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Mar-18-2012 02:33printcommentsVideo

Is Google Earth Hiding Sri Lanka's Ghosts?

Google, are we misreading this? Haven't Sri Lanka's Tamils been through enough?

Peninsula in north Sri Lanka
The haze that begins in the upper half of the photo of a peninsula in north Sri Lanka, is where the notorious Tamil ethnic cleansing took place. Google doesn't want you to see it, so a distinct haze blurs the killing fields from view. Google is aiding war criminals.

(SALEM) - Does Sri Lanka's ongoing lack of transparency over its recent Genocide of Tamil people extend to Google Earth?

It's disturbing. Google Earth appears to be be using an unusual series of photographs to comprise its image of Sri Lanka as the regime stands accused of war crimes in Geneva.

It's a question that deserves to be asked; why is the exact area where so many were killed by government forces hard to make out, and why is that image specifically from 2005, years before the intense attacks on civilians in this area, while adjacent images are from May 2009, in the middle of the worst of the ethnic cleansing?

The number one online resource that people turn to for research should refuse censorship to any government that stands accused of grave violations of international laws regulating war, and crimes against humanity.

In my continual research of the Genocide that left up to 160k Sri Lankan Tamils dead and missing, I opened Google Earth to study the peninsula where the Sri Lanka Army directed people into free fire zones, and then attacked these civilians with heavy artillery. I was disturbed to see that a square filter appears to have been placed over these notorious killing fields of a recent Genocide.

In this area, on the east coastline of north Sri Lanka, the government's military forces unleashed bombardments week after week in 2009 onto a trapped population, while both the president and defense minister stared into the world's TV cameras and specifically denied that "heavy weapons were being used", when they were absolutely and ruthlessly used.

When asked about the trapped population, officials from this island nation were angry and frustrated and had no patience for the few questions that were asked.

It has been revealed that even U.S. officials asked Sri Lanka's top political leaders to allow the Red Cross into the areas where civilian casualties were feared to be numerous, but the government denied that there were civilian casualties, and then refused to allow the Red Cross access into the affected region.

Then, in an ominous contraction, President Majinda Rajapaksa said, "It was too late for that". There were not enough questions and far too few honest answers if there were any at all.

Is this Coincidence?

View Larger Map

Groups with the motto "Do No Evil" should not place protective masks on Google Earth to shield the public from seeing areas where both war crimes, and crimes against humanity, are suspected of having taken place.

It seems fair to ask, what is Google's role in backing governments as their officials stand accused of war crimes in Geneva? At what point should the Internet giant be expected to rise above the fray simply because that is the right thing to do?

We know that after the Genocide, Sri Lanka hired an unscrupulous advertising agency in London, Bell Pottinger, to write their UN speech and denial of war crimes.

It turns out that long before they started shilling for the Belarus dictatorship and writing speeches for Sri Lankan war criminals, Bell Pottinger were paid apologists for the brutal Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, lobbying hard to help the General evade justice after he was arrested in the UK on torture charges in 1998.

It does not seem impossible to imagine that Sri Lanka is somehow buying this shield from Google Earth. I have written to the email address they list for questions, specifically listing my complaint, asking why the image is more obscure in that particular area, and I have not received a reply.

This is a strong charge, but it is exactly what appears to be going on. Google is denying people the ability to look at a place where a government did everything in its power to commit mass murder; ethnic Genocide, and they did it effectively and with a self-assured attitude.

Island of Beauty and Death

For those who don't know, Sri Lanka is an island nation off the east coast of India, it is beautiful and tropical and has lush beaches, incredible food and rich history and traditions.

In this story we are talking about the northern part of Sri Lanka, also known as Tamil Eelam, where a three-decade long civil war for independence in the north ended in a terrible ethnic cleansing of civilians and an established resistance force.

Previously known as Ceylon, the island was a primary stopover for the early spice traders and even today has a national spice council. Tourism is one of the main industries and without question, Sri Lanka is known for incredible surfing.

Most of Sri Lanka, a little more than 80% of the population, is Sinhalese Buddhist. About 18% of the population is Tamil; most are Hindu, with a Christian minority. There was an ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the contested northern region in the 1980's, where the majority of Sri Lankan Tamils have traditionally lived.

Like all ethnic cleansing that has taken place here, the political and military moves made against Muslims were a large, regrettable mistake, and while they were mostly driven out and not killed, many did die and it is a stain on the history pages.

In fact, the Muslim exodus from north Sri Lanka is one of the first things I learned about this place. I worked with a friend at the Las Vegas FOX station, whose family, Sri Lankan Muslims, were refugees in the United States as a result of this ethnic cleansing.

Tamils and Muslims do live throughout Sri Lanka today, though members of both often face segregation.

