPDP candidate in Jaffna. Although she went to Karaveddy for campaigning, she did not visit her mother or sister there for fear of reprisal against them. Although Mahes Acca’s election campaign was not successful, she continued her public life as an adviser to Minister Devanantha. When she served as an adviser at the Hindu Ministry, people have told me that, she was instrumental in the renovation of a number of Hindu temples in the North and East. After she became an adviser at the Social Services Ministry, she again played a key role in assisting needy people through their ministry. In the recent months, Mahes Acca also contributed significantly to the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC), which was formed by the present government to find a solution to the ethnic issues. She represented EPDP at the APRC and argued for more powers for the Tamil people.

Mahes Acca was a person who always cared about suffering people and dedicated her life to helping those people. As was sometimes mentioned, given her intelligence, ability and talents she could have been very successful financially as a practising lawyer. She could have gone abroad and made a new life for herself. But the fact is that she didn’t even have a house or jewellery, she didn’t have the time to marry and settle down to have children like many other people. She didn’t because she cared about her needy people and was busy helping those people. She was a brave, courageous and sincere lady who always wanted to be close to her needy people. Like my brother Kamban, her desire to stay in her country and serve her people would later cost her life and like him she certainly did not deserve the end she finally met.

My father died in 1974 leaving my mother to bring up ten children. I was twelve and had seven older sisters and two younger brothers. The youngest brother was seven at that time and Mahes Acca was at University of Colombo reading law. My mother had very hard time in bringing us all up, on her own. Despite the lack of money, she made sure that we all had food, clothes and good education. We all passed our A/Ls, and some of us went on to universities and others found employments. I still remember how hard it was for my mother who, without any support, did all kind of part time jobs, in addition to her teaching, to lay the foundation for who are we now. We were, therefore, determined to ensure her happiness – though we would never be able to repay the sacrifices she made and the hardship she endured in bringing us up.

My mother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and with secondary cancer in her bones in 2000. I can still visualise the pain in her face when I went to see her in Colombo in 2000. Since then she has been receiving treatment on a regular basis at the Chennai Appolo and has been responding very well. But she has continued to live in Jaffna, never wanting to live anywhere else. She had always said that she wanted to live and die in her own home in Karaveddy. Another reason for her desire to remain in Jaffna is that she spends her entire time at our family Vairavar temple near our home and Thachchanthoppu Pillaiyar temple in Karaveddy. The money we send and the money she ask from us are all spent on improvements to these temples.

On the 3rd May 2008, my mother had a fall in the bathroom. She was taken to Jaffna Teaching Hospital the next day. Investigations revealed that she had suffered a brain haemorrhage and stroke. The doctors informed my sister who lives in Karaveddy that there was no hope of recovery and asked her to take my mother home and to inform the relatives. On the same day, I had arranged to take my eleven old son, Vicknesh, named after my brother Kamban, to a Liverpool Football Club game at Anfield. He had waited three years for this opportunity and this was the first time I had managed to get him tickets. When I heard about my mother, he agreed that we could leave the match at halftime so I could catch a 9.35pm flight from London Heathrow. This I just managed to do, leaving Liverpool at 4.45pm to get to London, via Birmingham.

I reached Colombo on 5th May and arranged to fly on to Jaffna. Mahes Acca and another sister who was also living in Colombo wanted to join me in going to Jaffna. I managed to dissuade Mahes Acca and left for Jaffna on 7th May with the other sister and her two daughters. My main reasons for dissuading Mahes Acca from joining us were security concerns due to her association with EPDP. I agreed that I would inform Mahes Acca if my mother’s condition worsened.

Some have asked why we couldn’t have brought our mother to Colombo. My mother’s consultant at the Colombo Appolo had advised me not to move my mother for at least two weeks due to her brain haemorrhage. He also advised that no further medical interventions for her were now possible. The other reason was my mother’s great wish to die at her own home, which was built by her and my father together through their hard earned money and labour. These were the reasons why we didn’t want to take my mother to Colombo at that time. In hindsight, we should have taken her there, as we had to, in the end.

The day we reached our home in Karaveddy, my mother woke up only once for a minute or two and when told that we had come to see her she managed to smile for a second or two. After that she was almost always unconscious and we were concerned that she might pass away at anytime. I understood that my mother wanted to partially paint the Vairavar Temple using money from her pension. As this could be her last wish, I arranged for a complete painting of the temple. The work was started on the 8th May by a contractor, who was a relative of ours.

