Massacres of Tamils by Sri lanka State Terror from 1956

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Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#1 Dec 19, 2009
State terrorism has always been the major problem in this tiny island. It is an ugly and arrogant monster that always keeps his head above the seas and mountains of Sri Lanka.
For more than sixty years, successive Sri Lankan governments backed by racist Sinhala extremists have been oppressing the Tamil minorities. They brutally killed thousands of innocent Tamils, burnt their properties and sent the rest in ships as refugees to the North of the country in the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties.
When Tamils asked for their rights, Sinhala extremists always responded with violence.
Pearl of the Indian ocean has now become a land of the demons-By Dixon

The State sponsored violence against the Tamil people in the island of SriLanka has a very long history. A startling aspect of this State violence isthe large scale massacres of Tamils. Some of them are so spectacular that they are etched in the Tamil psyche-By NESOHR

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#2 Dec 19, 2009
Inginiyakala massacre 05.06.1956
In the 1940s, the Minister of Agriculture at that time created several Sinhala settlements in the Amparai district using state funds. The minister created the Galoya development scheme in the Amparai district and the Kantalai and Allai development scheme in the Trincomalee district and brought Sinhala settlers for these schemes from other districts. They were given several incentives. Police and military protection were given as well. Buddhist temples were built and big bells were fixed to these temples. An arbitrary declaration was made that wherever the ringing of these bells could be heard are lands belonging to Sinhala Buddhist people. In this land grab, land belonging to Tamils and Muslims were confiscated. Thikavabi is a Sinhala settlement created in this manner. In the parliamentary elections of 1956, S W R D Bandaranayake was elected as the new prime minister.
He submitted to the parliament the Sinhala Only law which was his campaign promise. The main Tamil political party of that time decided to protest this law peacefully. On 05.06.1956, it launched a Satyagragha protest in front of the old parliament building in the Gale Face beach in Colombo. Tamil politicians from all political parties joined in this protest. Fr Thaninayagam, a priest and a world famous Tamil language expert also joined the protest. This protest was attacked by Sinhala thugs on that same day it was launched. Following this attack shops in Colombo owned by Tamils were looted and then the shops were burnt down. Tamil people were attacked. Echoing this violence, pogrom
against Tamils broke out throughout the island. In the Amparai district the recently settled Sinhala thugs started violent attacks against the Tamils. 150 Tamils working in a sugar cane farm and factory in Inginiyagala under the Galoya scheme were killed. The bodies of the dead and injured were thrown on a fire. This is the first large scale massacre of Tamil in the island and many more followed over the following decades. The book “Emergency 58” by Tarzi Vittachi stated that 150 Tamils were killed in this pogrom.

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#3 Dec 19, 2009
1958 pogrom
In 1956, peaceful portests by Tamils in Colombo, against the Sinhala Only Act that was recently in passed by the parliament, was attacked by Sinhala mobs. Tamils followed this protest with a long march to Trincomalee and held a large meeting. At
this meeting some demands were placed for the Sri Lankan government regarding equal status for Tamil language and re the development of Tamil areas. It was after this the Banda-Chelvanayagam pact was signed. This was quickly abrogated when
the opposition party, the UNP, launched an anti-Tamil campaign.
In May 1958, plans were ahead for one of the Tamil Political Party conference to be held in Vavuniya. Tamils travelling by train from Batticaloa and Amparai for the conference were attacked by Sinhala mobs in Polonnaruwa. Following this incident, further violence against Tamils were let loose throughout the island. Women were raped and Tamil property was damaged. A priest was burnt alive inside his Kathirvelayutha temple in Pananthura. The Sri Lankan government looked on as the violence against Tamils continued. Many Tamil homes were set alight. Babies were dropped in hot tar. Well known journalist Tarzi Vittachchi wrote the famous book, Emergency 58, about this pogramme after he was expelled from the country.
More than 300 Tamils were killed in this pogromme