The most serious divide remains between the Tamils and Sinhalese, and it is rooted in policies established during the British colonization of Ceylon which lasted for many years. During the years of British rule, preference was often given to Tamils.

They were allowed to work in government positions, they were often better paid than their Buddhist counterparts. Naturally, while this took place, resentment in the Sinhalese community grew and grew.

After achieving independence in 1948, Sri Lanka's Sinhalese Buddhist majority took over and a battle against the Tamil culture was unleashed; one that would lead to sixty plus years of terrible strife, and would culminate just over three years ago in a government orchestrated bloodbath.

Major General Shavendra Silva of the Sri Lanka Army, plotting end of Tamils.

For thirty years, beginning in 1948, Tamils attempted to hold onto their language and culture and their rights by using a Gandhi-style non-violent resistance, and all they did was lose. This led to the forming of the breakaway state, Tamil Eelam, and the formation of the LTTE.

As I have written very recently, the Tamil Tigers attacked military targets and then in 1983, after a military battle that left 13 SLA soldiers dead, saw Tamil civilian neighborhoods burned, and hundred of innocent non-combatants murdered by raging Buddhists. This Tamil tragedy is remembered as 'Black July' - marking the attacks carried out by mobs in Sri Lanka which began on 23 July 1983.

I cite this because, after the war raging so long, the LTTE was declared a terrorist group after U.S. President G.W. Bush took office and lost its rights to politically represent itself, as has happened to Hamas in Gaza.

This assessment was given to the LTTE, after hundreds of its own civilians were murdered by civilians in retribution to military action in 1983 - and at many other points in history. The Tamil Tigers began blowing up areas populated with civilians after their own were killed over military action. Never ever were the Tigers worse than the government it battled.

WATCH Channel-4's first documentary, 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' (top) and the newly
released follow-up program, 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished':

But after 30 years of violent war, and after the LTTE was declared 'terrorist', Rajapakse had his license to commit Genocide and he did it with grand fervor; so many old people and children were murdered that any reasonable person, particularly parents, have a very hard time watching it.

The place where the worst killing is blocked from view by Google even though the war is over, Google is obviously bowing to a request from Sri Lanka.

Channel-4 in London busted the Genocide tragedy open last year with Jon Snow's 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' and it was like lancing a festering sore, one Sri Lanka would much preferred to have left scabbed over.

The blood and gore is really unprecedented because it lasted for a long time and affected so many people. Bombs striking the ground, people's clothing articles in trees because the people's bodies were literally blown through the trees.

They tried to find shelter in trenches that families dug; children screamed and there was little anyone could do at the worst points.

The activity that is forever recorded on YouTube also involved sexual debauchery of the cruelest nature; nude rape/murder victims being loaded into a truck like meaningless cargo, while SLA soldiers joke about wanting to rape them again, one says he, "would like to cut her tits off", and this is recorded on video and widely shown and of course extensively shown and explored in the Channel-4 documentaries.

But trying to piece together events (crimes) with locations is a little harder because Google has a big patch over the exact area where the 'no-fire' zones were established, it seems too exact to be a coincidence.

In addition to the savage killing and starving of thousands of people, one lie after another from Sri Lanka President Majinda Rajapaksa was exposed and as the layers of their story are peeled away it becomes just like an onion, it makes you cry and if it doesn't, then I suggest seeing a doctor. I think I'm tough but I can't make it through the entire documentary without experiencing a tremendous emotional response.

And now Channel-4 has released a follow-up program; Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished and few titles have ever been so fitting.

The first program was called a 'fake' by overtly angry Lankan officials time and time again, yet everyone knows it is not and that the evidence is sickeningly thick and while the actual number of victims is unknown, some placing the number of dead at only 40,000, I believe it is well over a hundred thousand and that in fact very few of the 160,000 Sri Lankan Tamils who ceased to exist, are actually alive today.

This is because part of the evidence, well reviewed in our reports and the Jon Snow documentaries, involves people being executed after they are in custody, some as they happen and others after the fact. One is the supreme commander of the rebel Tamil Tigers- LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), Velupillai Prabhakaran, another is his 12-year old son, and this aspect complicates things for Rajapaksa all the more.

Executions of Velupillai Prabhakaran and Balachandran Prabhakaran

LTTE Commander Velupillai Prabhakaran

Velupillai Prabhakaran is a man I have not written about at great length in previous reports. His death is back in focus from evidence gained by Channel-4 reports involving the death of his young son, Balachandran Prabhakaran.

News about the death of a 12-year old child in this war has been making the rounds in the news worldwide. The tragic death of young Balachandran Prabhakaran and five men, presumably the five bodyguards sent to escort the boy to be surrendered, tell a story of torture and murder and when it takes place during a war, it is a war crime, plain and simple.

12-year old Balachandran Prabhakaran

In the video and high resolution photographs, Balachandran is laying on his back, with only shorts on, and five distinct bullet wounds in his chest. One appears to have been fired directly into his chest at close range, the other entry wounds appear to have been fired after the boy was laying on his back, one exit wound in his upper left shoulder is visible.

The men laying next to him all have their arms behind their backs, as if they had been tied; one still has the rope that appears to have bound his hands, laying below his hands on the ground. It distinctly appears to be possible that this is sloppy coverup work from a war murder. The experts say it appears to be the case.

The theory is that the boy, who did not appear to have been bound or blindfolded, was forced to watch the bodyguards executed as the SLA extracted from the boy, the location of his father. An SLA officer told Channel-4 that is exactly what happened, and that the boy was executed after he revealed his father's location.

Military Commander Executed

The photo that the Sri Lanka government released showed the public the body of Velupillai Prabhakaran, with a cloth covering the top of his head.

In realty, there is no top of his head, he has been executed like the countless other Tamils, with a round fired into the back of his head, and it largely destroyed his forehead, replacing it with a gaping bullet exit wound.

The other photos and video showing the actual wounds were leaked. One shows the Sri Lankan government crudely removing pieces of Velipillai Prabhakaran's brain.

He is seen dead in uniform, with his clothing removed, and then with his body smeared in mud. All of this is depicted in the new Channel-4 program.

Prof. William Schabas is a Human Rights Lawyer featured in Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished. He says Velupillai Prabhakaran's fatal injury was not the result of a combat death, but an execution, a murder, and in this case, a war crime.

His 17 May 2009 death led to this statement from the LTTE:

"We announce today with inexpressible sadness and heavy hearts that our incomparable leader, the supreme commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), attained martyrdom fighting the Sri Lankan government," the rebels' chief of international relations, Selvarasa Pathmanathan said in a statement.

"His final request was for the struggle to continue until we achieved the freedom for his people," the statement added.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were defeated in Sri Lanka during the conclusion of this war in 2009, but the resistance force is still in existence and in spite of their branding as terrorist and the fact that they did carry out many acts against civilians, the group is largely viewed as a resistance force that stood only for the liberation of the Tamil people.

It is a fact that the final push that began in 2005, came at a time that a cease fire was in existence. This was not observed by Sri Lanka's government.

The new documentary reveals how the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) located this otherwise elusive military leader. It seems Velupillai Prabhakaran's fatal mistake, was trusting that officers in the SLA would behave like human beings and above all else, respect civilians who surrendered. He made the wrong assumption, they tortured his son into providing the information.

Blurring the Evidence?

According to strongly corroborated evidence presented in, Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, Sri Lanka deceptively trapped the Tamil people from the Vanni on a parcel land, called by Sri Lanka, a 'No Fire Zone' and then began firing on them with heavy artillery. The weapons were located on the mainland, to the west, and so began the final elimination of people in the active conflict.

United Nations representatives in the area said they were "100% certain" that the weapons being fired into the 'no-fire' zone were from Sri Lanka's military.

Tamil Tiger units were also set up in positions where they could have shelled their own people, an absurd notion by any standard, yet that is what the SLA said.

President Majinda Rajapaksa, his brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka's Minister of Defence, and other top commanders like Major General Shavendra Silva, stated unequivocally that they fired no heavy guns, and that there were only five thousand civilians involved, when the civilians numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

'No Fire Zone 1'

The SLA made the mistake of shelling a provisional hospital set up in the center of the first area where people were told they would be safe, 'No Fire Zone 1'; by members of a United Nations crew that was trying desperately to save the civilian Tamil refugees.

The heavy artillery shells began falling directly on the hospital and the UN team recorded what happened, which was pure carnage, bombs falling in the center of a large area of human brings. They photographed the torn up bodies of the Tamils who helped construct the hospital, that were killed in the SLA's constant barrages of fire.

Prof. William Schabas, says the photographs of the people killed at the UN hospital tell a grim story. In one case, a person's head is decapitated, it appears to have been blown off. In another photo, Dr. Schabas says it is clear that a woman's face shows signs of shrapnel entry, consistent with the exact type of weaponry Sri Lanka's government says it never at any time used.

There are many points along the way where the 'official story' seems like pure fiction and is extremely contradictory, but it truly hit home when the same United Nations representatives who were surviving the direct fire in the 'no-fire' zone, contacted the government in Colombo and soon, the shells began falling in the no-fire zone - but about 100 metres away.

This proved conclusively, that the shells killing the civilian refugees in a no-fire zone, who were starving from not being provided ample food, also a war crime, were indeed being directed by government forces, and it proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the SLA had the ability to fire the guns in any direction they chose.