During these days, the phone at our home was constantly ringing, carrying anxious enquiries from my brother and sisters. Mahes Acca used to call many times every day. As my mother’s condition was very critical, my brother and one of my sisters from the UK decided to come and reached Colombo on 9th May. This time Mahes Acca was determined to travel to Jaffna with them. Mahes Acca had not been able to be present when our father died, and the pain of this regret was always stayed with her. She was, therefore, determined that she should be with her mother. We were all very worried about her security and did not want her to come to Jaffna. Even Minister Devanantha advised her not to go. However, none of this could stop her and we were not able to change her mind. She always believed in doing the right thing and in this instance she believed she was doing the right thing for her mother.

When Mahes Acca was travelling to Jaffna, she was offered security during her stay at Karaveddy. She refused to accept this on the basis that it could compromise the safety of my sister who lives in Karaveddy. She also strongly believed that nothing would happen to her. She was a devotee of Lord Shiva and she believed that Lord Shiva would not let anyone to harm her. She also believed that no harm could come to those who did good things for other people.

Mahes Acca and my brother and sister reached Karaveddy on 10th May. Mahes Acca was very happy to be with her mother. She would most often be found sitting by our mother’s side, stroking her hand and singing Thevarams to her. I believe that this was the first time she had come back home for 25 years. While we were very sad because of our mother’s illness, there was also a kind of happiness because we were together caring for our mother. This transformed Mahes Acca and she became again a free bird, literally meaning “little parrot”, “Sinnakkili” in Tamil, which is our pet name for her. During this time, perhaps for the first time in 25 years, Mahes Acca became free from all the tensions and pressures of her life in Colombo. She spent time on the swing and bathing in a pool with her nieces. She got involved in doing all kinds of childish activities. At one occasion, I asked her, “Acca what is this childish behaviour (enna siru pillaithanamana villaiyaddu)” and she responded, “I am still a child brother”. I hadn’t seen her with such happiness in her life before.

During her stay, she only left the home to go to our family Vairavar Temple, which is just 20 yards from our home to clean and oversee the painting. When she came to Karaveddy initially, her plan was to go back to Colombo in a day or two after seeing our mother. But after reaching our home, these plans were forgotten and she was not even giving any thought to when she might return to Colombo. I also had a personal tragedy on 10th May. My wife’s brother died of heart attack at the age of 50 in Toronto. My wife and son made arrangement to travel from the UK to Canada on 11th May and I was contemplating whether to travel to Canada to be with my wife’s family or to stay with my mother. One of the doctors attending to my mother advised me to stay and others suggested that something might happen to our mother on 13th May, as that was the anniversary of our father’s death. I believe that this was also in Mahes Acca’s mind when she decided to stay back in Karaveddy.

The house in Karaveddy was full of people, relatives and friends, from 7 am to 6 pm on each day we were there, all visiting our mother and the wider family. It wasn’t a secret that Mahes Acca was with us as we had such a lot of visitors. People with letters and applications also came to seek help from Mahes Acca. The news would have spread widely as Karaveddy is still a village. One of Mahes Acca’s subsequent killers might have visited our house during this period but it would be very difficult to recall anybody suspicious.

Time passed quickly and the 13th May (the 4th day of Mahes acca’s stay) soon arrived. In the late afternoon of that day, my brother in law went to a nearby shop and came back to say that one of our neighbours told him that a woman from the neighbouring village came to her house and was enquiring about Mahes Acca and warned us to be careful. This did raise some concern and we discussed it without telling Mahes Acca about what we should be doing. Initially, we thought it could be a village gossip and decided to ignore it.

Electric power cuts are a daily occurrence in the evenings at Jaffna. On this particular day, the power went off around 6.30 pm. Men were sitting outside the house under our mango tree and my sisters and nieces were inside cooking and talking. When I went to the kitchen around 7.00 pm, I realised that one of my sisters was telling Mahes Acca about what we had earlier thought to be a gossip. I, therefore, joined in the conversation. Mahes Acca was still saying that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) won’t harm her and that Lord Shiva would not let anything happen to her. I also made a mistake by agreeing with Mahes Acca in this conversation. My other sister is still angry with me that I didn’t support her as she expressed her concern. Mahes Acca did, however, tell us that she would call for advice and help if necessary after power was restored. If she or we felt that she was in immediate danger we could have asked for help. Throughout this time Mahes Acca still believed that nothing bad would happen to her.

I think it was around 7:20 pm and we were sitting outside, when suddenly three men in army uniforms, faces masked with black clothes and carrying AK47s appeared in front of us as if from nowhere. As the power cut was still on, it was very dark. My brother had seen similar looking army men at Nelliyadi junction the day before. We, therefore, thought it was an army group that was visiting us as the leader of the group spoke to us in Tamil but with a Sinhala accent and the fact that they were wearing army uniforms. We also noticed that the group included a small person, possibly a young boy or older person but very short. I also noticed that the leader of the group pushed the small person in to the dark. The leader asked what we were doing and then asked us to go inside and bring out our identity cards (IC). He came inside the house and asked everybody else in the house to produce ICs.

