The International Truth and Justice Project – Sri Lanka (ITJP) has released a list of 110 disappeared people seen surrendering to the Sri Lankan military on 18 May 2009 by eyewitnesses who have now fled the Country.
The list includes senior LTTE members including Nadesan, Pulidevan, Isaipriya, Baby Subramanian, Ezhilan , V. V. Balakumaran, Ilamparithy, Karikalan, Ramesh, Thangan, Thilakar, Yogi and Balachandran Prabhakaran.
“The ITJP through this press release wishes family members and relatives of the surrendees to know that there are eyewitnesses to the surrender of their loved ones to the military on the 18 May 2009 now living abroad. These eyewitnesses live outside of Sri Lanka as they fear for their security and reprisals against family members” says the statement released by Yasmin Sooka of International Truth & Justice Project – Sri Lanka.
A lawyer based in South Africa, Yasmin Sooka is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights and was integral to the post-apartheid South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone.
We publish below the full report and the released list of disappeared people:
On the 18 May 2009, a large number of witnesses saw more than a hundred LTTE military and civilian administration leaders surrender to the Sri Lankan army. The vast majority of these people have subsequently disappeared and, according to eyewitnesses, were last seen in in the custody of the Sri Lankan military.
Those who surrendered on 18 May 2009 were screened and put in a barbed wire holding area just south of the Wadduvakkal Bridge, which was in the control of the Sri Lankan armed forces. Many surrendered with an elderly Catholic Priest, Father Francis Joseph, who recorded the names of surrendees in a list for the military. Many eyewitnesses saw these prisoners, and in some cases their family members, loaded on a series of buses and taken away by the military. They and the priest have not been seen since being taken custody of by the military.
The International Truth and Justice Project – Sri Lanka (ITJP) has continued its work on the issue of the disappeared last seen in the custody of the military, and has compiled the list of names below.
The list comprises the names of 110 people seen surrendering to the military on 18 May 2009 by eyewitnesses who have now fled the country. The ITJP through this press release wishes family members and relatives of the surrendees to know that there are eyewitnesses to the surrender of their loved ones to the military on the 18 May 2009 now living abroad. These eyewitnesses live outside of Sri Lanka as they fear for their security and reprisals against family members. The ITJP is cognisant of the fact that some of the people on the list may have been released from detention after many years, without the knowledge of our witnesses. We are also aware that eyewitnesses inside Sri Lanka and family members have also registered complaints or filed court cases regarding the disappearance of additional people who surrendered on 18 May 2009.
It is now well known that between 2009 and 2015, families of the disappeared have repeatedly sought answers from the Government of Sri Lanka on the fate of loved ones. Like families of the disappeared all over the world they need to know if loved ones are dead or alive as they live in world of uncertainty in pain and anguish. Unlike those families whose loved ones have died unrecorded in battle without a body to mourn and without closure, these families of the disappeared are unable to mourn or to have closure but know that their loved one was last seen in the custody of the authorities.
The failure on the part of the authorities to carry out a proper investigation into their subsequent disappearance is a further injustice as well as a personal tragedy. Under the Joinet/Orentlicher Principles to Combat Impunity, families and relatives have an imprescriptible right to the truth about the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones. There is also a corresponding obligation on the part of the State to initiate investigations and hold those responsible for the disappearances accountable.
An enforced disappearance is defined by three cumulative elements: (1) Deprivation of liberty against the will of the person; (2) Involvement of government officials, at least by acquiescence; (3) Refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person.
A key element that characterises forced disappearance is that this practice removes the individual from the protection of the law1. This characteristic – and the reality of events confirms this – has the effect of suspending the enjoyment of all of the rights of the disappeared person and placing the victim in a situation of complete defencelessness.
The United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly affirmed that forced disappearance, “constitutes an offence to human dignity, a grave and flagrant violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms […] and a violation of the rules of international law”.2 Furthermore the jurisprudence of international organs for the protection of human rights agree in describing forced disappearance as a grave violation of human rights.3
International jurisprudence and legal doctrine has repeatedly indicated that forced disappearance per se constitutes a violation of the right to security of the person; of the right to protection under the law; of the right not to be deprived arbitrarily of one’s liberty; of the recognition of the legal personality of every human being; and of the right not to be subjected to torture or to other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
We call on the government of Sri Lanka to undertake credible investigations into the forced disappearance of the more than a hundred people who disappeared while surrendering to the military on this day six years ago and to indict, prosecute and convict those responsible. Families are entitled to the truth about the fate and whereabouts of loved ones.
