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Jun-21-2012 05:00printcommentsVideo

New War Crime Videos Surface from Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide

New evidence illustrates extreme violations of international law, yet hope remains as a voice from Canada calls the Tamil Diaspora home.

Tamil dead
Videos and photos accompanying this article are extremely graphic; those sensitive to these types of images are advised to view with extreme caution, not suggested for children.

(SALEM) - More evidence of war crimes in Sri Lanka; it is a disturbing matter and the images contained in this article are tragic and gruesome, so proceed at your own discretion.

While these images shake us to the core, it is also true that a strong voice can accomplish tremendous healing for an embattled population when inspiring people and leading them to direct action.

Tremendous devotion and passion are required when delivering people out of Genocide and back to their rightful place. This story is about death and Genocide, and also about a new voice raising hope for those living within the Tamil Diaspora.

Victims of State Terrorism

The Tamil Hindu and Christians who live in the north of Sri Lanka were slaughtered mercilessly in a military onslaught that failed to distinguish civilian from militant in the months preceding the summer of 2009.

Some say 40,000 died, but others place the number much higher. Regardless of the number that died, upwards of 160,000 Tamils ceased to exist when the war ended.

The photos of the dead and dying are so graphic and sad; they leave lasting impressions for those of us who spend time researching this subject and writing about it. We can only begin to imagine the emotional scars that exist as a result of this time period. The toll inflicted upon these people is the result of a calculated Genocide.

One of the darkest aspects for the government of Sri Lanka, is the fact that the military attacks in the north all came at a time that a cease fire between the Tigers and the SLA was in place.

Graphic Videos Offer Few Answers

From this part of this article forward, 17 video clips and one slide show containing 23 images, comprise the group of media dispatched from London to our newsroom, in hopes of identifying those shown. I do not suggest that highly sensitive people look at these, although on the other hand I think we all need to see them to comprehend the enormity of this tragedy.

Today the Tamil survivors are denied the Right of Return that is granted under international law and specifically called for under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enacted by the United Nations in the late 1940's.

The efforts to wipe out the Tamils began after the election of the current president of Sri Lanka, Majinda Rajapakse, in 2005. Using the assistance of George W. Bush and Tony Blair, Sri Lanka's political planners went about having the armed resistance and political leadership of Tamil Eelam, called sometimes a 'breakaway state', declared a terrorist group.

The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) lost its ability to bargain for Tamils in the world political forum with the 'terrorist' designation.

It was the beginning of the end.

Along with the military invasion of the north came heinous crimes against women and children. The cruelty that was recorded in many cases by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers themselves, is devastating to the viewer.

The new series of video that are making the rounds, shows Tamil Tiger prisoners being transported on a bus with the bodies of their dead, handcuffed and helpless.

We recently carried an article that showed the new photographs that were released just before these video clips sent to our newsroom by a London attorney, Vasuki Muruhathas, who represents an unnamed Tamil war crime victim. Captive, Handcuffed and Dying... 'Brutal' and 'Shocking' Describe Newly Released Sri Lanka War Crime Images, shows up close the helpless prisoners cuffed to the metal rails of the bus seats.

Their faces are forlorn and they are very, very young. Not surprisingly, their faces are painted with shades of resignation that seem inevitable. They know the hatred that the Sinhalese hold for them and with a designation of 'terrorist' they are regarded as non-humans.

There are several clips of them alive, many appearing to be seriously injured; we are trying along with other groups to identify these victim/prisoners and learn if any are alive or accounted for.

If you have any information of any kind regarding these captured Tigers, please contact us. The comment section is always an option, if the information is private just note this and the comment will not be published, the information will simply be put to good use to help determine identities and the status of the individuals.

A number of clips show rows and rows of dead people who appear to be Tamil Tigers as many are wearing the uniform of the LTTE. As if providing today's investigators of this series of war crimes some type of morbid favour, the SLA photographed and videotaped a great deal of their actions against the Tamils.

More Rows of Dead Bodies

The photographers in this event from the SLA, used video cameras to document the dead and it appears that they are all recorded at a reasonably close proximity. Whether they correlate to the above images is not known; again we are seeking any information that is out there, and we will treat it carefully and properly; the ultimate goal is to be able to provide relatives with answers.

