OF THIS SECTION
The Blood-soaked Jasmine -
[This poem has not indulged in poetic license to take a
flight of fancy.]
She was barely sixteen
When she disappeared suddenly one night,
Mallikai,* our little thankachi.**
We searched under the dark sky everywhere.
After a long night, the village head-man asked:
Could it be that our little flower has been snatched by
Mallikai! I screamed into the dawning sky.
Only the wolves and the stray dogs howled back.
Amma held her womb and wailed: thankachi.
The morning skies turned bright red and mauve.
An old man who had been to the bushes came rushing.
He stammered in anger: I saw Mallikai in a pool of
Where? Where? I screamed in anger.
We sprinted like angry leopards.
Mallikai, our little thankachi.
There she slept like a withered garland.
The hyenas have devoured every petal…
The Parai Melam,*** wailing horns and mourners
The fire is lit; and the flame has engulfed Mallikai.
Amma returned home – to an empty space,
Knowing that her son will not return.
The flame that engulfed Mallikai
Has enflamed her sisters and brothers…
They will now each wear a garland in memory of
** Little sister
Army Man -
Kavithai by Mathini
"அருகினில் வாழும் தமிழ்ப் பெண் நான் கேட்கிறேன்...
கருவினைத் தரித்து. உருவினைக் கொடுத்து.
மகனென அழைத்து. அருமையாய் வளர்த்து.
"அரசினைக் காக்க உயிரதைக் கொடுப்பான்.
இராணுவ வீரன், என் மகன் இவன்" எனப்
பெருமையாயக கூறிடும் இராணுவ அன்னையே.
அருகினில் வாழும் தமிழ்ப் பெண் நான் கேட்கிறேன் கூறிடு!
பெண்ணினைப் பிடித்துத் துகிலினை உரித்துக்
கைகளைக் கட்டி மார்பினை அறுத்து
பலருடன் கூடிக் காமுகப் பசியினைத் தீர்த்து
அவளது உயிரையும் எடுத்துப் புதைகிடங்கினில்
போட்டவன் உன் மகன் என்றால் என்ன நீ சொல்வாய்?
மார்பினில் ஊறும் பாலினைக் குடித்துத்
தாய்க்குலம் பேணி வளர்த்ததால் மனிதனாய்
தன்னுருப் பெற்றவன் உன் மகன் என்றால்
இன்னொரு பெண்ணை இப்படிச் செய்து
கொன்றிடும் உள்ளம் எங்கனம் கொண்டான்?எங்களின் நாட்டினில்
ஆக்கமாய்ச் செய்யலாம்? தமிழ் மண்ணினில்
வந்து துவக்கினைக் காட்டி, அப்பனை,
ஆச்சியை, அண்ணனைத் தம்பியைத்
தங்கையைக் கொன்று அழிப்பதை விட்டால்
எத்தனை வேலைகள் ஆக்கமாய்ச் செய்யலாம்?
அன்னையே நானொன்று சொல்லுவேன் கேள்!
எங்களின் மண்ணினில் சண்டைகள் நின்றிடும்,
குண்டுகள் விழுவது சட்டென விட்டிடும்,
சிங்கள மைந்தரால் ஆக்கிய இராணுவம்
உங்களின் மண்ணினில் நடந்திடும் அப்போ,
உன்னவள் மகள்தான் வீதியால் போவாள்,
அவளினைக் காப்பது உன்னது பொறுப்பு,
நாங்களும் நீங்களும் வேண்டுவதென்ன?
மாந்தராய் மானமாய் வாழ்வதுதானே!
அழகிய தீவினில் வாழும் சோதரி, தாயே!
உனக்கிதைச் சொல்கிறேன். வேண்டிநான் கேட்கிறேன்.;
பெண்களை மதிக்கும் மைந்தரைப் பெற்றிடு
நேர்மையாய் நடக்கும் மனிதராய் வளர்த்திடு-அப்போ.
ஆயிரமாயிரம் ஆண்டுகள் வாழ்ந்தது போலே
சுமுகமாய் இலங்கையில் வாழலாம் நாங்கள். செய்வாயோ?.."
international law, rape committed by government officials or armed political
groups during armed conflict constitutes torture... Rape and other serious
sexual assault have also long been recognized as breaches of international
humanitarian law. They are now recognized as a war crime and, when committed
on a systematic basis or large scale, a crime against humanity. As such, it
is subject to universal jurisdiction..."
INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA
State Terror - the Record
Rape & Murder of Eelam Tamil Women
"Sri Lankan soldiers have raped both women and young girls
on a massive scale, and often with impunity, since reporting often leads to
reprisals against the victims and their families.."
Organisation against Torture
"The Sri Lankan security forces are using systematic
rape and murder of Tamil women to subjugate the Tamil population...
Impunity continues to reign as rape is used as a weapon of war in Sri
Asian Human Rights Commission
"..On average, a Tamil woman is raped by members of the Sri Lankan security forces every two weeks. The real number is inevitably higher since many cases are unreported. Every two months a Tamil woman is gang-raped and murdered by the Sri Lankan security forces."
Statement by NGO, Women Against Rape,
at United Nations Commission on Human Rights
... Ambalavanar Punithavathy,
Velu Arshadevi -
Mahendiran Nageswari -
Yogalingam Vijitha -
Lakshmi Pillai &
hundreds of others...
உண்மைகள் ஒருபோதும் உறங்குவதில்லை,
Truth never sleeps - and it should not....
Raped & Murdered, 4 July 2006
Sri Lanka Paramilitaries abduct Tamil staff members of Tamils Rehabilitation
Organization (TRO) in Welikande/Batticaloa, 30 January 2006
"....The fate of Premini was terrible. The
dusky woman with attractive features and a
slight squint was taken to another camp and
raped ..it was a horrible gang rape
with TMVP (Sri Lanka Para Military) cadres taking turns to sexually
assault her.... Premini was heard to shout and cry at the start. Later she merely
sobbed and whimpered...She was apparently hacked to death and thrown
into the bushes."
Rape and murder of Ilaiyathamby Tharshini
, 18 December 2005
"The description given below of Tharshini’s disappearance on 16th
December 2005 and the discovery of her body in an abandoned village
well is put together from statements made by Tharshini’s relatives
and neighbours to one of NESOHR’s committee members. NESOHR has made
the decision to withhold the identity of the relatives and
neighbours from this report because their safety may be compromised
if these are revealed. NESOHR is ready to share this information
with any leading international human rights organization that is
willing to join us in taking up this case of the rape and murder of
Report of Special Rapporteur on
Violence Against Women - Yakin Etturk,UN Commission on Human Rights,
60th Sessions 3 March 2004
"..On 24 September 2003, the Special
Rapporteur sent a joint communication with the Special
Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to
freedom of opinion and expression and the Special Rapporteur on
the question of torture regarding the case of S.R. (f), aged 22,
held in detention in Batticaloa since 23 July 2002. She was
arrested on 24 November 2001 by four male police officers from
the Methirigirya police station on the basis of being a member
of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and was
reportedly taken to the office of the Criminal Investigation
Department (CID) in Polonaruwa. At about midnight, she was put
alone in a cell, where it is alleged that officers from the
Methirigirya police station and the Polonaruva CID threatened
to shoot her with a gun, put chili powder all over her body,
suspended her from the ceiling, slapped her repeatedly, kicked
her back, beat her with a rope, and burnt her all over with
cigarettes. She was then allegedly raped by 12 police officers
while in custody of CID..."
The empty rhetoric of women’s
rights - Vidya Cumaraswamy, Tamil Guardian, 23 April 2003
"There is a vast distance between the policy and practice of women's
rights in Sri Lanka. It is almost exactly two
years since the rape and torture of
Ms Sivamani Weerakon and Wijikala Nanthakumar in Sri Lankan
military custody. Both women were stripped and attacked by
members of the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU). Despite the
passage of considerable time, the Sri Lankan justice system has
failed to prosecute or even indict the men accused of raping and
torturing the two Tamil women..."