We also call upon the government of Sri Lanka to become a signatory to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. We welcome the news that the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is to be allowed to visit Sri Lanka and we urge the Government of Sri Lanka to cooperate fully with them and to allow unmitigated access to families of the disappeared ensuring that there will be no reprisals against them.
1 See, for example, par. 3 of the Preamble, Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. In this same context, see article II of the Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons and article 7 (2) (i) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
2 Resolution 49/193 of the General Assembly, adopted 23 December 1994. In the same sense, see resolutions 51/94 of 12 December 1996 and 53/150 of 9 December 1998 .
3 With respect to the Human Rights Committee, see for example, the decision of 29 March 1982, Communication No. 30/1978, case of Bleier Lewhoff and Valiño de Bleier vs. Uruguay; and the Concluding observations – Burundi, of 3 August 1994 (United Nations document CCPR/C/79/Add.41, par. 9). Reference might also be made – among other sources – to the Judgment of 14 March 2001 by the Inter American Court of Human Rights in the Barrios Altos case (Chumbipuma Aguirre et al. vs. Peru), par. 41.
|Name||Role||Source||Fate currently||Father Francis Group|
|Aathava||UNKNOWN||Witness Statement; Led intobldgs S. side of Bridge Wadduvakal||UNKNOWN|
|Ahilam Master||Intelligence Wing of LTTE||Witness Statement; seen in custody south of Wadduvakkal Bridge||UNKNOWN|
|Ambi||Seen with husband Puratchika (see below)||Witness Statement; seen at Omanthai on 18 May 2009||UNKNOWN|
|Aramuthan||Deputy commander Imran Pandian regiment of LTTE.||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Aryan||UNKNOWN||Witness Statement; Led into bldgs S. side of Bridge Wadduvakal||UNKNOWN|
|Baby Subramaniam ( aka Elankurmaran)||Head of the Tamil Eelam Education Department||Witness Statements. Surrounded N. side Wadduvakal; detained S. side of bridge||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Balachandran Prabhakaran||12 year old son of LTTE leader. Child.||Witness Statement||DEAD (photo)|
|Balakumaran, V.||Senior LTTE leader||Witness Statements – seen at 1500 on 18 May 2009 in custody, also in Mullaitivu Katcheri Admnistrative Office Hall.||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Lt.Col. Arunnambi||Head, Imran Pandiyan Regiment||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Balakumaran’s Son Theepan, aka Sooriyatheepan||UNKNOWN||Report/photo showing him in Army custody||UNKNOWN|
|Balathas||Senior LTTE Financial Officer||Witness Statement; seen south side of bridge at 1500 hours on 18 May.||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Baari||In charge of external audits for LTTE||Seen alive south of Wadduvakkal bridge||UNKNOWN|
|Babu +1||Coordinator of LTTE Jewellery Business, said to have surrendered with his wife.||Witness Statements||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Babu – Illanbarithy||In charge of Seran Business of LTTE||Witness Statement|
|Bavan Camilton||Was with Kaddafi but looked after disabled LTTE cadres.||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Bhaskaran||Commander Manal Aru Headquarters of LTTE.||Witness Statements||UNKNOWN|
|Bhaskaran||Working with Sornam; born in Kilinochchi.||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Lt.Col. Chendran/ Chandran||Military Intelligence, LTTE||Witness Statement; seen with Military Intelligence in Mullaitivu & reported to be missing.||UNKNOWN|
|Ezhilan (Elilan)||LTTE political Wing, Trincomalee||Witness Statements (3) & Complaint by Family||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Ezhilvanan Master||School Master||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Father Francis Joseph||Catholic Priest||Witness Statements (4+), Complaint by Family||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Gopi aka Veerapandian||LTTE, lost one arm, Political wing, property maintainence||Witness Statement; Led into bldgs S. side of Bridge Wadduvakal||UNKNOWN|
|Hariharan||UNKNOWN||Witness Statement; Led into bldgs S. side of Bridge Wadduvakal.||UNKNOWN|
|Ilamthiraiyan/ Marshall||The military spokesperson for LTTE, from Batticaloa||Witness Statement||Witness said he surrendered alive but killed shortly after; unconfirmed.|
|Ilamparity (Sinnathamby Mahalinham)||Jaffna head Political Wing; home town Chavakachcheri.||Witness Statements saw him on the south side of the Bridge at 1500 hours, Complaint by Family||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group.|
|Illamparity – Mahalingam, Sivagini||Wife||Complaint by Family; no witness statements.||UNKNOWN|
