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Draft Sexual violence against Tamils in Sri Lanka

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Sexual violence against Tamils in Sri Lanka has occurred repeatedly during the island's long ethnic conflict. The first instances of rape of Tamil women by Sinhalese mobs were documented during the 1958 Anti-Tamil pogrom.Tarzie Vittachi - Emergency '58: The story of the Ceylon race riots (1959), Andre Deutsch This continued in the 1960s with the deployment of the Sri Lankan Army in Jaffna, who were reported to have molested and occasionally raped Tamil women.Neil De Votta - Blowback: Linguistic Nationalism, Institutional Decay, and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka, p127
Further rapes of Tamil women were carried out by Sinhalese mobs during the 1977, 1981 and 1983 Anti-Tamil pogroms.Sansoni Commission Report, 1980. https://lankafreelibrary.com/2019/10/15/sansoni-commission-1980/Brian Eads - London Observer - 20 September 1981E.M. Thornton & Niththyananthan, R. - Sri Lanka, Island of Terror - An Indictment, ( ), 1984, Appendix A
Following the outbreak of war, rape was used more frequently by the almost entirely Sinhalese Sri Lankan armed forces,Sri Lanka - Ethnic Composition of the Armed Forces http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-13282.html in an attempt to collectively punish the Tamil population, who were often seen as being supportive of the LTTE. Both Tamil females and males were targeted for rape, including children.Höglund, K. Testimony Under Threat: Women’s Voices and the Pursuit of Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka. Hum Rights Rev 20, 361–382 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12142-019-0549-3 Other groups which committed rape against Tamils include the Indian Peace Keeping Force, home-guards, police and paramilitary groups.Amnesty International on human rights violations before and after the Indo-Sri Lanka accord - Tamil Times, June 1988, p6-7University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna)
Sri Lanka, Special Report No. 31, 28th October 2008 - Pawns of an Un-heroic War http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/spreport31.htm
Many rapes went unreported during the conflict due to various factors, including intimidation from the perpetrators, impunity for the crime, and the severe stigma attached to it in conservative Tamil society. Amnesty International, August 1996 - SRI LANKA 
Wavering commitment to human rights, p9, 27University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), The Broken Palmyra, chapter 5 - "NO MORE TEARS SISTER" THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN, War of October 1987 http://www.uthr.org/BP/volume2/Chapter5.htm

1950s

1958 Anti-Tamil pogrom

In May 1958 following tensions arising from the Sinhala Only Act, the abrogation of the Banda-Chelva pact and continuing Tamil protests against discrimination, an island-wide pogrom was unleashed against Tamils by organized Sinhala mobs.Tarzie Vittachi - Emergency '58: The story of the Ceylon race riots (1959), Andre Deutsch
Sinhala journalist Tarzie Vittachi recounts the frequent use of rape by these mobs in his book Emergency’58, where he describes a Sinhala 'Hamudawa' (army) comprised of Sinhala labourers from various state departments and farms, who went on the rampage raping, looting and beating up hundreds of Tamils.Tarzie Vittachi - Emergency '58: The story of the Ceylon race riots (1959), Andre Deutsch One account of rape recounted by Vittachi describes a Tamil officer who became mentally unstable as a result of being unable to defend his wife and daughter from sexual assault:

1960s

Following the 1958 anti-Tamil pogrom, the Ceylon government sent the military to the north under emergency rule, which enabled them to “operate brutally with impunity”.Neil De Votta - Blowback: Linguistic Nationalism, Institutional Decay, and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka, p127
According to Professor Neil DeVotta, Tamils were subsequently ordered about and searched in a humiliating fashion by soldiers, as well as being beaten or stoned by soldiers in passing military vehicles. Tamil women were also occasionally raped by the army, particularly when the soldiers were drunk on toddy.Neil De Votta - Blowback: Linguistic Nationalism, Institutional Decay, and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka, p127Ceylon Parliamentary Debates, Volume 57, Issues 1-6

