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*purollI- rt$l uonpner O6amnooU
Commission ForJustice & Peace of The Catholic Diocese ofJaffna
Rev.Fr. S.V.B. Man galaraj ah
Rt. Rev. Dr Thomas Savundaranayagam
Bishop of Jaffna
24 June 2014
His Excellency Most Rev. Dr.
22 0 B auddhal oka Maw atha
Pierre NguySn Vdn Tdt
Greetings to your Excellency from Jaffna. On behalf of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic
Diocese of Jaffna I would like to extend a warrn welcome to you in our midst in Sri Lanka. I look forward to your
visit to our Diocese.
You would have got some information of the current situation in Sri Lanka especially about the 'civil war'
which ended five years ago the reasons and circumstances which resulted in the civil war, the post-war
developments and the current situation.
I would like to bring to your attention the situation in the North which had to bear the brunt of the war by
way of loss of thousands of precious human lives and the dismantling of the whole infrastructure.
A lot of grievances of the people here which led to the civil war still are not resolved. The people in the
Norlh are still insecure. No meaningful efforts have been taken by the Government to solve these issues. You will
be able see for yourself and hear from the people all that we undergo when you come here.
In this background our beloved Holy Father is coming to Sri Lanka in January 2015 and we are looking
forward to have him in our midst. I wish and pray that the visit of our Holy Father will augur well for our people
who are going through hard times. I wish the presence of our Holy Father in Sri Lanka will urge the Government
leaders to address the key issues which afflict the people in the North and East and the minorities and enable them
to live in peace with dignity, equality and
I am sending you herewith a summary of the report of the current situation. I will be very glad to furnish
you with more details if you need.
May God bless you.
Yours devotedly in Christ Jesus and Mary Immaculate
Rev Fr. S.V:B. Mangalalalah.
Chairman, Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna.
Telephone No: 077 809 6144
E-mai1 : man galaraj ah@ gmail. com
Copies to: President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference, Sri Lanka.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundaranayagam, Bishop of Jaffna.
Rt: Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, Bishop of Mannar.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Kingsley Swampillai, Bishop of Trincomallee.
ury opEpnnll* *plonolll rB$l uonpner O6emrroOe
Commission ForJustice & Peace of The Catholic Diocese ofJalfna
Rev. Fr. S.V.B.Mangalara.i ah
Rt. Rev. Dr Thomas Savundaranay agarn
Bishop of Jaffna
Bodhu Bala Sena (A Buddhist extremist group which has strong support
from some powerful men in the Government.
Eelam People's Democratic Party (A Tamil Political Party aligned to the
Government of Sri Lanka
Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission
Commission established two years after the end of the war due to pressure
from outside to investigate into the excesses, human rights violations etc.
of both sides.
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (A militant organization of Tamil youth
who had recourse to armed struggle after the moderate Tamil leaders failed
in their non-violent struggle to win their rights.
Prevention of Terrorism Act (A controversial draconian Law to clamp
down the LTTE. According to this law a suspect can be kept in detention
indefinitely without being charge-sheeted" A number of such detainees had
been killed in various prisons due to disturbances there. Even after the
defeat of the LTTE this law has not been repealed.
Special Task Force
Tamil National Alliance (A coalition of Tamil parties which won
overwhelmingly in the recent elections in the North)
We are in
the 5th year after
the end of the
regard to the
loss of human
war which left a trail
lives, property and
The Country has recovered fast with regard to the rebuilding of infrastructure and
economy though there are still a substantial number of people who do not have access to
these facilities. There are still remnants of the cruel war. A number of visitors and foreign
dignitaries who had visited the war-torn N & E of Sri Lanka immediately after the war and in
the recent past few months are able to flnd the difference. There are now well-laid carpet
(asphalt) roads and railway- lines. The train-service which is functioning up to Pallai in the
North and up to Madhu Road in the NW will hopefully reach Kankesanthurai and
Talaimannar respectively by the end of this year. There are new bridges, buildings for
schools, hospitals, bus-stands, magistrate-cour1 complexes, market-complexes and other
public-utility buildings etc. There are also new houses built for the people who have lost their
houses due to the war. Thanks to the number of countries who have helped generously to
achieve all these.
