Husband’s white van ploy backfires in wife’s killing
*Suspects apprehended due to timely
detection by Security Forces
*Attempt to discredit Government thwarted
The white van used in
Prime suspect S.
Driver of the white
With the end of the three -decade conflict, a large number of Tamils
living abroad is arriving daily to see their native places in the Jaffna
Most of the Tamil expatriates are returning to their birthplace to
renew their relationship with their kith and kin and to assess the state
of their assets which had due to the three- decades of terror that
gripped the country.
The current influx of Tamil expatriates into the peninsula has
created an atmosphere of family reunion and healthy interactions among
foreign returnees and their friends and relatives in the region.
Unlike the other returnees, forty-two-year-old Selvathurai Kuhadhas
came to his native home town Chavakachcheri in Jaffna a few weeks ago
with an ulterior motive - to get rid of his ex-wife Shanthini who had
divorced him in India, three years ago.
Kuhadhas and Shanthini have a fifteen-year-old son, Ruban who lived
with his mother most of the time when his father was in Canada.
Shanthini and her son Ruban were in South India until she got her
divorce from Kuhadhas.
An alleged extra marital affair Kuhadhas developed with his brother’s
wife’s sister, is believed to have led to the divorce between Kuhadhas
Since the break-up of his marriage, Kuhadhas was planning to take the
woman whom he was involved with to Canada.
A few weeks ago, Kuhadhas who is said to be a qualified engineer
returned to Colombo from Canada with a malicious plan to fulfil his
intention of taking the woman whom he was involved with him to Canada
and to acquire the assets he and Shanthini owned before their divorce.
Soon after arrival in Colombo, Kuhadhas got in touch with a person
called Raja who is alleged to have links with the underworld.
Driver of the white
Kuhadhas’s plan to kill his wife was two-pronged. He had worked it
out with his new-found allies in Colombo to execute it in such a way in
order to get rid of his wife on the one hand and to create an impression
on the other, that the killing was committed by the Security Forces, he
used the `white van’ ploy to abduct Shanthini.
To go ahead with his plan Kuhadhas had hired a white coloured van
bearing the number 253-3852. He obtained the van in Wellawatte, Colombo.
With the end of the conflict in the North certain vicious elements
spearheaded rumours to discredit the Security Forces saying that `white
vans’ were used by them to abduct civilians. However, the Security
Forces Command in Jaffna had countered these vicious rumours on several
occasions in the past and even apprehended criminals who were involved
in criminal activity by creating an adverse impression on the Security
Forces personnel in the North. But Kuhadhas who was not aware about the
precautionary measures and the alertness of the Security Forces
personnel in the North, embarked on his `crafty’ plan by using a `white
van’ which he had hired from Colombo.
On that fateful day on March 6, Sunday he went to his ex-wife
Shanthini’s house in Meesalai East in the Chavakachcheri district.
Kuhadhas got down from the van and dragged Shanthini and their son
Ruban forcibly into the van.
Despite the cries raised by the neighbourhood, Kuhadhas’s `white van’
whisked the two victims and disappeared from the scene. The incident
took place around 3.30 pm.
Shanthini’s neighbours who attempted to prevent the abduction had
rushed to the Chavakachcheri police and made a complaint about the
Police then alerted the 523 Brigade and got into action immediately
along with troops of the Brigade.
Within a couple of hours, the Security Forces personnel were able to
locate the place where Shanthini was hidden by Kuhadhas.
However, the Security Forces personnel were only able to recover
Shanthini’s body which was brutally disfigured and partly buried in the
compound of a deserted house near a temple in an isolated place called
Kirampuvil in Chavakachcheri.
It has been found that Kuhadhas had used a bicycle chain to strangle
Shanthini’s neck to kill her. Before strangling Shanthini, he had
brutally disfigured her face beyond identification.
The Security Forces personnel and the police who continued with the
search operation, later found Shanthini’s son Ruban at a lodge near the
Jaffna Government Secretariat. The owners of the lodge who have been
taken into custody have told police that Ruban was brought there by his
Ruban, son of Kuhadhas
The Security Forces personnel who continued with the search operation
later apprehended the suspect, the `white van’ he had hired in Colombo
and its driver Raja.
The woman suspected to be involved with Kuhadhas has been apprehended
by police and is in remand custody.
Meanwhile, District Judge of Chavakachcheri C. Ganesharaja visited
the scene of the crime and ordered the suspects to be remanded till
Swift and timely action by the Security Forces have prevented the
suspect fleeing from the Peninsula and thrashed the sinister motives of
A senior attorney-at-law and first woman President’s Counsel in
Jaffna, Ms. Shantha Abimanyu recently commenting on the present State of
the social structure of the Jaffna Peninsula regretted that marriage and
divorce rates in the region were now on the increase among young
“We never heard of this in the past.
Jaffna was a highly cultured and conservative society.
The people were very spiritual, academically sound and did not give
room to problems and divorce and separation were taboo sjubejcts.
Apart from the effects of the three decades of conflict in the North,
foreign influence and new-rich tendencies have made inroads into the
social structure of present day Jaffna,” Shantha Abimanyu said.
Reports from countries where Lankan Tamil expatriates live also
indicate that the divorce rate and domestic violence among families were
on the increase.
Some Civil Society members in the Jaffna peninsula commenting on last
week’s horror in Chavakachcheri said that the incident had instilled
fear on the social structure of Jaffna society which is likely to be
influenced by the fast track lifestyles of these elements with all types