07.09.1996 – Krishanthy massacre

Kaithady is situated in the Jaffna district. Kaithady village is located 7 kms from the Jaffna town. Krishanthi’s home was located just 200 metres from the Kaithady junction. Krishanthi’s parents Kumarasamy and Rasamma had three children, Prasanthi, Krishanthi and Pranavan. The family worked hard to advancing the children’s education. Krishanthi’s mother Rasamma was working as the deputy principal of Kaithady Kumarasamy Vidhyalayam. Krishthani’s father died in 1984, and thus the mother and the three children were living in the home. The eldest daughter Prasanthi, after finishing her AL examination went to Colombo to advance her education as there were no opportunities for her in Jaffna. From there she had the opportunity to go overseas.

Krishanthi excelled in her OL examination and was studying for her AL examination at the Chundukuli Girls’ School. Krishanthi’s brother Pranavan was studying at St John’s College.

In September 1996, Krishanthi’s the AL examinations were taking place. Krishanthi had already sat one paper. On 07.09.1996, Krishanthi went to a funeral of her close friend Jananthini Kananathan and was returning home at 1.30 pm. The military at the checkpoint in the Chemmani open space near the Welcome Arch into Jaffna Town stopped Krishanthi and was questioning her. She was kept there for 45 minutes. A relative, Kananathan, who saw this had gone to Krishanthi’s home and warned Krishanthi’s mother. At 2.30 pm, Krishanthi mother, accompanied by neighbour, Kirubamoorthy went to the checkpoint. Krishanthi’s brother Pranavan also joined them.

The three arrived at the checkpoint, Krishanthi was not there. When they inquired at the checkpoint they were told that no one was arrested by them. The three then went to her school and to her friend’s home looking for Krishanthi. They were told that Krishanthi had been there and had left. The three then went again to inquire at the checkpoint and all three went missing.

During the middle of 1996 Jaffna was brought under the Sri Lankan military control and they imposed curfew from 6.00pm to 6.00am. As a result, even though friends and relatives were concerned that the four people did not return home that night. They were unable to do anything about it.

The next day, 09.09.1996, relatives of Krishanthi’s family, Arumuganathan and Kodeeswaran, and Kirubamoorthy’s wife Puveneswari went to the same checkpoint in search of their relatives. They were told that no one was arrested at that checkpoint. The relatives then lodged complaints at the Jaffna branch of the Human Rights Commission and at the Jaffna Police Station. The relatives went once again to the checkpoint task. The relatives were asked to come in the evening. Fearing that the same fate as their relatives will befall them they did not go there in the evening. The relatives persisted with their complaints to the Human Rights Commission and the Police.

Due to the efforts of the relatives 45 days after the four people went missing, the relatives were called by the military chiefs of the 512 Brigadiers Divisions for an inquiry. Mrs. Arumuganathan, Puvaneswari and Kodeeswaran went to the inquiry. The six soldiers who were supposedly involved in the disappearance were called and investigated. Then it was revealed that none of the four missing people are alive.

The soldiers agreed to show the location of the incident and the graves where the bodies lay buried. The bodies were buried under a bridge in Nayanmarkaddu road, 100 metres from the checkpoint where the four people went missing. Post-mortem revealed that Krishanthi was raped before she was murdered.

The two families took a court case about the deaths of their relatives. Following inquiries six soldiers were arrested and all six confessed to the murders. One of the six who confessed, Lance Corporal Somaratna Rajapakse, in addition to giving evidence of the murders of Krishanthi and the other three, also announced in the courts that he can show mass graves near Chemmani where 300 to 400 bodies were buried on orders from their superiors. This announcement revealed that many of those who disappeared in Jaffna are buried in these mass graves.

Three of the accused were given death sentence and the other three were given 20 years imprisonment.

Vorhandene Namen:

  1. Kumarasamy Rasamma (59)
  2. Kumarasamy Krishanthy (18)
  3. Sumarasamy Piranavan (16)

1996: "Massacres of Tamils 1956 - 2008", NESOHR (2010), pp.147 - 149.
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