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#4 Dec 19, 2009
Tamil research conference massacre 10.01.1974
Tamils were preparing on a grand scale to hold a Tamil Research conference in Jaffna during 3-10 January in 1974. The government of Sri Lanka at that time did not like holding this Tamil research conference in Jaffna. The government continued to place hurdles to the organizers in Colombo and also in Jaffna through the Mayor of Jaffna. Permission to construct the open air platforms for the conference was held back until the very last minute. Many researchers who wanted to travel to Jaffna for the conference from other countries were refused visa.
In spite of these hurdles, the conference organizers and the Tamil people were determined to persist with the arrangements. Seeing the support of the Tamil people for holding the conference the
government came down a little and issued visas to a limited number of researchers. The President of the conference organizing committee, Thambaih, did not like holding the conference in Jaffna. He, therefore, resigned from his post. Prof Vidhyanandan took over the responsibility of the President. The conference started on 3 January. Hundreds of thousands of people from different parts of Jaffna came into town to attend the conference. Conference proceeded on a grand scale. No conferences of the past were conducted in such a scale and with such enthusiasm. The entire Jaffna town was in festival mood. 10 January was being celebrated as the final day of the conference. The last item was speeches made by experts in Tamil language about the greatness of the language and the culture based on it. Prof Naina Mohammad from Tamilnadu in India was delivering the final speech. At that instant, the police lead by the Deputy Inspector of Police for Jaffna, Chandrasekara, started to attack the people at the conference. The police also opened fire. Nine civilians were killed, the stages were destroyed. The same Inspector of Police Chandrasekara was later promoted to the post of Inspector of Police by the then Prime Minister Srimavo Bandaranayaka.

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#5 Dec 19, 2009
1977 communal pogrom
In the July 1977 parliamentary elections the United National Party received a landslide victory capturing 5/6 of the parliamentary seats amounting to 140 seats. The party that was in government, the SLFP, received only 8 seats. Tamil Allaiance group campaigning on an election platform of working towards an independent
Tamil Eelam state won 18 seats by receiving the vast majority of the Tamil votes.
This was not well received by the Sinhala polity.
In was in this context that the Sri Lankan police in Jaffna was pulled up by the public for sexual harassment of school girls at a school exhibition. Armed police later arrived at the scene in large numbers and began threatening people.
Following this, the Jaffna-Colombo and the Colombo-Jaffna night mail trains were attacked when it stopped at the Anuradhapuram railway station. Follwing these attacks, violence against Tamils spread through out the island. Tamils in Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Ratmalana, Badhulla and Colombo were badly affected.
Tamil Alliance members of parliament raised the violence in parliament. Yet, the then Presisndet in Colombo J R Jayawardhana did not even declare curfew or emergency. He said that he does not like to rule the country under an Emergency Regulation.
The Sansoni Commission investigated the 1977 communal violence and submitted its report in 1980. The Sansoni commission reported that the police acted irresponsibly during the violence. Sansoni report said that more than 300 civilians were killed during this pogrom. However, statistics collected by other nongovernmental
organizations put the number killed at more than 1500. These reports also said that many were injured with knife, iron bars, and logs. The report recommended compensation to the victims. It said,“Incidents which occurred during the specified period were of such an extreme nature and so widespread that an exception should be made as regards the payment of compensation”. The
committee appointed by the government on this recommendation to assess the compensation never sat.

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#6 Dec 19, 2009
1981 communal pogrom
This pogrom surrounds the events in which the Jaffna library was burnt down with its irreplacable book. It was during a period of election campaign. Miniters of the then UNP government, Gamini Tissanayake and Cyril Mathew were in Jaffna. A large police force was brought to Jafna together with many Sinhala thugs. These
thus were accomomadated in the Jaffna Thuriappa Stadium.
At an election campaign meeting on 31.05.1981, in Jaffna, a Sinhala police was killed. Following this the police set fire to the Nachchimar Temple outside of which the campaign meeting was taking place. Following this the police burnt down the large Jaffna market building with shops and stocks. Many statues representing Tamil culture were destroyed. The memorial
built for those killed in the Tamil Research Conference was also destroyed. The thugs went into the home of Member of Parliament, Yogeswaran, and inquired about the location of his house. Realising what the thugs were after, Yogeswaran, escaped through the back door with his family. His house was burnt by the Sinhala
thugs. Yogeswaran in a statement published in India Today of June 1981 said that those who burnt down his house were Sinhalese. The same thugs burnt down the office of the Tamil Alliance party. Several other homes and public buildings were set alight.
The Jaffna library was burnt the day after the above arson. Rev Fr Thaveethu, who watched the Jaffna library burning from the second storey of the Bishop’s House died of heart attack on the spot.

