Kattankudy Mosque Massacre

20th Memorial Day of that Darkest Night of the kattankudy Muslim Society.

Kattankudy Mosque Massacre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bodies of the victims lying all over the mosque hours after the massacre, the initial preparations for their burial done, which requires the tying of the toes and hands together, according Islamic burial rituals

Location            :Kattankudi, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

Date                 :August 4, 1990

:7.30 PM (+6 GMT)

Attack type       :Armed massacre Weapon(s) Automatics rifles, hand grenades

Deaths              :147

Perpetrator(s)    :Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

The Kattankudi mosque massacre was the killing of over 147[1] Muslim men and boys in a mosque in Kattankudi by LTTE cadres on August 4, 1990.[1][2][3][4][5] It took place when around 30 Tamil rebels raided four mosques in the town of Kattankudi, where over 300 people were prostrate in Isha prayers. The attack is widely attributed to LTTE, who denied their involvement in the massacre, and have never retracted that denial.[6]


1 Background

2 Incident

3 Eye witness accounts

4 Aftermath

5 See also

6 References


The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, is a militant rebel organization which had been fighting Sri Lanka since 1975 in order to establish a separate state in the North and East of the country. After intermittent conflict throughout the 1980s, peace talks began in 1989 to bring about a negotiated settlement to the conflict. However the talks eventually broke down, and the LTTE broke the 13-month ceasefire on June 11, attacking numerous government targets such as Police stations.[3] They also began attacking Muslim villages, and burning their shops and homes, suspecting them of supporting the government. On July 24, Tamil Tiger cadres murdered four Muslims at a mosque in the Batticaloa District. On July 29, Tiger cadres killed 10 worshipers in Samanthurai, 25 miles east of the town of Batticaloa.[3]

In August 1990, they issued a warning to the citizens of Katthankudi, a majority Muslim town 140 miles east of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka.[3] The warning stated that they should vacate the town “or face death”.[5] At the time, of the 60,000 residents of the relatively prosperous Kattankudi, 90 per cent were Muslim.[7]


On August 3, around 30 heavily armed Tamil rebels crossed a lagoon and entered the town of Kattankudi. At around 8.10PM, they entered the Meer Jumma, Husseinia, Majid-Jul-Noor and Fowzie Mosques, where hundreds of devotees were attending Friday Isha prayers. The LTTE cadres were disguised as Muslims to avoid suspicion.[1]

As the civilians knelt in prayer,[3] the Tamil rebels attacked them, spraying automatic fire and hurling hand grenades at the worshipers. Most of the victims were shot in the back or side.[1][3] The rebels fled as Sri Lankan soldiers, notified of the ongoing massacre, arrived at the scene.[3]

Initial report put the death toll at around 100, but as many of the injured who were rushed to hospital succumbed to their injuries, the final death toll rose to over 147.[1]

Eye witness accounts

Harrowing eye witness accounts appeared in the international press over the next few days. Speaking to the New York Times, Mohammed Ibrahim, a 40-year-old businessman said,

“I was kneeling down and praying when the rebels started shooting. The firing went on for 15 minutes. I escaped without being hit and found myself among bodies all over the place.”[3]

Mohammed Arif, a 17-year-old student who also survived the massacre told the New York Times

“Before I escaped from a side door and scaled a wall, I saw a Tiger rebel put a gun into the mouth of a small Muslim boy and pull the trigger.”[3]


Then Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa directed Sri Lanka Air Force helicopters to rush the injured to hospitals for urgent treatment. They continued to ferry the injured to hospitals throughout the next morning.[1] Soon after the massacre, government troops launched an operation in the area to capture the killers. One of the helicopters involved in the search shot at two boat loads of LTTE rebels off the sea at Kattankudi. They were believed to be fleeing to India following the massacre. Casualties amongst the rebels were not confirmed.[1]

The incident was the worst massacre of civilians since the resumption the conflict on June 11.[1] All the victims were buried in a cemetery at the Meera Jumma Mosque, where mourners dug a long common grave for a row of coffins.[3]



LTTE’s Kattankudi Muslim Mosque Massacre (03 August 1990)

Terrorism knows no religious sanctity, nor does it care for lives of infants, children, women and clergy. This was once again proved eighteen years ago when tiger terrorists cold-bloodedly butchered 147 Muslim devotees, praying in mosques in the pre-dominantly Muslim town of Kattankudy, Batticaloa in the East.

The massacre at Kattankudy that shook the nation and drew worldwide condemnation was meticulously pre-planned and executed in secrecy by tiger terrorists who had disguised themselves as Muslim prayers and entered the Meera Jumma and Husseinia mosques when hundreds of devotees were attending Friday Isha prayers.

On 03rd August 1990, gun-carrying Tamil Tiger terrorists swooped on Muslim prayers inside the holy KATTANKUDY mosque and butchered 103 Muslim prayers including over 25 small children. The dastardly mass murder provoked condemnation from the international community.

Mosque Massacres Revisited

By Peter Cassie-Chitty

On Friday August 4, 1990 over three hundred Muslims, men and boys, were prostrate in prayer at the Meera Jumma Mosque, fifty yards from the Kandy Batticaloa Road. None of them were armed.

It was seven twenty in the evening and the town of Katankudi was lit up. The prayers went on when there was a power cut throwing the mosque into darkness.

A stones throw away from the Meera Jumma is the smaller Hussainya Mosque. There was a smaller gathering of approximately forty people here — prostrate in prayer too. The power cuut had been effected by the large group of LTTE cadres on their murderous mission.

According to eye witnesses the raiders were dressed in battle fatigues, others in sarongs and tee shirts. They drove up in several white Hiace vans — armed LTTE cadres.

A. I. Ismail was 55 then. M.M. Akbar was 16. Two men who survived the attack as fate disposed and told the tale. It was appalling.

The most crowded place

In Katankudi the population is denser than in any part of South Asia including Calcutta. In one and a half square kilometres live 50,000 people.

In August 1990 there had been agitation in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. Security was sparse and the Muslim and Sinhalese civilians living in the area were exposed to the aftermath of Black July 1983.

LTTE attacks had accounted for 14 Muslims on August 1 in Akkaraipattu. The dead men had their hands tied behind their backs with their own clothes and then shot in the occipital (back) region of the head.

Between August 2 and 3 of that year, fifteen other muslims were killed in attacks by the LTTE at Medawachchiya, Batticaloa and Majeedpuram. On August 4 they hit Katankudi.

I found the streets of Katankudi bare and all the shops closed. First impressions were that of a ghost town. Then when we reached the mosque everything changed. “This is a ‘hartal’. We have closed shops to mark the ten years that our children and their mothers have suffered without the bread winners of their families. Some mothers lost very young children who had gone but to worship Allah”, the trustee of the mosque, a tall, bearded middle aged man says in perfect English.

On the walls of the mosque are the marks left by machine gun fire. The floor bears the markings of the grenades that were thrown at the worshippers. We spend some time listening to the voices that are strained with emotion. Young children and women cling to the windows of the mosque and wait to tell their stories.


Katankudi’s narrow side streets are crowded with screaming children at play in the hot soft sand of eastern afternoons. They are as noisy as children anywhere in the world.

In 1990 Akram was the youngest most precocious at six, Ajimeel, Jaroon and Rizwan, were 10, Asroof the only boy who was 11, Dalhan Haris, Fauser Hassan, Arip, M. Ajimal, Makeen, Kamaldeen and Imtiaz were all 12 – Anas, Faizal, and M.B.Jawad 13 – Sameeen, Jaufer, Samath, Mohammed Fauzer, Safar, M. S. M. Jaufer were all 14, Fazlan was the oldest at 15. They went to the same schools and played together. Came to the mosque and prayed together.

Each neighbourhood has its own little mosque to permit the faithful to pray as mandated by the Word — five times a day.

Then when the public address system sounds, calling the faithful to prayer the streets empty in a few seconds. They come to the mosque and wash themselves before every prayer. On August 4, 1990 they performed the same ritual. In their innocence they knew that something was wrong for attacks had been carried out on peace loving, hard-working Muslims.

The hour was grave. Everybody looked for Divine Intervention. The LTTE were on the rampage murdering unarmed Muslim civilians. The men in Katankudi had filed into the mosques and no one was on the streets to warn of the danger that lingered.

