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Police families commend LLRC report

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Family members of the missing policemen in Sri Lanka have welcomed the recommendation by a presidential panel for a full investigation into the alleged killing of six hundred policemen. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has recommended that the killing of nearly 600 policemen in the east by who surrendered to Tamil Tigers in 1990.

Retired police officers and representatives of victims have told the LLRC that deputy minister Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan widely known as Karuna, the then LTTE leader of the east, was involved in the abduction and the murder of the policemen.

The policemen were ordered by the government led by Ranasinghe Premadasa to lay down the arms and surrender to the LTTE, according to the LLRC.

The panel has recommended that a full investigation to be conducted the incident.

  The Commission is of the view that this matter warrants a full investigation because of the nature of the crime and the bearing it has on reconciliation
 
LLRC report

“This Commission regrets to note that up to date no investigation has been conducted in respect of the killing of six hundred policemen. The Commission is of the view that this matter warrants a full investigation because of the nature of the crime and the bearing it has on reconciliation.”

Welcoming the LLRC call, Awwa Umma, 70, the mother of one of the missing policemen Mohamed Hanifa Sirajdeen, said it is important for the families to find those responsible for the crime.

Officially missing

One of the policemen who escaped has told the families that at least 130 policemen were taken away by abductees in three buses, she said.

 
‘What we are interested in is to find out who committed this crime’

Then their hands were tied, beaten and later burnt using used tyres, the eyewitness has said.

“It is painful to see other young police officers at the police station where I monthly visit to collect my son’s salary,” Awwa Umma told BBC Sandeshaya.

The police department has been paying salaries of all policemen who are still officially regarded as missing.

Quoting two senior police officers the LLRC report said, “there had not even been a departmental inquiry into the circumstances that led to the surrender of these police officers to the LTTE”.

The brother of another victim, MA Naufer, said he welcomes the LLRC recommendation to investigate the incident.

“We don’t know whether the order was given by Karuna or by the LLTE leader. What we are interested in is to find out who committed this crime,” said Maulavi MA Irshak, adding that it is the hope of the families that the perpetrators will be punished.

The BBC could not contact Minister Muralitharan despite repeated attempts.

But giving evidence before the LLRC, the deputy minister on reconciliation has denied the accusation.

“Pursuant to the allegations made by the representers the Commission questioned Mr Muralidharan alias Karuna about the allegations leveled against him. He denied the allegations in respect of these murders,” said the LLRC report.
 
BBC Sinhla

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