1970s

1977 Anti-Tamil pogrom

In response to Tamils voting for a party that espoused Tamil independence, state forces orchestrated another violent pogrom on Tamils in 1977. Hundreds of Tamils were killed and raped throughout the island. The following Tamil victims of rape are from the Sansoni commission report of 1980:Sansoni Commission Report, 1980. https://lankafreelibrary.com/2019/10/15/sansoni-commission-1980/
  • Manonmani, daughter of Rengasamy, who was living with her parents at Bollegala, Kelaniya. She was gang raped by two Sinhalese men in her own home after her parents were threatened with violence to leave the house. This occurred at about 6pm on 20th August 1977.Sansoni Commission Report, 1980. https://lankafreelibrary.com/2019/10/15/sansoni-commission-1980/
  • Mrs. Jeganathan Seetha from the Neboda Estate was dragged away and raped by two Sinhalese men on 22 August when she went to the aid of her uncle Perumal who was being stabbed during an attack on the estate lines.Sansoni Commission Report, 1980. https://lankafreelibrary.com/2019/10/15/sansoni-commission-1980/
  • Mrs. Letchumi Ramalingam from the Frotoft Estate, Ramboda was gang raped by three Sinhalese men during a mob attack near Nillala estate on 18th August. Her jewellery was also stolen.Sansoni Commission Report, 1980. https://lankafreelibrary.com/2019/10/15/sansoni-commission-1980/
  • 18 year old R. Thanaletehumi who worked on Lolgama Division. On 19th August, she saw persons coming from Galabodawatte Colony. They attacked her line room, and 6 men carried her to the bushes and raped her.Sansoni Commission Report, 1980. https://lankafreelibrary.com/2019/10/15/sansoni-commission-1980/
  • On the evening of 18th August about 35 Sinhalese went to the house of P. Ramasami Pillai in Kotagoda, Matale. He was hit and made to fall down. His house was looted and his six daughters, between the ages of 27-12 years were taken to a jungle 500 yards away and gang raped by about 8-9 men.Sansoni Commission Report, 1980. https://lankafreelibrary.com/2019/10/15/sansoni-commission-1980/
  • In Ibbankatuwa, some 50 estate Tamil families cultivated about 300 acres there. On the night of 17th August, their houses were all set on fire. When the Tamils eventually returned to their homes they were attacked by an armed Sinhala mob. 5 Tamil men were stabbed and clubbed to death. The witness of this attack spoke of 3 cases of rape. This included his own sister-in-law Seetha Letchumi who was raped by one of the killers Wije. Another girl named Desy was raped by 5 Sinhala men; and yet another girl Mariamma was also raped.Sansoni Commission Report, 1980. https://lankafreelibrary.com/2019/10/15/sansoni-commission-1980/
  • On Karadupona Estate a Tamil worker Raju was murdered by a Sinhala mob. Another Tamil worker S. Sellayi said that she was raped by the son of Baby Nona, a Sinhalese worker. Another Tamil worker S.Kandaie complained of being raped by a Sinhala estate watcher Medduma.Sansoni Commission Report, 1980. https://lankafreelibrary.com/2019/10/15/sansoni-commission-1980/
  • P. Sinnakaruppan, a worker on Rosyth Estate, Kegalle stated that 4 Sinhala men dragged her to the jungle and raped her on the 20th August following attacks on their lines.Sansoni Commission Report, 1980. https://lankafreelibrary.com/2019/10/15/sansoni-commission-1980/
  • In a letter addressed to President J. R. Jayewardene, the leader of the main Tamil party, A. Amirthalingam accused Sinhala hoodlums of raping around 200 women during the 1977 pogrom.Appapillai Amirthalingam, Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front and Leader of the Opposition - Letter to the Sri Lanka President J.R.Jayawardene - 10th August, 1983 His wife Mangayarkarasi Amirthalingam emotionally recounted some incidents of rape that occured during the 1977 pogrom and said "Tamil women could not walk the streets during nights in safety."T. Sabaratnam, Pirapaharan, Chapter 17 - Sinhala-Tamil Tension Mounts (2003)

    1980s

    1981 Anti-Tamil pogrom

    In 1981 members of the ruling United National Party organised another pogrom against the Tamils.Brian Eads - London Observer - 20 September 1981 In the London Observer of 20 September 1981, Brian Eads reported that 25 people died, scores of women were raped, and thousands were made homeless, losing all their meager belongings.Brian Eads - London Observer - 20 September 1981

    1983 Anti-Tamil pogrom

    Black July 1983 was the largest pogrom orchestrated by the Sri Lankan government against the Tamils. Up to 3000 Tamils were massacred in cold blood throughout the island. Countless women were raped with impunity.
    Prior to the pogrom during the week of July 18 1983, three Tamil schoolgirls were raped by Sinhalese soldiers in Jaffna, following which one of victims committed suicide.
    The following accounts of rape occurred during the pogrom:
  • Indian journalist Anita Pratap reported in The Telegraph that Sinhala gangs armed with voters' lists came in empty trucks before they systematically looted Tamil homes; they had prior knowledge not only of where the Tamils lived, but also a list of their belongings as well. She narrated the experience of an Indian victim Trilok Singh who lived in a first floor apartment with her husband in Colombo. Trilok Singh heard people breaking into the apartment below where a sixty-year-old Tamil woman lived. Her furniture were stolen and she was raped.T. Sabaratnam - Pirapaharan, Volume 2, Chapter 28 - The First Interview (2004)
  • Yogi Yogaratnam, a young store worker in Colombo was forced to watch the gang rape of his mother by a Sinhala gang, who hit him and his mother every time he tried to close his eyes. His mother was then killed and Yogi was told "this is what Tamil whores deserve". He subsequently joined the LTTE and became a political leader in the organisation.Dinuka Fernando - A 1983 horror story (2019) https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1128029789044895744.html
  • On 25th July 1983, around 1:30pm a Tamil survivor witnessed the gang rape and killing of two Tamil sisters, aged 18 and 11 by a Sinhala mob. The elder sister went on her knees and begged them not to harm her sister, who was then hacked to death in front of her with derisive laughter from the mob. The elder sister was then gang raped by about 20 Sinhala men before being burnt alive. The witness also reported seeing several naked Tamil rape victims in a Colombo refugee camp who had been stripped off their clothes on the streets, and were being ogled at by Sri Lankan soldiers.E.M. Thornton & Niththyananthan, R. - Sri Lanka, Island of Terror - An Indictment, ( ), 1984, Appendix A
  • In a letter addressed to President J. R. Jayewardene, the leader of the main Tamil party, A. Amirthalingam stated having a sworn affidavit from one Velu Subramaniam, a labourer of Thatchankulam, Vavuniya District. Subramaniam stated that his wife was gang raped by two Sinhala air-force men on the night of the 30th July, and that they had wanted his daughter to be made available to them the next day.Appapillai Amirthalingam, Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front and Leader of the Opposition - Letter to the Sri Lanka President J.R.Jayawardene - 10th August, 1983
  • Eelam war I

    Full-scale war broke out between the Sri Lankan Army and Tamil militant groups after Black July 1983. The Sri Lankan armed forces resorted to punitive mass rape of thousands of Tamil women in the North-East during the civil war.