In typical fashion as you see in these images, the women are almost all exposed, their shirts missing or lifted to expose their breasts, many have had their pants removed. It is a sad fact that a a large number of Tamil women and girls were brutalized by the Sri Lankan soldiers.

Past articles have carried the grisly details and some clips even show the SLA abusing the dead and dying bodies of female prisoners. Their morbid comments are among other things, absolutely and completely remorseless.

This is the result of total indoctrination. There is little difference between the Sri Lanka conflict and others in this respect. Resistance groups and their oppressors are often raised to see their counterpart as something close to subhuman.

Hatred and constant killing compounds the bitterness and chances of peaceful co-existence fly out the window; healing from these traumatic events is very difficult for people on both sides of the conflict.

This is a killer of all hope for legal behavior and makes human rights laws become meaningless.

This is why the war crimes of Sri Lanks must not go unpunished; this government has proven to the world conclusively that it is not capable of behaving in a humane or legal manner.

There are endless examples of this taking place and there is the revolting fact that Sri Lanka went after the journalists who wrote honestly about what happened to the Tamils after Rajapakse and his brothers took over the country.

I have written about this detail of the Genocide also and the links to all of my past reports are located below this story and clearly identified.

The sad truth is that many Sinhala Buddhists are raised to hate Tamils and it is a fact that the same is true of Tamils. The divide is tragic for all of the people of this otherwise beautiful island nation.

The history of both cultures here is ancient and there is no reason that the two cultures can not live together peacefully. It is the drive to establish the ideal Sinhala nation that has driven these Buddhists to become such cold blooded killers.

As much as Lankan nationalists would like to deny it, the fact remains that its government is a conduit of state terrorism and its hands are soaked in the blood of tens of thousands of Tamils, and also many Sinhalese who support equal human rights.

There are many examples over the years; both in the time period following liberation from English colonization in the late 1940's, and all of the following generations, of Sri Lanka removing and striking the Tamil culture from official account. This all fed the notion of separation with Tamil Eelam and only the national ego of Sri Lanka's majority have kept this process from becoming fully implemented.

Black July in 1983 saw mobs of Sinhalese Buddhists terrorize thousands of Tamils, raping and murdering people simply because they were Tamil and burning down countless homes and businesses.

It was retaliation to the SLA casualties in a battle with the LTTE. Armed forces fought armed forces; yet the retaliation by a firebrand Buddhist monk close to the government, led to massive carnage.

Krishna Saravanamuttu, A Promising Future Diaspora Leader

Krishna Saravanamuttu, a 26 old Tamil Canadian, who is a winner of Queen’s Jubilee Medal, is a promising young Diaspora leader on the rise. In all the forums he spoke he emphasized the need for an independent international investigation into the war crimes and genocide of Eelam Tamils by Sri Lanka. Mr. Saravanamuttu called on Canada to support the eviction of Sri Lanka from the Councils of the Commonwealth. He has also also been demanding a referendum among the Eezham Tamils on the basis of historical, earned and remedial aspects of Tamil sovereignty as the only means to check the protracted genocide of the Eelam Tamil nation. This is in sharp contrast to some of the wavering stand taken by some of the older Tamil leaders.

It is about time the various Diaspora and Eelam Tamil leaders merge together and put up a common stand on the question of sovereignty and Eelam statehood. For a million Tamil Diaspora a dozen Tamil parties is just too much. It is also about time the older generation move the youth to the forefront and they take a back seat.

Mr Glen Murray, the Canadian cabinet minister in-charge of universities, who nominated him for the award, told TamilNet, “Krisna has provided outstanding leadership in Canada's student movement, in his advocacy with the United Nations for justice for Tamils around the world and his leadership in building youth organizations committed to social justice and human equality.”

