New photo and video evidence has emerged today of war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan forces during the final stages of the war. Global Tamil Forum has released video footage further corroborating the summary executions depicted in the ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ documentary.
This new evidence clearly identifies the victims in the photo squatting with hands tied their backs, including a young boy possibly aged between 10 to 13 years old, before they are shot dead.
The new video footage, which will be aired in Tamil Nadu on Puthiya Thalaimurai (PT) TV at 6pm Indian time, shows some of these men/boys being shot at close range. You can see amongst the dead bodies, this young boy with a distinct bandage on his left arm being shot dead, bleeding from his head. You can also identify at least another two from the photo (when they were alive) and then in the video being shot or already shot dead.
Although some parts of this extended video were in the Channel 4 documentary, even that didn’t show people who can be identified clearly alive, like the way we can in this photo, and then their dead bodies lying in a ‘killing field’.
This new evidence raises further concern that not only men and women, but even young children were not spared, in spite of surrendering or being captured. As reported last month, the evidence of Balachandran (LTTE Leader’s 12-year old son), who was in Sri Lankan Army custody and then summarily executed, was brought to light in the latest ‘Killing Fields’ documentary “No Fire Zone”. This new evidence indicates that this was not an isolated incident of child fatality. It highlights the severe breaches of international laws and conventions during the war and will re-open questions regarding who was in-charge and gave these orders.
Lee Scott MP, Chairman of the UK Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPG-T) and Siobhain McDonagh MP, Vice Chair of the APPG-T, as well as Suren Surendiran, GTF Spokesperson, have given extensive interviews to Puthiya Thalaimurai (PT) TV, which will also be broadcast along with the video.
With the 22nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in progress and a spotlight on Sri Lanka with another resolution from the United States, this evidence will add to pressure for Sri Lanka to address accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the final stages of the war in 2009 and will intensify the calls for an international, independent investigation.
Details regarding the attachments:
Photo – A group of men and boys squatting with no shirt and hands tied behind their back. The boy at the back row at the right extreme with a blue band tied on his left arm.
Now please watch the attached video, particularly between 2.26 mins to 2.28 and 3.00 mins to 3.02. At these particular points of the video you will see the dead body of the same boy, it seems. If you also pause at 3.01 minute of the video, you will see the boy’s left arm where the blue band being still there.
In the same photo, notice at the back row the man at the left extreme with a band on his head, wearing a banyan. now watch the video between 4.49 mins to 4.51. The dead body with a similar banyan with stripes appears to be the same man on the photo.
The same goes to the chap in the front row left extreme with a beard and slightly baled. it appears in the video the last person who is being shot at looks like him.
Although some parts of this extended video was in the Channel 4 documentary, even that didn’t show clearly people who can be identified being alive as the way we can through this photo and then their dead bodies in a ‘killing field’.
On all counts this incident needs to be independently investigated for
(1) – Why these men and boys were killed after capture or after surrender?
(2) – Who gave the orders?
(3) – Why is government of Sri Lanka refusing to let an independent investigation?
(4) – Which international laws and conventions were breached?
(5) – If we don’t serve justice to these victims and their living loved ones, what makes us believe the same will not be repeated in Sri Lanka and/or the in any other country?
These killings go to show it was not just Balachandran who was just shot but even other children and young men were not spared, whether they surrendered or captured.
Please acknowledge in your report that these evidence were sourced from the Global Tamil Forum (GTF). (LNW)