    1984

  • On 11th September 1984, the Sri Lankan Army massacred 17 Tamil civilians and gang raped two Tamil women travelling in a private bus to Jaffna. Survivors later found the two young women in the jungle where their assailants had taken them. They screamed and wept on seeing them. "Give us some poison. We prefer to die here than to return to our houses in this state," they declared.Tamil passengers killed in Army hijack – Two women raped - Tamil Times – October 1984, p6,18.T.Sabaratnam - Pirapaharan, Chapter 24, The Country turns into a killing field (2004)
  • In November 1984, the Sri Lankan Army launched an offensive on the Tamils of Jaffna. Journalist David Graves of the London Daily Telegraph stated that "the only talk on the front line in Jaffna was death and fear where the Sri Lankan armed forces had unleashed a bloody campaign and where they are committing the most grotesque crimes away from international notice.” He also reported that Jaffna was under siege and that the 800,000 inhabitants of the peninsula were living in the "shadow of murder, arson, bombings and lootings."David Graves, Daily Telegraph - Women raped at gunpoint in Jaffna - December 17 1984
  • ’A sobbing young woman, eight months pregnant, whose husband is working overseas, told me she was raped by a soldier at gunpoint the night before while other troops burned her mother's home.' stated David Graves in the same article. He spent three days listening to a "series of appalling stories of rape, massacre and intimidation.”David Graves, Daily Telegraph - Women raped at gunpoint in Jaffna - December 17 1984
  • In November 1984 Sinhalese convicts were settled in the Kent and Dollar farms after the Tamil civilians living there were evicted by the Sri Lankan Army. The settlement of prisoners was used to further harass Tamils into leaving the area. The Sinhala settlers confirmed that young Tamil women were abducted, brought there and gang-raped, first by the forces, next by prison guards and finally by prisoners.Rajan Hoole – The Arrogance of Power, Chapter 14, Section 3 - On to Weli Oya (2001)T.Sabaratnam - Pirapaharan Chapter 23, Manal Aru becomes Weli Oya (2004)University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) Sri Lanka, Information Bulletin No.4, 13th February 1995, Padaviya-Weli Oya: bearing the burden of ideology http://www.uthr.org/bulletins/bul4.htm
  • In December 1984 a day after the LTTE attack at Kokkilai, a Sinhalese mob led by Sri Lankan Army soldiers invaded the Tamil village of Thennaimaravadi, yelling for revenge. The village was burnt to the ground and a few Tamils were shot dead by the army. Tamil women were also raped.T.Sabaratnam - Pirapaharan Chapter 23, Manal Aru becomes Weli Oya (2004)
  • 1985

  • In February 1985, the Sri Lankan army massacred, tortured and raped several Tamil civilians in Mannar district. Survivors who fled to India recounted how they witnessed their women being raped, and their relatives being tortured and killed. A mother and daughter, Parvathy (45) and Lakshmi (16) worked as maids for a rich Tamil family in Pesalai. One day while they were working in the kitchen, Sinhala army men burst into the house, pushed away the children and trampled on them with their heavy army boots. They then proceeded to gang rape the women. The maids managed to escape unnoticed by jumping out of the kitchen window.Exodus: Special Report by K.P.Sunil. Illustrated Weekly of India, March 24, 1985, pp.14-17
  • In the same article, Dharmakulasingham, a journalist from Mannar confirmed that the army were raping Tamil women and torturing children. He stated that Tamil youth were "herded into large gunny bags and sewn up" before being burned alive. He also said that women were "beaten up mercilessly and gang-raped" by the army to satisfy their lust before being "shot like dogs".Exodus: Special Report by K.P.Sunil. Illustrated Weekly of India, March 24, 1985, pp.14-17
  • In the second week of April 1985, pushing a policy of divide and conquer, President J. R. Jayewardene sent M. H. Mohamed, along with his henchmen to attack Tamils in the village of Karaitivu (Ampara).Rajan Hoole – The Arrogance of Power, Chapter 20, Section 8, Border Aggression and Civilian Massacres - The East Erupts: Mossad Again? (2001) Muslim youth with the support of the security forces killed several Tamils and burned over 2000 Tamil homes, rendering 15,000 Tamils homeless.Police commandos join in violence - Tamil Times, April 1986, p18 Dr. A.R.M Imtiyaz interviewed Muslim youths from the surrounding villages who confirmed that Muslim young men sexually abused and raped several poor young Tamil women.Some Critical Notes on the Non-Tamil Identity of the Muslims of Sri Lanka, and on Tamil–Muslim Relations - A. R.M. Imtiyaz a & S. R.H. Hoole, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies (2011), p229-230
  • An attack on the Tamil village of Kiliveddy, Trincomalee District commenced on 31 May 1985 at 8:30pm. A police party and Home Guards from the Sinhala village Serunuwara were responsible for the attack. A total of 175 houses were burnt during the attack and scores killed. Two young Tamil women were raped after being taken to the adjacent Sinhala colony of Dehiwatte.T.Sabaratnam - Pirapaharan Volume 2, Chapter 42, Massacres Continue (2004)
  • On 5 December 1985, 4 women from Tamil households in Munnampodivettai, Trincomalee were gang raped in their own homes by the Sri Lankan Army. Ten men were also shot dead. The 4 women each gave sworn affidavits to the Ceasefire Monitoring Committee confirming their ordeal. One woman was a Sinhala woman named Upasena Premawathie who was married to a Tamil man. 3 Sri Lanka Army soldiers broke into her house, pushed her onto the floor and gang raped her in succession despite her begging for mercy. She also saw her Tamil sister-in-law being similarly raped in her presence. Another victim 20 year old Mrs K.M. was at home with her husband and 11 year old daughter. The army came to her house, took her husband away, and then five of them gang raped her; she regained consciousness at 7am. Her husband was later shot dead by the army. Another Tamil woman, 32 year old Mrs T.A stated that 3 army men came to her house, removed her husband and then gang raped her in succession.Army gang-rapes women and kills ten males - Tamil Times, February 1986, p24
  • On 25 December 1985, 5 Muslim home-guards posing as soldiers, raped and shot dead two Tamil women, Mary Agnes Yogeswary (21) and Felicia (18) in Muttur, Trincomalee District. This was revealed during a magisterial inquiry."Home guards" raped and shot two Tamil women - Tamil Times, February 1986, p18
  • In 1985 Tamil journalist Taraki Sivaram met a pretty Tamil woman called Rani from the poverty stricken village of Pulankulam, Trincomalee District. The village was comprised of mud and straw huts, and the area had been given a new Sinhala name. Rani told him she had been raped and displaced by the Sri Lankan Army. When Sivaram went to visit the village later on, he found it to be burned to the ground.Mark.P.Whitaker - Learning politics from Sivaram, Pluto press (2007) p90-92
  • 1986

