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Sri Lanka Can't Deny This Disturbing Video Proves Sri Lanka Army Committed War CrimesTim King Salem-News.com
One casualty of war was Shoba, also known as Issapria, a reporter from TamilNet.
(SALEM) - I've written about Issapria before... she was a young reporter from Sri Lanka whose life and dignity were stripped away by government forces as they carried out a series of war crimes on the minority Tamil population.
The acts manifested particularly savagely in the Vanni during the bloody month of May 2009.
The Tamil minority of Sri Lanka waged a decades-long war for independence. This unfortunate young woman was born into her existence, she didn't choose it. Her whole life was in front of her, when she was viciously sexually attacked and murdered. This is the only woman I ever came to know after she was already dead.
To this day, in spite of mounting evidence, the government of Sri Lanka denies that it conducted illegal war crimes against both resistance fighters and civilians in the north during the conclusion of the three-decade long civil war.
The administration of President Majinda Rajapakse refuses to acknowledge that its goal was to humiliate and eradicate these Hindu and Christian victims.
But Issapria, even in her death, is here to tell us a story that allows everyone to conclusively agree that allegations of sex abuse, murder and mass deception are part of this war and thus, a direct attribute of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) and the Rajapakse government. Allowing Sri Lanka's crimes against its own citizens to remain unpunished, is like issuing a license for mass murder.
It rubs salt in the wounds of all war crime victim families, and makes international law, frankly, into little more than a joke. Sri Lanka's excuse for ethnic cleansing is that the fought terrorists, but it employed terrorism a thousand times more potent.
There are too many excuses. These are what this government offers when it is not directly accusing its critics of being blatant liars with personal agendas.
Excuses, reasons, explanations...
Also known as 'Shoba', Issapria was many things. She was a mother, a dancer, an actor and journalist with TamilNet, a media group we often carry. Issapria was a member of the armed resistance group LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) but she had health issues and she didn't carry a rifle, she carried a microphone.
But even if she had been a full bore LTTE fighter, there are international laws that protect combatants after they are prisoners of war.
Sri Lanka did not follow these rules of war.
In the first photos of Issapria, she is dead, her clothes are stripped away from her body, her hands are tied behind her back and her pants are pulled down, her legs are spread. But in similar photos of her in this same place, she is alternately positioned.
Either way, dead women with their legs open and their clothing stripped away, who are bound, are generally rape victims.
She is photographed and videotaped initially it appears, where the murder likely occurred. These are the images that show her with her hands bound behind her back. They are backed up with video that Channel 4 used in 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' and it shows, very very clearly, that the girls who are recently killed, are actually covered up to some degree when the video begins, and then the clothes come off again to reveal their damaged, nude, dead bodies.
The defensive posturing of Sri Lankan nationalists is endless, as are the endless denials by a network of Sinhalese Buddhist supporters who refuse to accept evidence or even acknowledge the extremely obvious. Some, like Romesh Senewirante, claim to know all about the war, yet he was in Australia when it happened. Commenting on the new information and video, Sinewirante wrote:
A comment from another (there are many) person using the name Dissanayake in my last article about these images, suggests that these blatant photographs represent legal war conduct.
In disagreement with my assessment, Dissanayake added:
These are hard images to look at, but they tell more of a story now, than they did at first. A London attorney named Vasuki Muruhathas, who represents an unnamed Tamil war crime victim, recently acquired and released 32 new video clips of captured and dead LTTE fighters.
It is clip #28, at 2:56, that heavily indicts Sri Lanka in the death of Issapria.
Even in this video the photographer pauses and comments on her naked body. But the thing that sets it apart, is that the young woman is not bound in these shots.
Her hands have been untied to make her appear as one more dead resistance fighter, but we know that shortly before this, she was laying in a pool of blood with her hands tied.
This is where the deception of Sri Lanka's government clearly enters the picture. They really must have assumed their critics are dumb.
Several things become clear:
We have the proof and there is no need to ask about whether war crimes took place, indeed the only question left is 'how many?' This revelation brings hard reality to Sri Lanka.
Donald Gnanakone has been working with Vasuki Muruhathas to distribute this material into the public channels and it is working. His contributions to the Colombo Telegraph are both informative and revealing:
I did not know before, that Issapria would speak to us from the grave and point us to irrefutable evidence, good enough to prove this point in any court. The real tragedy is that her case is only one, and we are putting this together largely because she is highly identifiable.
I look at the other new video clips, and compare them to the photos of slaughtered Tamil Tigers we are all supposed to believe were "killed during combat operations" with the SLA. At this point only Issapria is showing us proof positive evidence, but I suspect there is a great deal more and it too will show itself to us eventually.
At one point the world will no longer be able to ignore this painful series of international crimes and the reign of Majinda will come to a crashing close.
It absolutely can not be avoided.
Tim King's previous Salem-News.com reports on Sri Lanka:
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