It is important to note that the Google Earth page has this area; where the SLA says they were not bombing civilians, but in reality according to some reports, sent a thousand tons of artillery at the civilian targets, visible but seemingly obscured. I have seen this on Google Earth before and I believe national security is perhaps a fair reason, but this war is over, or as the Tamils still in the military-occupied Vanni often say, it is not.

'No Fire Zone 2'

Next came the establishment of the second so-called 'no-fire' zone, which was smaller than the first region. Once people were established, the heavy weapons began again, at times leveling people and at times leaving many victims alive and screaming desperately for help that was not available.

Doctors with the Sri Lankan government voiced complaints about not receiving adequate medical supplies, later they would all be jailed, and then the subject of an unusual 'retraction' of statements they made during the war.

The SLA forces began moving toward the remaining population of living Tamils trapped on the peninsula, and that is when, for a brief time, the civilians thought they would be rescued.

That is after all, the government's way of describing the entire operation, as a "rescue operation". Over and over again Snow shows the two Rajapaksa brothers stating this outrageous claim; and they are not by any means the only officials shown parroting the same words.

The fact that the bombings lasted for weeks, and that journalists who would have told the story more completely were the first to be exterminated, is highly unacceptable and again rings of a government with absolutely zero regard for human rights and international law.

They said repeatedly that they never killed a single civilian, it is embarrassing as a human being to see this situation actually taking place still, with denials at the forefront and responsibility basically non-existent.

'No Fire Zone 3'

Then came the third and final, deadly 'no-fire' zone... Now, squeezed into a tiny parcel of land, the remaining civilians were being blasted constantly by artillery and when it stopped, soldiers arrived on foot, and this is where so many of the most terrible crimes against humanity became far more personal.

Those able to survive did so under brutal conditions; lacking security, medical supplies and food. The anguish, again, is highly documented and painfully portrayed in 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished'.

Nearly if not all, lost family members and friends. They were from all walks of life, they were families, old, young, babies, mothers and fathers.

A witness in the Channel-4 program says he was in a bunker, injured badly, but he refused to believe that the SLA was simply moving through and slaughtering the survivors of their bombing campaign.

The man said, "Then I saw them pull about 15 people out of a bunker and spray bullets at them at close range". Then he knew that anyone Sri Lanka's soldiers found, was as good as dead, no age requirements, no gender preference on the killing, though women and girls suffered extra horrible fates in many cases.

Part of it again, ties back to the labeling of a resistance movement with the word 'terrorist'. In this case, it is used to dehumanize the human being who was born into a culture and place where a movement is underway opposing a government. Even the rape victims were "just terrorists" as the soldiers clearly state on the videotapes that recorded their heinous thoughts and deeds.

Beyond the terrible sexual crimes and torture, this type of savagery is truly the most refined type of ethnic cleansing; it is a Hitler-style crime because government military forces were directed to literally exterminate all of the people they encountered.

The images of suffering human beings, already so deprived and terrified, having to literally run for their lives, is a devastating image. The video from this exact time is not something that any viewer will soon forget.

So for those just discovering this tragedy, and I know there are plenty of you, the bottom line is that human beings were slaughtered like animals by the current Sri Lanka government, and a continual lack of transparency has been Sri Lanka's inflexible position; that much we know.

Tamils in the affected region have paid dearly in a war
where Sri Lanka's President says no civilians were killed.

We also know that the country's acts have been fully outed and it is the United States that is actually leveling charges against Sri Lanka at the present time. They almost got away with it, but humanity has a strong voice and that is how and why I am able to deliver this information to readers right now.

Google Earth's apparent effort to blur the image of the place known as 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' is high octane fuel on a still smoldering fire. It makes Google complicit to Sri Lanka's lack of transparency at best, and a partner in their project to conceal war crimes at worst, and sadly that is how it appears.

This area so hard to make out on Google Earth, the section of the peninsula where the final group of terrified refugees were herded and then attacked, is a place where people were told they would be safe, and they were killed by months of unchecked rampant state terrorism; the worst possible kind.

As I have written so many times and always will, Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa regime eliminated the journalists in this place who were willing to tell the truth about the Tamil's plight. A long list of dead and missing reporters and editors and other media employees defines the true spirit of this current government.

Google should not have anything to do with it, but I fear that they do because that hazy patch looks too square, too precisely located; too foreign on an otherwise clear picture of a normally sunny and clear country. I suspect that a clearer image might reveal a number of details that Sri Lanka does not want us to see.

Tim King's previous reports on Sri Lanka:

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


Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Vis8 February 20, 2013 9:19 am (Pacific time)

Nice kissing-up to the moron callum macrae, who has swallowed hook-line-and-sinker the video made by ex-ltters in Berlin. The original video is in the hands of the Authorities, and shows that all dialog is in Tamil (whereas ch-4 video has Sinhalese dubbed in). Tim King, apparenly is, like macrae, seeking his fifteen minutes of 'journalism' fame, by publishing unverified items given to them by terrorists who fled the war.