|Illamparithy – Mahalingam, Mahilini||Child, aged 10||Complaint by Family; no witness statements.||UNKNOWN|
|Illamparithy – Mahalingam, Thamiloli||Child, aged 8||Complaint by Family; no witness statements.||UNKNOWN|
|Illamparithy – Mahalingam, Elilini||Child, aged 3||Complaint by Family; no witness statements.||UNKNOWN|
|llangkumaran||Commander Officer, Manalaru, LTTE.||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Ilavenkai Master||UNKNOWN||Witness Statement|
|Inthamil||UNKNOWN||Witness Statement: saw him at Omanthai on 18 May 2009.||UNKNOWN|
|Irumporai Master||In charge of LTTE Sniper Regiment||Witness Statement; report arrested in Mullaitivu.||UNKNOWN|
|Isaipriya||Media Unit of LTTE||Reports & Video & Photos||DEAD (photo & GOSL)|
|Javan||Voice of Tigers radio station||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Jeyaraj||Financial unit LTTE||Witness Statement: Seen alive on 18 May south of bridge; ; seen in 2009 in Boosa.||UNKNOWN|
|Kanthi||Intelligence Unit In Charge of the Jail||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Kannan||Head of Student Organisation, Political Wing||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Kangan/Kanagan (Loganathan Arunasalam)||Political wing security||Witness Statement; S. side Wadduvakal Bridge||DEAD (one witness)||Father Francis Group|
|Karikalan||Former Commander, Eastern Province||Witness Statements: seen surrendering at Wadduvakkal Bridge||UNKNOWN|
|Karuvannan||In charge of vehicle for War Heroes Dept of LTTE||Witness Statement: seen alive south of bridge||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Kini||Deputy to Yogi, Institute of Conflict Research. From Jaffna.||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Kiruba master||UNKNOWN||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Kuyilan||Military lntelligence, LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Kumaran||Major in LTTE. Nephew of Balaraj.||dead acc to SLA list; If this is Commander Manil Aru District then Witness saw him alive in custody.||DEAD (GOSL); ALIVE IN 2009 says WITNESS|
|Kunam||Senior LTTE military leader; possibly Trinco formerly||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Kutti||LTTE Finance & Transport Sections; in charge of Pandian Store||Witness Statement; seen south of bridge||UNKNOWN|
|Lawrence||Commanding Officer LTTE Vavuniya District||Witness Statements; seen in Mullaitivu Katcheri at 1500 hours.||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Madavan||Deputy in Charge of LTTE Police||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Majith||LTTE Military Intelligence Admin Officer||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Malaravan||Administration Service LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Manoj||Deputy to Ruban of Logistics.||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Maniarasan||Senior LTTE military leader||Witness Statement saw him with Father Francis.||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Mathu||Trincomalee Military Wing||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Miresh||Nitharsanam TV||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Mohan Uncle||Sea Tigers||Witness Statement; Put in first aid building south of the brudge around 10 am on 18 May.||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Mukilan/ Muhilan||(Military lntelligence)||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Mukunthan/ five nine =code||LTTE Military Colonel 2nd in charge after Theeban of Northern Battle Front||Witness Statement; surrounded North Side of Bridge||UNKNOWN|
|Nadesan||LTTE Political Wing Head.||Witness Statement||DEAD (photo & GOSL)|
|Nagesh||Head of Administration Division, Kilinochchi district; lost a leg.||Witness Statement; Put in first aid building South of the Bridge around 10 am on 18 May.||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Nalayini||Head of English College||Witness Statement; At first aid station on S. side of bridge; spoke to Fr Francis at 10 am.||UNKNOWN|
|Nalayini/Nalagini||Malathi Regiment – logistics supply||Witness Statement; Seen south of the Bridge.||UNKNOWN|
|Neyan||Intelligence Lt Col. LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Neethan||Head of LTTE Headquarters; from Trinco.||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Nilavalaki||Doctor in medical unit with two kids||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Nishanthan||Was with Kadaffi but then looked after disabled LTTE cadres||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Nisathan Master||LTTE military supplies.||Witness Statement: saw him at Mullaitivu Katcheri in the hall.||UNKNOWN|
|Panchan intelligence.||birth name is Mahadhevan Ganaharan – a very high ranking figure in LTTE||Witness Statements||UNKNOWN|