The visitors are generally surprised by the facade of the N & E which looks attractive
and promising. Only when the visitor takes the trouble to go out of the way of 'a guided tour'
in the N & E and ventures into the nooks and corners and talks to as many people as possible
especially those affected by the war in some way or other, he will come to grips with the
reality. At the moment the general public are afraid to speak out what they really feel and
undergo become they feel and quite rightly so that are under surveillance because of the
comprehensive presence of intelligence units.
Many of the unresolved issues and grievances of the people which are long-standing
and which in a way led to the taking up of arms by the youngsters in the N & F. are still far
from being addressed.
Many of the people both inside and outside the country especially those affected by
the war as well as the governments which helped the GOSL to fight the LTTE and to win the
war had hoped that the GOSL will do something meaningful to solve the ethnic problem and
bring about peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. However this goal seems to be a distant
reality now and the moves of the GOSL indicate that they are taking a Victor
attitude which is no way going to be helpful in resolving the festering ethnic problem.
The following are some of the issues which need to be taken into consideration to
bring about peace and reconciliations based on
The President and Ministers of SL speak a lot about peace and reconciliation. Peace
and reconciliation can be made meaningfully possible only when there is truth and
All parties should come to terms with truth of what really happened. The Bishop of Mannar,
Rt. Rev. Dr. R. Joseph, in his testimony before LLRC referred to the 146,000 + people who
are still unaccounted for, basing on the statistics given by the GOSL. The fate of the 16,000 +
missing people, surrendered and since then disappeared, handed-over to the Security Forces
and then disappeared is still unresolved. Eg. The case of Fr. Jim Brown, a young priest of the
Diocese of Jaffna and his helper who were last sighted in front of a army-sentry point at
and since then have not yet been found; Fr. Francis Joseph as elderly
priest and number of others who were taken in buses by the Security Forces in front of a lot
of people and since then not seen, are some. During the past few decades there were also
other instances of more priests and a number of civilians who were killed by the Security
Forces but never admitted by them. There was the case of Fr. Mary Bastian of the Jaffna
Diocese who w-as killed by the army in Vankalai, a parish in the Diocese of Mannar on the
5th January 1985 in his Parish house and his body was removed by them and there were
eyewitnesses. The version of the spokesman of GOSL then was that he had escaped to India.
Few months back in the evidence given at Chavachacheri before the Presidential
Commission for Missing persons headed by Mr. Maxwell Paranagama, some persons who
gave evidence were able to identify Capt. Duminda of the Navatkuly camp then who was in
charge of a round-up operation at Thanankillappu from where about 27 youngsters (men)
were arrested and never seen since then.
In a recently revealed photograph of Channel 4, there were the pictures of Isaipriya
(an LTTE broadcasting news-reader) and Ushalini (an LTTE woman-cadre) who are in atmy
custody along with a number LTTE men. The parents of this girl Ushalini who are now living
in Mallavi, immediately identified their daughter and told the press of the circumstances of
their daughter's depafture from them. The army intelligence went to their house at Mallavi
and grilled them and it amounted to intimidation. Of all the pictures revealed by the Channel-
4, this photograph is very clear and the soldiers and even some of the LTTE cadres are clearly
identifiable. The army spokesman says that they are investigating the matter!
The investigation process of the 17 'Action Fame' workers killed at Muthur and the 5
students in Trincomallee in 2006 is very slow. Every time there in an important event like
Commonwealth Conference or Geneva Meeting there is some noise about investigation and
then it is shelved till the next such meeting.
2. Political Prisoners
Hundreds of political prisoners are still in detention in prisons in Anuradhepura.
Welikkada, Boosa etc., and a good number of them have been there for more than 10 years
under PTA without being charge-sheeted. There are also some women with their children.
