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Captive, Handcuffed and Dying... 'Brutal' and 'Shocking' Describe Newly Released Sri Lanka War Crime ImagesTim King Salem-News.com
War Crimes, Sex Crimes; photos and videos just released offer more compelling evidence.
(SALEM) - Each time a new cache of war crime video and photographic imagery is released, further documenting
What will they say this time?
A system of doubt exists at every step along this road when this government starts talking. With a half smile, officials from Sri Lanka dismiss war crime allegations with a swipe of the hand- as if dusting away a nagging issue that somehow keeps re-accumulating.
This new round of shocking evidence will shake more confidence from the regime's supporters.
The same underlying theme is present; sexual abuse of women, rows and rows of dead bodies, many of which quite obviously based on their uniforms, are Tamil Tigers.
We see images that have remained hidden until now; surrendered and captured prisoners chained to the seat rails of buses, the looks of resignation clearly imprinted on their weary faces.
The living were being transported with the bodies of their dead comrades wrapped in plastic on the floor of the bus.
Our contacts are sending in material; the majority of what is being released is published in Hindi, it is likely that a number of the people whose faces are captured in these haunting images, will be identified, we are also interested in any assistance from our readers in individual identification.
In the meanwhile, we are trying to trace the path of these new images and video clips and the emerging picture if anything, rings consistent with the established facts of this dubious period of warfare against a mostly unarmed population.
It is clear that many of the people in these photographs and moving images, are either members of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), or they are wearing the uniforms in many cases, of the Tamil Tigers.
According to etamilnews.com, the images were recorded with a cell phone camera during the peak of the Genocide of Tamils, in the months preceding the summer of 2009.
The ministry of the translational government of Tamil Eelam, hopes that the series of images lead to an independent international investigation and they say that once again, images clearly provide more hard evidence of the Sri Lankan government's attempt to purge Tamil Hindus and Christians from the northern Tamil strongholds during the close of the country's 30-year civil war.
The article by etamilnews.com, reveals the frustration and anger of a population that the world truly turned its back on.
The preferred way of doing business for the leaders of Sri Lanka's Sinhalese Buddhist majority has extremely violent overtones. Brutality potentially awaits all there who take up the cause of Human Rights and Tamils.
This has been most devastating for the journalists in Sri Lanka who supported the Tamil plight as the government's war against them increased. 'White van' incidents are a form of relentless terror; these vehicles, presumably operated by the government, yet untraceable, roll up on people and take them away, never to be seen again, at least not alive.
The list of media employees who have been killed or disappeared is long and overwhelming. It would be fair to say that Sri Lanka is ground zero for media censorship and attacks in this world, this government could write an instruction manual on how to eliminate resistance media.
This subject is a rotten one, and it eats away any decent reporter's insides; we all have to wonder what we would do in the face of this type of government terrorism, and we all have the utmost respect for these brothers and sisters and we hold the government in the highest possible contempt, and we do not believe in the legitimacy of any nation that carries out these acts of deadly violence. It is the government of Sri Lanka itself and its seeming lack of regard for these terrible acts, and its threatened media community, that have provided a great deal of visibility, effectively opening a window into Sri Lanka's relentless attacks against the Tamils.
Going Black and White
A second set of newly released photos and video comes to us in monochrome, I am not sure how and why this came to be, as black and white is fairly uncommon in modern media, typically recorded in color, nonetheless these are more death and sexual abuse photos.
We have gone into great, albeit grave detail over the sex crimes that Sri Lanka's soldiers are charged with. The crazy part of it is that the soldiers busted themselves, recording their reactions to the naked bodies of dead and dying Tamil resistance fighters.
Their translated dialog is sick and twisted and should be a hallmark of shame for Sri Lanka, but then the regime would have to admit their crimes before they could ever feel the level of shame that would properly be associated with these acts.
Indeed, the rape and sex abuse of Tamil women and girls is a real, legitimate sore point in this war and those of us who have researched this sickening history, even coming to know the victims in their post-mortem status, find it to be the ultimate betrayal of humanity in this entire affair.
Most disturbing, is the apparent fact that Sri Lanka's military operates like something out of the stone ages. Their soldiers are tasked with abusing and killing, and there seem to be no regulations in how this is done.
The government is famous for its denial of targeted civilian killings (up to 160,000 Tamils ceased to exist at the close of the civil war) though it has been proven over and over that it will only admit to wrongdoings when absolutely every other option of denial is exhausted. There is a feeling that Lankan officials operate with a large degree of impunity and that is how the record shows it.
The Tamil Tigers suffered a terrible defeat in May 2009; they had waged a stead conflict for three generations, but had no chance when the government decided that all people in certain areas were LTTE and this were 'terrorists' and free to be pillaged and harmed en mass.
The acts of the LTTE are heavily distorted with propaganda and in fact, supporters of the GoSL often say the images of slain Tigers are actually those of SLA soldiers. Some will likely say it again with regard to these images, but there is no chance that is true.
These are Tamils, they are captives, and there are many who have been killed, the second of the two videos exposes this in great detail, as do the color images above, the Tiger uniform is unmistakable.
Of course there is that problem that is consistent throughout the endless photos of dead Tamils; that is that they are often stripped naked. The women are nude or partially nude in nearly every case, or their clothing has been rearranged for the purpose of exploiting their bodies in a sexual manner.
