|Date 30 November 1984|
Deaths 62 killed
|Attack type Massacre|
|Location Kent and Dollar Farms, Vavuniya, Sri Lanka|
Weapons Submachine guns, automatic rifles and hand grenades
Perpetrators Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
The Kent and Dollar Farm massacres was one of the earliest massacres of Sinhalese civilians carried out by the LTTE during the Sri Lankan Civil War. The massacres took place on 30 November 1984, in two tiny farming villages in the district of Mullaitivu in north-eastern Sri Lanka.The Dollar and Kent Farm killings were the first attack by the Tigers on civilians.
Backdrop to the events
The Kent and Dollar farms were located near Manal Aru a divisional Secretariat in the Tamil district of Mullaitivu.Manal Aru was of immense importance since it was situated on the border of three districts Mullaitivu,Trincomalee and Anuradhapura and more importantly was the sole gateway between the North and the Eastern parts of the island where the Tamil community was the majority.
Realizing its strategic importance and in a bid to quell the rising threat of Tamil Nationalism, Manal Aru was renamed as Weli Oya(Sinhalese translation of the Tamil name) and an attempt was sought to colonise the area.
A total of 13,288 Tamil families living in 42 villages for generations including Kokkulai Grama Sevakar Division (1516 Tamil families), Kokku –Thoduvai Grama Sevakar Division (3306 Tamil families), Vavunia North Grama Sevakar Division (1342 Tamil families), Other Divisions of Mullaitivu District including Naiyaru and Kumulamunai ( 2011 Tamil families) were asked to vacate their homes and farmlands within 48 hours to clear the area from unauthorized land-grabs. Most of these families were settled in these areas by the government to the resentments of the neighboring landless Sinhalese majority.
Simultaneously land given to 14 Tamil entrepreneurs, including Kent Farm and Dollar Farm, on 99 years lease was also cancelled and taken over by the government.
The Slaw enforcement agencies did translate its warning and used force. From 1988–89 Sinhalese villages in Weli Oya was put on a war-footing. A total of 3364 families, most of them landless peasants, were settled in Weli Oya. A further 35,000 persons comprising 5, 925 families were also settled under the same scheme.
Attack by the LTTE
Tamils were pained and incensed by the eviction of the Indian Tamil labourers from the Kent and Dollar Farms and by the harassment meted out to the Tamils of the nearby traditional villages.They lost faith on the reasonableness of the Sinhala leaders.
About 50 LTTE cadres travelled in the night in two buses armed with rifles, machine guns and grenades. One of the buses sped to Dollar Farm and the other to Kent Farm. The attacks was timed to start at about the same time in the early hours of the morning. The LTTE fighters shot and hacked the guards, the women and children and most of the male members of the families. Some of the prisoners were thrust into a room in a building and blasted with explosives. Sixty-two Sinhalese including three jail-guards were killed. The second bus proceeded to the Kent Farm eight kilometres away and killed 20 more home guards.
The police and the troops conducted a cordon and search operation and the government announced that the troops had killed 30 terrorists.
Women and Children hacked to death The death toll of Sinhalese civilians killed by the LTTE attack numbered 62 all males mostly armed home guards or ex-convicts settled.
Despite the pro tiger propaganda the LTTE hacked large numbers of women and children as well.