Violence Against Women in Sri Lanka - Report by World
Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), November 2002
"The actual incidence of rape and sexual violence
committed by police and security forces is certainly far higher than
that which is reported. Women in Sri Lanka are frequently prevented
through fear and shame from reporting acts of sexual violence. Fear of
social ostracism and retaliation, when combined with the widespread lack
of gender-sensitivity amongst police, judicial and medical personnel act
as powerful deterrents to women reporting violence and pursuing legal
action against the perpetrators. The prevailing climate of impunity for
acts of sexual violence against women from ethnic minorities and the
fact that women who are victims of violence frequently have no safe
place to stay during investigations or trials are further elements that
dissuade women from reporting crimes of violence committed against
British Refugee Council on Rape in Custody,
"...In a letter to the new Defence minister Tilak Marapane, the All Ceylon
Public Employees Front says six armed men abducted two married Tamil women
at Attalaichenai in Amparai District in early January and raped them.
The two sisters who are from Mandur in Batticaloa had gone to Attalaichenai
to work in rice fields. Local MP Ariyanayagam Chandranehru says police have
taken no action to apprehend the perpetrators..."
Amnesty Reports on Rapes in Custody,
: "...Thambipillai Thanalakshmi, 42-year-old Tamil woman from
Meesalai, Jaffna district was reportedly dragged from her home
at around 8.30pm on 7 July 2001 by soldiers allegedly attached
to the Kachchai army camp. They took her to a nearby rice field
where she was raped by at least three of them.
Thambipillai Thanalakshmi’s mother tried to intervene after
hearing her daughter screaming, but was assaulted and hit with
rifles by the soldiers.
Mahendiran Nageswari -
Vijayaratnam Subashini -
Thangiah Vijayalalitha -
Sinnathamby Sivamany -
Ehamparam Wijikala ".. The
Officer-in-Charge (OIC) .. asked her to sit on the floor and she complied. The OIC
then asked a male police officer named Rajah to bring a piece of
cloth. Rajah blindfolded her with the piece of cloth. She was told
to remove her clothes. When she refused she was beaten and her
clothes were forcibly removed by them. Then, while some of them held
her hands and legs one person got on top of her, soon afterwards
followed by another one. She said they both raped her..."
Brutal Sexual Assault & Torture of Sathasivam
Rathykala, November 2001
"..She was arrested by four male police officers from the Medigiriya police
station on 24.11.2000 around 12 noon when she was on duty. She was then
taken to CID office in Polonaruwa in a police jeep. While in jeep she was
scolded by policemen in filth and was threatened that she would be killed.
One policeman stamped on her right foot forcefully with shod foot.At about
12.30 p.m. she was handed over to the Polonaruwa CID office. There she was
detained for two days. ...Thereafter the Police officials ordered her to take off all the clothes
except her panty and bra. She begged them not to force her to remove her
clothes. Subsequently she was subjected to body search by police officials
touching her whole body including her genital area and breast. She was not
given lunch. .. She
asked the Police to inform her parents about her arrest. The Police did not
accede to that request. Later she was threatened and assaulted by the police
inside the cell. She then fainted. When she regained consciousness she found
herself lying on the bed in another room. The police officers forced her to
remove her bra and panty. She begged and pleaded with them not to harm her.
The police officials then threatened her that she would be killed and her
body would be disposed after cutting her neck. Subsequently one by one
twelve police officers had sexual intercourse with her until next morning 5
'clock. As a result she had many scratch marks on her breasts. She also had
severe abdominal pain."
Chilling fear of rape haunts Tamil women in Sri Lanka reports
Associated Press, August 2001
"..Arshadevi told The Associated Press in an interview that instead of being
taken to the police station, she was pushed into a narrow concrete staircase
leading to an army camp. For the next hour and a half, she said, she was gang
raped as she cried out for her attackers to stop. The policeman who led her to
the stairway, S. Premathilake, now faces charges of rape along with two of his
colleagues. Arshadevi's ordeal has brought protests from Tamil parliament members and
human rights organizations..."
Reporter threatened after covering
rape of jailed Tamil women - Committee to Protect
Journalists (CPJ), April 2001
"The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is deeply concerned about
the security of A.S.M. Fasmi, a reporter for the Tamil-language
newspaper Thinakkural. Fasmi, who is based on the northern island of
Mannar, says he has been detained, interrogated, and threatened
repeatedly with death since he reported on the alleged rape of two
Tamil women detained by local security forces last month..."
