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Mar-15-2012 05:52TweetFollow @OregonNews
Channel-4 Documentary Proves Sri Lanka Committed War CrimesTim King Salem-News.com
Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished - more evidence, fewer doubts about a terrible violation of people - watch it right now.
(SALEM / LONDON) - Did Sri Lanka send its army into the northern Tamil region to massacre people three years ago over a smoldering, protracted religious and cultural war, slaughtering countless people, particularly, by bombing them inside safe-zones?
Only if you believe the mounting evidence.
It couldn't come at a worse time for the Sri Lanka government led by President Majinda Rajapaksa and his brothers: Gotabhaya the Defense Secretary, Basil the Presidential Advisor, and Chamal, the nation's Ports and Aviation Minister.
They may think they have it all wrapped up and this family does in many respects, but Sri Lanka has been in Geneva facing war crime charges and this new program might push anything the Rajapaksa clan has left in its defence, right over the edge.
Their denials of well-documented facts about this period that left so many civilians dead, have shaken the nation's credibility.
It is a fact that most of the journalists who were understanding of the Tamil position, many Sinhalese included; disappeared or were murdered.
But the government didn't consider everything.
They didn't think about the small video and still cameras that, in the hands of the victims, and then the soldiers, tell the whole, undeniable and very ugly story.
Jon Snow reveals that a good portion of the video and early photos from the bombed 'safe zones' were taken in an area they had set up to provide UN aid.
Victims, all civilians, including women and children, were torn to pieces by shrapnel and to this day, the Sri Lankan government denies that any civilians died, making it a proof positive joke in terms of even a remote desire for honesty.
They find themselves above it. The UN teams on the ground said that they were 100% certain that the Sri Lanka government forces were delivering the bombs and that is not just a war crime, but one of the worst kinds.
In a frantic state, the UN crews called officials in Colombo and their message was delivered to, among other officials, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse. Bear in mind the United Nations team was in the center of the 'safe zone'.
A short time after the calls to Colombo were placed, the shelling moved away from the UN camp and began striking targets about 100 meters away. This is proof positive that the shelling of the safe zone was utterly intentional.
Much of this material was released to Salem-News.com and published in the US, and a great deal of it was first shown by London's Channel-4 which really did usher this terrible Genocide out of the shadows.
With regard to the civilians being shelled, the Channel-4 program features U.S. Professor William Schabas, a Human Rights Lawyer, who says the evidence could lead to bigger problems than Sri Lanka has now.
In fact Channel-4 and presenter Jon Snow were heavily criticized by the Sri Lankan government over the first program, Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, which exposed the revolting crimes of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) against the Tamil civilians in the north, enemies in an ethnic culture war that began with the country's independence in 1948, and then raged in a civil war that culminated in the Genocide of 2009.
Sri Lankan officials claimed that the photos and footage of their soldiers murdering armed captives, joking about their dead rape victims, and pounding civilians with heavy artillery in so-called safe zones that the SLA directed them into, were all fake, and that claim was disproved by investigators with the UN.
The popular line is always that the killers (in SLA uniforms) are actually resistance cadres from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and that the victims are SLA soldiers, this is not the case.
I wrote a story last week, Sex Abuse and Murder in Sri Lanka- New Photos Emerge, about newly released images showing young Tamil women who were rape victims; in the images they had already been killed. The story brought this comment; sorry for the language but I want to let the venom flow across:
It is a fairly average example of what I have to put up with as a writer and news editor who engages these subjects on a daily basis, knowing that some things in life are hard to prove and understand, other cases, like this one... not so hard.
Getting under the skin of Genocide advocates is the least we can do.
It is always important to remember that many people in Sri Lanka who are Sinhalese do not in any way endorse or agree with what the government did.
In James Walton's review of the new Channel-4 documentary: Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, Channel 4, review, in The Telegraph, the reader quickly learns that the news team covered their bases, better than before, and the evidence is tight.
Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished (Channel 4) was a follow-up to last year’s harrowing film about the end of the war against the Tamil Tigers — a film that came complete with footage of shelled hospitals and summary executions.
Faced with the resulting global outrage, the Sri Lankan government promised a full inquiry. So, has it now admitted the truth?
The answer, you might not be startled to hear, is no. An official report has acknowledged for the first time that civilians died — but not that this was in any way the government’s fault.
Last night, Jon Snow promised evidence both of more war crimes and of President Rajapaksa’s responsibility for them. In neither case did he break his word.
For a while, it felt as if the programme was proceeding almost too carefully. (At one point, a forensic pathologist was asked to study photographs of mutilated citizens so as to confirm that their injuries were “consistent with shelling”.) But the reason for such caution was soon clear.
The original film had been denounced in Sri Lanka as a sloppy piece of reporting. Here, so little was left to chance that any similar objections will surely be impossible to sustain, although, as we saw when the Sri Lankan government was given the right to reply, that didn’t stop them trying.
Certainly by the end, there seemed no doubt that the government had indeed set up special no-fire zones for Tamil civilians — and then fired on them with heavy weaponry. According to a secret UN report, the “probability” that the government had done the shelling was “100 per cent”.
Even so, anybody hoping for the triumph of natural justice was in for a disappointment. When we last saw President Rajapaksa, he was cheerfully greeting the Queen at last year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia. He also looked pretty happy that the next conference will be held in Sri Lanka.
Tim King's previous Salem-News.com reports on Sri Lanka:
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
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