Wednesday July 30, 2014
SNc Channels:

Search
About Salem-News.com
Zip Weather


Weather Forecast
Keizer is a thriving community near Salem, Oregon

 

Dec-06-2010 15:50printcommentsVideo

Sri Lanka Shocking Execution Video: New War Crimes Claims

New information from Channel 4 News and Al Jazeera reveals grisly images of genocide; view with caution.

Violence in Sri Lanka
Violence in Sri Lanka

(LONDON Channel 4 News / Al Jazeera) - Channel 4 News reveals new footage of the alleged massacre of Tamil prisoners which promoted a UN investigation last year, as the Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse arrives in London.

Three months after Sri Lanka declared victory over the Tamil Tigers, Channel 4 News broadcast footage apparently showing government troops summarily executing Tamils during the final push of the war.

Now damning material concerning the behaviour of government troops in the country's civil war has emerged.

The video shows the same incident as one aired 16 months ago by Channel 4 News which the Sri Lankan government maintains was fake. It showed the execution of bound men on a muddy track, purportedly defeated Tamil prisoners. A UN investigation later found that the video "appeared authentic".

The new video seems to show the same incident but rather than stopping after the execution of a second bound man, it continues and the camera pans left to reveal the naked and dead bodies of at least seven women, with accompanying dialogue from onlookers who make lewd and callous comments which seems to strongly suggest that sexual assaults have taken place before the death of the women.

Channel 4 News Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Miller said: "The rest of the video is too gruesome to broadcast: women bound, shot dead, undressed; callous comments from onlookers laden with sexual innuendo. Since Channel 4 News received and broadcast the executions video over a year ago we have received hundreds of photographs and many more shocking videos depicting summary executions and rape.

"We've now sent this five minute 30 second video to the UN panel convened to determine whether or not there should be an independent international war crimes inquiry."

The video emerged as the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse prepared to speak at the Oxford Union later this week. The President arrived in London yesterday on a private visit to the UK. Amnesty International told Channel 4 News the new footage was important to revealing the truth.

"This video will help show whether that other video was verifiable, credible or not," Sam Zarifi told Channel 4 News.

"Perhaps the most important part of what we've seen with this new video is there are more prisoners who seem to have been killed, there are more army personnel who are present.

"Very troublingly there are indications that deserved to be looked at about possible sexual violence. At least two of the bodies seen in this video seem to be of women, prisoners of war and some of the back and forth chatter is of a sexual nature."

In a statement the Sri Lanka High Commission denied the new video was authentic.

"The High Commission of Sri Lanka categorically denies that the Channel 4 News TV video is authentic. Last year when Channel 4 News telecast a similar video the Government of Sri Lanka clearly established, by reference to technical considerations, that it was not genuine but fake.

"The present video is nothing more than an elongated version of the same video."

The High Commission goes on to accuse separatists of being behind release of the video: "It is no secret that the anti-Sri Lankan separatist lobby which is behind these moves live in the comforts (sic) mainly in the West, and have not contributed towards restoration of normalcy and livelihoods of the deprived people affected by the conflict. Instead they continue to resuscitate the separatist ideology."

The statement can be read in full below.

For more on Sri Lanka read the Channel 4 News special report

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Professor Christof Heyns told Channel 4 News further investigations were needed in light of the new video.

"It is shocking indeed and clearly deserves more investigation," Prof Heyns told Channel 4 News.

Channel 4 News has sent the new video to the UN panel investigating allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka.

President to meet Defence Secretary

It has also emerged that the Defence Secretary Liam Fox is to meet the Sri Lankan President privately during his visit to Britain, Channel 4 News understands.

A spokesman for Dr Fox told Channel 4 News: "Dr Fox will be meeting President Rajapaksa in a private capacity. This reflects Dr Fox's longstanding interest in Sri Lanka and his interest in, and commitment to peace and reconciliation there."

