Colombo, July 6: Sri Lankan authorities have arrested 12 elite commandos on charges of executing five Tamil students in the eastern city of Trincomalee in 2006 after falsely accusing them to be LTTE terrorists.
Trincomalee Chief Magistrate ULM Azhar remanded the men from the Police Special Task Force, including an Assistant Superintendent, to custody until July 18.
The killing took place on January 2, 2006 when the students were playing at the city's beach. They were detained briefly and then shot to death.
The authorities claimed the students were LTTE terrorists and were ready to lob a grenade. However, further investigations have revealed that the students were shot in execution style.
The incident sparked international concerns and was cited as a major human rights abuse by the government forces during their three year military campaign against the LTTE.
In the first UN Human Right Council resolution passed against Sri Lanka in March 2012, the Trincomalee students killings figured prominently. The resolution called for the culprits to be brought to justice.
International rights groups have been asking the Sri Lankan government to deliver justice by carrying out proper investigations into the incident.