One lady Thirumagal was in detention for 18 years already in20l2 and she had up to the end
of July 2012 been produced before courts 429 times! Another old woman Muthusamy
Kathaye (68) from Badulla was arreste d in 1994 in Chenkkaladdy, Batticaloa for having links
with the LTTE and detained under PTA. She died in custody of cancer on 06.01 .2013 rn
Welikkada without proper medical care and after developing bed-sores etc. The killing of
Nirmalaruban and Dilruckson from Vavuniya and Passaiyoor respectively 2 years ago after
receiving severe beating from the
and the S.T.F. was another case. These two
were in coma stage in the prison hospital and still fastened to the bed with chains!. The
Bishop of Mannar was denied permission to meet them when they were in the hospital. On
Easter day this year the Bp. of Mannar and the Bp. of Anuradhapura tried to visit the prison
in Anuradhapura to meet the political prisoners and again permission was denied.
These political prisoners are kept along with drug traffickers, murderers and common
criminals of dangerous nature. The past events have shown that in any outbreak of violence in
the prison these political prisoners are the first targets as it happened in Wellikada in 1983 in
Anuradhapura in 1985, in Boosa in 2000 and Wellikada again a few years ago when a
number of Tamil political prisoners including some teen agers \l'ere massacred.
Following a series of hunger-strikes of these unfoftunate people promises were made
to expedite their trials. Some Speed-courls were proposed, but so far very little progress has
From the month of March the GOSL initiated a clamp-down on the so called
'resurgence of LTTE,'. The first targets were two women, Jeyakumari
(48) and her daughter
Vibushikka (15) in Tharmapuram in Kilinochchi. These two were arrested for sheltering a
suspected LTTE cadre and when their house was surrounded the LTTE cadre named Gopi,
the army said, escaped after shooting and injuring a policeman. The identity of this
policeman, how serious was the injury, how Gopi managed to escape when the house in
which he was hiding was already surrounded by more than 200 Security men remain a
mystery! This Gopi and two other hard-core LTTE cadres who were in custody in the
Kokkavil anny camp and a Tamil intelligence man who was involved in investigating them
were all killed in a huge round-up incident in the Nedunkerny
few weeks after the
Tharmapuram incident. The three LTTE cadres were killed while they tried to hurl grenades
at the security forces and escape while the intelligence officer was killed in a friendly-fire or
cross-fire. Their bodies were not handed over to the relatives. The army buried them. The
whole process remains a mystery. After the Tharmapuram incident a number of arrests have
been made under PTA including the arrest of Fr. Praveen Mahesan, O.M.I. and the Human
Rights activist Mr. Rukki Fernando and about 60 others of whom about 10 are women. (The
GOSL had to release Fr. Praveen Mahesan and Mr. Rukki Fernando after three days due to
mounting intemational pressure. The others, some of them women over 60 are still in
detention). The Security Forces said that they found a metal-detector owned by a demining
group in the house where Jeyakumari and her daughter Vibushikka were staying. Three
weeks ago there was another incident where the Security Forces arrested two men from the
South who were on the way to Wanni who had with them two metal-detectors. Paradoxically
Jeyakumari and Vibushikka were arrested under PTA and the two men from the South are
being tried under the normal law! It has to be noted the family of Jeyakumari and Vibushikka
remains a thorn in the flesh of the GOSL as three in the family are lost, one son and the father
were taken into custody and missing since then and the other son was killed in the war. The
mother and the daughter remain a symbol of the suffering of those affected by the enforced
disappearances and the GOSL had a need to silence them.
3. Surwiving victims of the war
The normal family fabric has been decimated with regard to a substantial number of
families in the North & East
I. Widows: Due to the war there are 89,000-90,000 widows in the North & East In
the North the member is 40,000 upwards and is the East almost 49,000 upwards.
Women whose husbands have been arrested, surrendered, and taken in white-vans
and missing since them are not included in this number.
In 20 1 3, November 22nd there was a meeting of the representatives of these widows
in Batticaloa and they came out with some of the problems they faced.
They are not treated with equality with other women. They are looked down as
people who can be made use of.
They face sexual harassment. The officers etc. who come to help them expect
They face lot of difficulty financially and is providing security if they have
grown up girls.
In a report to U.N. on 11.6.2014 Mr. Alian Sibinale pointed out that 40Yo of the women in the
N & E. of Sri Lanka are insecure.
