Monday May 20, 2013
UN Experts: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide Video is RealTim King Salem-News.com
UN says Sri Lanka Army (SLA) committed war crimes against the Tamil minority.
(SALEM) - A UN Special Rapporteur confirmed Tuesday that a video allegedly depicting Sri Lanka Army (SLA) forces executing Tamil Tigers was authentic, and that the video was “prima facie evidence of international crimes.”
Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, described the killings shown on the video – whose authenticity has been contested by the Sri Lankan government – as “textbook examples of extrajudicial executions.”
The independent United Nations human rights expert has called on Sri Lankan authorities to thoroughly investigate the apparent execution of several men by Government soldiers, saying a disputed video of the incident seems to be authentic.
The video provided by Britain's Channel 4 News shows naked people with their hands tied behind their backs being executed against a backdrop of corpses of other men and women. Heyns said the new evidence should be investigated in both the domestic and international arena.
At a press conference in Geneva, the UN Rapporteur said the new evidence should be investigated in both the domestic and international arena.
“What Philip Alston did initially, and this is what we did as well is then to get a video and audio specialist, forensic specialist to look at the possibility of any special effects also to get a forensic pathologist, a medical doctor to look at the evidence concerning blood body movements and to comment on that whether these are actually consistent with the profile of people actually dying and then also ballistics experts to look at, amongst other things, at the recoil and the emissions to see whether that is consistent with live ammo being fired.”
“This will be taken further on the domestic level itself because of the governments access to the evidence as well as on the international level and our point is that we think there’s enough evidence to say that it should go to the second level.”
“I do think a broader process is necessary to establish whether these are crimes against humanity [or] possibly war crimes that took place,” he said, adding it was important to determine if the killings were part of wider pattern of systematic attacks against civilians or prisoners of war.
In his report to the UN Human Rights Council he said that “what is reflected in the extended video are crimes of the highest order – definitive war crimes,” although he stressed that further investigations need to be carried out.
Mr. Heyns said experts in forensics, medicine, ballistics and video and audio concluded that the executions depicted in the video did take place, reflecting the findings last year of his predecessor, Philip Alston.
Speaking to the Council today, Sri Lanka’s representative Mohan Pieris said the Government had been precluded from making a full assessment of the video because of the blurred quality of the images.
Steady Progress in UN
Officials with the United Nations have been studying the video of suspect war crimes carried out in 2009, since late last year.
There really is no limit to the amount of shocking video that exists. Much of it was shot by civilians with cell phone cameras. The Sri Lankan government went to a great amount of effort to kidnap and kill journalists who were friendly to the Tamil cause, or simply the cause of humanity, as all of the journalists murdered in recent years were not Tamil, some were Sinhalese.
Gus Wascheforts, Special Assistant to Mr. Christof Heyns, said the results of testing procedures and content analysis are persuasive and the events depicted on the available video and audio recordings are authentic.
"As stated, Mr. Fredericks, also a forensic video analyst, also consulted on this issue and came to the conclusion." He says they have found no evidence to suggest that the extended video contains fabricated images or audio elements. He added that the execution scenes contain no virtualization.
“I have therefore formed the opinion that the extended video is authentic in that it accurately portrays what it purports to show.”
Salem-News.com has reported in the past that Sri Lanka's long running civil war was not raging when President Majonda Rajapaksa took office in 2005. He quickly devised a plan to crush the The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil: தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் resistance and in the process murdered tens of thousands of Tamil civilians, as well as Tamil Tiger fighters.
Past reports on the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka;
Mar-15-2009: Sri Lanka: Possible War Crimes - Salem-News.com
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