The witnesses say that while men stood guard at the doors of the mosques latecomers were herded and shut inside. Then through the windows they were mowed down, gunfire drowning screams of “Allah – hu -Akbar”. They were shot in the back, killed by men who respect nothing not even a place of worship.

The Muslims continued to be attacked despite President Premadasa’s attempt to stop them by increasing the armed forces personnel in the Eastern Province.

Six days after the Katankudi massacre Armed LTTE men rounded up hundreds of civilian Muslims. Akin to genocide now.Their attempt at mass murder in Siyambalagaskanda failed when the Army turned up in numbers.

On August 18, however the LTTE launched another attack on Eravur and murdered 31 children, 27 women and 115 men. They then raided other villages unhindered and continued their reign of terror throughout the Eastern, Northern and North Central areas.

Mosques all over the country had now to be given armed protection. Then the State Minister of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs Mr. Aswer called on the Muslims to be calm and patriotic. God fearing and disposed to peace, the Muslims did remain calm.

Sinhala villages came under threat; hundreds were brutally murdered in Tantrimale, Weli Oya, Padhavia while the security forces chased phantoms.

The election of the People’s Alliance Government in 1994 saw a lull. Calling the bluff off the LTTE President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga refused to budge in her conditions.The Security Forces now were given orders to protect the threatened villages from the LTTE.

However on September 17, 1999 the village of Gonagala was attacked and 52 people, including a number of very young children, were hacked to death in the stealth of the night.

A visit to that region was made recently by two British Journalists, veterans at covering the fate faced by children in a conflict situation. Former paramedical officer , now photo -journalist and Scotsman Martin Klejnowski – Kennedy and Madeleine Leeson of the Reuters Foundation toured Batticaloa and the Eastern province. Both had visited every battlefield except Kashmir in the last four years. Gruesome scenes are nothing novel to them. One million people were murdered in 100 days in Ruwanda and they have seen fields full of 15000 Somalians killed by Erithrean soldiers piled up in the desert sun.

But they were appalled at the brutality of the LTTE in the Meera Jumma and Hussainia Mosques and at Gonagala.

To be fair by all ethnic groups they visited Katankudi and Batticaloa where they met Tamil children whose parents had been killed by the security forces. On the last leg of the tour they met the children of Gonagala.

Kennedy and Leeson were very impressed by the professionalism and thoroughness shown by the security personnel at the check points. They came into direct contact with numbers of Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese civilians and have seen clearly that the LTTE does not represent the Tamil people but form a micro minority of terrorists.


1)Spared. They were too young to be in the mosque in 1990. They lost their fathers and brothers. 2) Clinging to the windows from where the terrorists opened fire on unarmed Muslims.

3) The list of the men and boys massacred on August 4, 1990.

4) The battered walls of the mosque where machine gun-wielding Tigers committed genocide.

எவர் முஃமினாக இருந்து, ஸாலிஹான- நற்செயல்களைச் செய்கிறாரோ அவர் தமக்கு அநியாயம் செய்யப்படுமென்றோ, (தமக்குரிய) நற்கூலி குறைந்துவிடுமென்றோ பயப்படமாட்டார்கள். அல்குர்ஆன் 20:112

”நம் பார்வையில் நம்(வஹீ) அறிவிப்புக்கு ஒப்ப கப்பலைக் கட்டும்; அநியாயம் செய்தவர்களைப் பற்றி(ப் பரிந்து இனி) நீர் என்னிடம் பேசாதீர்;; நிச்சயமாக அவர்கள் (பிரளயத்தில்) மூழ்கடிக்கப்படுவார்கள்.”” அல்குர்ஆன் 11:37

எனவே, அத்தகைய வேதனை அவர்களிடம் வரும் நாளை (நபியே!) நீர் மனிதர்களுக்கு அச்சமூட்டி எச்சரிக்கை செய்வீராக! அப்போது அநியாயம் செய்தவர்கள்; ”எங்கள் இறைவனே! எங்களுக்குச் சற்றே அவகாசம் கொடுப்பாயாக! உன்னுடைய அழைப்பை நாங்கள் ஏற்றுக்கொள்கிறோம்; (உன்னுடைய) தூதர்களையும் பின் பற்றுகிறோம்”” என்று சொல்வார்கள். (அதற்கு இறைவன்,) ”உங்களுக்கு முடிவேயில்லை என்று இதற்கு முன்னர் நீங்கள் சத்தியம் செய்து கொண்டிருக்க வில்லையா?”” (என்றும்) அல்குர்ஆன் 14:44