There are men who lost their wives in the war and they find it difficult to bring up
their children. They have financial difficulties, unemployment, debts etc. During the last
stages of the war and immediately afterwards 1042 men have committed suicide. Some tried
to go abroad through unreliable agencies, leaving their families behind hoping to call them
once they reached the destination. They had borrowed money, or sold all their possessions to
get the required amount. Many such people have been caught and sent back and hence lost
everything. There are also moral problems due to this, such us break-down of families,
immoral family unions, abortions, suicides etc. Some become addicted to alcohol, drugs, etc.
Thousands of children's have become orphans and hence are housed in children's
homes run by the government and by religious-bodies. There are also families headed by
bigger children and in such cases they are very vulnerable.
Infant mortality in Sri Lanka for
Infant mortality in South of Sri Lanka
Infant mortality in North (Vanni) of Sri Lanka
Malnutrition and anaemia in the North & East is high.
In Sri Lanka underweight children under 5 Years
In Vanni underweight children under 5 Years
Malnourished pregnant women ratio is also high in North &
repoft of Dr. Murali Vallipuranathan, a Social Medical Ofhcer.
Children leaving school half way, is very high in Vanni
Children going for odd
and begging also can be observed.
In Karadiyanaru M.V. in the East a random survey found out
to School without breakfast.
East according the latest
unlike in earlier times.
that240 Children come
4. Usage of drugs, alcohol and break-down of law and order
In a public meeting at Varany on 02.02.2014 the C.M. Mr. C.V. Vigneswaran pointed
out that there is a hidden power which promotes the use of drugs even among school
children. Drugs have been found available near some leading school in the Jaffna peninsula.
Eg. In Point Pedro, near Hartley College.
In Some public festivals and tournaments held in Jaffna town and Vanni, organized by
the army, the prizes were beer-can-cases and arrack-bottles. In the stalls of these public
festivals alcoholic drinks were freely available for sale for all, including the teenagers.
There are some underground gangs of youngsters and even some teenagers running
wild brandishing weapons (swords etc) injuring and killing people. Eg. Ava & Dilu groups.
They were released on bail quite easily and it is alleged that they were involved in more
violence. Some of the weapons they possess are found only with the Security Forces.
Availability of drugs and the free movements of these terror groups raise lot of suspicion
about the excessive number of the soldiers and their movements in everv nook and corner.
5. The Plight of the former LTTE Cadres
There are a number of rehabilitated LTTE Cadres who are undergoing a lot of
pressure. They have to report themselves to the nearby anny-camp at regular intervals and
they have to be at their disposal whenever called. They are supposed to be informants with
regard to any 'unusual' movement, visitors, gatherings etc. in the region. If there happens to
be any development not up to the agenda of the army such as lightings lamps and candles on
'heroes' day' in Nov or May 18th or display of posters against the government, these
unfortunate people are suspected. In some cases they have also been arrested. Some of these
former LTTE ers who have some foreign connection have managed to flee the country. Those
who are here have to pay heavily for any 'untoward incident'.
The GOSL is involved in intimidating mudslinging activities against anyone who do
not support them or those who criticise them or stage protests against them.
The latest example for this in the organising of a counter protest on 05.06.2014 in
front of the Kachcheri in Mullaitivu when there was aheady a protest with the due permission
on behalf of the'surrendered" and since then disappeared people on behalf of some of whom
Habeas Corpus petitions have been filed in the Mullaitivu Courts. Even after one year no
substantial progress has been made due to inordinate and irresponsible delay caused by the
State Counsel. Another example would be the counter-demonstration organised by the C.I.D.
when the British P.M. came to Jaffna in November 20i3 when there was already a
demonstration against the GOSL organised by the Citizens Committee of Mannar in front of
the Jaffna Public Library. The people brought by the CID were not aware of the fact that they
were being brought to stage a demonstration in front of the British P.M. When they were
brought they were given some banners on which some slogans raising the issue of the British
excesses during the Colonial Period were written. In the past also there used to be
demonstration is support of the GOSL or the President and the people used to be brought with
promises such as housing projects or relief materials for them.
