ITJP releases list of disappeared

Missing 2The 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.

18-May-09 Surrenders
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
Sathyan Conservationist 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

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