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No justice: Kumarapuram massacre 22 years on

Today marks 22 years since the Kumarapuram massacre when Sri Lankan army corporals went on a murderous rampage through the Trincomalee village, raping and killing 24 Tamils. 

The victims included two young girls who were raped before being murdered. 

Survivors of the massacre identified the soldiers, who reportedly screamed "Death to the Tamils", as they drunkenly proceeded towards the village in 1996.

Though six former Sri Lankan army corporals went on trial for the killings in 2016, they were all acquitted of the 101 indictments they each faced. The High Court judge overseeing the case decided the soldiers could not be prosecuted.

In a detailed report published last year, PEARL examined the failure of successive governments to ensure justice for the massacre. 

“While Sri Lanka continues to claim that it is capable of domestically prosecuting atrocity crimes without international involvement, the Kumaprapuram case is an illustrative example of the many problems that make it incapable of credibly prosecuting these crimes. These barriers are endemic to every stage of a domestic prosecution of atrocity crimes, particularly those committed by Sri Lankan state security forces against Tamil communities," PEARL’s Human Rights Director, Dharsha Jegatheeswaran, said in March 2017. 

Read full report here

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