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Batticaloa massacre or Sathurukondan massacre
File:Massacre ditch batti 210901.jpeg
The ditch in which the massacres victims were buried
Template:Location map
Location Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
Coordinates Template:Coord/display/inline,title
Date September 9, 1990 (+6 GMT)
Target Sri Lankan Tamil civilians
Attack type Firing
Weapon(s) Guns
Deaths 184
Perpetrators Sri Lankan Army

Template:SpecialChars Template:Sri Lankan Conflict 1990 Batticaloa massacre also known as Sathurukondan massacre (Template:Lang-ta) is a massacre of at least 184 minority Sri Lankan Tamil refugees including infants from 3 villages in the Batticaloa district by the Sri Lankan Army personnel on September 9, 1990.[1][2][3][4][5] The event is part of what is known amongst Sri Lankan Tamils as the Black September events.


The village of Sathurukondan, lie just beyond Iruthayapuram, the northern suburb of Batticaloa. At 5.30 p.m. on September 9, 1990, armed men in uniform and in civilian clothes came into the area and ordered everyone to come on to the road. They were then marched to the army camp in the vicinity after being told that they would be questioned and released. Most of those who were left in the village that day were elderly, women and the very young.

According to the only survivor Kanthasamy Krishnakumar (21), in a recording made before leading citizens in Batticaloa: Template:Bquote[2]

Krishnakumar who was injured, managed to roll out of sight in the semi-darkness, crept away to a house and asked for water. He then went to his village and stayed in an empty house, and later found his way to his cousin's in Batticaloa town.

The list of victims totaled 184 (Sathurukondan - 38, Kokuvil - 47, Panniachchiady - 37 and Pillayarady - 62). Of this number, there were 47 children below the age of 10 and several women.[2][4][6]

Government investigation

In 1994 two commissions of inquiry were appointed by the then Sri Lankan government to inquire into disappearances and massacre in the villages of Sathurukkondaan, Kokkuvil and Pillaiyaradi.Template:Cref

Regarding the group arrest that took place at the Sathurukondan village on 9 September 1990 several important documents were submitted to the Commission during inquiry and among these documents was one submitted by Patricia Lawrence of Denver law school, University of Colorado from the USA.

The Commission heard from the testimony of 63 complaints relating to the disappearances of 72 persons. The only survivor after testifying to the details of the incident related that after escaping from the ordeal he admitted himself at a local hospital. As army men started coming in search of him in the hospital, he was discharged by the local Peace Committee members and kept at St. Michel’s College, Batticaloa.

Others who appeared before the Commission testified to the fact that they heard gunshots and noise caused by branches of trees, children falling down crying out in agony and women crying in pain. This was followed by smoke coming out from the camp.

Kandiah Sivakolunthu, Hindu, 37 years old, Sri Lankan Tamil ethnicity, Principal of Ganesh Vidyalayam Karaiyakkan Theevu, residing at Sathurukondan affirmed:



Augustinpillai Philip, Christian, 53 years old, Sri Lankan Tamil ethnicity, retired Electrical Superintendent. 24, Panichayadi, Pillayaradi N.P. Batticaloa. Affirmed:




Retired judge K. Palakidnar of the Special Presidential Commission of inquiry appointed by the People's Alliance government described the massacre in detail in his final report. According to the report of the commission of inquiry, 5 infants, 42 children under ten, 85 women and 28 old persons were among the 184 villagers who were murdered. The judge also identified three captains of the Sri Lankan Army: Warnakulasooriya, Herath and Wijenaike as the responsible parties. The judge in his report urged the Sri Lankan President that there is strong evidence for the massacre and that legal action should be taken against the perpetrators.[4][7]

See also

Other notable massacres in the Eastern province in Sri Lanka


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