  • On 19th February 1986, Sri Lankan armed forces assisted by Muslim home-guards attacked the village of Udumbankulam in the Akkaraipattu division killing at least 80 Tamil farm workers. Five Tamil woman complained of being raped in the paddy fields during the assault.Udumbankulam farmer's massacre - Tamil Times, May 1986, p8
  • In March 1986, Tamil female refugees in London reported that Tamil women in Sr Lanka were being frequently raped in army camps after being taking in for questioning by the Sri Lankan Army. A married pregnant lady with polio who suffered with a limp was said to have been one of the rape victims. She was left in such a bad state that she required admission to Jaffna Teaching Hospital. The screams of Tamil women as they were being raped in Gurunagar army camp were also heard frequently by local residents.Tamil Women's league - escape from genocide (1986) (documentary) 15:00-18:00
  • On April 10 1986, a 29 year old Tamil mother of two was allegedly raped by army men at Chenai village in Muttur. She was admitted to Trincomalee hospital and the Trincomalee Citizens' Committee planned to take up the matter with the army authorities.Diary of incidents - Tamil Times, July 1986, p15
  • In October 1986, the Sri Lankan Army entered the interior village of Pullumalai, Batticaloa District. During a round-up, more than 50 Tamils were taken prisoner, another 18 were lined up and shot, and some girls were raped. The entire village fled and were made refugees during the assault.Rajan Hoole – The Arrogance of Power, Chapter 15, Section 7, Weli Oya And The Political Necessity For Permanent Refugees (2001) In the course of a subsequent inquiry on the attack relatives revealed that 3 married women were raped by government soldiers, with 2 of them later being gunned down by the forces.Raped and gunned down - Tamil Times, December 1986, p24
  • 1987

  • On 28 January 1987, the STF launched an offensive on the LTTE base at Kokkatticholai. After suffering heavy casualties, they went on a rampage shooting indiscriminately on civilians on sight and left a trail of arson, looting and rape.Strategy behind the military offensive - Tamil Times, April 1987, p14-15
  • During February 1987, the Sri Lankan Army launched an offensive in Mannar district. Soldiers were reported to have gone on a rampage and massacred up to 80 Tamil civilians and burnt down their houses, whilst leaving a trail of looting, arson and rape.Sri Lanka launches all out offensive in the north, 80 Tamil civilians massacred in Mannar - Tamil Times, February 1987, p7
  • IPKF period

    From October 1987, the IPKF commenced war on the LTTE in order to disarm them. During this conflict, the IPKF raped thousands of Tamil women.Tamil Centre for Human Rights - Recorded figures of Arrests, Killings, Disappearances, Rapes, Displacements and Injuries to Tamils in the North East, Colombo and other regions (1956-2004) http://tchr.net/50_year_arrest_kill.htm One IPKF official excused these rapes by stating the following: "I agree that rape is a heinous crime. But my dear, all wars have them. There are psychological reasons for them such as battle fatigue."University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), The Broken Palmyra, chapter 5 - "NO MORE TEARS SISTER" THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN, War of October 1987 http://www.uthr.org/BP/volume2/Chapter5.htm