There had been instances of throwing of waste-oil on peaceful demonstrators who
were demanding the withdrawal of the army from their houses and lands in Valikamam
There was a forged publication of a popular Jaffna Tamil daily "Uthayan' on the day
of the Provincial Council election which carried a lead-news that some of the leading TNA
candidates have withdrawn their candidacy the previous night and that they had asked the
people to boycott the election. What was strange was that Delft an island about 17 miles from
Jaffna which was a stronghold of the party aligned to the ruling government party, the EPDP
also received bundles of these particular paper. Before that EPDP members never allowed
this paper Uthayan to come into Delft as they felt that it was very critical of them. However
the forgery was discovered when the original copies of 'Uthayan' arrived a little later.
7. Clamp down on the university and intervention in Schools
There have been a number of instances of interference and intimidation for some
years and these are becoming more acute in the recent past with regard to the university
students and the staff in Jaffna. Anonymous posters appeared in the university premises
naming some students leaders and some members of the staff gives them death threats if they
do not keep quite on days like 'heroes' day in Nov., and May 18th., the day the war ended 5
years ago. Prior to May 18th, Prof. Rajakumaran was asked to repoft in Colombo for
questioning in the notorious 4th floor. Few days before that, the representatives of students
and the staff were summoned to the army headquarters in Palaly and they were given a tight
'briefing' by the Northern Commander with regard to any public function on the 1Sth of May
in the University premises. Then the University was closed down on the 1Sth of May and a
couple of days before and after and the students in the hostel were also asked to vacate the
With regard to the Schools there had been instances when the army entered some
schools to gather information of the students and the staff. Few weeks ago the army went into
a girls' school in Vavuniya and asked the Principal to give information about the teachers and
the students. The School authorities told them that such information should be taken only
from the Education Deparlment and not from them. The army then threatened them and got
the phone numbers of some teachers and threatened them at odd times.
8. Victory Day Celebrations
The GOSL had been celebrating for the last four years 18th of May as a Victory day.
On that day five Years ago and a few days before thousands of people perished in and around
Mullivaikkal. More than in the previous years the security forces took special measures to
prevent any public demonstration of remembering the dead on that day. Army personnel were
posted for each Church and Temple to see that neither bells rung, nor lights, candles lit, nor
religious services held. Some of the routine religious festivals had to be even cancelled in
some Hindu Temples due to army intervention. In some Catholic Churches the army went
and told the incumbent priests not to have any services or ring the bells or light candles
during those days. 18th of May is a very sensitive day for the Tamils as many of their near
and dear ones perished on that day 5 years ago and many diplomats pointed this out and
abstained from participating in the Victory day celebration when they were invited. The
GOSL needs such celebration to boost up their popularity among the extremist elements in
the South whose support the need to remain in power. We feel that such celebrations will not
in any way help to bring about peace and reconciliation between the North & South
9. Attempts to change the demographic pattern in the North
During the past five decades the successive Governments have succeeded in changing
the demographic pattern in the East especially in Amparai and Trincomallee districts where
once the Tamils were in the majority and the Sinhalese in the minority. This was made
possible mainly due to state sponsored settlements.
Recent elections in the North, both Parliamentary and Provincial Council, the results
of which must have been an eye-opener for the GOSL when the ruling parly could not get a
break-through as it had in the East. With the implementation of the government plan of State
sponsored settlements of the Southerners in the North, especially in Mannar, Musali,
Mullikulam and Madhu-Road and in Jaffna at Valikamam Nofih, Mullaitivu, Kokkilai,
Nedunkerni, Kokkuthoduvai etc. in large scale the ruling party may be able to get some seats
in the forthcoming elections. It is acceptable that any Sri Lankan can buy land anywhere in
Sri Lanka and settle down. What we are opposed is the state-sponsored settlements od
Southerners in the Norlh. There are no such State-sponsored settlements of the Noftherners in
the South. When the original inhabitants of the Norlh do not possess a piece of land as their
own it is not fair to give lands in the North to the landless of the South. What is still worse is
depriving the Tamils of their traditionally owned land and giving that to the Southerners.
