The Supreme Court was informed by the Attorney General today that a criminal investigation has been launched into the incident.
The LTTE carried out the attack on June 2, 1987 in Aranthalawa, in the Ampara District.
A bus carrying Buddhist monks and a few unarmed civilians was ambushed by 20 armed LTTE cadres near the village of Nuwaragalatenna. They then ordered the driver of the bus, which was carrying the monks on a pilgrimage from their temple in Mahavapi to the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, to drive into the nearby Aranthalawa jungle. After the bus stopped, the LTTE cadres went on a rampage, attacking the monks with guns and swords and also shooting some of them with machine guns.
Among the dead were 30 young novice monks between the ages of 7 and 18 and their mentor, the Chief Priest of the Vidyananda Maha Pirivena, Hegoda Sri Indrasara Thera.
Three monks escaped the massacre and sustained critical injuries. (Colombo Gazette)