Killing family: Tamil widow blames RUC for training STF

2017-07-24 16:40:25

A Tamil widow, who has said 10 of her relatives were massacred by Sri Lanka’s police in 1986, has lodged a complaint with Northern Ireland’s Police Ombudsman after Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) links to Sri Lanka’s security forces emerged, the Irish Times reported today.

It said senior Sri Lankan police officers had visited Belfast in 1983 to “see at first hand the roles of the police and army in counter-terrorist operations”, according to secret British government files.

The visit happened months after the Special Support Unit, an elite RUC police commando team, shot dead six men in Co Armagh in one of the most controversial episodes of the Troubles.

Sri Lankan police set up an almost identical commando unit shortly afterwards, called the Special Task Force. The complainant, who cannot be named for safety reasons, says “the Special Task Force was responsible for the murder of my family” in 1986.

Both the RUC and Sri Lankan units consisted of heavily armed police officers who underwent Special Forces training, the article said.

The complainant’s lawyer, Darragh Mackin said “the Special Task Force would not have acquired the paramilitary characteristics of the Special Support Unit without the engagement between the RUC and the Sri Lankan Police”.

Vairamuttu Varadakumar, director of the Tamil Information Centre, welcomed the development. “We support the complainant’s efforts to seek accountability for the brutal violence against their family,” he said.

He said his organisation, which has documented violence against Tamil people for 35 years, was “painfully aware of the murders, rape, disappearances and torture of the Tamil people” at the hands of the Special Task Force.

Declassified files found at the UK National Archives show that civil servants privately harboured fears about these police units before the shootings even took place.

The article further said a CIA report, written around the time that the complainant’s family members were killed, was highly critical of Sri Lanka’s Special Task Force.

US intelligence staff were concerned that “a common STF tactic when fired upon while on patrol is to enter the nearest village and burn it to the ground”.

Mr Mackin has told the Police Ombudsman that the level of indiscriminate killing perpetrated by the unit against Tamils amounted to genocide.

A spokesperson from the ombudsman has said they have received a complaint relating to the actions of police officers in the 1980s and it is now being considered.

  Comments - 15

  • sach Monday, 24 July 2017 16:59

    Has this family sent money to LTTE?

    Reply : 28       34

    classified Monday, 24 July 2017 17:02

    What does that woman say about thousands and thousands of people killed by the terrorist Prabhakaran

    Reply : 25       41

    michael Monday, 24 July 2017 23:05

    Are u trying to compare LTTE to SL forces ?

    Reply : 10       24

    ceylin Monday, 24 July 2017 17:06

    srilanka is not second to cambodiavietnamuganda killing feilds.this curse now suffering by all lankans.punish all these animal criminals. via DM Android App

    Reply : 34       25

    sigiriya Monday, 24 July 2017 17:40

    Why do I feel that this may be true?

    Reply : 31       26

    lkboy Tuesday, 25 July 2017 09:43

    because you're not Lankan.

    Reply : 6       9

    dinesh Monday, 24 July 2017 17:43

    here comes the famous "genocide" card....what a over abused term.....

    Reply : 20       30

    Missaka Monday, 24 July 2017 17:56

    Now OMP can conduct inquiries on this. What a joke, terrorists get pardon whilst Tri-forces personnel go behind the bars.

    Reply : 24       36

    raj Monday, 24 July 2017 23:59

    just because it is a tri-force personnel, he is not immune to normal law of the country

    Reply : 7       20

    Jaliya Pathirana Monday, 24 July 2017 18:35

    I feel sorry for Irish tax payers.Woman is pulling a scam to get some easy cash in the guise of a compensation and given the dumb politically correct attitude in Ireland she might very well succeed.STF was primarily trained by private contractors who used to be with British SAS.I wonder her next stop would be hereford.

    Reply : 27       33

    Sheri Monday, 24 July 2017 23:25

    Here we go again - tamils coming out of the woodwork, trying to fool the international community with preposterous lies, by playing the innocent part, so they get help and support, handouts, money, compensation etc!

    Reply : 18       14

    Dalu Banda Tuesday, 25 July 2017 00:21

    What would Sonia Ghandhi would think for her lost Husband?

    Reply : 16       9

    suresh Tuesday, 25 July 2017 11:16

    how is that relevant here

    Reply : 2       6

    suresh Tuesday, 25 July 2017 11:17

    and lkboy, you definitely must be a sinhala buddhist with the famous 2500 year old culture

    Reply : 3       5

    DillonDP Tuesday, 25 July 2017 11:51

    I hope you get your justice lady, the pain you must have gone through is unimaginable. hope least now justice will occur to you

    Reply : 3       3

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