Such action will provoke more tension among the Northerners and the Southerners.
There is also another subtle form of controlling the population in the Norlh going on.
On 31st August 2013 young women in three remote coastal area villages in the Kilinochchi
district (Valaippadu, Veravil, Kiranchi) were subjected coercive birth-control. On the 31st
August over 20 nurses and midwives came from Kilinochchi and went from door to door in
these villages and asked all the young mothers to come to the Veravil district hospital with
their children under 5 years. They were transported by ambulances. They had been told to
come with the clinic-card to weigh their children under 5 years. Upon arrival the doctor and
nurse used coercive languages and manipulated medical information to convince the women
to take Progesterone Only Sub Dermal Implants (POSD's) a long term hormonal birth control
chip (Jadel) inserted under the skin of the woman's upper arm. When the women expressed
their unwillingness to receive it, they were told that in that case they will not be given any
other treatment in the hospital in future. They were also threatened that if they refused to
comply their husbands would be brought and be subjected to some birth control measure.
After this a lot of women were compelled to agree. A similar operation was performed on
another young woman in a neighbouring village Malayalapuram and this lady developed
some complication later on and she was transferred to the Jaffna hospital and she died a few
clays later. Though the hospital authorities do not accept that there was a connection between
this operation and her death the husband of this lady had serious doubts and he even filed a
case. A few days after-wards he committed suicide. The women in this area went and told the
parish priest of Veravil that they lost their many of their children in the war and now the
GOSL is trying to deprive them of their need to have children and asked him to do something
10. Occupation of lands of civilians and acquisition of more lands
The largest area of civilians' land has been occupied by the Security Forces in
Valikamam area for the last 25 years. Altogether 24 G.S. divisions land has been taken over
as part of the high security zone. Thousands of families (about 10,000 families) driven out
from here are in welfare- centres and in the houses of their relatives and friends. Some have
gone abroad also undertaking risky
The red-soil area in this region is the most
fertile land in the Jaffna peninsula. The coastal area of this area in very lucrative as a good
portion of the fish caught in Sri Lanka used to be from here. Besides, this coastal region is
very salubrious for health. Elderly nuns of the Holy Family Sisters had houses here and there
was also a holiday house for priests and Seminarians. Now the Security Forces have built and
are continuing to build holiday-resorts and hotels along the coasts for the use of top security
men and V.I.P. s.
Besides a number of famous Hindu Temples of historical importance, the Catholic
Church has altogether 55 pieces of lands with deeds where there are Churches, parish houses,
convents, age-old cemeteries and a number of institutions. If is to be noted that of the entire
Valikamam North covering 15,206 acres the Security Forces occupy 6,3 8 1 acres.
The entire village of Mullikulam in Mannar where there were more than 400 families
has been taken over and people are forced to take shelter in the
adjoining and in other
places. The houses of the villages that had been there for several generations have been
occupied by the families of the Naval personnel. At Kuruvilan in Palaperumalkattu in
Manthai West the people living there for many generations have been asked to leave by the
Wild-Life authorities. It is the same in the East also as in the case of Sampur the original
inhabitants have been driven out.
Besides, there are also a number of other places where the Security Forces have
established huge camps. It is now a common phenomenon in many places along the main
roads in Jaffna and Mannar that there are written sign boards indicating 'this land belongs to
the Security Forces'. Thus we can find in Cheddikulam, from Periakattu in Chettikulam along
the road to Madawachchi a land of approximately 7,000 acres has been reserved to the
Of late. especially after the much publicised 'LTTE regrouping scare' the Security
Forces are trying to occupy more lands of the civilians. Land belonging to 11 families in
Nunavil in Chavachacheri was surveyed on 02.06.2014 to allocate it for an army camp and
the people had then protested. The camp at Vallai is being expanded. At Thikkam in Alvai in
Vadamaradchi, land belonging to 30 families has been surveyed for the same purpose. It is
the same at a location in Atchuvely also. At Paravipanchan in Kilinochchi the army is bent on
taking over some land belonging to the civilians.