We all went inside the rooms and brought out our ICs. The group leader asked us to shout our names and produce the ICs. He then asked who had come from abroad. After we answered him he asked who had come from Colombo. My two sisters including Mahes acca told him that they were from Colombo. Mahes Acca told him that she is an adviser to the Minister Devenantha. He looked at both ICs and then told Mahes Acca “sorry Mahes Acca, we know you and we would like to talk to you”. He then asked her “could you please come outside to talk”. At this point we were all worried about this and asked him why couldn’t we talk inside. At the same time we were all trying to go outside with Mahes Acca. When one of us had gone to the doorway, he shouted, “don’t you understand Tamil, if anybody leaves the house I will shoot everybody”. At this point, I believe that the group leader’s accent had changed to a somewhat good Tamil accent. After shouting, he called somebody from outside “Sunil Mahdya”. One of my sisters said, “I know Sunil, can I talk to him”. But the person who came inside was the small person who I believed could be a boy. After this person came inside, the next thing we heard were shots being fired. Nobody knew the group leader was going to shoot, even Mahes Acca wouldn’t have realised he was going to shoot her as he didn’t raise his arm to shoot. I believe he first shot her in her forehead from his waist level. After she fell down he shot her twice more in her chest and stomach.

When the group leader was shooting, he was still holding my sister’s IC and I believe that he had taken away her IC with him, as it was not found inside the house later. It all ended in two or three minutes, none of us could believe what happened to our sister. The small person may have come to confirm my sister’s identity, which may be why he was pushed in to the dark earlier. After shooting dead our sister, the group disappeared in to the dark.

My sister who lives in Karaveddy is a doctor in Siddtha medicine. She checked Mahes Acca’s pulse after the killers had left and told me that she had passed away instantaneously. Perhaps it was a good death, I don’t believe she knew she was going to be shot and after the shooting she died peacefully without even a small sound. I informed her minister, Douglas Devanantha, straightaway and told my sisters in the UK and my wife in Canada after some time. The Minister informed the Army Commander in Jaffna. These were the only people who knew what happened at this time. I was later surprised to learn that a report of Mahes Acca’s death appeared as a news item on the TamilNet within half an hour of the incident.

The police and army came to our house after around 30 to 45 minutes. They told us that they had difficulties in finding our house. This could be true as our address has no street name or house number, but has only the name of the area, which is called Anaipanthy. The police commenced their enquiries and informed the Point Pedro judge of the incident. The judge was kind enough to visit the murder scene later that night and finished his enquires around 11.30 pm. The judge also gave us the option to carry out the post mortem in Colombo. We decided to return to Colombo with Mahes Acca, as it was also not practical to conduct the funeral in Karaveddy. Under the circumstances, we had no choice but to take our mother to Colombo.

The next morning, we all returned to Colombo together with Mahes Acca and our mother. Our mother was admitted at Colombo Appolo where she was cared for by our eldest sister. The post mortem on Mahes Acca’s body was conducted at the Colombo Hospital on 14th May and her funeral took place on the 15th May at Borrella.

I personally don’t know the identity of the killers. I don’t want to be a judge without any evidences. But those who killed my sister are cowards. They killed an unarmed woman who dedicated her entire adult life to helping needy people. She certainly would have helped even the people who were responsible for her killing. The cowardice of her killers is compounded by the fact that they killed her when she went to see her sick mother without any security and while she was at her mother’s sick bed. I am sure time will reveal who the killers are and that they will have to provide an account of their actions and that they can be challenged with this question - Is dedicating a life to helping needy people a crime?

My mother, who has now partially recovered from her ordeal, recently told one of my sisters that Mahes Acca is busy working for the people (oorukku ulaikiral) and hasn’t got the time to visit her! The saddest thing is that our mother didn’t and still doesn’t know what happened to Mahes Acca!

Mahes Acca had an ambition to build a home for elderly people and orphan children. Although she is not longer able to fulfil her own ambition, we, her brothers and sisters, are now pledged to build and run an orphanage in her name as a tribute to our beloved sister.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

6 comments

Arsenal said...

Respect to the author, and may your sister RIP.

