Anuradhapura massacre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Anuradhapura massacre
LocationAnuradhapura, Sri Lanka
DateMay 14, 1985
Attack type
Deaths146 Sinhalese men, women and children
PerpetratorsLiberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

The Anuradhapura massacre occurred in Sri Lanka in 1985 and was carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.[1][2] This was the largest massacre of Sinhalese civilians by the LTTE to date; it was also the first major operation carried out by the LTTE outside a Tamil majority area. The responsibility for the massacre was not openly claimed by any Tamil militant group and some of the groups, including PLOTE and TULF, expressed revulsion at the attack.[3] However, state intelligence discovered that the operation was ordered by the LTTE Mannar commander Marcelin Fuselus (alias Victor) and executed by his deputy Anthony Kaththiar (alias Radha).[4][5]


The LTTE hijacked a bus May 14, 1985 and entered Anuradhapura. As the LTTE cadres entered the main bus station, they opened fire indiscriminately with automatic weapons killing and wounding many civilians who were waiting for buses.[6] LTTE cadres then drove to the Sri Maha Bodhi shrine and gunned down nuns, monks and civilians as they were worshipping inside the Buddhist shrine.[7] Before they withdrew, the LTTE strike force entered the national park of Wilpattu and killed 18 Sinhalese in the forest reserve. The LTTE cadres massacred 146 Sinhalese men, women and children in total, in Anuradhapura.[citation needed]

Initially, EROS claimed responsibility for the massacre, but it later retracted the statement, and joined the PLOTE in denouncing the incident. The groups later accused the LTTE for the attack.[8]


  1. ^ Barry Rubin; Judith Colp Rubin (2015). Chronologies of Modern Terrorism. Routledge. p. 149. ISBN 9781317474654. LTTE terrorist in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, massacre about 120 Sinhalese and injure 58 others, many of them pilgrims who were inside the sacred Bo Tree temple
  2. ^ Atalia Omer; Jason A. Springs (2013). Religious Nationalism: A Reference Handbook: A Reference Handbook: Contemporary World Issues. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598844405. LTTE commits the Anuradhapura massacre of civilians. This is one of the LTTE's largest massacres to date.
  3. ^ Amarasingam, Amarnath (2015). Pain, Pride, and Politics: Social Movement Activism and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada. University of Georgia Press. p. 38. ISBN 9780820348148. Although no Tamil militant group openly claimed responsibility, some of the groups, including PLOTE and TULF, expressed revulsion at the attack
  4. ^ "Inside the LTTE: A Look at the Tigers' Command Structure and Regional Leaders". WikiLeaks. 1986-02-12. WikiLeaks cable: 87COLOMBO1041. Retrieved 13 June 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Richardson, John Martin (2005). Paradise Poisoned: Learning about Conflict, Terrorism, and Development from Sri Lanka's Civil Wars. International Center for Ethnic Studies. p. 76. ISBN 9789555800945. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  6. ^ Sri Lanka Tamil Terror: Blood flows at a Buddhist shrine
  7. ^ Daya Gamage (1 March 2013). "(The West) Eyes Wide Closed: Revisiting Tamil Tiger massacres in Sri Lanka". Asian Tribune. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  8. ^ "GENERAL". Retrieved 2017-09-14.

References and further reading[edit]