11. Attack on the Media and Media-Men
The attack on media and media men though not strange in the whole of Sri Lanka, it is
very acute in the North. A number of media men have been attacked and some even have
been killed. Some media offlces have been attacked and so far nobody has been brought to
books. Some of the targeted offices are situated close to some army camps.
The latest attack needs mentioning here. Following one of the LLRC
recommendations 'the Transparency International' had organized a seminar for the Sinhala
with regard to efficient news reporting in disturbed areas and the participants
benefitted. Then it was organised for the Tamil
in Polonaruwa and before it got
underway the Minnerrya army camp personnel came and stopped it on the 22th of May 2014.
Then it was organized in a hotel in Negombo a few days afterwards and a group of ex-army
men styling themselves as Organization for National Integration along with a number of
others carrying banners that these people are trying to give new life to terrorists and came and
disturbed it. Then the organizers of the seminar took the parlicipants and to ensure their
security kept them in Galadhari Hotel. But soon afterwards the hotel management asked these
people to leave the hotel within one hour. The reason given was that some influential groups
have asked them to not to give them shelter and if they continue to do so they will surround
During the past 12 months news-paper distributors have been attacked and their
vehicles set on f,tre. Some sub-offices have been ransacked and set on fire. As usual the
culprits are yet to be found!
12. Fisherman, Farmers, etc, losing their livelihood
In some places especially in the North East i.e. from Kokkilai upto Mullaitivu and
beyond there used to be some fisherman coming from the South and they were allowed to put
up their 'wadis' (temporary shelters in the sea-shores) and they used to do the fishing. (ll7
the total fish caught in Sri Lanka used to be caught in these Waters). All the facilities, permits
etc are being given to these fishermen from the South by the Fisheries Department, and other
Government Offices. In the early stages they had 32 boats and in the subsequent years this
numbers steadily increased and now there are 350 + boats. They are now involved in the
catch of prawns, lobsters and bech-de-mer with the help of powerful lights and cylinders.
This is forbidden in these waters as the fish along the coast go fuither deeper into the sea to
escape the light etc. The local fishermen are hence badly affected. In some coasts especially
between Salai and Mullaitivu the local fishermen are not allowed to get into the sea and the
fishermen from the South are allowed with the help and permission of the Navy who have
their Camps along these coasts. In Kokkilai, Kokkuthoduvai and Karnattukerny. Almost
7500 areas of land which originally belonged to the local Tamils have been divided and given
to the Sinhlalese. Also permits to excavate granite stone from Thattayamalai is now given for
the asking to the big industrial magnates from the South at the expense of local ecology and
When the CM went to Thunukkai, Mallavi and other villages in the region the farmers
complained that the Security Forces have taken large areas of land and are doing farming and
are depriving them of their livelihood. They are not able to cut down trees from their own
compound to make doors and windows for their houses whereas lorry-loads of timber are
being cut and transported by people from the South with the support of the Security forces.
13. Provincial Council - a nominal body
It has been several months since the people in the North voted overwhelmingly in the
Provincial Council election and the Council has been established. From day one it has been
made clear that much of the meaningful power will not be given to the Council and that they
will not be a part of the major decision making in the administration. Though there are some
chaired by the Minister for Rural Industries Mr. Douglas Devananda and the
CM. Mr. C.V. Vigneswaran such meetings are only propaganda stunts. Some recent
developments throw light on this issue.
On the 15th of June 2014 there were three functions held in Jaffna and to any of these
the CM or the TNA MPs were invited. There was a handing over of a renovated housing
complex and a foundation-laying ceremony in the hospital in Jaffna and as opening of the
Agricultural Department an extension of the Jaffna University. For this the Provincial
Council Minister for Agricultural Minister Mr. Inkaranesan was invited. Mr. Inkaranesan
asked the officer who brought the invitation whether the CM u,as invited. To this the officer
concerned replied that the University Authorities are under tremendous pressure not to invite
the CM for this function or any other function of the similar nature in the University.
