Vavuniya High Court Judge Manikkavasagam Ilanchelian ruled that the commanders of the Sri Lankan army’s Omanthai Command should be held responsible for the disappearance of Tamil youth, Kandasamy Ilamaran, who went missing upon arriving at the Omanthai checkpoint in 2006.
The judge found that the Vanni regional commander as a high-ranking officer is liable along with the army commander under whose stewardship the military acted during the height of the war.
In 2006 Ilamaran had arrived at the military-controlled Omanthai checkpoint from the LTTE-controlled territory, following which he was never heard from or seen again. A writ petition was filed by Senior Attorney Ratnavel against the commanding officer of Omanthai, the Vanni commanding officer, and the army commander over the disappearance of the youth.
Evidence produced in support of the case found that logbooks maintained at the Omanthai checkpoint had recorded the name of the youth coming towards the point from LTTE-controlled territory. However, the army had informed courts that they did not arrest or detain the Tamil youth.
The petitioner challenged that the last known place the youth was seen and recorded was at the Omanthai checkpoint and no other whereabouts are known, confirming that the youth had disappeared afterwards.
In his judgment, Justice Ilanchelian ordered that the commanding officers should pay a sum of Rs. 1 million as compensation to the mother of the youth. The court has also directed the Attorney General to take appropriate legal action in connection with the disappearance of the youth.