There are males who are also naked, some might suggest this took place for the purpose of humiliation, which if true, equates to more war crimes.
Sri Lanka's supporters will argue that the dead are stripped in a search for weapons, intelligence, documents, and the like. However this seems like a convenient excuse.
War Crime Court
It was only in recent months that the United States raised serious
Throughout this time, Sri Lanka's nationalists attacked supporters of the US declaration against Sri Lanka, in blogs, news articles, during demonstrations, and in some cases, even in Geneva itself, physically.
This was just over a year ago, in April 2011, that a panel of experts found credible reports of war crimes during Sri Lanka conflict.
In fact the panel of experts set up to advise Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on accountability issues with respect to the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka, found credible reports of war crimes committed by both sides; the GoSL and the Tamil Tigers.
At the time, the UN stated, "The Secretary-General sincerely hopes that this advisory report will make a contribution to full accountability and justice so that the Sri Lankan Government and people will be able to proceed towards national reconciliation and peace." the statement added.
For many who have studied this war and interviewed its survivors, it seems comparing the acts of the Tamil Tigers against the Genocidal Sri Lankan Army is a bit like comparing the acts of the Jewish resistance during the Third Reich with the War Crimes of Nazi Germany.
The reactions of the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban, has been difficult for the Tamil community. U.S. President George W. Bush was responsible for the political maneuvering that led to the Tamil Tigers being listed as a 'terrorist' group.
This, as the U.S. president led a war on Iraq that left up to 1.5 million people dead, entirely over false intelligence. Of course it was always false and the United States government at the time, conducted the worst form of terrorism in unleashing a military arsenal on people who never did a thing to deserve it.
The most pronounced difference, is that the U.S. didn't attack its own citizens on its own soil, in a war against an ancient culture that has lived on the island for thousands of years.
For its part, the UN panel "found credible allegations that comprise five core categories of potential serious violations committed by the Government in the final stages of the conflict, including killing of civilians through widespread shelling and the denial of humanitarian assistance."
The panel's first recommendation was that, "The government of Sri Lanka should respond to the serious allegations by initiating an effective accountability process beginning with genuine investigations.
"The Secretary-General has consistently held the view that Sri Lanka should, first and foremost, assume responsibility for ensuring accountability for the alleged violations," said the statement, adding that he encourages the government to respond constructively to the recommendations made by the panel.
But there was never any real threat toward this government, it was a game with each side doing what it had to in order to ensure that the repercussions from these war crimes were not too difficult for Rajapakse and his minions, that is sure how it looked.
"In regard to the recommendation that he establish an international investigation mechanism, the Secretary-General is advised that this will require host country consent or a decision from Member States through an appropriate intergovernmental forum," the statement added.
The three-member panel of experts was set up following the Joint Statement made by Mr. Ban and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa after the Secretary-General visited the South Asian nation shortly after the end of the conflict.
The members of the panel were Marzuki Darusman of Indonesia (chair), Yasmin Sooka of South Africa and Steven Ratner of the United States. They began their work in September 2010.
Sri Lanka's religious wars have continued, their objective without question is Buddhist dominance, politically, militarily and culturally.
In recent weeks, Hindu Temples and Muslim Mosques have been attacked in the courts, and in person. Sri Lanka's president and his two brothers who hold very high posts in the Government of Sri Lanka, seem determined to rid the nation of all of its religions that are not Sinhalese Buddhist, it seems to clearly be one of Rajapakse's goals and the GoSL has taken many steps to fulfill this, for decades in fact.
Sri Lanka's political and military structure and its high-level leaders are behind the uncivilized crimes in Tamil Eelam, and the atrocities that are already well documented, are now accompanied by further proof of the horror that awaited Tamils in May 2009.
I strongly suggest to those who are just discovering this epic, tragic war and genocide in Sri Lanka, and also to those who are already familiar, that you follow the links at the bottom of this report to discover the history and also to comprehend the brutality and death that underscore every small part of this story.
Tim King's previous Salem-News.com reports on Sri Lanka:
May-07-2012: Sri Lankan Buddhist Mobs Call for Mosque Demolition
Apr-10-2012: Sri Lanka: Genocide and Poor Toilet Training
Mar-18-2012: Is Google Earth Hiding Sri Lanka's Ghosts?
Mar-11-2012: War Crime Court and its Conflicting Interests
Mar-08-2012: Sex Abuse and Murder in Sri Lanka- New Photos Emerge
Feb-28-2012: Tweets from Tamil Eelam
Feb-24-2012: Two of Sri Lanka's Foulest War Crimes
Nov-24-2011: Fear, Genocide and Torture in Sri Lanka
Oct-15-2011: Genocide 101: World and Media Apathy
Oct-05-2011: War and its Aftermath... a Real Killer for Tourism
Oct-01-2011: Sri Lanka in the Crosshairs of Canadian Parliament
Sep-13-2011: Sri Lanka Recalls Diplomat Accused of War Crimes
Jun-20-2011: Sri Lanka's Violence Toward Tamil Minority Continues
Jun-02-2011: UN Experts: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide Video is Real
May-31-2011: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide: Killing the Messenger
May-03-2011: Confronting the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka
Apr-27-2011: Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka Emerges Into Public View
Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from The Associated Press the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs, Electronic Media Association and The Red Cross In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005.
Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 20+ countries and regions.
Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide with an emphasis on Palestine and Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the U.S. Marines. You can write to Tim at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)
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