Commemorating Krishanti’s Murder!!!

Krishanti Kumarasamy was raped and murdered on Sept. 7, 1996 by Sri Lankan soldiers manning a checkpoint near Jaffna City. She was killed along with over 600 other civilians after the occupation of the Jaffna Peninsula in 1995/6 by the Sri Lankan military. Her death received some attention because her mother, brother and a neighbor were killed when they went looking for her, their bodies were eventually discovered and her sister had the courage to prosecute the case. Through the confession of one of the soldiers convicted in Krishanti’s legal case, attention was finally focused on the hundreds of others who had disappeared during the same period. A team of forensic and human rights experts dug in the vicinity of where Krishanti’s body was found and discovered other bodies, some of whom have been identified.

Little has occurred following up on the discovery of the bodies, although the Jaffna Association of the Missing and Disappeared has been active in keeping the issue alive. Recently the government appointed a one person committee, Devanathan Nesiah, to inquire into the disappearances in Jaffna in 1996. Nesiah was the head of reconstruction efforts under President Kumaratunge after the occupation of Jaffna. His report is due out next week.

The importance of this case lies not only in the horrendous suffering of the individuals involved and the families they left behind, but also in the implications of war crimes and crimes against humanity which still remain to be prosecuted. Guilt of these crimes may reach to some of the highest levels of past and current Sri Lankan governments.


Krishanti Kumarasamy