Spine-chilling horror during an escape attempt

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 Leave a Comment

An incident in the liberation struggle according to the Tigers

By Jyoti Easwaran in Vavuniya

(April 01, Jaffna, Sri Lanka Guardian) During the early days of the human shield crisis, a group of some two hundred civilians conspired to breakaway from the clutches of the Tigers and escape through the jungles and into the territory under the control of the Armed Forces. Soon this group swelled into about five hundred and most of them with a mamotty in their hands were ready to move just before midnight. Their one hope was that there were no Tigers nearby.

Hardly had they moved a kilometer they were confronted with a wall of armed Tigers who ordered them to stop on the spot and wanted to know what was happening and why they had mammotties in their hands.

It was then one of them said very sheepishly they wanted to go over to a more secure and safer place. This angered the Tiger cadres, some seven of them and they were young except for their leader who was perhaps in his thirties. At this point, the leader randomly picked up five and ordered them to come forward. Then he lined them up facing this group and without a moment’s hesitation shot them on their forehead.

Then he turned around and demanded whether they still wanted to move on as they had planned. Their answer needs no wise guy to ponder; they turned around and went back to from where they started.

A few days later, however, many of them took the risk to escape and this time they succeeded. The mammotties they took was to be able to make shallow trenches to keep their bodies flat to the level of the surface of the ground in case there was some confrontation and shoot out between the Armed Forces and the Tigers.

On their escape route they came across some human remains in various stages of putrefaction and some attacked by scavenger animals. Since their flight was through the night they recognized these remains only when they trod on them or overcome by the stink of rotting human carcasses.

This experience was related by one of the escapees who is now in an IDP camp recovering from some injuries he has received and is expected to go to his home soon. He also gave a full account of how the Tigers have been treating the civilians from the time they herded them as human shields.

This includes the Tigers appropriating their meager food rations and also forcibly taking people into their fighting cadres. In one case a young girl, this escapee said, was dragged forcibly in front of her parents and her clothes got almost totally torn.

According to him, the only hope of the LTTE is to be saved from this very edge of total disaster and they still live in hope that ceasefire would be achieved. He also said that it’s his view that a number of Tigers have escaped as civilians and this was part of a conspiracy of the LTTE to infiltrate into areas outside Wanni especially in the urban areas.

-Sri Lanka Guardian