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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2345

Second freedom struggle to take off the ground

[b]Second freedom struggle to take off the ground[/b]

Q Perera - Reporting from Colombo

In the dark hours of midnight on 23/11/89, a combined team of armed force from Divulapitiya Police and Hunumulla Army Camp raided the Welagana Temple, Divulapitiya and took away Ven Kapugalewe Indawimala Thero, removed all clothes to be fully naked and while taking him on to he Badalgama bridge beaten him mercilessly. With him fully naked were seven others including a woman planked on the bridge. Guns were aimed at them but he without waiting a moment, jumped into the river. Bullets whisked, missing his body. While he was wading off the river, he felt a body one of those who were with him just a few minutes ago on the bridge and others may also have died of gun shot injuries.

This is one side of the story as to how state terrorism was unleashed to quell the insurgency where the insurgents too were unleashing a killing spree some of their heinous crimes never heard in the history of Sri Lanka. In our country violence and terrorism is multifaceted. On one side it is state terrorism, then there were the extremist insurgents from South, emanating as far as back as 1971. Then we have the long standing ethnic conflict and the northern terrorists. There are also underworld terror gangs and politically motivated terrorism.

Ven Indawimala Thero’s is what he encountered and there have been enormous amount of such incidents throughout since 1971. Indawimala Thero escaped death after jumping into the river and then fleeing to Thailand.

Successive governments which were involved in the state terrorism on the pretext of quelling insurgency have time and again pledged to eliminate state terrorism and also to innumerate the causes that led to such uprisings. But no government succeeded in recording the exact number of such persons so died or disappeared. The killings or disappearances or deaths caused since 1971 could be a quarter of a million.

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