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Udumpankulan and Thankavelayuthapuram massacre

Udumpankulan and Thankavelayuthapuram are situated near the Thirukovil area in the Amparai district.

On 19.02.1985, early in the morning, 85 Sri Lankan military personnel from the Amparai military camp arrived in six military vehicles in Thankavelayuthapuram and Udumpankulam villages. Some

of the military were in camouflage uniform and others in blue uniform. They went into the paddy fields where hundreds of poor farmers were busy with harvesting work. They were carrying weapons. They rounded up 103 people in the fields and took them to the forest nearby. There they raped and cut the breasts off from the women and killed them. Others were lined up and shot dead. In total 103 people were killed including many children. The military spread the harvested hay over the bodies and set fire to it.

victim of rape and eye witness to the massacres that took place in the paddy fields of Udumpankulam, related her story:

“On the night, the Army which came from Kondavedduvan camp rounded up all the people working in the paddy field. Then they started shooting the men. They raped five of us. We pleaded with the soldiers not to do anything to us. But they all raped us, in line in the paddy field itself. As we couldn’t bear-up the pain, gradually we lost consciousness.

After an hour or so we recovered and ran into a cave of a mountain. From there we saw the soldiers covering all the bodies with paddy sacks and dried grass and setting fire to those bodies.

After two days Akaraipattu Citizen Committee President Mr. Ahamad Lebbai, General Secretary, S. T. Moorthy, Deputy President, Rev. Fr. Philip, and Batticaloa Citizen committee President, Rev. Chandra Fernando, accompanied by press reporters came to the paddy field. The air in that area was laden with repulsive smell of decomposing bodies and they saw bodies half burnt.

They found that there were 66 people massacred. They took photographs of all the bodies. They recorded our statements as well. Even Kalawana Member of

Parliament, Sarath Muthugama, spoke about this massacre in the parliament. All those efforts were of no avail. There is no justice here. No compensation was paid either to members of the family of the victims or to us who were raped by the soldiers.”