“He is one of our countries emerging leaders and demonstrates the personal integrity that has earned him the trust of so many and allowed him to accomplish so much,” Glen Murray further said. A Canadian minister cannot be far out of mark. Please listen to the tube to find out what he has to say.
- Special thanks to Noel Vethanayagam

A Light in the Darkest of Night

A young Canadian named Krishna Saravanamuttu, is speaking out for Eelam Tamils and making a number of points clear:

  • Tamils are the victims of a Genocide in Sri Lanka at the hands of the Sinhalese Buddhist government that peaked in May 2009, yet has reigned for more than sixty years.
  • The Genocide is not over, as 100,000 occupational troops remain in the north and east; Eezham Tamils are prevented from returning to their homes, and resuming ownership of property that is rightfully theirs.
  • Seeking meaningless war crime sanctions will not lead to any real results or positive lasting change for Tamils who seek to live in the Tamil homeland. The only answer is for Tamil Eelam to exist as a nation, which it has, and does still; according to previously established doctrine.
  • Tamil Eelam's existence as a recognized sovereign government, gave it legitimate power to defend itself; therefore completely and totally legitimizing the role of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
  • The Tamil Tigers did not form, nor did any Tamils partake in any form of armed resistance, until after three decades of attempting to counter Genocide through non-violent civil disobedience. The elimination of languages and culture are indeed, also aspects of Genocide.

Krisna Saravanamuttu has the unique ability to reach Americans and Canadians in English delivered without a hint of an accent. His sincere call for a Tamil homeland to be established is logical and conforms to established international law, which Sri Lanka has violated for so many years.

The Tamil Diaspora needs a bright light to guide them through the fog; an enlightened leader who can reach the western power brokers and make them understand the fact that none of Sri Lanka's problems would exist had the colonizing British not divided this population; giving advantages to the Tamils that Sinhalese were denied; resentment was fierce and the payback to the Tamils for a preference they received but did not ask for, has been a terrible bloody mess for too long.

Krisna Saravanamuttu on Tamil Sovereignty Cognition: Declaration on universal justice to the national question of Eelam Tamils.


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Tim King's previous Salem-News.com reports on Sri Lanka:

Jun-10-2012: UN Targets Reporter Who Criticized Sri Lanka War Crime Suspect

Jun-08-2012: Captive, Handcuffed and Dying... 'Brutal' and 'Shocking' Describe Newly Released Sri Lanka War Crime Images

May-07-2012: Sri Lankan Buddhist Mobs Call for Mosque Demolition

Apr-27-2012: Big Trouble for Sri Lanka: UN Has Cluster Bomb Evidence from Northern Province

Apr-12-2012: Carpetbaggers in Sri Lanka: Traitors Terrorize Northern Tamils

Apr-10-2012: Sri Lanka: Genocide and Poor Toilet Training

Mar-23-2012 UN Warns Sri Lanka Against Retaliating Toward Humanitarian Activists

Mar-22-2012: White Flags, White Vans and White Lies? A Closer Look at the Death of Colonel Ramesh

Mar-18-2012: Is Google Earth Hiding Sri Lanka's Ghosts?

Mar-15-2012: Channel-4 Documentary Proves Sri Lanka Committed War Crimes

Mar-11-2012: War Crime Court and its Conflicting Interests

Mar-08-2012: Sex Abuse and Murder in Sri Lanka- New Photos Emerge

Mar-02-2012: A Very Uncivil War - Ghastly Images- Gross Detail and Denial of Sri Lanka's Genocide

Feb-28-2012: Americans Praise Sri Lankan Politicians who Orchestrated Genocide

Feb-28-2012: Tweets from Tamil Eelam

Feb-24-2012: Two of Sri Lanka's Foulest War Crimes

Feb-19-2012: Will Another Documentary on Sri Lanka's Genocide Impact the Geneva Human Rights Session?

Feb-08-2012: The Questionable Effectiveness of Lighting Yourself on Fire

Feb-03-2012: Sri Lanka's Independence Day- a Black Day for Tamil Eelam

Jan-11-2012: While UN Claims Zero Tolerance, No Discipline of Sri Lankan Abusers in Haiti

Dec-28-2011: Why Was a Red Cross Manager on Vacation from Gaza Murdered in Sri Lanka?

Nov-24-2011: Fear, Genocide and Torture in Sri Lanka

Nov-21-2011: London Calling: Time for Sri Lanka's Release of Post-Conflict Report

Nov-11-2011: Ode to a Humble Hero of Sri Lanka: Dr Brian Senewiratne

Oct-15-2011: Genocide 101: World and Media Apathy

Oct-08-2011: Sri Lanka Joins Israel in Naval Attacks on Unarmed Fishermen

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

Aug-31-2011: 'No Song and Dance' Over Sri Lanka War Crime Admissions

Jul-25-2011: Former Sri Lanka President's Children 'Reacted With Anguish' to Tamil Genocide Program

Jul-22-2011: M.I.A. - A Beautiful Reflection of the Besieged Tamils of Sri Lanka

Jul-17-2011: 44 Prisoners Join Hunger Strike at Vavuniya Prison in Sri Lanka

Jul-14-2011: The Bush Administration's Role in Sri Lanka's Tamil Genocide

Jul-13-2011: Fields Should be for Sports, not Genocide... Sri Lanka

Jun-29-2011: Sri Lanka Continues Genocide, Thumbing Nose at UN and World

Jun-20-2011: Sri Lanka's Violence Toward Tamil Minority Continues

Jun-18-2011: 'International Day in Support of Victims of Torture'Remember the Tamil Genocide

Jun-17-2011: European Tourists Waylaid in Sri Lanka, Resurgence of 'White Van' Crime

Jun-15-2011: Tamil Genocide Explored in Sri Lanka's Killing Fields

Jun-02-2011: UN Experts: Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide Video is Real

May-31-2011: New Song 'Depression' - Graphic Truth of Sri Lanka Tamil Genocide

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

Apr-22-2011: World Ignores Genocide of Sri Lanka's Tamil Population

______________________________

Tim King in 2008, covering the Iraq War

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

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: tim@salem-news.com. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)

View articles written by Tim King





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Srivan June 25, 2012 12:50 pm (Pacific time)

All that part that the British favoured the Tamils in the 1940s is arrant rubbish. If the Tamils known for being studious got through competetive examinations and were selected to the public services on merit that is certainly not being favoured.

 Editor: Well it is not meant as an insult, it is not intended to demean Tamils, the point we are making is that the divide was deepened.  Nobody has raised a flag over this until now.

In any case statistics have shown that in the clerical services the sinhalas were numerically higher although Tamils were in higher proportion on a percentage basis relative to the ethnic population. In the higher civil services they may have been in higher numbers at times based on highly competetive examinations even after independence until 1956 of course when the Bandaranaike era unleashed the full potential of racism and religionist Sinhala Only bigotry which incidentally consumed Bandaranaike himself! What we witness since that time is bloodshed and yet more bloodshed, the breakdown of law and order, and under the PTA since 1970s to date anything goes even war crimes unlimited. Alongside corruption has become rampant and accountability for human lives and finance have become non-existent. anything goes so long as one has political clout is the order of the day. The video images should be sent to the UNHCR to add to the body of mounting evidence of war crimes. Unless teh UN acts Sri Lanka will end up in another human tragedy under its very nose! This is yet another unfolding tragedy !!

Editor: We are trying to connect the dots, the story is very important to our staff and we only mean to relate the truth.  As one of if not the only US news agency paying constant attention to this story, it is sometimes difficult to relate every aspect of the story with complete accuracy and we are always willing to amend and add and do what it takes to build accuracy.  


Just another Lankan June 22, 2012 8:08 pm (Pacific time)

As a Tamil who lived through the Sinhalese insurgency in the '70s and the riots of 1983, I can safely say I have never ever favored the idea of a separate Tamil state. The Tigers were a brutal, bloody group of people hellbent on fascist rule. They killed leading Tamil figures and anyone else who disagreed with them. If they'd gotten their separate state, it would never have even come close to resembling a democracy; it would have been a dictatorship. However, their brutality does not excuse the Sri Lankan government's flagrant disregard for human rights, the silencing of critics, white-vanning dissidents, and political killings. I am entirely in favor of war crimes investigations not only of Tiger leaders who are still alive, and that includes those in parliament, but also of the current family that rules Sri Lanka with an iron fist.