As President Rajapakse is currently visiting the UK, Amnesty International called on the UK police to investigate the allegations.

"We are calling on the police and UK judiciary to examine any of the evidence alleging war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka…to see whether any of the members of the Sri Lankan government who are represent in the UK have run afoul of international laws which would trigger UK jurisdiction," Mr Zarifi told Channel 4 News.

Original video claims

In August 2009 Channel 4 News broadcast another video of the alleged executions which provoked an angry reaction by Sri Lankan officials and led to a UN investigation.

The video appeared to depict the execution of nine bound, blindfolded men who, Channel 4 News was told, were Tamils.

The group who obtained the video - Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka - claimed it was evidence of extra judicial executions. The video was filmed by a Sri Lankan soldier on his mobile phone in January 2009, the group said.

The decision to broadcast the pictures caused a controversy which embroiled Channel 4 and went as far as the UN Secretary General and the top echelons of the US government.

Sri Lankan officials publically branded the video a fake and lodged a series of complaints with British broadcasting regulator Ofcom.

However, a report commissioned by the UN examined the video frame-by-frame and a group of independent experts said the video appeared "authentic".

The UN's Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Philip Alston, released the report in January 2010 and called for a war crimes investigation.

"I call for independent inquiry to be established to carry out an impartial investigation into war crimes and other grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law allegedly committed in Sri Lanka," he said. The Sri Lankan government cast doubt on the UN's findings, telling a Colombo newspaper they were ambiguous. The foreign minister accused the UN special rapporteur of playing politics, releasing his findings just before a presidential election.

This is a series of stills from Al Jazeera showing the massacre of civilians in Sri
Lanka. Sri Lanka Execution Original Clip Nov 2010 - Srilanka Genocide of Tamils

The statement can be read in full below. For more on Sri Lanka read the Channel 4 News special report

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Professor Christof Heyns told Channel 4 News further investigations were needed in light of the new video.

"It is shocking indeed and clearly deserves more investigation," Prof Heyns told Channel 4 News.

Channel 4 News has sent the new video to the UN panel investigating allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka.

President to meet Defence Secretary

It has also emerged that the Defence Secretary Liam Fox is to meet the Sri Lankan President privately during his visit to Britain, Channel 4 News understands.

A spokesman for Dr Fox told Channel 4 News: "Dr Fox will be meeting President Rajapaksa in a private capacity. This reflects Dr Fox's longstanding interest in Sri Lanka and his interest in, and commitment to peace and reconciliation there."

As President Rajapakse is currently visiting the UK, Amnesty International called on the UK police to investigate the allegations.

"We are calling on the police and UK judiciary to examine any of the evidence alleging war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka…to see whether any of the members of the Sri Lankan government who are represent in the UK have run afoul of international laws which would trigger UK jurisdiction," Mr Zarifi told Channel 4 News.

Original video claims

In August 2009 Channel 4 News broadcast another video of the alleged executions which provoked an angry reaction by Sri Lankan officials and led to a UN investigation.

The video appeared to depict the execution of nine bound, blindfolded men who, Channel 4 News was told, were Tamils.

The group who obtained the video - Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka - claimed it was evidence of extra judicial executions. The video was filmed by a Sri Lankan soldier on his mobile phone in January 2009, the group said.

It is shocking indeed and clearly deserves more investigation. UN Special Rapporteur Professor Christof Heyns

The decision to broadcast the pictures caused a controversy which embroiled Channel 4 and went as far as the UN Secretary General and the top echelons of the US government.

Sri Lankan officials publically branded the video a fake and lodged a series of complaints with British broadcasting regulator Ofcom.

However, a report commissioned by the UN examined the video frame-by-frame and a group of independent experts said the video appeared "authentic".

The UN's Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Philip Alston, released the report in January 2010 and called for a war crimes investigation.

"I call for independent inquiry to be established to carry out an impartial investigation into war crimes and other grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law allegedly committed in Sri Lanka," he said.