An open letter to President
Chandrika B. Kumaratunge - Rape and torture of innocent
Tamil women - Victor Rajakulendran, April 2001
"...Your Excellency, according to the
Catholic Bishop of Mannar Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph, the
CSU has been in the habit of arresting women such as
Sivamani and Wijikala from various parts of the Mannar
district to rape, and exploit brutally under the pretext
of interrogation and extended detention, under the PTA
and the Emergency Regulations. According to a statement
issued by the Bishop Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph on the 31st
of March, "The atrocities of the Sri Lankan navy
personnel in Mannar district are growing bad to worse
daily. All my efforts to get the Sri Lanka Navy to
respect the basic human rights of the people so affected
by the prolonged war are proving futile. I have again
appealed to the Commander General of the Sri Lankan Navy
for redress on behalf of the civil public of Mannar."..."
Sri Lanka Security forces
getting away with rape says Amnesty, April 2001
"Amnesty International today wrote to the President of Sri Lanka
urging her to take action to stop rape by security forces and bring
perpetrators to justice.
Following several recent reports of rape by security forces in
Mannar, Batticaloa, Negombo and Jaffna, the organization reminded
President Chandrika Kumaratunga that safeguards to protect women in
custody (as contained in presidential directives for the welfare of
detainees issued in July 1997) were being ignored...."
Statement by NGO, Women Against Rape,
at United Nations Commission on Human Rights, March 2001
TCHR has gathered detailed and specific documentation on the widespread violations of the human rights of women rape victims.
* On average, a Tamil woman is raped by members of the Sri Lankan security forces every two weeks. The real number is inevitably higher since many cases are unreported.
* Every two months a Tamil woman is gang-raped and murdered by the Sri Lankan security forces.
Personnel from the Special Task Force, the Sri Lankan Navy, Army and Police and Home guards operating with the Sri Lankan army, have raped Tamil women. Senior personnel such as captains are known to have been involved in gang-rape and murders, and have been named by victims and witnesses, but none has ever been convicted nor punished.
Sri Lanka security forces rape
Tamil women with impunity
"...Wijikala, according to her relatives, is pregnant and was raped repeatedly by Policemen in CSU custody. The Mannar Bishop and human rights activists said Wednesday that the CSU has often been in the habit of arresting women such as Sivamani and Wijikala from various parts of the Mannar district to rape and exploit brutally under the pretext of interrogation and extended detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency Regulations. .."
Sexual violence against Tamil women - D. B. S. Jeyaraj,
22 December 2000
"...A 28 year old Tamil woman of Indian origin from
Badulla was working as cashier at a hotel in Fort. The mother of two was
staying at a lodge in Maradana. After work she walked home passing through
the checkpoint manned by Police and Army personnel.. Her address and name
was noted by the cops and allowed to pass. Later the Policemen went to her
residence in the night and forced her under threat of arrest, to come to the
checkpoint. Since the current security situation enables Security Personnel
to wield unlimited power over any Tamil suspect, the woman reluctantly
agreed. She was gang raped by the cops and soldiers. She was warned under
threat of death to keep quiet..."
Sri Lanka accused of rape at UN Sub Commision
on Human Rights, August 2000
"Rape is a ... very serious concern.
On July 7 last, Mr. Pararajasingham, Tamil United
Liberation Front (TULF) MP for Batticaloa, read out a letter written to
the Sri Lanka's National Human Rights Commission by a seventy year old woman
of Neervely in Jaffna who was raped and robbed by Sri Lankan army personnel on
May 31. The MP said he was bringing the letter to the attention of the house
as the matter had been suppressed under the censorship. Furthermore
residents in Mannar reported on June 19 that Sri Lankan police officers in
Sinnakadai area in Mannar have attempted to rape women in the nearby areas
after forcibly opening the doors at night..."
The International League for the Rights and
Liberation of Peoples
Sri Lanka Navy gang rapes and murders Sarathambal,
a Brahmin Tamil Mother
evening of Tuesday 28th December 1999, Sarathambal
Saravanbavananthakurukal, of a Hindu Brahmin family, was forcibly dragged from her home,
in Pungudutivu, near Jaffna Peninsula, by Sri Lankan Navy soldiers. They then gang-raped
and murdered her in cold blood. The body of the 29 year-old mother was found the following
morning, under leaves, not far from her home near Kannaki Amman Temple..."
