For the first time ever in Sri Lanka, Sinhalese have been convicted for a hate crime against a Tamil.

This relates to a ghastly rape/murder of an 18-year-old Tamil girl.

On 7th September 1996,   Krishanthi Kumarasamy, a student at Chundikuli Girls’ High School, was raped and murdered by soldiers of the Sinhala army of occupation in Thamileelam and by several Sinhala policemen. Her mother, Rasamma (59, Vice Principal of Kaithady Maha Vidyalayam), accompanied by her son, Pranaban (16), and a neighbor, Kirupakaran Sithamparam (35), who went to the army camp looking for her, were also murdered by the Sinhala army personnel. The bodies of all four victims were then cut into pieces and buried within the army camp.

The President of Sri Lanka initially denied this incident in a statement dated 2nd October 1996. But, despite a government imposed media censorship, the events got published in the international media. The bodies were exhumed, but immediately cremated on the orders of the government.

The momentum seeking justice in this case (unlike hundreds of other similar cases) continued. In the face of mounting criticism, especially by international NGOs, the Sri Lanka conducted a trial this year, that culminated in the conviction of five of the Sinhala soldiers (two of whom have escaped ‘government’ custody).

One of the convicts (Cpl. Dewage Somaratne), during the sentencing stated the following:

"We did not kill anybody… we only buried the bodies… The army brought the bodies (of Tamils)… we just buried them… we buried 300 – 400 bodies… I can show where they are buried…"


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