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Sunday, April 20, 2008

France's Actions Against Hunger demands international investigation into the killing of their humanitarian workers in Sri Lanka

From the Action Against Hunger /Action Contre la Faim (ACF) website:

"Even as the Sri Lankan organization University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR) publishes its report on an investigation into the savage 2006 assassination of 17 Action Against Hunger / Action Contre la Faim (ACF) aid workers in Muttur, ACF is calling for an international inquiry to fully investigate these murders to reveal the whole truth and bring those responsible to justice.

ACF is shocked by the amount of detail exposed in the UTHR report: trails of responsibility are disclosed that have never before been mentioned during the investigations that the Sri Lankan authorities have been conducting for the past year and a half."

Read the rest of the ACF statement here.

Read the UTHR report Unfinished Business of the Five Students and the ACF Cases here.

From the report:

"On 4th August 2006 17 aid workers were extrajudicially executed in their Action Contre la Faim (ACF) compound in Mutur town. Through blatant cover up by the Sri Lankan authorities, their experts, Attorney General and diplomats overseas the facts of killings have been suppressed along with any potential association between this massacre and the killing of five students on the Trincomalee foreshore on 2nd January 2006.

With the support of individuals equally interested in bringing out the truth and finding justice we have uncovered information that reveals that the 17 aid workers were killed by at least one member of the Muslim Home Guard (Jehangir) and two police constables (Susantha and Nilantha) in the presence of the Sri Lankan Naval Special Forces. Four different types of guns were used. Evidence suggests that the killers had prior approval from ASP (Sarath Mulleriyawa) and OIC (Chandana Senayake) for their vile enterprise. But it is highly unlikely that the ASP and OIC would have taken a reckless approach or that they had any particular reason to want the aid workers killed and they had earlier received orders from Trincomalee to ensure the safety of the aid workers. We believe they may have received an instruction from their superiors in Trincomalee (namely the DIG Rohan Abeywardene and SSP Kapila Jayasekere) that the aid workers should be killed. The commandos must have been informed by their superior to let the killings take place and may be directly responsible for firing the bullets that killed at least one of the aid workers.

SSP Kapila Jayasekere, along with Zawahir (OIC Crime Harbour Police, Trincolmalee), is widely known to have been responsible for planning, orchestrating and covering up the killing of the five students by STF assassins amidst a naval security cordon and hundreds of witnesses, who were part of a captive audience. The intimidation of families and witnesses and the killing of witnesses and a journalist who pursued the case are well documented."

And later:

"Several factors point to the crime being a deliberate act in the full knowledge that the victims were humanitarian workers.

It was widely felt among the constabulary in Mutur that Home Guard Jehangir was intent on killing Tamils on that Friday. His homicidal disposition on that day featured in discussions among policemen. For the ASP and OIC to send Jehangir with two of their henchmen and the Special Forces to go and see if there were LTTE at the ACF is none other than an instigation to kill. Jehangir was already railing that the LTTE were there.

The ASP and OIC would not have made such a fatal move by themselves without instruction and cover provided by DIG Trincomalee. Kapila Jayasekere may have been a super SSP who could ignore Nihal Samarakoon, his senior, but an ASP tasked with murder would have wanted further guarantee.

There were no exigencies of war, which might have allowed the explanation of the incident as a mishap. There was no fighting in the vicinity at that time. No one challenged the party that went to the ACF office at any point. The victims were clearly unarmed and were well known in Mutur as humanitarian workers."

Read the rest of the report here.

- Sujewa

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