The Sri Lankan government cast doubt on the UN's findings, telling a Colombo newspaper they were ambiguous. The foreign minister accused the UN special rapporteur of playing politics, releasing his findings just before a presidential election.

UN investigation

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed a panel of experts to look into alleged violations of international law towards the end of the Sri Lankan conflict

The three-person panel will be chaired by Marzuki Darusman, former Attorney General of Indonesia, who had served in the UN independent commission to investigate the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhuto. The other two members are Yasmin Sooka of South Africa and Steven Ratner of the United States.

The panel has requested submissions by the 15th of December.

Civilian deaths

Sri Lanka's 26-year war ended in May 2009 when the Sri Lanka army defeated the LTTE - Tamil Tigers - in an area dubbed the "no-fire zone".

The UN has officially maintained that an estimated 7,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the last five months of fighting - although credible estimates have put the figure much higher.

Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and now the President of the International Crisis Group told Channel 4 News earlier this year she believed that it was "not implausible" that more than 30,000 civilians had been killed.

Sri Lanka High Commission statement
The High Commission of Sri Lanka categorically denies that the Channel 4 News TV video is authentic. Last year when Channel 4 News telecast a similar video the Government of Sri Lanka clearly established, by reference to technical considerations, that it was not genuine but fake. The present video is nothing more than an elongated version of the same video.

It is observed that there is a common pattern in these sinister moves. Some sections were replete with photographs of alleged war crimes when Sri Lanka’s application for the extension of GSP+ facility was being considered by the European Commission. A leading British newspaper had received photographs of alleged war crimes when the Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister visited the United Kingdom last October. The suppliers themselves had admitted that they were not in a position to confirm the authenticity, place or the veracity of the material supplied by them.

The latest move coincides with the visit to the United Kingdom of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

It is no secret that the anti-Sri Lankan separatist lobby which is behind these moves live in the comforts mainly in the West, and have not contributed towards restoration of normalcy and livelihoods of the deprived people affected by the conflict. Instead they continue to resuscitate the separatist ideology.

Defeat of the LTTE has opened up democratic freedoms to the entire country. An eight member Lessons Learn and Reconciliation Commission appointed after the end of the conflict which is tasked to report on the lessons to be learnt from the past events and recommend measures to ensure that there will be no recurrence of such a situation. The Commission has sat many times including in the former conflict zones and made interim recommendations. The support for the extremists who seek resurgence of violence in order to incite hatred is fast diminishing.

Al Jazeera: UN to probe Sri Lanka war 'abuses'

The United Nations has set up a high-level panel to look into allegations of human rights abuses in the final months of the civil war in Sri Lanka.

Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general, launched the investigation on Tuesday.

His spokesman said it was established "to advise him on the issue of accountability with regards to any alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the final stages of the conflict".

Authorities in Sri Lanka have called the move "seriously flawed" and last week, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president, denied his troops fired at a "single civilian" and dismissed calls for a war crimes probe.

Rajiva Wijesinha, the former secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, and currently a member of the Sri Lankan parliament, told Al Jazeera that the panel's launch is an "extremely regrettable action".

'Picking on the small'

"It stems from pressure on the secretary-general [Ban Ki-moon] from so-called human rights groups and some so-called independent officials like Philip Alston [the UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial executions], who thinks it is easier to pick on a small country like Sri Lanka," he said.

"We have said very clearly that if we are given solid evidence of incidents, we will explore them, and the US state department pointed out particular issues which we will look into, but we have no time to focus on all these sorts of allegations by people with no sense of responsibility."

The government has denied its troops had
committed war crimes during the conflict [EPA]

The panel is to be chaired by Marzuki Darusman, the UN's special rights investigator to North Korea. The other two members are Yasmin Sooka, a South African former member of the commission that investigated apartheid atrocities, and Steven Ratner, an US lawyer.

