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FLASHBACK: Sex Abuse and Murder in Sri Lanka- New Photos EmergeTim King Salem-News.com
Be forewarned, that the photos of war crime and sex abuse victims shown below, are shocking and gruesome.
It has been a little more than a year since I wrote this shocking story about the horrible acts against Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka that took place during the end years of the country's nearly three-decade long civil war between the separatist Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government. Sri Lanka's actions are back in front of the United Nations Human Rights Council and UN Human Rights High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, says Sri Lanka has broken its promise to improve human rights in the island nation.
Pillay has also issued a stern warning to the Sri Lankan Government not to repeat last year’s intimidation and threats against human rights defenders at next week’s UN Human Rights Council meeting to examine Sri Lanka’s progress on human rights and post-war reconciliation with Tamils.
This article, in spite of being almost a year old, is one of our top viewed and commented upon stories month after month consistently in 2013. As hard as it is to take in, this fact means a great deal. Exposing atrocities vividly online is one of the most powerful, underutilized options we Human Rights journalists have at our disposal. We make sure that the memories of Sri Lanka's war crimes follows their officials around like a bad smell.
Here is the article from March 2013:
I have written several articles examining the terrible crimes against innocent women and girls that occurred during the Sri Lanka civil war and the ensuing Genocide that enveloped the Tamil population in the island country's northern region.
The conflict wiped out most of the resistance force, the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - aka 'Tamil Tigers'), and tens of thousands of innocent defenseless civilians who were directly targeted.
Along with the carnage came a barrage of sex crimes against Tamil women and girls that defy real description.
Be forewarned, that the photos of war crime and sex abuse victims shown below, are shocking and tragic moments captured in time, of female rape victims who were viciously killed.
The shocking images are bloody and horrible and yet very important, as Sri Lanka stands accused of war crimes and is the subject of a resolution calling for several measures of atonement and clarity, not that anything could ever ever be enough.
Humiliation, torture, children murdered in obscene ways, military leaders with white flags gunned down while they surrendered, white van disappearances that strike horror into the heart Tamil people.
The images attest to human cruelty that is simply beyond the imagination of western people whose governments when united, most of all, have a chance of forcing change on nations like this that by policy, practice deadly, mass murder against their own citizens.
Sri Lanka's actions against its own people stand as a textbook example of state terrorism. There was nothing rational or reasonable or justifiable about directing people into safe zones and then bombing them, or killing old men and old women, chasing families down, one atrocity after another. They are all photos of war crimes that took place in 2009, the photos have been authenticated, there are different versions of the photos and video, the SLA did a good job documenting their deeds.
At the bottom of this article is a quote from a man claiming to be a former Sri Lanka soldier; that confirms in my opinion, our worst suspicions, that it was even worse than we can imagine.
Before making strident moves to ethnically cleanse the civilian population, Sri Lanka wiped out and silenced all journalists who were sympathetic to the Hindu and Christian Tamils.
Then, the United Nations observers were asked to leave by Sri Lanka's government; the UN ordered them to clear out, and this left the Tamils at the hands of the Sinhalese Buddhist regime of Sri Lanka President Majinda Rajapaksa, to die without witness... but not completely.
As these terrible photos testify, the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers like to photograph their handiwork. They rape and abuse women, murder them, and then abuse their corpses, for the camera.
Many Tamils recorded the attacks they suffered, and a great deal of media was preserved somehow, even though so many of the people who took the pictures and video died.
Where their images of suffering and death end, the SLA soldier's videos and photos begin. There have been officers of the Sri Lankan Army who have stepped forward to corroborate some of the darkest claims. Sri Lanka denies journalists access to the war zone, many disappeared people remain missing, stories of secret camps are rife, torture is commonplace.
New Images of Isaippiriya
I have written at length about the tragic loss of a young, highly talented journalist name Shoba, who was more commonly known by the name Isaippiriya. The images on the right show her in two vastly different settings; murdered in a Sri Lanka killing field where soldiers stripped the dignity of women before terminating their lives, and holding a small child (see: Two of Sri Lanka's Foulest War Crimes).
She was a reporter for TamilNet and other sources, and also worked as an actress, she sang and she danced. She also had a young child who died in the war a short time before she was molested and tortured and killed.
The group of women represented here in death are, Sri Lanka wants you to believe... terrorists.
Isaippiriya's story is moving because she is an example of who the Tamil Tigers in so many cases are and were; versus what they are portrayed to be by the Sri Lankan government and media.
People do not choose the place of their birth, they don't ask for their particular station in life, or what family or economic setting they are born into; what we do know is that all human beings have the same basic needs, and under the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and by the simple basis of common sense, people need to have both religious freedom, and a number of pre-established Human Rights.
A gentle soul by all accounts of people who knew her, the SLA would later report that she was a high ranking military officer in the LTTE, she was no such thing.
In fact Isaippiriya had health-related issues that prevented her from even wearing a uniform for the Tigers.
LTTE Still Active
In her honor, and the members of the LTTE who fought the SLA in the Vanni and held out against tremendous odds, it is important to say that the LTTE is not inactive, and we have had recent contact from members of the military group and we are assured they are in fact, not a 'defeated' organization in any respect.
Some of the people who choose to leave comments on this story will charge that the LTTE was a 'terrorist' organization and the United States, which recently Murdered 1.5 million in Iraq, is who helped achieve this dubious designation for the Tamil Tigers.
What that same of group of people will not talk about, is how the LTTE had not only backed off on its insistence for the independent state of Tamil Eelam in north Sri Lanka, but also that a cease fire was in effect when Rajapaksa and his forces launched the deadly war's final state, in 2005.
The EU and UN all followed suit in adding the LTTE to the terrorist list; of course it wouldn't be surprising to learn that those two groups recently killed more people in Libya taking out Gaddafi and arming the new band of U.S. friendly rogue Muslim extremists, than all of the LTTE victims combined.
And on the subject of honor and the military and war crimes, the LTTE was formed to fight the SLA, and in 1983, after a battle left 13 SLA soldiers dead, a radical Buddhist monk led a band of Sinhalese Lankans into Tamil neighborhoods to murder hundreds and hundreds in retribution for the 13 dead SLA soldiers.
The history, when closely examined, almost always shoots down the excuses for this apartheid, Genocidal government. It tells a tale that began with greedy British colonization and a division of the native Sinhala and Tamil people.
Tamils were given preference under British rule, and have paid the price for this ever since Ceylon, as it was called then, finally gained independence from the British in 1948.
The racist policies forced onto these people by the British is the formula for lingering hatred and violence.
Tamils forced Muslims out in the 1980's when tensions heightened, cruelty was dealt out by both sides, but the LTTE would have never even formed if a population accounting for 18% of a country is threatened.
While wishing for a peaceful future, I strongly respect the Tamil minority culture, who first labored for thirty years in peace to maintain and preserve their culture, and then spent another thirty years as an armed resistance with the only goal really being the autonomy of Tamil people and the preservation of their language and culture.
In an article titled: New War crimes Pictures emerge!, Fight4tamils compares the actions of Sri Lanka's soldiers in the last days of the war and Genocide, to a bunch of animals who staged one of the ugliest crime against humanity.
Global Tamil Forum via globaltamilforum.org
I wish I could tell you the name of each of these young women, or even if they are definitely LTTE, I can't tell you about their families, talents and educations, much of the information died when they did.
There is one victim thankfully, Shoba, who we are very familiar with, perhaps at some point more information on the identity of the other victims will be gained.
I was moved by the following comments that have been posted online in regard to these photos:
A comment previously listed as originating from Colombo Telegraph, was listed out of context. The person that was attributed to, contacted Salem-News.com, advising that we had only included part of a comment he had left on a Transcurrent article. The comment was not made in regard to these images or this article, this was a mistake on our part, we sincerely apologize for the error.
It is never our intention to misconstrue a comment in this way; context is extremely important. We have retracted the comment and owe the individual a strong apology for this oversight, stating for the record that the mistake was ours and we regret the fact that it occurred.
Story from 08 March 2012 concludes.
The ethnic cleansing that culminated in May 2009 took place under the watch of Major General Shavendra Silva, who headed the 58th Division, the same group that shot dead the Tigers surrendering with white flags. Navi Pillay, we know you want to do the right thing, use all your power and do everything you can to make this government accountable for its war crimes, bring our Tamil brothers and sisters their long-deserved justice, please.
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As I continued researching the story of Isaippiriya, or 'Shoba', more information continued to emerge and I take her story personally because she was a journalist and because she lost a child before being abused and killed by the SLA. She like other Tamils, LTTE or not, lived in peace until the Rajapaksa regime decided to blatantly and illegally violate a standing, successful peace treaty. That is when the crimes against the Tamil people accelerated and escalated into a full-scale Genocide.
The photos above clearly demonstrate that Isaippriyia's hands were tied behind her back. She plainly appears to be both a sex abuse and/or rape and murder victim, who was executed after being captured. This is obvious. I was greatly surprised in June of last year when I received a video clip from London, recorded by the SLA itself, that showed her body with her hands untied being counted among dead Tamil Tiger militants. This clip of video is rock solid conclusive proof that Isaippriya's murdered corpse was staged by the Sri Lankan government under the direction of for a body count of 'enemy dead'. I owe great thanks to Donald Gnanakone and Vasuki Muruhathas for getting that videotape to our newsroom.
Jul-01-2012: Did a Ghost Crawl Inside My Laptop?
Also on Isaippiriya:
Feb-24-2012: Two of Sri Lanka's Foulest War Crimes
(These links are repeated below)
Keep it real, peace out...
Updated 27 February 2013
________________________________________Tim King's previous Salem-News.com reports on Sri Lanka:
Articles for March 7, 2012 | Articles for March 8, 2012 | Articles for March 9, 2012