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#7 Dec 19, 2009
Burning of the Jaffna library 01.06.1981
Jaffna library was considered the largest library with the rarest
collection of books and manuscripts in the whole of South Asia. It
was the educational heritage of the people in the North of the
island. It was located south of the Jaffna town on the eastern
end of a famous sports ground. Close to it is the Jaffna Central College and the clock tower built during the British rule.
The library housed more than 97,000 rare books and was unique in the entire island. For its time, it was a library well designed for study and was sought by students and academics as well as by foreign diplomats. On 1 June 1981 at 10.00 pm, all three armed forces of the Sri Lankan government entered the library premises
and chased away the security guard. They broke open the library door and started burning books. A rare collection of 97,000 books were burnt in a few minutes. The building was also set alight.
The burning of the Jaffna library is one clear example of the intent of the Sri Lankan government to destroy the Tamil culture in the island. This book burning of the rarest collection of books in South Asia must be engraved as a tragic episode in the human history.

Burning of Jaffna library
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_of_Jaffn...
Burning Memories-Jaffna Tamil Library burned by Sri Lankan Government

Burning of Jaffna Library Remembered
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html...
The night of May 31, 1981 Jaffna library burned
http://www.sibernews.com/200905313152.html
Remembering the Targeted 1981 Burning of Jaffna Public Library
http://www.sangam.org/2009/06/Burning_Library...
Watch Burning of Jaffna Library
http://www.cultureunplugged.com/play/1613/Bur...

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#8 Dec 19, 2009
1983 communal pogrom

The precursors
Local government elections were held in the Northern district of that time in May 1983. This turned out to be a contest between the Tamil moderate party and the emerging Tamil nationalist sections which boycotted the elections. 98% of the voters boycotted. Following the elections the Sri Lankan military which by now has
been sent in numbers to Jaffna burnt down shops in the Kandarmadam area and entered private homes and stole valuable properties. The troubles spread to Vavuniya and Tamil shops were burnt there as well.
The worst hit was Trincomalee where during the month of June 1983, every day a village was attacked and at least one civilian was murdered by the military and Sinhala thugs supported by the military On 01.07.1983, many Tamil Nationalist organizations called a protest against the massacres in Trincomalee. A train from Colombo was burnt by Tamil militant youths. Two senior protest leaders, Dr Tharmalingam and Kovai Maheson, were
arrested and taken to Colombo. Two press offices in Jaffna that of the Suthanthiran and Saturday Review publications were sealed off by the military.
Using the claymore attack on 23.07.1983 in Thirunelveli that killed 13 Sri Lankan soldiers, as a pretext, an island wide pogrom against Tamils was let loose organized by the government ministers.
In Colombo On Sunday 24th of July 1983 several persons boarded public and private buses in Colombo and began to make racist remarks designed to whip up animosity towards the Tamil community. Some shops belonging to Tamil traders were burnt and some
people beaten and killed. Troubles spread quickly. By Monday morning the attacks has spread to several outlying areas of Colombo. Violence continued with increased intensity throughout Monday. Vehicles driving on the road were stopped.
If the occupants were Tamil they were beaten and sometimes killed. Thugs with electoral lists in their hands went from house to house, killing Tamils and burning property owned by Tamils. The electoral lists helped them to identify Tamil houses.
Some Sinhalese people at great risk to their own safety hid Tamil friends in their houses.
Several eye witnesses including tourists have reported that the security personnel looked on as the violence was perpetrated. There are reports that the Army even threatened Police not to harass the rioters. On Monday 25th of July at 4.00 p.m. the
government imposed curfew and this stayed in force throughout Tuesday the 26th.
It was again imposed on 27th from 4.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m. In spite of the curfew attacks on Tamil people continued through out this period.

