Sri Lanka: Two Sri Lanka Red Cross Workers Executed

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From: Evangelical Fellowship of Asia (EFA)

Two Volunteer staff members of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, Sinnarasa Shanmugalingam (32) and Karthekesu Chandramohan (26) were abducted and murdered on 1st June 2007. The incident sent shock waves through the entire country.

Sinnarasa had worked for the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society since 1997 and Karthekesu since 1999. Both were serving in Batticaloa. They were in Colombo, with other colleagues attending a training workshop and on Friday 1st June evening, proceeded to railway station, at approximately 6:30pm, some unidentified persons in civilian clothing had taken them away, allegedly for questioning. Their colleagues immediately informed the Police of the incident, with information that they were taken away in a white coloured van. According to media reports, both victims were in possession of their National Identity Cards and Sri Lanka Red Cross Society IDs.

On the 2nd of June, two unidentified bodies found at Dumbara Estate in Ratnapura District were identified as the two abducted Red Cross workers. They had been shot in execution style, with their hands tied behind their backs.

The ICRS and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, in a joint statement, called upon the Sri Lankan authorities to carry out an immediate and comprehensive investigation into the killings. The statement further reminded all parties that they must respect the work of humanitarian agencies and refrain from an y acts that might jeopardize humanitarian staff or activities.

Aid workers have become targets of abductions and murder in the conflict in Sri Lanka. The worst of these incidents was in 2006, when 17 aid workers attached to the French agency Action against Hunger were executed in their office premises in Mutur in Trincomalee.

June 4, 2007

Evangelical Fellowship of Asia