2006 Trincomalee massacre of NGO workers
|2006 Trincomalee Massacre of NGO Workers|
|Location||Muttur, Sri Lanka|
|Date||August 4, 2006|
|Target||Sri Lankan Tamil employees of Action Against Hunger|
|Sri Lankan Army, Sri Lanka Police|
The 2006 Trincomalee Massacre of NGO Workers, also known as the Muttur Massacre, took place on August 4 or 5, 2006, when 17 employees of the French INGO Action Against Hunger (known internationally as Action Contre la Faim, or ACF) were shot at close range in the city of Muttur, Sri Lanka, close to Trincomalee. The victims included sixteen minority Sri Lankan Tamils and one Sri Lankan Muslim.
When the bodies were discovered the town of Muttur had come under the control of the government forces. There was fierce fighting between government forces and rebel LTTE forces the previous week prior to the discovery of the bodies.
The Sri Lankan government denied responsibility but the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission suspected that the Sri Lankan Army was responsible for the killings. According to the SLMM, " ... [it] is convinced that there cannot be any other armed groups than the security forces who could actually have been behind the act". The outgoing head of the Mission, the retired Swedish Colonel Ulf Henricsson, said that this was "one of the most serious recent crimes against humanitarian aid workers worldwide".
Action Against Hunger
In September 2006, under increasing pressure from the international community to investigate this incident, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse announced the formation of a Commission of Inquiry with a mandate to look into 15 specified alleged violations, including the Muttur massacre of ACF staff. With the dubious track record of previous Commissions of Inquiry in mind, a group of bilateral donors negotiated for the formation of a group of International Independent Eminent Persons (IIGEP) that, invited by the president, have the mandate to observe the investigations of the Commission of Inquiry. Australia nominated an Eminent Person (EP).
On April 1, 2008, the organisation University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR), which is run by former teachers at the University of Jaffna—known to be openly critical both of the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka—released their "Special Report #30", which exclusively deals with the massacre of ACF staff. UTHR names one member of the Sri Lankan Home Guard—now the Civil Defence Force—and two Police Constables based in the Muthur Police Station as perpetrators, but adds that several Sri Lanka Navy Special Forces were part of the group that entered the ACF compound and remained passive as the ACF staff were murdered.
- "15 of Action Against Hunger's (ACFIN) national employees from Sri Lanka were killed in Muttur". Action Against Hunger. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
- "Sri Lanka – Muttur Massacre". Action Against Hunger. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
- Ganguly, Meenakshi (September 11, 2006). "Sri Lanka: time to act". openDemocracy.net. Archived from the original on March 27, 2007. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
- "15 NGO workers killed". The Hindu. Chennai, India. August 8, 2006. Archived from the original on March 14, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
- Huggler, Justin (August 31, 2006). "Europe accuses Sri Lankan army of assassinating aid workers". The Independent, UK. London. Archived from the original on March 12, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
- "Action Against Hunger International Network mourns and demands full inquiry into Muttur "war crime"". Action Against Hunger. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
- Eminent Australian Jurist to Assist Human Rights Inquiry in Sri Lanka
- UTHR Special Report # 30
- Report details S.Lanka aid massacre, blames forces