Twenty four Tamil civilians gunned down in Trincomalee 27 years ago, allegedly by the Army, were remembered on February 11.

Floral and other tributes were paid at a memorial at Kumarapuram in Muttur for them by their surviving relatives and friends.

It is alleged the Army stormed the village on February 11, 1996 and opened fire with T-56 automatic rifles.

International human rights groups alleged it was in retaliation for a killing of two soldiers near the village.

According to them, a nine-month pregnant woman and a girl aged 16 had been gang-raped and murdered.

Six soldiers on trial over the killings were acquitted by the Anuradhapura high court in 2016.

Some were identified in identification parades and more than 40 eyewitnesses testified during the hearings.

An all-Sinhala jury refused to find the accused guilty solely on the basis of eyewitness accounts, after firearms and other material evidence in the case were destroyed in a fire in 2004.

Villages have been calling for a retrial, with a request made to the then president Maithripala Sirisena on a visit to Trincomalee during the good governance regime.


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