Ilankai Tamil Sangam

23rd Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Five People are Killed or Disappear Daily

by Poornima Weerasekara, Daily Mirror, Colombo, November 3, 2007

Although Tamils make up only 16% of the population, 78% of victims of killings and 84% of victims of disappearances are Tamils,” the report said.

The second submission by the Law and Society Trust (LST) to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Serious Human Rights Violations, states that five persons are either killed or disappear each day in Sri Lanka.

“14 humanitarian and religious leaders have been killed and nine humanitarian workers have disappeared between January 1 and August 31, 2007. Three media personnel have been killed and five media personnel have disappeared,” said LST Human Rights in Conflict Project Coordinator Ruki Fernando.

The report compiled by LST, in collaboration with the Civil Monitoring Commission and the Free Media Movement (FMM), lists 662 persons who have been killed and 540 persons who have disappeared between January 1 and August 31, 2007. “25 children have been killed and 43 have disappeared during this period,” he said.

The report also states that “young Tamil males in Jaffna comprised approximately 22% (i.e. one in five) of all reported disappearances between January and August.” “Tamils are overwhelmingly affected. Although Tamils make up only 16% of the population, 78% of victims of killings and 84% of victims of disappearances are Tamils,” the report said.

Disappearances and killings also affect young persons disproportionately: 45% of those killed and almost 60% of those who have disappeared are 30 years old or younger.

The majority of disappearances and killings are concentrated in just a few districts -- particularly Jaffna. Over 50% of the reported disappearances and 28% of the killings occurred in Jaffna. Colombo recorded the next highest percentage of disappearances (accounting for 14.4% of the total), while Mannar and Batticaloa each recorded 7% of the disappearances. Batticaloa was placed second in terms of killings accounting for 20% of the total, while Vavuniya was placed third with 18% of the killings.

Copies of this confidential document, with names, locations of incidents and other available data, will be presented to the Human Rights and Disaster Management Ministry, the Human Rights Commission, the Attorney General, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.