Very good of you not to point the finger at LTTE when everyone else is. My initial suspicion, after reading DBS Jeyaraj column, was that this was the work of LTTE when I heard your sister was shot. I do have some reservation though on who might have done such cowardly act. Cannot help myself asking this question again and again, if there are checkpoints and SLA posts at every junction in and around greater Jaffna peninsula, this was the case when I visited my home town in 2005, how did these 3 or 4 men clad in military uniform with masked face were able to come to your house and then go freely after killing your sister without being noticed by the SLA. These AK47’s or T56’s rifles are not small items that can be hidden easily. I remember reading the Tamilnet news on your sisters death and I believe it said that the house she was killed is located close to either a SLA camp or an SLA intelligent camp. I am sure you know the truth. Nearly every day Sri Lanka military Spokesman, Brigadier Udaya Nanyakkara, tells us that there are no LTTE in the East and Jaffna and then he accuses LTTE of these killings.

My guess is that if this was indeed the work of LTTE then it had information from people within EPDP. Furthermore if it was the work of LTTE, then good luck to SL armed forces trying to break into Vanni. You have your work cut out. Velupillai Prabakaran(VP) is no angel either and I wouldn't put it past him giving the nod. I am pretty certain if LTTE wanted to kill your sister, they could have done so during the ceasefire period in Colombo as they were killing members of PLOTE,EPDP and others who were against them at will.

EPDP, I believe has lots of enemies and Minister Douglas Devananda, he himself is not an angel, has enemies within EPDP as well as outside including LTTE and the now LTTE breakaway TMVP. The sad fact is Douglas will also be a victim of this “dog eat dog” struggle sooner or later and EPDP would have taken revenge for your sisters killing on some unsuspecting innocent citizen who may or may not sympathise with the LTTE.

Finally on a lighter note, I hope your son gets the opportunity to see his beloved LFC at Anfield soon and also good luck and best wishes on your family’s ambition of building these homes.

Malin said...

Well this story tells truth about LTTE, Though it doesnt point at it there are more than enough clues if you read between lines. For the person who wrote a ealier comment actually SLA cannot maintain that kind of security in the dark no power anybody cloud have come they only need was Army uniforms. ("“don’t you understand Tamil, if anybody leaves the house I will shoot everybody”. At this point, I believe that the group leader’s accent had changed to a somewhat good Tamil accent")
WHY LTTE KILL PEOPLE WHO SUPPOR TAMILS?

ach82000 said...

First of all i convey my deep condolences to you and your family.And I came to know through tamilnet the person responsible for the killing has been gunned down.Even though it can't get your sis's life back i feel justice is being done.

cgudu said...

I read your letter word by word more than three times,and wish according to my religion that your beloved sister be Rest in Peace, and at the same time that she be born within your Family according to the belief of my wife's. Any way I am eager to help in a small way to be a partner to your sister's last wish, and there could be many more non Tamils, so please inform the way to make this contribution.May Peace & Prosperity prevail in our mother LAnka soon.

Arsenal said...

Ach8200

If LTTE killed the author's sister then read the following news item from SL defence website about those 2 boys killed.

"LTTE terrorists kill two Tamil prisoners in Jaffna

Defence sources in Jaffna reveal that two Tamil prisoners while being taken to the courts were shot dead by suspected LTTE gunmen this morning (June 13). An armed gang of 3-4 members who had arrived in a van stopped the bus belonging to the Prison Department and carried out the shooting around 9.15 am., said the sources. Another prisoner suffered injuries and was directed to immediate medical attention the sources added.

Police said that the bus was traveling from Chunnakam to Point Pedro. The armed gang had stopped the vehicle at the old rail crossing at Chunnkam and the shooting was carried out using micro pistols. The assassins had dropped a leaflet at the location with the message, "Death to those who betray the Tigers", police added.

Later, the van was found left in a near by location. A civilian has made a complain to the police that the van had been forcibly taken from him by an armed gang of Tamils this morning."

Now who do you believe?

Malin,

If you have been to Jaffna since 2005 you would know it is not possible to roam around in any part of Jaffna without being noticed by SLA.

Thilak Kariyawasam said...

My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Miss. Maheshwari I met 2002 in Bangkok during the Asian Civil society Forum. When I finish my presentation she came to me, She speak to me with clear singhala language. “malli, Oya kiyapuwa attha. Bohoma hondai”, Well done brother what you have mention is truth. Then we had long chat about our civil rights, war and Environmental rights. End of the day we became good friends. From 2002, we met so many times. I know she all ways work for people’s dignity. She uses her contacts for help for voice less people. Once she was requesting from me to help Tsunami victims in Trinco and Batti. When I did that she was again ask me to help for their livelihood. She is very kind for power less people.
Any way I can remember last chat with her at SLFI Colombo. When I ask how about your security Then she was told me If any one want to kill me, without problems to any one they can do it. Because, I don’t likes to have security with me here and there. We lost human who had grate respect to human dignity. May I bless to her Nirvana

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