" Rape as a weapon of war :
The Sri Lankan security forces are using systematic rape and murder of
Tamil women to subjugate the Tamil population. 28 December 1999, Mrs.Sarathambal
Saravanbavananthakurukal, 29, was forcibly dragged out from her home, in Pungudutivu, near
Jaffna Peninsula, by Sri Lankan Navy soldiers. She was gang-raped and murdered Her body
was found the following day, under bushes near Kannaki Amman Temple which is nearby her
home. AHRC received this information from reliable sources. It is alleged by witnesses
that the soldiers who raped Sarathambal have been transferred from the area to prevent
action being taken against them. This is a familiar method used by the authorities to
avoid scrutiny. Impunity continues to reign as rape is used as a weapon of war in Sri
Asian Human Rights Commission
Ida Carmelitta tortured, raped and killed by Sri Lanka military
"...Asian Human Rights Commision received information from reliable sources that Fahreen
Ida Carmelitta Laila or Ida Carmelitta was raped and killed allegedly by soldiers on 12th
July night in Pallimunai village in Mannar Island. Five masked men, heavily armed came and
forcefully pulled out the girl from the house and violently raped her and killed her.The post mortem report submitted by Dr Emmanuel Pieries, District Medical officer
of Mannar observed that the victim had been repeatedly raped. Her lips and breasts were
bitten off violently. She was shot through her organ..."
"Colombo human rights agency the Forum
for Human Dignity has recorded over 45 rapes by soldiers
in the north-east since February 1996. Local agencies
say many rape victims do not report their ordeal for
fear of retaliation or ostracization
from the community. Most rape cases remain uninvestigated. In July, the CIUAH wrote to the
Sri Lankan Attorney General urging action against three soldiers accused of raping a
Muslim woman at Oddamavady in Batticaloa District, in the presence of her
Human Rights NGOs condemn rape by Sri Lanka armed forces
June 1998 "On the 25th of June 1998, the army chief of the Mirusuvil
army camp in the Jaffna area, ordered Kanthasamy Kalanithy, a 26-year old Tamil woman, to
marry one of his Sinhalese soldiers. He forced her to stand in front of ten Sri Lankan
soldiers and to choose one of them, When she refused to respond he ordered one of the
soldiers to put a pottu (a red spot signifying her marriage to him) on her forehead. When
she screamed in protest, she was gang-raped and then killed. The army refused to hand over
her body for examination and they have attempted to threaten her parents into
"......Reports about Tamil women being
raped by the army are on the rise. Only one of the
thousands of rapes which have been reported, has
resulted in a conviction. Victims are frightened of
reprisals and there seems to be little point in
reporting their cases, since the only place to lodge a
complaint is with the very same security forces who
commit the rapes. There also seems to be little point to
expect justice on the basis of the constitution since
the constitution itself provides the mechanisms and
justifications for the commission of these war crimes
and encourages impunity. .."
Pax Romana - Non
"...Systematic rape of Tamil women
living in their homeland by the Sri Lankan armed forces
has been going on for decades. Before the Sinhalese
armed occupation of the Tamil homeland, the security
forces were organising pogroms against the Tamils, where
Sinhalese men gang-raped hundreds of Tamil women before
burning them alive. The pogroms happened regularly
throughout the last fifty years, and the rapings and murders were never
punished by the Sinhalese state, each pogrom bigger than the last, until the all out war
North-South XXI -
Non Governmental Organisation
Sri Lanka Police rape and murder
Koneswary, a young Tamil mother
barbaric rape and murder of a young mother ...has sent shockwaves around Batticaloa
...Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham in a letter to
the President has said .. the policeman who committed this
alleged offence had in a dastardly attempt to cover up the act exploded a hand grenade in
the private parts of the victim. Police had then told relatives to bury the body
without a medical examination."
"Murugesupillai Koneswary, a mother of four
children, was killed at her home in 11th Colony village by a grenade being thrown at
her genitals on the evening of 17 May. Reportedly only her two-year-old child
was present when the attackers entered her house. Her husband and three older
children were not at home..." Amnesty International
Amnesty reports on rape of Tamil widow and her sister by four Sinhala soldiers
Velan Rasamma -
"Amnesty International has received reliable reports
that Velan Vasantha
attempted to commit suicide by swallowing poison. She had reportedly left a note
explaining to her prospective husband that she was unable to continue to live after
what happened to her. The suicide attempt was unsuccessful."