The panel expects co-operation from Sri Lankan officials and plans to complete its advisory work within four months.

Martin Nesirky, Ban's spokesman, said that the group had a primarily consultative role, and that "primary responsibility for investigating rests with the authorities of Sri Lanka".

But Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director with Human Rights Watch, told the AFP news agency that it has "long been abundantly clear that the Sri Lankan government is unwilling to seriously investigate wartime abuses".

"Secretary-General Ban's new panel will only be of value if it can quickly produce a roadmap for an independent investigation that the secretary-general implements," she added.

'Gun and charter'


Sri Lankan authorities have faced numerous allegations of war crimes during a final military offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the northeastern part of the island last year that ended the 37-year war.

Videos, photographs and satellite images presented by media outlets and human rights groups as evidence of war crimes have been rejected as forgeries by Colombo.

"Our troops carried a gun in one hand and a copy of the human rights' charter in the other," Rajapaksa said at an anniversary victory parade attended by thousands of troops.

The government declared military victory over the LTTE in May 2009, after the group had been fighting for an independent territory since 1972.

According to the United Nations, between 80,000 and 100,000 people were killed during the conflict, and 7,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the last four months of fighting.

The military has also been accused of executing surrendering fighters, allegations which the government has denied.

_____________________________________
Special thanks to Channel 4 News and Al Jazeera

Sources:

Sri Lanka execution video: new war crimes claims

Sri Lanka Execution Original Clip Nov 2010 - Srilanka Genocide of Tamils - War Crimes Evidence

Photos allege Sri Lanka massacre - Al Jazeera

UN to probe Sri Lanka war 'abuses'




Comments Leave a comment on this story.
Name:

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.



Ruwan K April 25, 2011 9:40 am (Pacific time)

UN should show Humanity in the World. If UN fail, It will be very risky path for the world.


senthil kumar govindasamy December 9, 2010 6:12 am (Pacific time)

THERE IS A PROVERB "WHEN A MANGO GET MORE STONES THE TASTE OF THAT MANGO IS VERY VERY VERY SWEET". SIMILARLY THE SRILANKAN TAMILS GET FREEDOM SOONLY


Karen Parker December 9, 2010 5:55 am (Pacific time)

Why this world media's and women organisations are be silent....


kolitha December 9, 2010 9:46 am (Pacific time)

as i was going through this videos i could not identify any thing what they call as evidence of a war crime. we were living with those LTTE criminals more than 25 years and have seen killings of many mealtime videos of killed sri lankan soldiers by the LTTE there were no human rights groups or any commissions to investigate those crimes or even talk about them, there were no one to talk about the innocent civilians killed by the LTTE including Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese no one to morn or help their children our villagers and relatives looked after the children left behind by the dead parents. but no human rights groups or any other groups to help them. as Sri Lankans what i have seen in my entire life is the so cold international community myth has supported the terrorist it the truth in every country we see where there is a war they create wars they groom terrorists by providing the necessary wealth they need even with weapons concept and courage. then they make the use out of that messed country its the truth behind these wars all over the world. AS we see in every war there was a hidden wealthy country in the past and it will be the same in the future as well since the resources are limited but the greed is getting bigger and bigger for wealthy countries specially the politicians who are ruling the so called wealthy countries such as US UK GERMANY NORVEY there may be many which we don't know and are not having much knowledge about but in the future there may be many countries in this list as we get to know about them more and more. thanks for reading watch out from these greedy politicians they are the creators of wars of all kind....


Geetha December 6, 2010 5:33 pm (Pacific time)

UN must break the silence and should take immediate action against Srilankan Government

[Return to Top]
©2014 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.
comments powered by Disqus


Articles for December 5, 2010 | Articles for December 6, 2010 | Articles for December 7, 2010
Annual Hemp Festival & Event Calendar

Steele`s Karate
In Salem
Sign Up Now!






Use PayPal to
support
Salem-News.com: