A 40-year-old Red Cross worker was abducted and murdered in the war-torn north Sri Lankan district of Jaffna last week, taking the number of Tamil Red Cross workers kidnapped and killed in Sri Lanka this year to three, the Red Cross said on Monday.
Sooroyakanthi Thavarajah was abducted by unidentified gunmen from his home in Kalia Kadu, Jaffna, in the presence of his family on December 14, and his body was recovered on December 16 at Kaithady, a Red Cross statement said on Monday.
Thavarajah was working with the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) and was the chairman of the Point Pedro division for the past three years. In 2005, he had won the Best Volunteer Award.
"We are shocked by another senseless and brutal murder of one of your volunteers," said Jagath Abeysinghe, president of the SLRCS.
Earlier, on June 1, two SLRCS workers from Batticaloa were kidnapped from Colombo Fort railway station and subsequently killed.
In another infamous case, 17 workers of the French NGO, Action Against Hunger (ACF), were killed in "execution style" in Mutur in eastern Sri Lanka allegedly by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces on Aug 4, 2006.
The Mutur killings elicited worldwide attention. The Sri Lankan government had to get it investigated with foreign experts and allow an international panel to oversee the conduct of the investigation.
Foreign organisations like the UN said there was a "climate of impunity" in Sri Lanka and called for urgent corrective action. The Mutur case is yet to be solved.