Eastern University Massacre

On September 5th 1990, the Sri Lankan state’s military assembled “home guards” and paramilitary operatives and entered the premises of the Eastern University at Vantharumoolai in Batticaloa.  The Eastern University was chosen as a target because thousands of Tamils had sought refuge at the premises of the Eastern University to avoid war.

The Sri Lankan military filtered 158 young Tamils amongst the thousands who were sheltered and took them away.  The victims, identified by masked men, were taken away by the Sri Lankan military who had brought two Ceylon Transportation Board (CTB) buses with it to the premises. The victims were taken to Naavaladi in Valaichenai, where they were subjected to brutal torture before being hacked to death.  The families of the young men that were enforced disappeared, blamed the Sri Lankan state for persistent refusal to admit the premeditated arrests, the massacre and removal of skeletal remains of the victims.  The Sri Lankan government eventually established a presidential commission of inquiry. The inquiry found evidence of illegal abduction and mass murders. It also named the responsible parties, but there is currently no evidence of any judicial follow up to the inquiry.  Another act of genocide against Tamils is swept under the carpet and justice for the victims is denied.