    1987

  • On 6 November 1987, at about 7:30am the IPKF committed a massacre of Tamil civilians in Jaffna to avenge the loss of their comrades. One witness saw both his two daughters being stripped naked below the waist by a soldier. They were both crying and pleading for mercy. The soldiers then separated their legs and shot them through their genitals, keeping the barrel of the rifle between the thighs. The witness closed his eyes and played dead during the shooting. He also heard the two daughters of another man also being shot through the genitals. 10 Tamil civilians were killed in total during this shooting, including infants.At the hands of the IPFK - savagery beyond belief - Tamil Times, April 1988, p11
  • On 12 November 1987, at about 8am in Jaffna, three IPKF soldiers gang raped a Tamil mother in her mid 30s in her own home. Her husband was working abroad at the time. They also stole her gold jewellery. The victim reported suffering from nightmares following the attack and was haunted by the soldiers' faces and voices. She could still remember their beady eyes. She visited a psychiatrist who gave her drugs to quieten her down.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), The Broken Palmyra, chapter 5 - "NO MORE TEARS SISTER" THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN, War of October 1987 http://www.uthr.org/BP/volume2/Chapter5.htm
  • The IPKF also raped a 13 year old Tamil girl from a middle class family in a house that had once been a Tiger camp. The family and child fled to Colombo after the rape.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), The Broken Palmyra, chapter 5 - "NO MORE TEARS SISTER" THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN, War of October 1987 http://www.uthr.org/BP/volume2/Chapter5.htm
  • On 16 November 1987, two IPKF soldiers raped a young Tamil girl in her home, after separating her from her parents. She bled after the rape and then jumped into the family well in desperation.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), The Broken Palmyra, chapter 5 - "NO MORE TEARS SISTER" THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN, War of October 1987 http://www.uthr.org/BP/volume2/Chapter5.htm
  • On 18 November 1987, between 2-3pm, two IPKF soldiers raped a widow (55) and a 22 year old woman in a poor Catholic area of Jaffna. The younger girl was able to free herself after being raped, and ran down the road screaming. She cried out "they have spoilt me".University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), The Broken Palmyra, chapter 5 - "NO MORE TEARS SISTER" THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN, War of October 1987 http://www.uthr.org/BP/volume2/Chapter5.htm
  • On December 17 1987, Sepoy Karnail Singh of 14 Sikh light infantry of the IPKF faced dismissal and one year's imprisonment for raping a Tamil woman from the village of Idaikkurichy. Similar punishment was given to A. Mani, the barber of 93 Field Regiment for raping an unmarried woman near Kodikamam on December 24 1987.Kanwar Sandhu - IPKF men face court martial - charges include murder, rape, loot - Sunday Observer, Bombay, 18-24.12.88 - reproduced in Tamil Times, January 1989, p15
  • On December 19 1987, at 11:30am, two Tamil women were raped in Jaffna by the IPKF. The younger woman was aged 25. The two women were taken into two separate rooms and raped. The IPKF soldiers left once the neighbours arrived en masse to the house, alerted by the dogs barking fiercely.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), The Broken Palmyra, chapter 5 - "NO MORE TEARS SISTER" THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN, War of October 1987 http://www.uthr.org/BP/volume2/Chapter5.htm
  • On December 23 1987, an educated 18 year old Tamil virgin from a poor labourer family was gang raped by two IPKF soldiers in succession. The previous day the soldiers had come and stolen chickens from their garden.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), The Broken Palmyra, chapter 5 - "NO MORE TEARS SISTER" THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN, War of October 1987 http://www.uthr.org/BP/volume2/Chapter5.htm
  • Nail Banwari Lal and rifleman Gugan Ram of 18 Garhwal Rifles faced dismissal and 6 months' imprisonment each for trying to rape married women at Kaithadi on December 25 1987.Kanwar Sandhu - IPKF men face court martial - charges include murder, rape, loot - Sunday Observer, Bombay, 18-24.12.88 - reproduced in Tamil Times, January 1989, p15
  • 1988

  • On 25 January 1988, the body of a 30 year old Tamil woman was found in a well. She had committed suicide after being raped by IPKF soldiers who had visited her house. The postmortem found clear evidence of rape, with lacerations to her vagina and bruises on the labia.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), The Broken Palmyra, chapter 5 - "NO MORE TEARS SISTER" THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN, War of October 1987 http://www.uthr.org/BP/volume2/Chapter5.htm
  • On 29 January 1988, at 12:10pm, a 22 year old Tamil student was raped by 4 IPKF soldiers behind the bushes, after they separated her from her semi-blind father near a temple in Jaffna.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), The Broken Palmyra, chapter 5 - "NO MORE TEARS SISTER" THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN, War of October 1987 http://www.uthr.org/BP/volume2/Chapter5.htm
  • Havildar Badan Singh of the IPKF committed sodomy against 4 male activists of the LTTE during their detention at Jaffna fort in January-February 1988.Kanwar Sandhu - IPKF men face court martial - charges include murder, rape, loot - Sunday Observer, Bombay, 18-24.12.88 - reproduced in Tamil Times, January 1989, p15
  • On February 1 1988, an IPKF soldier of 12 Grenadiers - Khem Raj Meena - faced imprisonment and dismissal from service for attempting to rape another married Tamil woman at Thunnalai south, Point Pedro.Kanwar Sandhu - IPKF men face court martial - charges include murder, rape, loot - Sunday Observer, Bombay, 18-24.12.88 - reproduced in Tamil Times, January 1989, p15
  • On May 27 1988, two IPKF soldiers, Latur Lal and Babu Lal of 12 Grenadiers, faced a year's imprisonment and dismissal from service for raping a married Tamil woman at Karaveddy during Operation Pawan.Kanwar Sandhu - IPKF men face court martial - charges include murder, rape, loot - Sunday Observer, Bombay, 18-24.12.88 - reproduced in Tamil Times, January 1989, p15
  • On November 15 1988, 6 members of the IPKF raped 7 Tamil women in Jaffna. The victims of rape were Mrs. Sushila Veerasingam, Miss Manjulu Nadarajah, Miss Mala Asaipillai, Miss Rani Subramaniam, Miss Rajani Subramaniam, Miss Thayalini Sundaram and Miss Syamala Rajaratnam.Action taken against 6 IPFK offenders - Tamil Times, January 1988, p3
  • Amnesty International reported an increasing number of allegations that IPKF personnel had raped Tamil women. Several dozen Tamil women have testified on oath that they were raped by IPKF personnel, for example in Kondavil East in the north and in Sathurkodanan and Morakkadanchenai villages in the east.Amnesty International on human rights violations before and after the Indo-Sri Lanka accord - Tamil Times, June 1988, p6-7
  • 1990s

    1990

  • On 9 September 1990, the Sri Lankan Army massacred at least 184 Tamil civilians at Sathurukondan. The only survivor K.Krishnakumar told the pro-LTTE TamilNet, that during the massacre Sinhala soldiers stripped two pregnant Tamil women naked before slicing their breasts off. The soldiers then cut open the stomachs of these women with swords, and pushed them into a pit. The eyewitness also describes many naked Tamil girls being brought to the massacre site, who were then all raped repeatedly. The soldiers then cut their breasts off with swords and pushed three of these girls into a well. All the bodies were subsequently burned in a pit.TamilNet, 10 December 1997 - A luxury they cannot afford - https://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=7375
  • 1991

