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Kokkadichcholai massacre memorial damaged by military re-opens after restoration

The monument erected in memory of the 87 prawn farm workers who were massacred by Special Task Force officers in 1987 in Kokkadichcholai, Batticaloa was reopened this week after being restored. 

The monument was previously destroyed by government troops. 

On January 27, 1987 STF officers raided a prawn factory in the village, shooting dead the workers, which including seven boys aged between 12 to 14.

According to relatives of the victims, the night before the massacre, government helicopters were seen circling the area.

When STF officers arrived, the workers were rounded up and their identity cards checked, as the officers searched for LTTE fighters. 

Some of the workers were then taken to nearby road and shot dead. Forty people, who had been hiding in a nearby farm, were also killed. 

The bodies of those killed were burnt on old tyres, the relatives of the victims said.

The massacre, known as the 'prawn farm massacre' took place during the then UNP government. No one has been brought to justice for the crime.

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