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Mirusuvil massacre
Location Mirusuvil, Jaffna district, Sri Lanka
Date December 20, 2000
Target Sri Lankan Tamil civilians
Attack type Stabbing
Weapon(s) Knife
Deaths 8
Perpetrators Sri Lankan Army

Mirusuvil massacre [1] refers to the massacre and subsequent mass burial of eight Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including children,[2] on 20 December 2000.[1][3][4]

The Incident

Mirusukvil massacre happened on 20 December, 2000 [5] when eight internally displacedTemplate:Cref refugees returning to inspect their property were arrested on 19 December 2000 in a village named Mirusuvil close to Jaffna. They were subsequently murdered allegedly by Sri Lankan Army soldiers and buried in a mass grave, about 16 miles east of Jaffna town.[1][3](see location here)

The refugees had returned from Udupiddy, further north. They returned to Mirusuvil on 19 December to inspect their houses and to collect firewood, when they were seized by allegedly by the Army. The refugess had obtained permission from local authorities before visiting their former properties. According to the evidence of District Medical Officer, Dr. C. Kathirvetpillai, their throats had been slashed. The dead included three teenagers and five year-old Vilvarajah Prasath [1][3] Template:Sri Lankan Conflict The murders came to light because one of the arrested, Ponnuthurai Maheswaran allegedly escaped from Army custody with serious injuries and informed relatives.[3] Eventually the Sri Lankan government charged five Sri Lankan Army soldiers with illegal arrests, torture, murder and burial of their dead bodies in a mass grave.[6] The case was still pending in 2007.

Reactions

In a letter to the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the local member of parliament Mavai Senathirajah said that a woman’s body was seen partially buried in the area, leading to suspicions that there are other mass gravesTemplate:Cref. He urged the president to order further excavations in Mirusuvil.[3]

Human rights groups such as Center for Human Rights Development (CHRD) along with other civilian groups initiated a campaign and demanded the government to arrest the murderers and as a result 14 Sri Lanka Army Soldiers were taken into custody. They were produced before the Magistrate in Chavakachcheri, located in Jaffna district and remanded. CHRD lawyer Mr. M. Remadious was instrumental in participating in legal proceedings against the suspects and also met and interviewed the relatives of the victims to collect more information.

The case was then transferred to the Magistrate Court in Anuradhapura and was taken up on 20 May 2002. Attorney General then nominated three Judges to hear the case at Trial at Bar, High court, Colombo on 27 November 2002. Group of volunteer lawyers took care of the interests of the victim’s families and key witnesses.[4]

Case follow up

File:Kris bali.jpg

A typical Kris knife

The government in 2002 agreed to try the arrested army officers without a jury.[7] During the proceedings of the court case the main witness in the court case was quoted as saying that: Template:Bquote

Although the case was still being heard in 2005,[8] Human rights agencies have complained of delays in hearing of this and other human rights related cases.[5]

See also

Other notable mass graves in Sri Lanka

Notes

References

External links

Template:Coord missing

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