  • In mid 1991, the Sri Lankan Army raped a Tamil trainee teacher (26) and her younger sister.University of Teachers Human Rights (Jaffna), Report 13, Chapter 14 - Postscript - April 1994 http://www.uthr.org/Reports/Report13/chapter4.htm
  • On June 12 1991, two Sri Lankan soldiers were killed due to an exploding landmine in Kokkaddicholai. The Sri Lankan army retaliated by massacring at least 123 Tamil civilians in Kokkaddicholai, including women and children.Hoole, Rajan (2002-05-14). "Kokkadichcholai massacre and after". University Teachers for Human Rights. http://www.uthr.org/Reports/Report8/chapter3.htm 6 Tamil women were also raped during the massacre, including 2 sisters.Hoole, Rajan (2002-05-14). "Kokkadichcholai massacre and after". University Teachers for Human Rights. http://www.uthr.org/Reports/Report8/chapter3.htm Another witness described seeing a young girl being sexually assaulted by Sinhala soldiers.Massacre in the east - Tamil Times, July 1991, p5 Another account of this event describes an incident where a young Tamil girl took protection with an old lady teacher, who offered the soldiers all the jewellery the girl had in order to spare her. The soldiers took the jewellery and raped the girl as well.Tamil Canadian, Kokaddicholai massacre: 82 Tamils were killed - http://www.tamilcanadian.com/eelam/hrights/?cat=1&id=1000032
  • 1992

  • On 14 November 1992, drunk Sri Lankan soldiers took away 4-5 Tamil women from the village of Aithuyamalai, Batticaloa District. They were taken to the local army camp under the guise of questioning, but were all subsequently raped.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), Report 11, Land, Human rights & The Eastern Predicament. Chapter 3, 15th April 1993 - http://www.uthr.org/Reports/Report11/chapter3.htm
  • In December 1992, the Sri Lankan Army raped several young Tamil women in Pullumalai, Batticaloa District during a round up. 13 Sri Lankan soldiers responsible for these rapes were subsequently transferred from the area by the Brigadier in charge, although it is not known whether they faced any disciplinary action.Amnesty International - SRI LANKA
 - An assessment of the human rights situation Feb 1993, p5
  • 1993

  • In August 1993, the Sri Lankan Army raped a Tamil woman called Lakshmi Pillai in the Plaintain Point army camp, Trincomalee.Amnesty International, August 1996 - SRI LANKA 
Wavering commitment to human rights, p19
  • 1994

  • Amnesty International received several reports of rape of Tamil women by the Sri Lankan army in the east in late 1994.Amnesty International, August 1996 - SRI LANKA 
Wavering commitment to human rights, p18
  • 1995

  • In January 1995, the Sri Lankan Army raped three Tamil women at Poomachcholai and Kayankaddu, Batticaloa district, in retaliation for a LTTE attack on the army camp of Thandavaveli.Amnesty International, August 1996 - SRI LANKA 
Wavering commitment to human rights, p19
  • Amnesty International reported a dramatic increase in rapes and incidents of torture committed by Sri Lankan soldiers against Tamils following the resumption of war in April 1995.Amnesty International, August 1996 - SRI LANKA 
Wavering commitment to human rights, p18
  • In August 1995, two Army informants raped a Tamil woman called Lakshmi Pillai in her Trincomalee home in front of her two sons. The motive was thought to be revenge for her speaking out about her previous rape by the army in the Plaintain Point army camp in August 1993.Amnesty International, August 1996 - SRI LANKA 
Wavering commitment to human rights, p19
  • On 11 May 1995, in Karunkaladichenai village, Kiran, Batticaloa District, the Sri Lankan Army raped two Tamil girls, Samithamby Pathmini (18) and Vyramuthu Vijaya (17) after separating them from their male relatives at 9:30pm. In mid 1995, further rapes against Tamil women carried out by the Sri Lankan Army were also reported in Chettiarkudiyiruppu (4 cases), Korakallimadu (1 case), Pethalai (2 cases), and Matpandatholitchalai (9 cases).University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), Information Bulletin No.6, 20th June 1995, REPORT ON THE SITUATION IN THE BATTICALOA & AMPARAI DISTRICTS http://www.uthr.org/bulletins/bul6.htm
  • 1996

  • On 11 February 1996, during the Kumarapuram massacre in Trincomalee District, where 24 civilians were massacred, including 7 children below the age of 12, a Tamil girl called Arumaithurai Tharmaletchumi (17) was raped by Sri Lankan soldiers before being shot dead. She was dragged from a village boutique to a Milk collection centre where the rape occurred. A boy called Anthony Joseph (14) attempted to stop the soldiers from dragging her away, but was shot between the legs.Amnesty International, August 1996 - SRI LANKA 
Wavering commitment to human rights, p18
  • On 7 March 1996, Sri Lankan soldiers raped a Tamil woman and beat her husband with rifle butts at Thiyavedduwan checkpoint. The couple were later both admitted to Valaichchenai hospital.Amnesty International, August 1996 - SRI LANKA 
Wavering commitment to human rights, p19
  • In April-May 1996, during the Sri Lankan Army's 'Operation Riviresa II' and 'III' military offensives, a few extrajudicial executions and rapes of Tamils were committed by Sri Lankan soldiers. One case involved a young married Tamil couple who lived on Kachchai road, Chavakachcheri. The couple were taken into custody by the army, who then stabbed the man to death, and raped the wife, before stabbing her too. The local villagers were too frightened to identify the perpetrators due to the fear of reprisals from the security forces.Amnesty International, August 1996 - SRI LANKA 
Wavering commitment to human rights, p9
  • The South China Morning Post reported that more than 150 women, mostly minority Tamils, were raped by police and armed forces personnel in 1996 according to human rights activists. In some instances the victims were subsequently killed. One case involved a woman from the eastern Batticaloa district who approached a reserve police constable for directions to a relative's home in Colombo. The policeman accompanied the woman to her destination but then raped her in a lonely suburban thicket. In June 1996, two navy officers were held for raping a woman. Right groups and mainstream Tamil political parties also complained about the alleged rape of five women by policemen in the suburbs of Colombo.South China Morning Post, 11 January 1997
  • 1997

