Legal Assistance

Justice undone - Kumarapuram massacre case

Six former army corporals charged with killing 24 civilians in the Kumarapuram massacre were found not guilty of their charges when the verdict was delivered by the jury July 27, 2016. A total of 101 charges were filed against the said personnel. All six corporals were suspended from active service after indictments were filed against them. However, in terms of two charges against accused No.3 was remarked by the jury panel on the basis 6:1 and 5:2 but he too was acquitted. The jury consists of 07 members including 04 females.

The jury trial in the Kumarapuram massacre case (HCEP/1959/02—HC/133/08) began on June 27, 2016 after 20 years. Notices were sent to a total of 120 witnesses and 40 of them have given evidence. The inquiry was completed on July 20, 2016 and on July 21, 2016 correction on proceedings were carried out. On both days, State Counsel and Defense Counsel gave their oral submission.

On February 11, 1996, innocent Tamil civilians were brutally massacred at the village of Kumarapuram, by army personnel stationed at army camp in Dehiwatte and Kilivetti. While 24 were confirmed dead, another 28 were badly wounded. The dead included six women, five men and 13 children. Out of the women dead, there was a nine months pregnant mother. Tharmadurai Thanalakshmi, a 16 year old girl was forcibly taken into an abandoned building; and she was killed after being raped. The body of the raped victim was recovered by villagers the following morning. Following the incident, a number of legal actions were taken to obtain justice.

The case was taken up at the following Courts.

1. Muthur Magistrate Court
2. Trincomalee High Court

Once the non-summary inquiry concluded in the Muthur Magistrate Court on September 16, 1998, the case proceedings were forwarded to the Attorney General’s Department for indictment. After a long judicial delay, once again the case was heard at the Trincomalee High Court on February 14, 2005 and was postponed to June 14, 2005. Unavailability of productions was the reason given for postponement.

Once again the case was called on June 14, 2005 at the Trincomalee High Court and was fixed for trial, which commenced on September 8, 2005. Once more the case was postponed to the following year. The CHRD will continue to retain a lawyer to watch the interest of the victims.

On October 16, 2008 Order was given by Trincomalee High Court to transfer the case to the Anuradhapura court. Next date was October 5, 2009 and it was merely a calling date. The case is currently pending. However, CHRD is continued to watch the interest of the victims. Mr. K.S. Ratnavale is appearing on behalf of the victims since 2002.

Contact Details

No: 3A 1/1, Kinross Avenue,
Sri Lanka.

Telephone: (+94) 11 250 6001
Fax: (+94) 11 250 6002

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