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#9 Dec 19, 2009
Rest of the island
The communal violence against Tamils was not restricted to Colombo. Thugs roamed the city of Kandy looking for Tamils on the streets and in the buses. In Trincomalee on 26th of July, 200 houses of Tamils were burned. Violence in Trincomalee town has been continuing for over a month by the time the violence broke out in Colombo on the 23rd of July. The Trincomalee town has a Sri Lankan naval base. The violence against Tamils here was assisted by Sri Lankan Navy as well as the Army and the Police. In Jaffna on the 23rd of July, the Army went on a rampage shooting, on the road, in the houses and in buses killing a total of 50
civilians.
Welikade prison massacre
On 25th July Sinhala prisoners attacked and murdered 35 Tamil detainees in a section of the Welikade prison in Colombo. Another 28 Tamil detainees in a different section was immediately transferred to the Youth Ward. On the 27th armed Sinhala prisoners scaled the walls and appeared in front of the Youth Ward.
Dr. Rajasundaram respected for his tireless work among the downtrodden sections of the Tamil community was one of the detainees in the Youth ward. He came forward and pleaded with the attackers to spare them. Door suddenly opened and Dr Rajasundaram was dragged out and beaten to death. The rest of the detainees
broke the chairs and tables and used it to keep the attackers at bay.
ICJ report
International Commission of Jurists issued a report on the pogrom. It was written by Paul Sieghart. This report suggests that the riots of July 1983 began even before the reports of the killing of 13 Sri Lankan soldiers in a claymore attack in Jaffna appeared in the local newspapers.
Only on the fifth day, on 28th July the President of Sri Lanka appeared on television. In a brief address he blamed the violence and destruction exclusively on the reaction of "the Sinhala people" to the movement for the establishment of a separate Tamil state, and announced the Cabinet deciion to bring in what in the
event became the Sixth Amendment to the country's constitution.
Following is from Paul Sieghart's report,``In his address to the nation on the 5th day of rioting president did not see it fit to
utter one single word of sympathy for the victims of the violence and destruction which he lamented. If his concern was to reestablish communal harmony in the Island whose national unity he was anxious to preserve by law that was a misjudgment of monumental proportions...
But what I find most extraordinary is that, to this day, there has been no attempt to find out the truth through an official, public and impartial enquiry, when the situation in the country cries out for nothing less.''
Casualty figures
Due to the absence of any public inquiry following the riots the actual number of deaths and the cost of damage to property were never established. 200,000 Tamils were immediately rendered refugees. Tamil organizations that have carried out their own survey estimate that nearly 3000 Tamils were killed. All non government reports on the riots came to the conclusion that the violence was deliberately started by the government and was carried out through the use of thugs, controlled and
organized by members of the governing United National Party.
References:
• Sri Lanka: A Mounting Tragedy of Error by Paul Sieghart. Report of a
mission to Sri Lanka in January 1984 on behalf of the International
Commission of Jurists and its British section Justice, March 1984.
• Detention, Torture and Murder - Sri Lanka by S A David (Survivor of the Prison Massacre).
• Sri Lanka Hired Thugs by Amrit Wilson in New Statesman, 26 July 1983.
• Race \& Class Vol 26 No 4 1985

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#10 Dec 19, 2009

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#11 Dec 19, 2009
Thirunelveli massacre 24,25.07.1983

Thirunelveli comes under the Nallur Assistant Government Agent Division in the Jaffna district. It is located north of the Jaffna town, 3 Kms from it, along the Palaly road. Jaffna University, Jaffna Technical College and several Government offices are located in Thirunelveli.
On 23.07.1983 at 11.45 am, a Sri
Lankan military vehicle on patrol came under a landmine attack on Palaly Road between Parameshwara Junction and Thirunelveli Junction. Thirteen Sri Lankan military soldiers were killed in this attack. That night and on the following day, the
military entered the homes of civilians in Palaly Road and Sivan Amman village and in total they shot dead 51 people. Many homes were set alight.