14. Recruitment of boys and girls for Security forces
Recruitment of young boys and girls to the army and for
in the army camps with
attractive promises (Rs.30,000 monthly salary to begin with) seem to be attractive to the
youngsters who are desperately looking for
to alleviate povefty in their families. Still
only few are responding and in the places where interviews are held soldiers can be seen
distributing application forms to the youngsters passing by and even forcing them to fill up
and apply. In some places such forms are distributed in their houses and the people come
under pressure to apply for these
15. The latest unhealthy developments
There is now an upsurge in the violence unleashed against the minorities. Churches,
Hindu Temples and Mosques used to be targets. Now Moslems, their Mosques, business
enterprises and houses have come under attack. It is very clear that some Buddhist extremist
groups are behind these attacks by their provocative rallies and speeches. The GOSL is not
able to take a firm decision to stop their provocative activities.
The International Investigation sponsored by the UN to probe into the Human Rights
violations and war crimes committed by both sides especially in the final stages of the war
will be the right step in the direction of establishing truth and
which are essential to
bring about peace and reconciliation in our country. Now the GOSL is totally against it and
does not want any such inquiry and denied permission for the investigation team to enter Sri
Lanka. The GOSL has also threatened anybody who would be coming forward to give
evidence against the GOSL with serious consequences.
16. Papal Visit to Sri Lanka
We are very happy about the Papal visit to Sri Lanka in January 2014. We are well
aware of fact that our beloved Holy Father H.H. Francis always raises his voice for the
afflicted wherever they are and he gives priority to visiting countries which are hit badly by
natural as well as man-made disasters. We know that our Holy Father is well aware of the
fact that thousands of people perished in the 'civil war' in Sri Lanka which ended five years
ago leaving behind atrarl of destruction especially with regard to the loss of precious human
lives. In this connection we appreciate the statement of our Holy Father that the religious
extremism in this country will not help in any way to solve the problem thus underlining the
key issue of the whole problem.
The most badly affected people by the war especially those living in the North and
East have yet to come out of their grievances. To mention
one, there about 100,000
widows as well as those who 'lost' husbands due to arrests, kidnapping in 'white van' for
questioning and since then not found.
In this background, a visit of the Pope to the North will be kind gesture a be a source
of consolation for people in the North. We are afraid the GOSL will not like very much the
Holy Father visiting the North as it is facing IIN sponsored intemational inquiry into the
human rights violations and war-crimes committed especially during the final stages of the
war in the North when thousands of unarmed civilian were killed. Besides, we also have a
strong feeling that the limiting of the papal visit to the South will help the GOSL to gain
political mileage as it is planning to have the elections a few weeks after the Papal visit. The
GOSL will try to boost up its losing popularity with his visit to the South alone and that will
be according to the agenda of the ruling party of Sri Lanka.
To be a starter to solve the ethnic problem, for reconciliation to take place a lot of
spade-work has to be done.
The GOSL will have come to terms with accountability for the loss of thousands of
people especially the surrendered and arrested ones.
The plight of the political prisoners has to be resolved and till that their security be
The outrageous statements of the extremist organizations such as BBS, Ravana
Balaya etc. such as 'giving equal powers to Tamils amounts to agreeing for separation' have
to be checked. They condemned the statement of H.H. Pope Francis also came under fire
when he said that Religious extremism in Sri Lanka will not help to find a
solution to the
State sponsored settlements in the N & E will have to stop.
Unlimited acquisition of civilians' lands must come to and end and the already
acquired lands must be given back.
Law and order must be given to the police and not the army.
The number of army men in the North and East must be reduced and they should not
interfere in civil affairs.
The people must be allowed to remember the dead. The cemeteries and tombs of
everybody have to be preserved with respect.
The outgoing [IN.Human Rights Envoy Ms. Navaneethampillai recently stated that
the wounds of the war are not yet healed. Proper reconciliation is not possible without proper
accountability and establishment of truth with regard to human rights and violations and war-
crimes on the part of both sides.
I V E l'4**sJ*lr,
Rev. Fr. S.V.B. Mangalarajah
Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna
Telephone No: 077 809 6144
E-mail : mangalaraj ah@ gmail. com
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