  • In 1997, in Jaffna District, 3 cases of rape against Tamil women committed by the Sri Lankan Army were taken to the magistrates' court; one case from Chavakachcheri in May, one case from Araly in June, and another case from Vadamarachchi.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), Information Bulletin No.14, 24th  August  1997, Jaffna: Current Situation & Prospects - A Survey http://www.uthr.org/bulletins/bul14.htm
  • Tamil M.P. Joseph Pararajasingam reported there had been a minimum of 60 rape cases of Tamil women involving the Sri Lankan security forces in his parliamentary constituency of Batticaloa in 1997.Hot Springs journal, December 1997 - Rape cases involving govt. forces on the increase - Sri Lanka M.P.
    • A Lancet review of 184 Tamil male torture victims in the UK, who had been detained and tortured by Sri Lankan authorities between 1997-1998 revealed that 21% (38) had been sexually abused.M. Peel, A. Mahtani, G. Hinshelwood and D. Forrest - The Sexual Abuse of Men in Detention in Sri Lanka, Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, The Lancet, June 10, 2000; vol. 355; pp. 2069-2070 Many had been raped by the soldiers or forced to give oral masturbation, and one victim also described how soldiers forced him and his friends to rape each other for the soldiers' 'entertainment'. Methods of torture employed during the abuse include:
      • the electrocution or beating of genitals.
      • cigarette burns to the genitals.
      • anal penetration with chilli coated sticks.
      • Putting the victim's penis in a heavy desk drawer and repeatedly slapping it shut to cause trauma.M. Peel, A. Mahtani, G. Hinshelwood and D. Forrest - The Sexual Abuse of Men in Detention in Sri Lanka, Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, The Lancet, June 10, 2000; vol. 355; pp. 2069-2070

    1998

    1999

  • On 10 September 1999, 35 year old Rukmani Krishnapillai, a mother of 5, was taken by the Sri Lankan army to their camp in Kumburumoolai, Batticaloa District. She was then drugged and gang raped. She was also beaten and had objects put into her vagina. Following the torture, she was then dumped in the jungle. She refused to take any legal action fearing repercussions to her family.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), Information Bulletin No. 25, 11th  July 2001 - The Fatal Conjunction: Women, Continuing Violations & Accountability http://www.uthr.org/bulletins/bul25.htm
  • 2000s

    2000

    2001

  • In early 2001, a 27 year old Tamil woman was tortured by policemen in a Negombo police station. She was badly assaulted and had a chilli coated object put into her vagina.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), Information Bulletin No. 25, 11th  July 2001 - The Fatal Conjunction: Women, Continuing Violations & Accountability http://www.uthr.org/bulletins/bul25.htm
  • In the first week of June 2001, two Tamil women who were initially residing in a hotel in Bambalapitiya, Colombo complained of being gang-raped by Sri Lankan police after being taken into a police station.Rape and the arrest - Tamil Times, July 2001, p21University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), Information Bulletin No. 25, 11th  July 2001 - The Fatal Conjunction: Women, Continuing Violations & Accountability http://www.uthr.org/bulletins/bul25.htm
  • On 23rd June 2001, during the night, 3 Sri Lankan soldiers and 3 policemen took a Tamil woman for questioning, and then gang-raped her at a checkpoint in Colombo. They threatened her that they would her kill her if she reported it.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), Information Bulletin No. 25, 11th  July 2001 - The Fatal Conjunction: Women, Continuing Violations & Accountability http://www.uthr.org/bulletins/bul25.htm
  • On 7 July 2001, in a village named Allarai in Jaffna District, a 42 year old unmarried Tamil woman was gang raped by Sri Lankan soldiers. Her 82 year old partially deaf mother was assaulted when she tried to intervene.Rape and the arrest - Tamil Times, July 2001, p21
  • 2002

  • On 22 October 2002, in Kalnattinakulam, Vavuniya District, a Tamil woman called Lucia Natchathiram visited the paddy fields in the evening to see to her goats. She did not return and the villagers launched a search party, eventually finding her dead body at 6am the following day. A post mortem at Vavuniya hospital revealed that she had been gang raped before being strangled. The field where she had last been was frequented by Sri Lankan army personnel from the Iratperiyakulam army camp and local Sinhalese home guards. The Sri Lankan police were reluctant to investigate the crime.University Teachers of Human Rights (Jaffna), Information Bulletin No. 30, 3rd December 2002, The Cost of 'Peace' and the Dividends of Terror: Sri Lanka's Nordic Winter? http://www.uthr.org/bulletins/bul30.htm
  • 2005

  • On 5 March 2005, 50 Tamil refugees (including 27 women) returning from India disembarked on a sand bank near Talaimannar. 5 armed men then robbed them and raped some of the women. The locals held the Sri Lankan Navy to be the prime suspect for these crimes.University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), Special Report No: 18, 28th  March 2005 - Political Killings and Sri Lanka’s Stalled Peace http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/spreport18.htm
  • 2006

