Monday April 21, 2014
SNc Channels:

Search
About Salem-News.com
Zip Weather


Weather Forecast

Keizer is a thriving community near Salem, Oregon

 

Jul-27-2011 15:10printcomments

Channel 4 - Witness Says Sri Lanka 'War Crime' Soldiers Were Ordered to 'Finish the Job'

The war was won by Sri Lankan government soldiers two years ago. The Tamil leadership was virtually wiped out.

Sri Lanka soldiers
Courtesy: Channel 4

(LONDON Channel 4) - Exclusive: two Sri Lankans who witnessed the violent final showdown of the country's 26-year civil war claim a top military commander and Sri Lanka's defence secretary ordered war crimes.

One of these eyewitnesses, an army officer, accuses Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa - the president's brother - of ordering Brigadier Shavendra Silva to execute Tamil rebel leaders, whose safe surrender had been guaranteed by the president.

The other new witness, who was also operating with Brigadier Shavendra Silva's 58 Division on the front line during the final assault, claims the Brigadier was ordered by the defence secretary "to finish the job by whatever means necessary."

'Licence to kill'

He said this was interpreted by the soldiers as a licence to kill. He described how he had watched as Sri Lankan forces shot dead unarmed Tamil women and children. It is the first time this allegation has been made.

The war was won by Sri Lankan government soldiers two years ago. The rebel leadership was virtually wiped out.

As the army closed in, around 130,000 Tamil civilians had been trapped on an ever-shrinking shard of land on the north-east of the island alongside the besieged rebel fighters, who are accused of using them as human shields.

The Sri Lankan president said no civilians were killed by the army during the final assault. But the United Nations now believes that up 40,000 civilians were killed during the last few weeks of the conflict. Others estimate the toll to be higher.

More from Channel 4 News: The Sri Lankan soldiers 'whose hearts turned to stone'

Most are thought to have died as a result of gun and mortar fire allegedly directed on them deliberately by government forces.

After repeated requests for an interview with Shavendra Silva - now retired and promoted to the rank of major-general - Channel 4 News went to confront him with these allegations in New York, where he serves as Sri Lanka's deputy ambassador to the UN.

He said this was interpreted by the soldiers as a licence to kill. He described how he had watched as Sri Lankan forces shot dead unarmed Tamil women and children. It is the first time this allegation has been made.

The war was won by Sri Lankan government soldiers two years ago. The rebel leadership was virtually wiped out.

They shot people at random. Stabbed people. Raped them. Cut out their tongues, cut women's breasts off. I saw people soaked in blood. - 'Fernando'

As the army closed in, around 130,000 Tamil civilians had been trapped on an ever-shrinking shard of land on the north-east of the island alongside the besieged rebel fighters, who are accused of using them as human shields.

After repeated requests for an interview with Shavendra Silva - now retired and promoted to the rank of major-general - Channel 4 News went to confront him with these allegations in New York, where he serves as Sri Lanka's deputy ambassador to the UN.

Former Sri Lankan President denounces current government

The latest revelations on Channel 4 News came after the former president of Sri Lanka condemned the current government in a speech in Colombo. Chandrika Kumaratunga warned that the country could descend into anarchy following the civil war between the government and Tamil rebels. Speaking in Colombo, Mrs Kumaratunga said her children had reacted with 'shock and horror' to Channel 4's 'Killing Fields' documentary which alleged war-time atrocities. "My 28 year-old son called me, sobbing on the phone to say how ashamed he was to call himself a Sinhalese and a Lankan," she said. Mrs Kumaratunga served as President of Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2005. She is the country's only female President to date. Kumaratunga suffered permanent nerve damage and lost vision in her right eye following an assassination attempt by the Tamil Tigers at her final election rally in Colombo in 1999.

Allegations denied

Outside his embassy, the major-general denied allegations of war crimes and said such accusations stemmed from Tamil Tigers and their supporters.

He denied that soldiers under his command had raped or murdered civilians and he demanded we reveal the identity of the army officer who had alleged he had ordered the execution of surrendering rebels.

Please visit Channel 4 in London for the rest of the story.



| | | | Most Commented on

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.



Sri Lankan Pride July 27, 2011 11:16 pm (Pacific time)

More garbage from Channel 4. Why not take these so called sri lankan soldiers before th UN Security Council, Human Rights Council, General Assembly rather than just make baseless accusations against a legitimate government who had a mandate from the people of Sri Lanka to eliminate terrorism. We the people of Sri Lanka stand by our government and the heroic armed forces for freeing our country from the clutches of terrorists. The morally bankrupt West keeps preaching human rights to the poor countries however if you sum up the victims of the recent wars that the west has been involved in they far outnumber the casualties from Sri Lanka's war against terror.

Editor: How do you find the ability to say 'baseless' when every possible piece of evidence is being produced?  You need to swallow your pride and admit your nation's shortcomings, don't you know blind nationalism is a terribly dangerous thing?  The whole 'terrorist' accusation is getting might old, and nothing but allegations.  I make no excuses for the warring crimes of the west, but you have to admit that something terrible took place, then you can move forward, and with reverence and respect things will work out.  Feelings are damaged, there are good and bad on both sides, but stop being so blind about it, please.

[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 July 26, 2011 | Articles for July 27, 2011 | Articles for July 28, 2011
Special Section: Truth telling news about marijuana related issues and events.


Steele`s Karate
In Salem
Sign Up Now!

T Zone is Your Alternative Store...3 locations in Salem, Oregon