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Kumarapuram massacre
File:Kumarapuram village.jpeg
The ruined village houses of the settlement of Kumarapuram. The location of the massacre of civilians
Location Kumarapuram, Trincomalee district, Sri Lanka
Date February 11, 1996 (+6 GMT)
Target Sri Lankan Tamil civilians
Attack type Firing
Weapon(s) Guns
Deaths 24
Suspected perpetrators Sri Lankan Army

Kumarapuram massacre also known as 1996 Trincomalee massacre or 1996 Killiveddy massacre refers to the murder of 24 minority Sri Lankan Tamil civilians including 13 women and 9 children below the age of 12 allegedly by the Sri Lankan security forces on February 11, 1996 in a village called Kumarapuram in the eastern district of Trincomalee. It was a notable mass murder of civilians since the resumption of armed conflict between rebel forces and Sri Lankan armed forces since April 1995 as part of the Sri Lankan civil war. The then government arrested number of soldiers and home guards who allegedly carried out the massacre and a court case was still pending as of 2004.[1][2][3][4][5]


The killings were in apparent reprisal for the killings by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) of two soldiers near a location called the 58th mile post on February 11, 1996 about half an hour earlier. According to one witness, a group of soldiers, some of whom were drunk, gathered at Dehiwatte junction and then proceeded towards Kumarapuram, shouting "death to the Tamils".[2]

The villagers of Kumarapuram had taken refuge inside their houses. The soldiers broke open the shutters and aimed their guns at the people hiding inside. One woman recounted how she pleaded with them not to shoot but to no avail. In her house, seven people were killed, including a six-year-old child.[1]


Location of Sri Lanka

The incident

It took place at Kumarapuram, Trincomalee district, on February 11, 1996. According to several survivors interviewed by Amnesty International, 24 civilians, including 13 women and seven children below the age of 12, were killed by soldiers from the 58th mile post and Dehiwatte army camps, accompanied by Home Guards from Dehiwatte. Home guards are local civilians drafted as para-military by the government of Sri Lanka.[1]

Rape and murder

Template:Sri Lankan Conflict Among the victims was 17-year-old Arumaithurai Tharmaletchumi. She was dragged from a boutique in the village and taken to the milk collection centre where she was raped before being shot. Antony Joseph, a 14-year-old boy, who tried to stop the soldiers from dragging her away, was shot between his legs.[1]

Government Investigation

The trial of the Kumarapuram massacre has been pending at the Trincomalee High Court. All the accused have been released on bail while one of the accused soldiers died. All material evidence, including weapons allegedly used in the killing of Tamil civilians in the Kumarapuram massacre, were destroyed when the office of the Government Analyst in Colombo was gutted by fire in 2004.[6][7]

See also


According University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR), there was another notable massacre in the same vicinity in 1985 and it is known as the Killiveddy massacre. Sometimes the Kumamarapuram massacre of 1996 is also referred to as Killiveddy massacre.


External links

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