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#12 Dec 19, 2009
Sampalthoddam massacre 1984

Sampalthoddam is a village three miles along Mannar road from
Vavuniya town. Today this is called Navalarpannai. The time was early 1984 prior to the Thimbu talks which was late 1984.
A survivor who remains anonymous describes the event as she remembers it:
“People were returning from a wedding in a privately hired bus. The SLA stopped the bus near Pambamadu and took all 70 people on the bus to a teak estate called Thekkavaththai. There, the SLA
sent the 15 women and children who were in the bus and made the remaining 55 men look at the teak trees and then sprayed them with bullets.
The SLA then kicked the bodies that have fallen to see if they were still alive, those who made any noise in pain were shot again. One person fell to the ground in shock and was not hit by any of the bullets. Two of the men, who were shot, fell on top of
him and died. He was thus lying in a pool of blood. When the SLA kicked his body he did not make any noise and the SLA thought he was dead too. When the SLA left, he ran to a village called Thalampokkanai. In this village there was a Muslim
community leader who was very close to the Tamils and was a strong supporter of the LTTE. He owned a shop. The man ran to his shop and told the Muslim leader what has happened. From there the man went to Jaffna without telling the police, as he was so scared. The villagers went to the sight of the massacre and the news of
the incident soon spread.
I heard that the man was given protection and sent somewhere safe. I do not know what happened to him after that. We went and looked at the massacre sight. It was very close to where we were living. We noticed that there were no bodies of women there. The man had said that the women were made to get off the bus. We do not
know what happened to the women. The women did not give any statements.”

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#13 Dec 19, 2009
Chunnakam Police station massacre 08.01.1984

Chunnakam is in the Uduvil Assistant Government Agent Division in the Jaffna district. Ten Kms from Jaffna town, on the KKS road, traveling towards Kankesanthurai, there is the Chunnakam junction. The Chunnakam Police station was
located 250 metres south from this Many young men arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act without any evidence against them were kept in remand in the Chunnakam Police Station.
On 08.01.1984, during the period when Tamil militant attacks on the Sri Lankan military started to spread, the Police placed a time bomb in the room where the young men were kept and left the building. When the bomb exploded all 19 young
men inside was killed. Sanjeevan who went in to save the young men was also killed.

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#14 Dec 19, 2009
Chunnakam market massacre 28.03.1984
Chunnakam market is situated 7 Kms from Jaffna town on Chunnakam road. This is a central market where most agricultural products grown in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and also other district are brought for sale. On 28.03.1984, Sri Lankan military arrived in tanks and jeeps at the Chunnakam market and the bus stop and started opening fire at the people crowded in these two places. Eight civilians were killed and about 50 were injured. The military set fire to the market and many shops were burnt down.
The military then left the location and drove through Mallakam along KKS road. There they started shooting everyone who came within their sight. One civilian was killed. From here the military went to Tellipalai. There, students from the Union
College, who were coming out of the school after writing an examination, were attacked. 26 students were injured in this attack. Another 20 civilians who happened to be on the same road were also injured.

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#15 Dec 19, 2009
Mathawachchi – Rampawa September 1984
Mathawachchi is located south of Vavuniya on the A9 road. The village is populated mainly by Sinhala and Muslim people. Following the 1983 pogrom against Tamils, Tamil passengers traveling from Colombo to Jaffna have been attacked on several occasions. One day in the first week of September 1984 a passenger bus which was going to Jaffna from Colombo was stopped at Mathawachchi junction by the Sri Lankan military and the bus with the passengers were taken to Mannar road and there 15
civilians in the bus were killed including the driver and 31 civilians were wounded.

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#16 Dec 19, 2009
Point Pedro – Thikkam massacre 16.09.1984

On 16.09.1984, four Sri Lankan soldiers were killed in a land mine explosion. In a revenge attack, the Sri Lankan Police attacked and
killed 16 civilians. Heartly College Library and its laboratory were burnt down.