Lion King August 27, 2012 7:31 am (Pacific time)

The world very well knows about the war crime that SRI LANKAN army did to the innocent people. it is genocide. Whoever taken by them for, took refugee no one know what happened to them. UN, Geneva and other countries, everywhere talking about the crimes and making decision. But nothing happened. Such a small island country, so much brutal they did, eventhough no action taken against them. Still it is like stone inside the ocean. Please bring them to court. Prove them that they are the war criminals. Give punishment. At least the suffered / survived human life will thank and think of their loved ones and pray to GOD for the soul to rest peace. If this is happened to belong to our family members, how our blood will boil to take revenge on them. Poor and innocent people are not having any support from the world leaders. Really i feel very very sorry for them.

chinwi May 24, 2012 10:12 pm (Pacific time)

Tim King: I used to think Buddhists didn't kill. ! He he what a fool. ! Do you expect any nation to meditate when you come to massacre them ? You should wait until maturity to understand these things big-headed kid.

chinwi May 24, 2012 10:05 pm (Pacific time)

Tim King is a paid Propagandist of the terror group LTTE. Unfortunately all efforts of these paid terrorist went rubbish when valiant Sri lankan forces killed blood sucking terror leader and his gang. Now these puppets cry n cry until their death take them to hell for the wrong they have done for the humanity using the thing called journalism. You will never escape from it. Even before your death you may get a chance to experience the verdict for your crimes.

chinwi May 24, 2012 9:58 pm (Pacific time)

"Tim King said: First of all, you are describing my journalism as unprofessional and that is incorrect. ! " This is the most hilarious statement made by Tim Kim. All who know what has happened in SriLanka past 30 years know who was Prabhakaran and what he has done with his killer gangs. People like Tim Kim are the most dangerous guys next to terror groups. Both earn and live by terror.

Robby Shields April 12, 2012 1:35 pm (Pacific time)

I am just glad the Sri Lankan Military got rid of those Tamil Tiger terrorists. Now leave them alone and help them rebuilt. If there was any crimes, they have a government which would take care of it, so stop jumping over your panties.

Editor: I guess it's all up to your interpretation of 'take care of it'.  Why do you believe this requires apartheid, genocide and intense dishonesty? 

Come on Robby, let's hear it.  Let me be witness to your excuses for this act against nature from the GoSL.

rate April 4, 2012 6:00 pm (Pacific time)

WHat are you talking Tard:  Velupillai Prabhakaran's fatal mistake, was trusting that officers in the SLA would behave like human beings

Alagediya April 4, 2012 5:56 pm (Pacific time)

Wow now they post fake photos as rape vitims. The guy standing near the pretending rape victim is a Tamil guy in a SL uniform. Hoooooooo

UB March 21, 2012 9:56 pm (Pacific time)

hey Tim, u seem like a nice guy. there is a reason why CNN, MSNBC or Fox is really not covering this - this story is not as clear cut as u put it out be! we are not a rich country, and our politicians are crooks (but not war criminals) so progress on anything is slow. let time and let sri lankans sort this issue out. u say ppl sent u pictures - well, have u seen the pictures of the 800 policemen or 500 buddhist priests murdered in cold blood after they surrendered to the LTTE? or pics from any of the 100s of bus bombs? or the pics of buddhism's second holiest shrine after it was bombed? - the day after that, no tamil civilians were killed in retributions - something we are PROUD of. the only ever racial persecution happened in 1983, and we have moved on from that shameful day. why dont u, Obama and ur sources? cos u can live faraway, have no plans to ever live in SL hence can stir the pot cos u are not being cooked in it. this is a complex, long standing problem - now that it was solved through war (and not like the SL govt. didnt try negotiated settlements - tried it several times for the LTTE to only restock and unilaterally break it off with a devastating civilian attack), let us have our peace. why dont u and Obama worry abt human rights concerns in the US - Abu Gharib, Guantamo Bay, or collateral damage in Iraq or Afganistan. I'm confused how it is collateral damage when US smart bombs hit hospitals and war crimes when our artilery hit a hospital? the answer is, its the same, and both were not done with intent to hurt civilians. the Al qaeda/LTTE bomb US/SL forces from amongst civilians - the retaliation kills innocents, but isnt it al qeada or LTTE's fault? i think it is.

L de Silva, Colombo, Sri Lanka March 21, 2012 10:08 am (Pacific time)

Look forward to having the comments sent by me being published here. Trust you'd be able to stomache criticism and praise alike!?

