December 3, 1994: LTTE massacres Sri Lankan fishermen

On December 3, 1984 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorists massacred 11 Sinhalese villagers in the NE Sri Lankan village of Kokkilai.

KOKKILAI, SRI LANKA – A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker: they are all victims of terrorist attacks.

I am sure I have mentioned this on many, many occasions, and I am equally sure you are tired of hearing about it, but I own an idyllic cottage on the shores of Lake McMaster in the Madawaska Highlands of Central Ontario. The area is beyond beautiful and there is nothing like sitting by the water with a drink of your choice in your hand – early morning coffee/tea or early evening scotch (single malt of course!) – and taking in the spectacular scene.

The lake is also quite good for fishing, or so I am told: I am NOT an angler. There is a species of trout called ‘splake’, a hybrid of speckled and lake, that is very good. I may not fish myself but I have no problem eating what someone else catches!

Nope, no terrorists here! (Photo: Phil Gurski)

For many though, fishing is a way of life, not a hobby up at the cottage. And, alas, fishers have been the target of terrorists too.

On this day in 1984

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorists massacred 11 Sinhalese villagers in Kokkilai, in the northeastern part of Sri Lanka. Many of them were fishers. This attack occurred a few days after a similar one against farmers (and featured in this series).

Over the last decade and a half, there have been many incidents like this, mainly against people who attempt to put any ideas against the LTTE or criticism against the LTTE . . . so periodically, there are these attacks to keep the community quiet.

Vaithiyanathan Loganathan, a German Tamil

Farmers, now fishers. What profession was immune from LTTE attacks?

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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