150 Tamils raped by Sinhala 'law enforcers' in 1996
says South China Morning Post, January 1997
"Human rights activists claim more than 150 women, mostly minority
Tamils, were raped by police and armed forces personnel last year.
In the past few months the nation has been outraged by a series of sex offences,
followed in some instances by the death or disappearance of victims. Security forces are
allegedly behind the incidents, which are widespread in the war-ravaged north and east.
Rights groups and mainstream Tamil political parties are now up in arms over the
alleged rape of five women by policemen in Colombo's suburbs. "
Three Tamil women, including a mother and daughter, were
raped at their home by soldiers on 9 January 1977
"Sri Lankan soldiers violently raped
three Tamil women in Batticaloa. At 3am
(January 2nd) troops broke into a Tamil house where a mother, daughter and woman
relative were sleeping. The rapes took place at gun-point. Neighbours later admitted
all three to Valaichenai hospital. The soldiers are members of the STF, the
so-called elite force of the Sri Lankan army. Rapes by the STF are said to
be occurring on a regular basis in Sri Lankan-occupied
Sri Lanka continues to use Rape as a Weapon of Terror...
"Rajani Velauthapillai, 22, was raped and murdered by the Sri Lankan military manning a
checkpoint at Kondavil, a village near the Jaffna city. Rajani's fiance lives in Canada
and she was to join him in a few weeks. As per traditions, she was visiting family elders
to bid farewell and to obtain their blessings before leaving for Canada. On Sep 30, 1996
at about 3:30 PM, Rajani was arrested by the SL soldiers manning the Kondavil checkpoint
for no apparent reasons. Several people had witnessed her arrest. Rajani was then dragged
into a nearby house inhabited by two elderly people. The soldiers chased the two occupants
out of the house. They then gang-raped Rajani and murdered her. Her bruised naked body was
found later in the toilet of the empty house."
Child rape - the case of ten year old Renuka, November 1996
Renuka is a 10 year old Tamil Hindu girl, living in
Pathmeni, Atchuvely on the Jaffna Peninsula. A 5th grade student, she was on her way to
school last Tuesday (12th November 96). At 8.15, she was abducted by Sri Lankan soldiers
and taken to the Sri Lankan army's Puttur V.C. camp. There, she was stripped and raped
repeatedly by Sinhala soldiers. When they had finished, the soldiers released the child. The principal of her school went to Atchuvely-Atchelu main army camp to register a
formal protest. He took Renuka with him. The camp commanders made no attempt to
investigate the complaint..."
of Krishanthi Kumaraswamy,
" Of the numerous arrests,
rapes and murders of the girls and boys in Jaffna, one comes to light. Most, however,
go unreported because the Sri Lankan army bans independent reporters from traveling to the
peninsula, and the government censors news about conditions in Jaffna. On Saturday Sep.
7, 1996, Krishanthi Kumarasamy, an 18 year old student at Chundikuli
Girls' High School went missing, soon after she had taken her first paper at the GCE A/L
examination. She was seen by a number of witnesses being taken into custody by Sinhala
army personnel at the Kaithady checkpoint, and she disappeared soon after. According to a
report published later in the Sri Lanka Sunday Times (Nov 3, 1996), "She was stopped at the checkpoint and three soldiers
allegedly raped her until she fell unconscious. When she revived, according to the
confessions, police officers and six soldiers further raped her.""
International documents several cases of rape by Sri Lanka security
forces, September 1996
"In August 1995
was raped at her home in Trincomalee by two army
informants in front of her two sons. The motive may have been revenge as she had spoken
out about being raped before at Plantain Point army camp in August 1993. The informants
were arrested but later released on bail pending trial. On 7 March 1996, a 45-year-old woman was raped by soldiers at Thiyavedduwan
checkpoint. Her husband was beaten with rifle butts. Both were admitted to Valaichchenai
"On 7 March 1996, a 45-year-old woman was raped by soldiers at Thiyavedduwan
checkpoint. Her husband was beaten with rifle butts. Both were admitted to Valaichchenai