|Para Ratha||Coordinator Justice Department||Witness Statements – one saw him south of Wadduvakkal Bridge and another thinks he saw him in TID 4th Floor.||UNKNOWN|
|Pathmalojani, Dr.||Karikalan’s wife & medical wing||Witness Statements; seen surrendering||UNKNOWN|
|Piraba, Lt. Col.||LTTE military inteligence unit||Witness Statements; Seen at bridge||UNKNOWN|
|Poovannan||Head of the Administrative Service Division of the LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Poorvanan Master||not same as above||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Prian/Piriyan(Swaminathar Thayasri)+ 1||Deputy head LTTE Administration||Witness Statements, Complaint by Family. According to witness his wife also surrendered.||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Pulidevan||LTTE Peace Secretariat Head||Witness Statement||DEAD (photo & GOSL)|
|Puluimainthan||Driver for Yogi (see below)||Witness Statemen; seen alive south of bridge.||UNKNOWN|
|Puratchika||with Ambi (see above)||Witness Statement – seen at Omanthai||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Puratsi Master||RPG Sniper for LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Ruban||In charge of LTTE logistics unit||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Rahulan||Deputy Jaffna Regiment; comes from Chavakachcheri.||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Raja||Deputy of Sports after Papa; From Jaffna. Missing with 4 children reportedly.||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Puthuvai Rathinathivai||Poet & Coordinator of LTTE Arts and Cultural Department||Witness Statements – seen at Wadduvakkal Bridge and in Mullaitivu Katcheri hall||UNKNOWN|
|Ramesh, Col. (aka Illango)||LTTE police||Witness Statement||DEAD ( says GOSL)|
|Ramesh, Colonel||Senior LTTE from Batticaloa||Witness Statement||DEAD (photo & GOSL)|
|Reha (Rega) Mahendrarajah||LTTE Medical Unit Head||Witness Statements (4): seen at Mullaitivu Katcheri building at 1500 on 18 May 2009 and at Omanthai.||UNKNOWN|
|Regiththan||Manil Aru District LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Ruban||3rd in command of Jaffna Regiment of LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|S. Thangan, Thankan (aka as Sudha) Somasuntharam Suthakaran||LTTE Political Wing, deputy to Nadesan||Witness Statement, Complaint by Family. Seen in first aid building around 10 am on 18 May.||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|sakthy||Coordinator Forestry Division and his wife Jakulin and three children.||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Selvarasa||former Jaffna commander for LTTE||Witness Statement; seen south of bridge.||UNKNOWN|
|Silampan||Head of Radha Air Defence||Witness Statement; seen south of the bridge||Father Francis Group|
|Sinnavan||Intelligence wing, LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Siththirangan||LTTE commander for Manil Aru District||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Lt.Col. Sudaravan||Military Intelligence, LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Lt.Col.Thanikaiaras u||lmran Pandiyan regiment LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Thilak||Head of planning and development secretariat, LTTE||Witness Statement; Surrounded north side Wadduvakal on afternoon of 18 May.||DEAD (Photo)|
|Thilakar||Ltte financial unit looking after farms; originates from Jaffna||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Thuvurakan, Vayiravamoorthy||Lt Col. Thuvarakan (in charge of Mannar District’s area in the LTTE Martyr’s cemetery)||Witness Statement,Complaint by Family||UNKNOWN|
|Vahesan (Ramanathan Nimalanathan)||UNKNOWN||Complaint by Family & witness statement||UNKNOWN|
|Veerathevan,( Mahalingam Jeyakanthan)||Coordinator LTTE Bank||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Vaithi, Lt.Col.||Military Intelligence, LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Valuvan Master, Lt.Col.||LTTE Ratha Air Defence Unit||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Velavan||LTTE military commander; Colonel.Imran Pandian Bridgade||Witness Statement; Surrounded N side Brdg; S. side Bridg; Mullaitivu Katcheri Administrative Office||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Velmaran||LTTE Col. Pirabas Bodyguard||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN|
|Vineetha||Wife of Nadesan (see above)||Witness Statements||DEAD ( GOSL)|
|Viman||Commanding Officer LTTE||Witness Statement; Seen on South side of Bridge.||UNKNOWN|
|Vipulendran||LTTE Finance Section||Witness Statement; led into buildings on south side of bridge on 18 May.||UNKNOWN|
|Yogan/ Semanan||Political Wing, LTTE||Witness Statement||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|
|Yogi||Head of Institute for Conflict Research, LTTE||Witness Statement; Surrounded north side Wadduvakal.||UNKNOWN||Father Francis Group|