  • On 30 January 2006, 5 Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation aid workers were abducted by the pro-government TMVP paramilitary group in Welikanda. 4 of the male aid workers were tortured and shot dead by TMVP cadres. One abductee, a 25 year old woman named Premini Thanuskodi was gang raped by over 14 TMVP cadres in succession before being hacked to death. Some troubled ex-TMVP cadres did not participate in the rape but were powerless to stop it.DBS Jeyaraj - The tragic fate of TRO employees abducted by Karuna cadres (May 2007)
  • On 11 April 2006, following a claymore mine explosion in Trincomalee, an organised Sinhala mob killed several Tamils and burnt 45 houses in the Tamil neighbourhoods of Menkamam and Bharathipuram. Several Tamil women were also raped in the attack.University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) - Special Report No. 26, 3rd August 2007 - Can the East be won through Human Culling? Special Economic Zones – An Ideological Journey Back to 1983, p52
  • On 12 April 2006, following a pogrom against Tamils in Trincomalee, a surge in rape of Tamil women by the Sri Lankan security forces was reported. During the pogrom, 4 Tamil women were abducted from a shop in a van and then subsequently raped and robbed. In Anbuvelipuram, a suburb of Trincomalee, a doctor reported many incidents of rape of Tamil women committed by the Sri Lankan Navy and home-guards. These included one 18 year old girl and two older women who had consulted him.University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) - Information Bulletin No. 44, 13th March 2007 - The Race for Infamy in Sri Lanka’s North-East http://www.uthr.org/bulletins/bul44.htm
  • The doctor also reported three girls from Jaffna living at 3rd mile post, Trincomalee who were raped at night by security forces in their own home a few months later. Another case involved a Tamil woman being raped in front of her husband in Kanniya, Trincomalee District. Finally, 3-4 poor Tamil women were raped in Maharambaikkulam, Vavuniya by military intelligence operatives in the same time period.University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) - Information Bulletin No. 44, 13th March 2007 - The Race for Infamy in Sri Lanka’s North-East http://www.uthr.org/bulletins/bul44.htm
  • On 4 July 2006, Ambalavanar Punithavathy, 43, a Tamil woman from Uduvil in Jaffna was shot dead after being gang raped late at night by the Sri Lankan army.Peoples' tribunal on Sri Lanka - Genocide against the Tamil People - Massacres, pogroms, destruction of property, sexual violence and assassinations of civil society leaders (2017) p28 http://www.ptsrilanka.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/massacres_pogroms_en.pdf The assailants forced entry into the house and told the occupants that they had come to search the house. The victim's elderly mother was also attacked, and admitted to Jaffna Teaching hospital with serious assault injuries.Woman raped, murdered - Tamil Times, July 2006, p35
  • In August 2006, a massacre of aid workers was carried out in Muttur, Trincomalee District. University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) reported that a Muslim home guard called Jehangir had committed the massacre after he had swore to 'kill all Tamils'. Jehangir was also noted to have raped several Tamil women.University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), Special Report No: 33, 4th August 2009 - Third Anniversary of the ACF Massacre
  • 2007

    2008

  • During March-May 2008, the STF launched an operation to video and register all Tamil families in the village of Kolavil near Akkaraipattu. Following this operation, members of the STF broke into houses where Tamil women were living without males, and committed several rapes. 12 cases of rape of this nature were documented in March 2008.University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna)
  • Sri Lanka, Special Report No. 31, 28th October 2008 - Pawns of an Un-heroic War http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/spreport31.htm
  • On 10 May 2008, in Kalmunai, three drunken armed men from the STF invaded the mud house of a Tamil woman called Seetha. Her two daughters aged 16 and 18 were then raped. The girls were left in a pool of blood, with second one becoming unconscious.University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna)
  • Sri Lanka, Special Report No. 31, 28th October 2008 - Pawns of an Un-heroic War http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/spreport31.htm
  • In 2008, multiple Tamil women were raped by the security forces in villages north of Vavuniya. The security forces enter the houses at night and force the women to come with them, before dropping them back in the morning. 20 Tamil victims have been recorded, some of whom were impregnated following the ordeal.University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna)
  • Sri Lanka, Special Report No. 31, 28th October 2008 - Pawns of an Un-heroic War http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/spreport31.htm
  • In August 2008 alone, 14 cases of rape of Tamil women in Vavuniya by paramilitaries were documented by a NGO in a Civil Society Field Mission report. The victims were between the ages of 12 and 35.University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna)
  • Sri Lanka, Special Report No. 31, 28th October 2008 - Pawns of an Un-heroic War http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/spreport31.htm

    2009

  • A Special Task Force constable was found guilty of raping a 13-year old Tamil girl in Vellaveli, Batticaloa in February 2009.Tamil Guardian, 24/10/20 - Sri Lankan STF officer sentenced for raping Batticaloa child - https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/sri-lankan-stf-officer-sentenced-raping-batticaloa-child
  • 2010s

    2010

    2011

  • On 27 March 2011, a Tamil witness narrated to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission how her 10 year old sister was raped by the Sri Lankan Army in Kalmunai during a round up. Her sister later became mentally retarded. The witness also said that the army beat her severely, pricked nails to her hands, and sexually harassed her during the assault. She was then taken to a room and locked up. When she cried for water the army gave her urine instead.Höglund, K. Testimony Under Threat: Women’s Voices and the Pursuit of Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka. Hum Rights Rev 20, 361–382 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12142-019-0549-3
  • 2012

    2013

    2014

    Notes


     
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