Trinco 5 case progressing with the use of Skype technology

The Government says the case into the murder of five Tamil youth in Trincomalee 12 years ago is progressing using the Skype technology.

Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake said that the case could not progress as the main witness was overseas and was not in a position to support proceedings.

However he said that the case was now progressing as new reforms have allowed the use of Skype to gather evidence.

“We could not proceed with the case as the main witness was overseas and was not in a position to support proceedings. The case is now progressing as new reforms have allowed the use of Skype evidence,” the Minister tweeted.

His tweet was in response to a tweet by the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap where he stated “justice delayed is justice denied” with regards to the failure to hold anyone accountable over the killing of the five youth.

The five Tamil students were allegedly summarily executed by the Special Task Force, whilst they spent an afternoon on the beach in Trincomalee on 2nd January 2006.

The case – known as the ‘Trinco 5′ – remains one of the highest profile killings in Sri Lanka to receive international attention, listed in 2014 by the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report on Sri Lanka as one of four ‘emblematic cases’ of the Government’s failure to ensure accountability.

The five slain students, who were all 20-years-old when killed, are Manoharan Ragihar, Yogarajah Hemachchandra, Logitharajah Rohan, Thangathurai Sivanantha and Shanmugarajah Gajendran. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Doubts about alleged progress in this murder case.

    Why should this Law and Order Minister announce this news NOW as he in his statement says no more than that NO progress could be made? And why now? Of course it is possible that fled Tamils from the conflict now living abroad could divulge more information through Skype, but as the Minister says the one they really would like to speak is not able or willing to speak with the Sri Lankan investigators through this medium! So effectively he says that the case does not progress through a fault that is not his, and it comes down as an excuse why the investigation has come to a stop! Does this bring the investigation forward?
    Strange… because doesn’t the SL government have representatives abroad that could trace and speak with the person who could have relevant information?
    This Minister had better turn to the press when he really has something substantive to share.
    For those who were in Trincomalee in 2005 as I was, remember the situation there at the time. Rajapaksa had suddenly reopened the war with a big offensive, there was shooting in town and shelling in the harbor area and curfew at once imposed with all economic activity brought to a stop. The place was swarmed by the army. In this melee these murders must have taken place when night had fallen and no citizens had been allowed in the streets because of that curfew, so what witnesses could there have been apart from those being part of the regular army? So we can imagine some frustrated or trigger-happy soldiers (or proxy army men) who shot first and asked questions later when they fired at these students. The case was affectedly covered up by that same army.

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