Dissanayake June 22, 2012 5:19 am (Pacific time)

“First of all, none of the people shown in the video seem to exist today.” “….help us identify some of them.” You are saying that none of the people shown in the video seem to exist today and then asking for help to identify them. Can you see any contradiction in your arguments? If you are honest you would be able to tell that nobody shown in the video exists today only if you identify each and every person shown in the video. This shows you are purely based on assumptions and irrationally alleging the Government of Sri Lanka. You are talking about "Sinhala pogrom for the Tamils" and "genocide". But it is an irrational argument because Tamils migrated to Sinhalese dominated areas in large numbers during the war situation due to the LTTE terrorist group. The LTTE recruited children as much as 12 years old. Every family had to give at least one to the LTTE terrorist group. When the separatist war reached to a peak, a large number of people migrated to Sinhalese areas. As a result, Tamil Speaking people in the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, has gone up to 65% of its total population just within two decades. If your claim of genocide is true why did they migrate to the den of lion? That itself shows not only the so called genocide allegation is myth but also Tamils are not mistreated or discriminated. Of course poor Tamils too have economic issues as much as for poor Sinhalese. However Tamils and Muslims control all most all the economic activities in urban areas in Sri Lanka. They are rich. You yourself should visit Colombo and other urban areas to find out the truth. It is unfortunate some western journalists rely on the LTTE propaganda widely available in the internet.


Guest June 21, 2012 6:53 pm (Pacific time)

These were photos released by the Sri Lankan Army itself after the battles, of dead LTTE cadres, and those captured. If you look at the injured, you see water bottles and other items next to them; is that mistreatment? No, this was before they were handed over to Red Cross. Get the facts straight before stooping down to propaganda.

 Editor: Everything we carry is about human rights and helping people find justice from Genocide, the LTTE had every right to exist, as established in this article, and if you know so much about repatriated prisoners, then help us identify some of them.  

As for captured LTTE, go ask the SL Army, they have the records; most of the captured have been rehabilitated and released back to their families; those that undertook civilian massacres/ethnic cleansing when LTTE was ruling the north and east are still in prison awaiting sentencing, as they should be. Salem-News indeed! I guess another LTTE diaspora mouthpiece off the digital front.

Editor: I only wish what you are saying was true, the prisons you refer to are in many cases, secret.  This is part of the whole Sinhala pogrom for the Tamils.  As I say, I only wish you were right.  And as for the LTTE, they are not supporting any journalists that I know of, not one cent, this is a story about human rights, war crimes and Genocide.  


Dissanayake June 21, 2012 5:52 pm (Pacific time)

As Ran said, these child soldiers are clearly injured and dead LTTE fighters captured after fighting between the Army and the LTTE. It is an exaggeration to say that these video clips show any war crimes. ----"Their faces are forlorn and they are very, very young."---- For this issue, it is the LTTE that should be accounted and responsible for recruiting children forcefully and sending them to fight with the Army. It is again an assumption to say all these people do not exist today. There were 12000 surrendered LTTE fighters who are already rehabilitated and reintegrated with the society. Especially all the children were released within the first year of rehabilitation and they were given education. I know some have already selected for several universities to follow courses like medicine and engineering. It is very understandable to remove cloths of female fighters because they may be from suicide formations. It is dangerous to take all the dead bodies without through search. I can remember the cloths of the male LTTE fighter who was the pilot of the last suicide air attack near the Katunayake airport were removed for searching of similar items. It was done in front of the magistrate. But no magistrates will visit a battle fields after any war anywhere in the world. It is not required.


Ran June 21, 2012 1:05 pm (Pacific time)

Hey, There was nothing graphic about those videos. and there was nothing to suggest war crimes. It is clear that a battle has taken place between LTTE and SL Army and Many LTTES are dead, collected and lined. Those injured seems to lying on the ground. It is obvious that there was a war. What else?

Editor: First of all, none of the people shown in the video seem to exist today.  That suggests they were murdered the way other surrendered combatants were, after giving up, which obviously is a full blown violation of the Geneva Convention.  Second, transporting prisoners with the bodies of their dead comrades was totally unnecessary, which is cruel and unusual punishment, also a violation of the Geneva Accords.  Another element which is highly disturbing is the consistent stripping of women to expose their bodies in a sexual manner.  We know rape and sex abuse were widespread based on the recordings the SLA took of themselves, the state of the  female bodies is clearly consistent with those crimes, which are huge violations of international law as they amount to crimes against humanity. 

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©2018 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


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