L de Silva, Colombo, Sri Lanka March 21, 2012 9:47 am (Pacific time)

Just for the record, Tim King has removed the comment attributed to a person on his blog, removed the racist comment, published a retraction, and apologized: The apology reads as follows:

"A comment previously listed as originating from Colombo Telegraph, was listed out of context. The person that was attributed to, contacted, 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." And the said article in question can be viewed here: Sex Abuse and Murder in Sri Lanka- New Photos Emerge - Salem-News.Com (see facebook/group/srilankanswithoutborders)
I agree with you Bob, this is pure conspiracy / fiction which seems to be feeding into the fantasy world which Tim seems to be living in. Maybe he thinks that this kind of amateur journalistic skills without any kind of effort made into research the articles being writting on will bring him a Pullitzer! p.s.One is highly doubtful if the majory of viwers of this dubious " per capita is Sri lanka"?? Sri Lanka has a highly literate population which is quite capable of distringuishing between fact and fiction and you can take it from a Sri Lankan,Tim, that your cite would be the last to be counted as telling the truth and nothing but the truth! Surely in this day and age, you cannot expect the IT literate population of Sri Lanka to take up any kinda of censorship without a fight! Maybe you could retract a correction here to: the government has not shut down all media that is not pro-government, that is an utter and inexplicable lie! Please we beg you, in the name of ethical journalism and all its affiliations, just get your fact straight man! Is that so much to ask??

Tim King: First of all, you are describing my journalism as unprofessional and that is incorrect, I am waging an informational campaign in the United States, my allies are Sri Lanksns here and in SL who are both of Tamil and Sinhalese, and in many other places.  It should be CNN and MSNBC and the other major networks that are carrying these reports, but it is, which is a highly established news organization.  When I make a mistake and that is communicated to me, I am not above admitting fault and adding a correction that for the public to see.  On the last point, I have been contacted by many journalists in SL and formerly in SL as to the censorship aspect.  Are you actually suggesting that Tamil media is not censored in SL?  

If you are, or for anyone who might be, simply check the page yourself:  I didn't ask for this role, I have been covering this tragedy because a number of people from SL wrote to me and began sending video clips and photos that could not be ignored.  All the story has become to me since then, is much worse.   The government has taken many steps to control media content emerging from Sri Lanka.  Are there any Tamil-friendly journalists in SL?  Of course there are, but those in existence feel threatened.  And for the record, I don't expect Sri Lanka to accommodate any criticism without a fight.  Out of respect for your questions, I will go to work on a new article that accurately breaks down the existence of media in SL.  It will help who is left anyway, perhaps make them safer, and then if something happens to them after the fact, it will be more a matter of record.   

eesha March 20, 2012 2:48 am (Pacific time)

the LTTE tried to control part of our mother land. they couldn’t do it. now they are trying to get us in trouble by saying we committed war crimes. all the LTTE supporters including channel 4 and jayalalitha are doing all they can to gain a separate country for Tamils. our army did not commit war crimes. the LTTE did. they killed un-armed people by hundreds. they set up bombs everywhere including temples and killed people. they recruited kids aged 12 for the war. They introduced suicide bombing.

Tamil people came running to army controlled area at the last stage of war coz the LTTE used their own as a human shield.

ex-LTTE people are being given jobs by the SL gov.

if USA and others are so worried about human rights, why didn’t they speak up when ltte killed people?

and when they kill Osama its ok when we kill prabha, its a crime? Jealous much?

hello? wake up. they both are terrorists.

channel 4 type of false videos mean nothing. just watch youtube videos about ltte bomb blasts if you want to know the real thing

what would USA do if a group of people wanted part of their country and that group killed people in hope of getting a separate country? They would fight right? That’s what we did too.

We love normal Tamil people, Tamil food, the saris and the Tamil movies too. We love living in the same country in peace with them. It’s the terrorists that we destroyed.

So don’t be fooled by the terrorists. Open your eyes and see the truth. please…

During the war time, we were always afraid we didn’t know when a bomb would blast killing people. when we went out in the morning we were not sure if we would be able to return home alive.

Now we live in a peaceful country and we are happy. For gods sake, I share my lunch with a Tamil friend so stop trying to portray us as monsters. we are very friendly and innocent people. We are Buddhists. we don’t hurt other people.

Tim King: I used to think Buddhists didn't kill, in the past I had a totally different impression of who and what Buddhists are, I think you are EXACTLY like anyone else; Christians, Jews, Muslims, they are not the only religions that kill for power, you guys are truly among the worst.  Oh, but you're so nice and sweet, yeah right.  

