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Assassinated Tamil MP remembered in Batticaloa

The assassinated Tamil MP Joseph Pararajasingham was remembered in Batticaloa this week, to mark the 18th anniversary of his killing.

Pararajasingham, who was a senior Tamil National Alliance (TNA) figure, and the MP for Batticaloa district, was shot and killed by two armed paramilitary men, whilst he was attending Christmas Eve midnight mass in 2005, at the St Mary's church in Batticaloa town. 

His wife, Sugunam Pararajasingham was seriously wounded in the gunfire.

The assassination, which occurred during the official ceasefire between the government and the LTTE, was condemned by Tamils around the world.

"Mr Pararajasingham served as a supreme political leader working resolutely to confront forces that attempted to destroy Tamil Nationalism. Tamil people across the world regarded him as an honest leader and his murder has angered and saddened all of us," the head of the LTTE's political wing, S. P. Thamilchelvan told mourners in Kilinochchi who had gathered at his funeral to pay their respects. See here for coverage of his memorial event on December 28, 2005 by TamilNet.

Pararajasingham was posthumously conferred the title 'Maamanithar' by the LTTE.

In October 2015, the paramilitary leader, Pillayan was indicted over his murder. Pillayan was one of five accused of criminal responsibility of Pararajasingham's murder. 

In January 2021, Batticaloa High Court dropped the charges against Pillayan and the other suspects after the Attorney General's office announced that it would not be proceeding with the prosecution. 

Following the announcement, the International Commission of Jurists Legal and Policy Director, Ian Seiderman said:

“The shelving of this case five years after it began, is a blow to the victims of this serious human rights atrocity.”

“This constitutes yet another marker of Sri Lanka’s consistent failure to hold accountable perpetrators of serious conflict-era crimes,” he added.


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