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Updated: October 10, 1990 05:00 PM GMT
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The bodies of migrant fisherfolk murdered in an attack by Tamil rebels were buried here Sept. 21 in a ceremony led by Archbishop Nicholas Marcus Fernando of Colombo.

The archbishop officiated at the burial after almost 30 Negombo people were killed by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels who attacked the fishing village of Vellamundalama, about 110 kilometers north of Colombo.

Two infants and two pregnant women also died in the Sept. 19 attack.

Auxiliary Bishop Oswald Gomis of Colombo, who spoke at the St. Mary Magdalene Church cemetery burial, said anyone would be shocked at the fate of the victims whose poverty forced them to migrate to support their families.

The bishop reminded parishioners that Jesus was killed by murderers.

"Christ´s victory over death should encourage us to endure sufferings of this nature," Bishop Gomis said.

Father Anthony Fernando, who visited victims at Chilaw Hospital, told journalists that LTTE terrorists who attacked his village last year took supplies and boats and abducted fishermen, but killed no one.

"This time, on the contrary, the terrorists have slaughtered them brutally," Father Fernando said.

Elizabeth, 40, a mother of four, told UCA News how she survived the massacre. An armed group of 50-60 Tamils surrounded about 40 fisherfolk having tea in their "vadiyas" (temporary dwellings) and ordered them out.

Elizabeth hid behind some fishing nets when the others were all taken to nearby St. Joseph´s Church. Then she ran into the forest.

Elizabeth said she saw two children, 11- and 2-years-old. The older child´s head was cut off and the younger child´s eyes gouged out.

The London-based rights group, Amnesty International, charged in a September report that both the LTTE and government security forces are continuing to wage terror campaigns against unarmed civilians.

Recent victims include Christian and Muslim villagers, teenage boys and the families of policemen.


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