UB March 19, 2012 10:27 pm (Pacific time)

@kumar - the massive colonization u speak of - well, that development project and others later on are what provided food and power to all sri lankans for the next 30-40 years. its not like sinhalese moved in; tamils too moved to colombo and other parts, based on needs and skills similar to moving between US states. anyone can go live anywhere in a country! 1956 sinhala only - tragic mistake of political pandering. agree with u. 1971 university admission - the poor had less access to high school education, the govt. provided more places to ppl from these disadavaged areas. the elite (sinhalese in colombo, tamils in jaffna) all had less places in uni, it was not something local to tamils in jaffna. and the poor eastern and hill country tamil students got this benefit, just like the sinhalese and muslims. what u fail to realize is that the Sri Lanka that u talk of (till late 1980s) is not the SL of now. ppl are much more tolerant and most of these mistakes have been changed (like the sinhala only language policy. sinhala and tamil are co-national languages, with english as a link language). the international tamil diaspora (most of whom left the country in 1980s) still believe we are stuck in the 80's mentality. we're not, if u want to solve these issues, move back to SL, if not, enjoy ur life in Canada or wherever, and let us sort our own problems.

Kumar March 19, 2012 4:42 pm (Pacific time)

Here are few important historical points on what Tamilians were deprived of in the course of time.

-> In 1948-50 the then Prime Minister of Ceylon D.S. Senanayake launched massive Sinhalese colonization schemes in the Eastern province, the traditional homeland of the Tamils. Gal Oya in the Batticalo District, Allai and Kanthalai in the Trincomalee District were the colonization schemes launched by him.

-> On June 14, 1956 Mr. S. W. R. D. Bandaranayake, leader of the Srilanka Freedom Party and Prime Minster, who won the Parliamentary Elections help in 1956 caused Parliament, dominated by the majority Sinhalese to enact "Sinhala Only" as the official language of Ceylon. This was a negation of the hitherto accepted language policy of treating both Sinhala and Tamils as the official languages in place of English. The imposition of Sinhala only represented the subjugation of Tamils by Sinhalese imperialism. In protest the Federal Party which opposed the Sinhala only act staged Satyagraha in Colombo.

-> In 1971 admission to the university based on merit was abandoned and "standardization" to university admissions through G.C.E A/L examination results was introduced. Lower qualifying marks were fixed for Sinhalese than for Tamil students, both regarding the language of instruction and the subjects themselves. The introduction of "standardization" adversely affected Tamil students' access to higher education.

-> In June 1981 under directions of two Sinhalese Ministers the army and the police set fire to important buildings in Jaffna town, specially the Jaffna Public Library considered one of the best in South Asia was torched. This resulted in the destruction of 44,000 valuable books. In addition printing presses and shops were also burnt down. Civilians were killed by the army . Another racial riot broke out.

First Sinhalese started to occupy the lands of Tamils and then removed the official language status of Tamil and abandoned the merit based admission to the university and destroyed the litreray and knowledge base of the Tamils.

This clearly indicates the Sinhalese motivation towards Tamil. So until we get our own land we will not be able to grow.

Editor: Thank you

UB March 19, 2012 2:22 am (Pacific time)

The issue at hand is more gray than black and white. For example, the government is accused of firing on hospitals, they probably did - but the ICRC, UN and other INGOs also state that LTTE operated mobile artillery/RPG sites close to or from hosipitals so retaliation from the SL army leads to civilian casualties when the army points its guns to where the RPGs came from. It has been stated by Tamil doctors in these hospitals that the LTTE themselves fired on the hospitals as a desperate last ditch attempt to force an international lifeline. it is well documented that the LTTE shot tamil civilians who tried to escape to govt. held areas (in one instance killing 500+ civilians when they tried to cross the lagoon). the most important question is why were so many civilians packed in such a small area - the reason is that the LTTE forced them to withdraw to use these helpless civilians as a human shield. the accurate number of the civilian dead will never be known, but the figure i think is close to 2500 (which is the number of missing persons reports filed in the area following the war)to 5000, which is still a high very sad number which just underlines that, in conflict, the real losers are civilians, tamil or sinhalese... the NGO types, the presidents, the dictators - they dont hurt, we do.

UB March 19, 2012 3:11 am (Pacific time)

few facts - SL is 69% sinhala buddhist, 6% sinhala christian,8% muslims and rest hindu/christian tamils (17%)and not 80% sinhala buddhist.the ethnic cleansing of the muslims in 1980s was done by the LTTE. Period. The LTTE, whenever they took over an area, killed or chased away all non-Tamils (muslims, sinhalese and tamils who tried to help them escape). none of the videos have been conclusively verified as authentic by any international organization. the difficulty is most tamils know sinhalese, and some sinhalese know tamil so the language spoken is not conclusive proof; neither is apperance as all of us look alike. the main actress in the first channel 4 video (i use the term actress by design)has been proven as an LTTE member and therefore cannot be an independent witness. i'm by no means trying paint the current corrupt SL regime as saints, but after 3 decades of civil war, the regime did end the reign of terror - ppl can now travel in buses or go to a govt. office without a worry of being blown to bits by bombs. it is unfortunate that this issue, the only issue that unites almost all sri lankans, is in world spotlight at a time when the govt. was unpopular and on its way out - it is frustrating that the US has handed the regime another battlecry for its re-election, because even if the UNHRC resolution passes, China will veto any action and the end result is us suffering under a corrupt (but not genocidical) government. i do agree with u on the probable execution of prabakaran (maybe even his son) and other senior LTTE leaders - it is likely that they were executed in a style similar to Bin Laden. No one cries for Bin Laden, no one shud and all terrorist leaders shud be dealt in that manner. Imagine if Bin Laden was tried, how many airplanes will extremist terrorists hijack, how many US embassies, govt offices will they target.

