Sri Lanka to Display Air Crash Victims' Belongings
PTI - COLOMBO
Published: 07th January 2014 01:49 PM
Last Updated: 07th January 2014 01:49 PM
Sri Lankan police will put on public display items salvaged from an aircraft with 55 people onboard that was shot down by the LTTE 16 years ago.
"We want the public to visit the Jaffna Municipal grounds on 12 and 13 of this month to identify the personal belongings of the victims," Ajith Rohana, Senior Superintendent of Police said.
A Russian-built Antonov 24-passenger plane owned by local company Lion Air had departed Jaffna's Palaly airport on September 29, 1998, heading for Colombo's Ratmalana airport. It had disappeared off the radar 30 minutes after the take-off.
All 48 passengers and seven crew members, including two foreigners, were killed as the plane crashed into the seas.
Air transport was the only available passenger service at the time as the LTTE controlled areas of the A9 highway which linked the north to the rest of the island.
An arrested member of the LTTE had confessed to shooting the aircraft down on the orders of his leaders.
Several aircraft were shot down by the LTTE missile fire during the time. All 48 passengers were Tamils.
This showed that the LTTE terrorism did not spare their own community, Rohana said.
The identification of the belongings by the relatives would help to establish the identity of the victims, which in turn would help the prosecution against the suspect held.