Vattakandal massacre – 30.01.1985

Vattakandal village is located on the banks of Kattukkaraikula in Mantha West division of Mannar district with agricultural land. The people of this village have agriculture as their main occupation.

In 1985, on the thirtieth day of the month of Thai, the Sri Lankan army and the air force jointly attacked the innocent Tamil people living in Vattakandal village. On the thirtieth day of the month of Thai in 1985, at 5.00 am, more than two hundred soldiers who left the Tolladi army camp came through Madavachi road and stationed themselves in Vattakandal village via Katukarai Kulakarai.

Then at 6.30 in the morning, they entered the houses of Vattakandal village using guns and attacked all the people who were confronted with sharp weapons. At that time, Air Force helicopters attacked people's residences. Later Vattakandal A.T.K. Many soldiers entered the school and shot dead eighteen people including the principal, vice principal, teachers and students who were engaged in educational activities there.

While this incident was going on, other soldiers tortured and shot the people who were working in the fields and walking in the streets, men and women. Then they entered the houses and raped the women who were alone. The attack on the people by the soldiers continued for more than six hours till 2:00 pm. After that, some of the dead bodies were loaded into the public vehicles with the civilians and went to the army camp. After the army left the village, the villagers searched and buried the bodies of the dead and took the injured to the hospital. Fifty-two civilians were killed in the army's planned attack on civilians. More than forty people were injured.

Gnanaprakasaam Anthonypillai, head of Mannar Vattakandal, who witnessed the incident, reported:

"On the thirtieth day of the month of Tai in 1985, the gunshots of the army were heard starting at 6.00 am. Our house was a little far from the main road and the people who were running ran through our road saying that the soldiers were firing for some reason. Then we ran along with them. The school principal, two teachers and some youths who were walking on the street were killed in the firing by the army. All the soldiers who took part in this incident came to Katukarai from the Tolladi army camp via the Mannar – Madavachi road called A-14 and crossed the large break dam to Vantakandat village and realized these atrocities. A total of forty-eight innocent civilians were killed during this incident.

Details of those killed in Vattakandal Massacre on 30.01.1985:

  1. Ponnar Ponnappan / Rasa (Age 30 – Fishing)
  2. Santhan Thomaimies (Age 28 – Agriculture)
  3. Savirian Alphonseparula (age 25 – Agriculture)
  4. Mudappan Pandiyappan (age 24 – Kamam)
  5. Muthannadeva Natarasa (age 39)
  6. Murugesu Thambipillai (age 55)
  7. Irasu Selvarasa (Age 30 – Driver)
  8. Kannikunder Sundaralingam (Age 23 – Agriculture)
  9. Karupaiah Jayarathnam (age 25)
  10. Biranji Kaithan (age 27 – Kamam)
  11. Biranchi Saminathan (age 37 – Kamam)
  12. Thirumal Ramachandran (age 26)
  13. Manuel Peter Sauls (age 45)
  14. Alexander Parnandu (age 72)
  15. Arunachalam Sundharamurthy (age 45)
  16. Sebamalai Penanto (21 years – Business)
  17. Chelliah Ramasamy (Age 35 – Agriculture)
  18. Villichamy Muthurasa (Age 20 – Agriculture)
  19. Chelliah Ramasamy (age 30)
  20. Venkatachalam Devaraj (age 34 – Kamam)
  21. Velikashami Muthurasa (age 35)
  22. Gnanaprakasaam Sepamalai (age 22 – Kamam)
  23. Shantioku Anthony (age 40 – Kamam)
  24. Subban Palani (age 42)
  25. Subramaniam Shanmuganathan (Age 33 – Labourer)
  26. Chinnaiah Cheruvarajan (age 33 – Labourer)
  27. Chirikori Rednadurai (age 32)
  28. Raman Thangarasa (age 56)
  29. Ramaswami Umbharasa (age 19)
  30. Raman Thangarasa (Age 35 – Agriculture)
  31. Ramachandran Deivendran (Age 18 – Agriculture)
  32. Ramasamy Selvarasa (Age 27 – Agriculture)
  33. Muthuchami Sathyaseelan (age 42 – Agriculture)

Note:- The name details of all those affected in this incident could not be obtained.

By: Tamil Genocide 1956 – 2001 Book.