Tamil Realist March 18, 2012 9:32 pm (Pacific time)

This story well illustrates what took place out of the sight of network cameras and observers. To call it immoral or irrehensible is only a starting point.

March 18, 2012 7:44 pm (Pacific time)

''They were allowed to work in government positions, they were often better paid than their Buddhist counterparts.''

A myth!!

Tim King: Really?  I have read this in several credible sources, I am not trying to make a point of it, only illustrate the British prejudice, can you say Hutu and Tutst?  Same nightmare, different day.

Archie Bunker March 18, 2012 8:43 pm (Pacific time)

You know what would make a great article? How leftists always resort to name calling and threats ("I am really close to just deleting your comments") when their myopic, "everyone is a victim" views are challenged. For anyone wanting to support Sri Lanka's economy, I imagine an order of tasty "Two if by Tea" would do the trick.

Tim King: Well you're a frequent complainer, and you certainly think every liberal person is out to get you, not much room to talk on this one Bob.  Victimhood- use that to describe whining right-wingers and Israeli Zionists, but leave the Tamil people out, they are victims.

tintin March 18, 2012 5:35 pm (Pacific time)

plotting the end of tamils? ...if he plotted the end of tamils there wouldn't be any in sri lanka right now. shitty reporting from a third class journalist

Tim King: Well, he and his bros were on the mainland directing artillery at the Tamils, what point are you making?  I see your bigotry is strong and your anger rife, I guess you guys are really feeling beat up right about now, but how do you think the Tamils felt? 

Do you deny the Jewish Holocaust because Jewish people are alive today? 

I don't know what you call that type of logic, and you call me third rate

I'm just writing an article about how tragic it is that SL got away with war crimes, that isn't changing. 

Maude Phearson March 18, 2012 5:09 pm (Pacific time)

This is terrible and obviously the point of the article has merit. If it were not the exact area in question it might be a coincidence, but this is a good observation, glad you called it out.

Bob Gallagher March 18, 2012 4:40 pm (Pacific time)

If you'd like your daily Sri Lanka news to be taken seriously, you would do well to stay away from the conspiratorial tin-foil hat nonsense. Google provides satellite pictures of the area and you complain because the pictures aren't to the quality you want. You got satellite pictures of a foreign land FOR FREE! and you complain because the pictures have "haze". This is a great example of entitlementism. Give people something for FREE and it isn't enough. You are welcome to pay one of the many satellite imagery companies like Digital Globe a bucket of money and they will gladly supply you with some first rate pictures of Sri Lanka, the Lancaster Walmart, or anyplace else you'd like. In summary: there is no anti-Sri Lanka Google conspiracy. You got the pictures FREE, find something better to complain about. Entitlementism is killing America.

Tim King: Go to Bob, the number one country viewing per capita is Sri Lanka, it is because the government shuts down all media that isn't government-friendly, probably something you approve of with you Archie Bunker attitude; we carry the news and the people there see it, pretty easy to figure out but you would have to care first.  People were murdered by a government- it is a terrible war crime, if Google is putting it out, it should be done right and not patched together to excuse the acts of a war criminal government.  This isn't tin hat, the image of the killing field is specifically removed and replaced with an image four years older.  I've never see this contrast on Google Earth- not like this.  As usual you are simply an antagonist and I see no reason for it, you are troubled by people who think out of the box, you are unconcerned about the things that this site cares about, I am really close to just deleting your comments. 

Bob Gallagher March 18, 2012 12:43 pm (Pacific time)

The conspiracy is deeper than you are letting on. It extends to Oregon. Check Salem on Google Earth, then look at Alfalfa, Oregon. The resolution is different! Salem is crystal clear, but Alfalfa is all blurry. This can't possibly be due to anything other than a world-wide conspiracy to hide the genocide that is happening at the Alfalfa, Oregon feed store! Idanha was a little fuzzy too. Probably a FEMA prison camp. Check on that, will ya.

Tim King: This is a serious subject, your comments are worthless and a bother, pick up the bar Bob- or maybe you don't care about these murdered people, probably the case.  In the meanwhile, I carry your comment to show people what Americans are like when human rights come into play.

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