During the Jayasikuru operation in 1995 when the Sri Lankan Armed Forces captured the Jaffna peninsula, civilians were displaced from Jaffna to other districts in the Northern province.
total of 135 ailing elderly persons from Valikamam area in Jaffna were directed by the army to St. Joseph’s Church in Atchuvely, along with 10 youth to care for them. The army had at that time provided food and other basic necessities to the 135 elders.
One of the parish priests informed that he had witnessed a name board comprising 83 elders who had passed away in the above church which had both their birth and death dates. However, this name board is nowhere to be found now. The bodies of the 83 elders were buried in bunkers surrounding the church compound by the young caretakers. The remaining 52 elders were sent to a home in Kaithady.
It is important to note that the families who had left behind the ailing and elderly family members were unaware of what had happened to their loved ones. They are still searching for truth and closure. The newly discovered skeletal remains closer to the Church compound, is an ideal starting point for families seeking truth and closure.
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