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#17 Dec 19, 2009
Othiyamalai massacre 01.12.1984

This is a remote village on the border of Mullaithivu district. More or less the entire population worked in their own paddy fields and they had ample farming produce to live by. However, Sinhalese settlers were settling in Ken Farm and Dollar Farm and
displacing the Upcountry Tamils in these places who had already been displaced from the Upcountry as a result of ethnic violence.
From 29th November 1984 until 2nd December 1984 the SLAFs declared a curfew. A SLAFs regiment moved from Pathaviya to Othiyamalai on 1st December 1984. The SLAFs rounded up the people of Othiyamalai village. When the villagers opened their door at 5.00 am on that day, they saw the Sri Lankan soldiers standing in green attire. The
soldiers spoke fluent Tamil and asked for all the men in the village to come to the Development Society building managed by the LTTE, and demanded that they assist the struggle waged by the LTTE. Deceived by the pretension of the Sri Lankan army soldiers 32 men went. Sithambarapillai Sagunthararasa otherwise known as Rasa lost his father and five uncles in the Othiyamalai Nedunkerni Massacre.

His account is as follows:
“On 2nd December 1984, 32 people were massacred here. My father and
five of my uncles were killed. Around 5:00 or 5:30 in the morning, the SLA came to our village. We were small children then. We only know what people told us, we don't remember much. My father was listening to the radio. It was only when they caught him that we realized they were the SLA. They caught our uncle at our house. They tore up his shirt in front of us and tied his hands. Like this, the SLA went in twos and threes to every house and caught each family head. On Pathikudippu Road, they saw a tractor. They took hold of the tractor and put everyone they had brought on this tractor. They tied up every ones hands and eyes. They shot everyone whilst the men remained still tied.
The watching villagers told us, that they put five people, all of them over fifty years old in the back of a tractor. They took off the side doors of the tractor, placed them on top of the five old men and the soldiers then stood on top of the men singing and
dancing as they drove away.”

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#18 Dec 19, 2009
Kumulamunai massacre 02.12.1984
Kumulamunai is in the Mullaitivu district. Farming and rearing livestock are the main occupation of the village. During the 1984, it was common for the Sri Lankan military to round up the Kumulamunai village and arrest people and torment them. On 01.10.1984, the village was rounded up by the Sri Lankan military and two people from the same family were arrested. Following this on 29.11.1984 several more villagers were arrested. Military released most of the people it had arrested except the four brothers of the two people arrested earlier and another person from Kumulamunai named Mohan.
The families of these men persisted in seeking the release of the men. The military promised to release them after inquiry. On 01.12.1984, the military told the families that they have shot dead all seven men. Six of the seven men shot dead are brothers. Six of the men were married.

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#19 Dec 19, 2009
Cheddikulam massacre 02.12.1984
Cheddikulam is a border village in the Vavuniya district and is located 20 Kms from the Vavuniya town along the Vavuniya-Mannar Road. Farmers, business people, labourers and government employees live in this area. On 02.12.1984, the Sri Lankan military
imposed curfew throughout Cheddikulam. The military began cordoning off the Cheddikulam area at 5.30am in the morning. Most of the people in the village were still asleep. The military that came into the village took the males for inquiries. 52
men were taken in the military vehicles to the adjacent town of Mathavachchi. There has been no information about these 52 men since. The people of the Cheddikulam village are saying that the 52 men were taken to a Sinhala village in Mathavachchi, and there they were chopped up with sharp knives and heavy
vehicles were run over them. As a result, the Cheddikulam villagers say all 52 men died.
T Yesuthasan, teacher at Cheddikulam Mahavidhyalayam says,
“Following the incident people displaced to Vanni, Madhu and India. Among the 52 people killed were my younger brother, my brother-in-law and two more people living with us.”
Mayilvahanam of Cheddikulam says,
“On that day many of us ran into the forest and hid. My home was completely destroyed by the Sri Lankan army”!!!

Since: Jul 09

Toronto, Canada

#20 Dec 19, 2009
Manalaru massacre 03.12.1984
On 03.12.1984, Sri Lankan military rounded up Manalaru area and fired randomly at the civilians. Civilians from Manalaru and Amaravayal were chased away by the Sri Lankan military and their houses were set on fire. People who have lived in the villages for
generations were thus displaced. Many civilians were killed
including women and children. Hundreds of families were displaced from these areas. Sinhalese were settled in these villages later.

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