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10th anniversary of Muttur relief workers’ murder !

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Some of murdered relief  workers of Action Against Hunger

The 10th anniversary of the murder of 16 Tamil and one Muslim relief workers of Action Against Hunger at Muttur in Trincomalee at the height of the war fell yesterday, 04 th of August.

Relatives of the victims have been calling for an international investigation into the killings.

At the time of the incident, other NGOs had evacuated their staff due to the fighting, but Action Against Hunger remained. 

Its 17 staffers, including four women, had been confined to their office at Muttur, when the killings took place.

Action Against Hunger, UTHR accused military
The relief organization has alleged the military had ordered them to knell down, and then shot them.

Calling for an international investigation, Action Against Hunger said it has eyewitness accounts, confidential documents and other evidence received from diplomatic sources to support the claim.

On the third anniversary of the killings, UTHR issued a detailed report containing evidence and firearm examination in 2009, which too, pointed the finger at the military.

Presidential commission clears military
However, the Army and the Navy were cleared of the charges by a presidential commission of investigation appointed by the then president Mahinda Rajapaksa in June 2007.

Headed by retired Supreme Court judge Nissanka Udalagama, its other members were Yasantha Kodagoda, Dulip Jayatunga and Lakmali Karunanayake.

Udalagama has told the media that none of the witnesses have confirmed the presence of members of the military at the time of the killings, and that Muttur had been under the total control of the LTTE.

However, the then government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella has said the area was under military control.

The presidential commission said the France-based Action Against Hunger had acted in a careless manner in this instance.

It recommended that the organization paid 10-years’ salary to the relatives of the victims.

The media has reported that the military had threatened the relatives of the 17 victims when they had come forward to give evidence.

courtesy  -  Sri Lanka Mirror
- Melani

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