The brutal execution of Balachandran Prabakaran, 12-year-old son of Velupillai Prabakaran, in custody exposes the Sri Lankan army’s coldblooded acts during the final stages of the war with the LTTE. It is obvious now that Colombo violated not only international norms but also principles of humanity during the war. Since there is no strong agency to implement international laws, the killing of innocent people continues. The need of the hour is a strict enforceable agency.

Padmaneri V. Sivanand,


Sri Lanka should be made to explain the killing of a young boy by a professional military. No army is free from allegations of human rights violations committed by some rogue individuals. But this has acquired monstrous dimensions with chilling atrocities being committed in institutional capacity with state support. India should not allow considerations of good neighbourly relations to come in the way of supporting an independent inquiry into the atrocities perpetrated by the Sri Lankan army against the Tamils

M. Balamurali,


The killing of Prabakaran’s son in cold blood has exposed the ugly face of war. The Sri Lankan army has behaved irresponsibly with Tamil detainees. Those responsible for killing Balachandran Prabakaran should be tried in the international court.

Bhagwan Dass,


How could a child be subjected to such cruelty? The army could have handed him over to a children’s home in a foreign country, far away from Sri Lanka. The pictures of the young boy before and after being shot moved me to tears.

R. Ponnarassi,


The innocent face of Prabakaran’s son exemplifies the Sinhalese cruelty. One wonders why India still remains pro-Sri Lanka.

S. Ramani,


It was utterly shocking to see the young boy held captive for merciless execution, that too for documentation. Would anyone with an iota of humaneness gun down a child? The young boy was killed for no fault of his. He was killed because he was the son of Prabakaran.

The genocide against the Tamils warrants an international trial against the Rajapaksa regime and, as rightly argued by Callum Macrae, there can be no peace or reconciliation without political justice. The colossal outrage is, indeed, unforgivable.

S.V. Venugopalan,


One wonders how much Balachandran knew of his father’s activities. He looks like any other child. People have different opinions about the LTTE. Some support it while some do not. But I don’t think a 12-year-old could have supported or opposed the LTTE or what it stood for. The person who shot Balachandran couldn’t have been normal.

Md. Mujeeb Ur Rahman K.,

New Delhi

The article “The killing of a young boy” (Feb. 19) and the photographs of the innocent young boy who was killed on page 1 and the OP-ED page are heart-rending. Sri Lanka, which has a rich Buddhist heritage, should introspect.

While the Sri Lankan army’s action is highly condemnable, The Hindu should have shown some restraint. It shouldn't have published the pictures on the first page.

P.S.S. Murthy,


Although it is the Editor’s prerogative to publish what he deems fit, I feel photographs such as the ones of Balachandran published on Tuesday — eating biscuits shortly before being shot at point blank range — will only add fuel to the fire. The anger and anguish of Prabakaran’s sympathisers will be aggravated on seeing such photographs.

Mani Natarajan,


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