அன்றியும் தமக்குத் தாமே தீங்கிழைத்துக் கொண்டார்களே அவர்கள் வாழ்விடங்களில் நீங்களும் வசித்தீர்கள்; அவர்களை நாம் என்ன செய்தோம் என்பதும் உங்களுக்கு தெளிவாக்கப்பட்டது; இன்னும் நாம் உங்களுக்கு(ப் பல முன்) உதாரணங்களையும் எடுத்துக் காட்டியிருக்கின்றோம் (என்றும் இறைவன் கூறுவான்). அல்குர்ஆன் 14:45

அவர்கள் தமக்குத் தாமே அநியாயம் செய்பவர்களாக இருக்கும் நிலையில், மலக்குகள் அவர்களுடைய உயிர்களைக் கைப்பற்றுவார்கள்; அப்போது அவர்கள், ”நாங்கள் எந்தவிதமான தீமையும் செய்யவில்லையே!”” என்று (கீழ்படிந்தவர்களாக மலக்குகளிடம்) சமாதானம் கோருவார்கள்; ”அவ்வாறில்லை! நிச்சயமாக அல்லாஹ் நீங்கள் செய்து கொண்டிருந்தவற்றை நன்கறிந்தவன்; (என்று மலக்குகள் பதிலளிப்பார்கள்.) அல்குர்ஆன் 16:28

(நம்முடைய அத்தாட்சிகளை இவர்களுக்கு) முந்தியவர்களும் பொய்ப்பித்ததைத் தவிர (வேறு எதுவும் இவர்கள் கோரும்) அத்தாட்சிகளை அனுப்ப நம்மைத் தடுக்கவில்லை; (இதற்கு முன்) நாம் ‘ஸமூது” கூட்டத்தாருக்கு ஒரு பெண் ஒட்டகத்தைக் கண்கூடான அத்தாட்சியாகக் கொடுத்திருந்தோம்; அவர்களோ (வரம்பு மீறி) அதற்கு அநியாயம் செய்தனர்; (மக்களை) அச்சமூட்டி எச்சரிப்பதற்காவே அன்றி நாம் (இத்தகைய) அத்தாட்சிகளை அனுப்புவதில்லை. அல்குர்ஆன் 17:59

மேலும் பொறுமையைக் கொண்டும், தொழுகையைக்கொண்டும் (அல்லாஹ்விடம்) உதவி தேடுங்கள்; எனினும், நிச்சயமாக இது உள்ளச்சம் உடையோர்க்கன்றி மற்றவர்களுக்குப் பெரும் பாரமாகவேயிருக்கும். அல்குர்ஆன் 2:45

மேலும் அல்லாஹ்வின் உண்மைக் கொள்கைக்காக இந்த சம்பவத்தில் உயிர் துறந்த சஹீதுகளுக்கு மேலான சுவர்க்கம் கிடைக்க துஆ செய்வோம். அநியாயம் செய்பவர்கள் யோசிக்கட்டும். மேலே சொன்னவை எனதல்ல அல்லாஹ்வின் திருவசனங்கள்

அல்லாஹ_ அகபர்… அல்லாஹ_ அகபர்…அல்லாஹ_ அகபர்…


8 thoughts on “Kattankudy Mosque Massacre

Add yours

  1. Very sad information. Unbearable. Only we can pray to Almighty Allah for their Maghferat. Inshah Allah surely they will go to HAVEN. We must take lesson & must unite & leave our differences in our behind & stand with the all oppressed & suppressed human being. This is the CALL to every Muslim for JEHAD against the agressor. Almighty Allah help will be with us. His angles will stand with us in this JEHAD, the fight for the way & the cause of ALLAH to establish peace on EARTH. Pray to Allah to give us courage & show us the right path. AMEEN!

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