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Today is the appropriate day to recall the Chemmani mass graves


Paartheepan for Global Tamil News-

Today is the appropriate day to recall the Chemmani mass graves

Genocide of Tamils ​​in the island had been committed not merely at Mullivaikal. Genocide of Tamils had already been committed through well-orchestrated activities of genocidal onslaught before the Mullivaikal massacre. Chemmani is one of those genocidal onslaughts committed against the Eelam Tamils. 7th of September in 1999 is the day on which the Chemmani mass graves had come to bright light.


Kirushanthi, the student of Chundukuli Girls’ College, had lost her father at an early age. Her mother was a teacher who was very much interested in her daughter’s studies. Kirushanthi was a talented student who gained 7 Distinctions and 1 Credit in Ordinary Level Examination. One of the students of Chundukuli Girls’ College died on 7th of September after being collided with a military vehicle. Kirushanthi was one of the students who went to the funeral of the girl who died after being collided with a military vehicle. Kirishanthi was blocked at the military camp located near the arch which welcomes Jaffna.

Corporal ranked military officer ordered to take her into the military camp. Her villages observed when she was taken to the military camp. Her mother who was waiting for her daughter’s arrival was told by her villages that her daughter had been taken to the military camp. Meanwhile, 59-year-old Rasamma (Kirushanthi’s mother) accompany with her 16-year-old son and the neighbor Sithamparam Kirupamoorthy went to the particular military camp.

They who went in search of Kirushanthi had been brutally tortured at the particular military camp. All of these three were brutally killed after being strangled. Kirushanthi was brutally raped and killed by 11 brutes among them 9 were military soldiers and 2 were policemen. These four innocents were then buried in three mass graves.

Those who were buried there were not merely these four. More than 600 Tamils were killed and buried in the mass graves located at Chemmani. Well orchestrated genocidal plan with the intention of killing the Tamil youths was being committed in the years 1996 and 1997 after the Jaffna had been captured by the Sri Lankan military. Thus, youths in Jaffna were forcibly disappeared.

The rape and murder of Kirushanthi created a large wave inside and outside the Jaffna which was confined from the outside world. Very huge arguments in this regard arose in the Sri Lankan parliament. Consequently, the Sri Lankan government which was conducting a prolong war faced huge crisis. 9 were arrested by the regime of Chandrika in order to get rid of the crisis which the regime faced. Murder case of Krishanthy became as the Chemmani mass graves case on the contrary to the expectation of the government. The confession given by the Corporal Somaratne Rajapakse who was sentenced to death attracted great attention.

“300-400 Tamils including Kirishanthy, her mother, her brother and their neighbor were killed and buried at Chemmani. I did not kill anyone of them including Kirishanthy. My duty was to bury the dead bodies brought by my superiors. If I am taken to Chemmani, I will identify the mass graves of Tamils”

The then Sri Lankan government was in an attempt to conceal the rest of the cases by just confining it with the murder case of Kirishanthy. But the matter was observed worldwide. Various Human Rights Organizations raised their voices urging the exhumations of Chemmani mass graves to find the fact with regard to this. Consequently, the government of Sri Lanka was unable to evade this issue. The skeletons found at Chemmani proved the confession given by Corporal Somaratne Rajapakse.

Skeletons exhumed from Chemmani were identified by the teary mothers gathered there. The entire Jaffna became teary. Rajapakse further stated that there were 16 mass graves in Chemmani among them 10 could be identified by him and the remaining mass graves could be identified by a police officer and Jayathilake who was also sentenced to death.

In addition, he stated that the list of military officers in connection with these murders could be given by him. He divulged the details of Captain Lalith Hewa, Lt.Vijaya Sriwardene, Lt. Thudukala, Major.Veerakodi and Major.Gunasekara. in addition, he described about some other murder cases. Following were revealed by him when he was stating about the disappearance of Selvarathinam who was a government officer at the time when he was disappeared;

“I was asked by Captain Hewa to take a spade. When I went there with a spade, Captain Hewa was standing with a naked woman. The woman and her husband were taken to the military camp earlier. Captain Hewa brutally raped the particular woman. He then assaulted the husband and wife by means of the spade which I gave him and roads”

The genocidal faces of the brutal Sri Lankan military had been brought to bright light following these mass graves at Chemmani. Chemmani mass graves clearly proclaimed about the real intentions of the Chandrika’s regime which conducted a brutal war in the guise of safeguarding the Tamils from the clutches of terrorists. Though the culprits were identified and given sentences, the genocidal acts of the Tri-forces of Sri Lanka did not come to an end with the Chemmani mass graves. Their genocidal acts were continued up to the Mullivaikal massacre.

Chemmani land space is one of the evidences for the genocide committed against the Tamils. Genocidal acts are the experiences for the future vigilances with regard to the Human Rights and Ethnic Rights. Remembering such genocidal onslaughts would be the act of protecting the Human Rights.  

Actions were made with the time to make these mass graves forgotten. What do the advertisements of the multi-national companies advertised at the Chemmani land space reveal? Chemmani massacres are much better examples for learning lessons from the genocide committed by the Sri Lankan government. Today is the appropriate day to recall the Chemmani mass graves.

-Paartheepan for Global Tamil News-


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