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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2524

Killing of Rev Fr. Karunaratnam – mystery deepens

Colombo, 22 April, ( Latest reports from Vanni revealed that Father M. X. Karunaratnam, the Chairman of the NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR), was a victim to the claymore mine, laid by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Reports further revealed that with the view to counter any sudden thrust by the Sri Lankan armed forces, LTTE has mined the entire Vanni region and due to human error their cadres detonates them at times, which used to cause the death of civilians as well as notable LTTE dignitaries.

According to LTTE sources, the attack took place near Kuzhanthai Jesus Church (Church of the Infant Jesus) at Vannivilankulam, while his vehicle, which had broken down on his way back to his residence from Mankulam Church, was being towed and he was seated in the driver seat steering it. It was reported that shrapnel hit his head, causing brain injuries and he died on the spot. His body was later taken to the Government Hospital in Kilinochchi.

According to a report Fr. Karunaratnam was returning after participating in the 45th day death rituals of former Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian K.Sivanesan who was killed on a similar fashion – a claymore attack, on 06th March, also on the Mankulam – Mallavi Road.

Earlier serious doubts were raised on the death of Sivanesans and the mystery is yet to be solved, but for the second time in a row, the Tamil Tigers have staged a similar drama copycatting the same version by eliminating the catholic priest Fr. Karunaratnam alleging that he was targeted by the Deep Penetrating Forces of the Sri Lanka army – a convenient usual disinformation campaign.

Furthermore, according to unofficial sources Tamil Tigers have not released the plight of those Tiger cadres who travelled with Fr. Karunaratnam. Unofficial reports revealed that Fr. Kunaratnam was provided with security of LTTE cadres and what happened to them was not revealed when the claymore mine was detonated.

In the meantime LTTE Peace Secretariat released again a statement on the death Fr. M X Karunaratnam, alleging that Sri Lankan state responsible for the killing.

"The Sri Lankan State has targeted a human rights defender who worked for the welfare of the people. The Sri Lankan State has yet again demonstrated its appalling stance on respecting human rights by brutally murdering a human rights defender who served the people with dedication", said LTTE in its statement condemning the killing of Fr. M X Karunaratnam.

Killings of Fr. Kunaratnam, and parliamentarian Sivanesan inside LTTE controlled Vanni regions are beginning to be incidents of deep concerns to the international community and the mystery continue to deepen.

- Asian Tribune -

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