BBC: Bishop Swamipillai Interview re 1990 Massacre

by British Broadcasting Corporation 'Witness' program, September 10, 2014

Sri Lanka Massacre

Duration:  10 minutes
On September 9, 1990, 184 Tamil refugees were killed by the Sri Lankan army at Batticaloa in the east of the island during the civil war between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. Farhana Haider has been speaking to the Bishop of Batticaloa, Kingsley Swampillai, who was a member of the Peace Committee and served as Bishop from 1983-2012.

Civilians from 3 villages had been rounded up & taken to an army camp, murdered, then burnt.  The Bishop saw the remains at one camp, but heard that similar events had taken place elsewhere.  Of the 184, 174 children under the age of 10 were killed in that one incident.  The killings took place after the LTTE had killed about 600 Sinhalese policemen in Batticaloa district & the Army took over the Batticaloa town and its surroundings after the IPKF withdrew.  KMU Senewiratne was the commander of the area & the Bishop tried to complain to him to no effect, “We are not here to talk peace, we have come to wage a war.”

In the late 1980s & early 1990s a total of 1100 civilians disappeared in the Batticaloa district (from Peace Committee numbers??).

1990 Batticaloa AP photo soldiers arresting Tamils

AP photo

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