The Army Spokesman yesterday (March 02) said that an attempt was made by interested parties to hold the government and the Security Forces responsible for skeletal remains that have been found in the Udayarkattu area in Mullative when in fact this was an area where the LTTE was known to kill civilians who defied its orders.
Releasing a statement, the Army Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the LTTE was known to hide dead bodies to prevent civilian uprisings and to maintain cadres’ morale. The skeletal remains found recently near a former LTTE held area could very well be such dead, buried secretly.
Given below the full text of the statement released by the Army Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya:
Recently when a person in Udayarkattu area was clearing his land he has found a skeleton and later, upon receiving this information, government authorities have followed the established procedure and launched an investigation according to national laws.
Several more skeletal remains have later been discovered. A proper investigation and inquiry is ongoing and I do not wish to delve on this particular incident until that process reaches its conclusion. However, some interested parties are attempting to portray this as evidence of an incident for which the government and Security Forces should be held responsible.
There is no factual basis for such conclusions and we reject these false and misleading allegations. It is deplorable that such premature conclusions are drawn without allowing the investigations to proceed without hindrance. Such assertions are misleading the local public as well as the international community.
Obviously there is an attempt to use these premature conclusions to support their claims for an international investigation which is not really necessary as there are well established domestic processes to conduct proper investigations which is evident in this as well as in numerous other instances.
Some parties have prematurely concluded that these remains belong to people who died in February 2009.
Although such assertions are not supported by forensic evidence, it is pertinent to mention that by early 2009 the LTTE had one of their defenses in this area as they were desperately trying to stop the advancing Security Forces. The fighting cadre of the LTTE were reinforced by large numbers of civilians who were forcibly employed by the LTTE under many different formations such as Ellepaddai, etc.
Further, the LTTE unhesitatingly killed any individual or group of people that attempted to defy their orders. It is a well known fact that the LTTE did all they could to hide such deaths in order to prevent people uprising and maintain their cadre’s morale high. On the other hand, by early 2009, the civilians were beginning to cross over to Security Forces held areas and the LTTE was desperately trying to prevent the exodus.
They even resorted to killing them by direct employment of fire power as well as the use of suicide bombers.
These are well documented facts and you may wish to refer to the Factual Analysis of the Humanitarian Operations that was published in July 2011. http://www.defence.lk/warcrimes/humanitarian_operation_factual_analysis.... On page 57, in paras175 specific reference is made to an incident where the LTTE used suicide attack to prevent civilian moving away from them. “Security Forces, in moving nearer to the NFZ, aimed to facilitate the escape of people from the zone. By the first week of February, over 20,000 civilians had crossed to government controlled areas, at which point the LTTE reacted by sending a suicide bomber who intermingled with the civilians and detonated herself at a reception centre in Vishvamadu on 9 February 2009, causing many civilian and military casualties. This had the effect of discouraging civilians crossing, though many still continued to try.”
Para 176 further states: “As a result, the LTTE moved people from this relatively large and accessible NFZ, into increasingly smaller and less accessible areas of land. These are the areas that became the subsequent NFZ.
The carriage of people was the act of the LTTE. It became obvious that the people wanted to escape from the clutches of the LTTE; at every available opportunity civilians crossed to the sanctuary offered by Security Forces and many made desperate attempts to come over. Many such civilians were killed by the LTTE.”
As it is clearly stated above we reject these baseless, false and misleading allegations that are levelled against the Security Forces.
The government authorities in the area have already launched investigations in this regard and it is the duty of all concerned parties to refrain from making false allegations of this nature that could obscure the process and also be prejudicial.”