Sri Lankan navy murders Tamil boy

The body of six-year-old Tharshan Kugathasan (inset) was discovered in a well in Champoor.

A six-year-old boy, Tharshan Kugathasan, was found dead near a navy base at Champoor on the east coast of Sri Lanka on January 26.

The boy's body was found in a disused well. The body had been weighed down with a large stone tied to his body by military-style shoelaces. He had earlier been seen with Sri Lankan navy personnel who used to offer him food and chocolates, according to local residents quoted by the Tamilnet website. Evidence indicates that he was raped and murdered by navy personnel.

This murder is not an isolated incident, but part of a pattern of violence and intimidation by the Sri Lankan military against the Tamil people.

Military bases are scattered throughout the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka. Large areas of land, including the place where the boy was murdered, remain under military control, despite promises to return them to their Tamil owners.

Tamils are living under de facto military occupation. The military continues to abduct, torture and rape Tamils with impunity, as has been documented in a recent report by the International Truth and Justice Project, Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan military occupation of the Tamil areas is supported by the United States, India, China and Australia, among other countries. The Sri Lankan government takes advantage of rivalry among the great powers for influence in the Indian Ocean region.

Champoor, where the boy died, is close to Trincomalee Harbour, one of the best harbours in the world. Tamilnet comments: “The unitary State of 'Sri Lanka' has been bargaining strategic access to Trincomalee with all the competing powers, USA, China and India in the Indian Ocean Region, and these powers have been backing Colombo to maintain its military in the Tamil homeland.”

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