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Lanka slams US war crimes

6 April 2010 05:15 am - 42     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Jamila Najmuddin


Sri Lanka has slammed the US saying it has blood on its hands after a shocking video showed a US aircraft firing indiscriminately towards civilians in Iraq killing atleast 25 of them including two journalists.

Government Defence Spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Daily Mirror online that while the US has been accusing Sri Lanka of human rights allegations and have repeatedly called for a war crime probe, they seem to have ‘conveniently forgotten’ its own issues in Iraq.

Minister Rambukwella also called on the US to conduct an investigation on it’s own troops before pointing fingers at developing countries.

“These are the world’s so called super powers. They have always tried to bully developing countries but have ignored the blood on their own hands. This is nothing new, it has been happening for years. They say we are guilty but we all know what happened in Iraq,” Minister Rambukwella said.

Further reacting strongly to the video Minister Rambukwella also questioned the UN on its silence and queried why the UN Secretary General was failing to appoint an expert panel to advise him on the US involvement in Iraq.

He also said that it was due to this reason, that the Sri Lankan government had always questioned the credibility of the ‘strong statements’ which were released by the west and the UN against Sri Lanka.

The investigative organization WikiLeaks, this week released military video of what it describes as three incidents of an “indiscriminate slaying” by U.S. forces near Baghdad on July 12, 2007.

WikiLeaks said the encounters killed as many as 25 civilians, including two Reuters journalists. The U.S. military said in a statement at the time that a total of 11 people died in the strikes conducted by U.S. and Iraqi forces.

The video is shot from two Apache helicopters on patrol in Iraq. The choppers were responding to reports of AK-47 gunfire in the suburb of New Baghdad when military personnel on board spotted a group of nine to 12 people walking through a courtyard.

The military contends that the U.S. followed the appropriate "Rules of Engagement" during the incidents.

The video shows military personnel aboard the Apaches indicating they spot the suspects toting several AK-47s and several RPG's. But WikiLeaks contends that the Reuters photographers were only carrying cameras, which the military mistook for weapons. The helicopters circle multiple times before opening fire.

In the second incident captured by the video, U.S. forces open fire again after a van arrives to pick up casualties from the first attack.

Later, American ground troops pull into the courtyard in an armored Humvee and appear to drive over one of the casualties.

Soon after, the same helicopters spot several individuals entering a nearby building. U.S. troops receive permission to strike again, this time with Hellfire missiles.

Julian Assange, of WikiLeaks, released the video at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He said the behaviour of the pilots is like they're playing a video game. He also did not say how WikiLeaks obtained the video.

A senior military official at the Department of Defense told Fox News on the condition of anonymity that "an investigation of the incidents confirmed our belief that these attacks were justified."

"The individuals who were killed, apart from the Reuters journalists, were involved in hostile activity," the official said. (Daily Mirror online)

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  Comments - 42

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  • Tuesday, 06 April 2010 05:58 AM

    Well said, Mr. Rambukwella!!! Let this be heard by US and rest of the world..

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 05:59 AM

    what ego's just because everyone in Lanka cowers before the Rajapaksa, he thinks America gives a damn !

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:02 AM

    This shows justice is not served at all in this world......the rich always walk away with their crimes....!!!!

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:06 AM

    Ok, guy, on the 17th of May 2009 Sri Lankan Army and Indian Army killed nearly 50,000 people. Do not throw stones from the glass house

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:08 AM

    -A senior military official at the Department of Defense told Fox News on the condition of anonymity that "an investigation of the incidents confirmed our belief that these attacks were justified."
    Yeah. Poor LTTErs SL army killed were involved in hide and seek.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:11 AM

    Excellent! Now Asia should start to challenge so called "Super Power".

    It is so sad to notice that people like "Dheen" is left in SL who worship the "White Skin"

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:13 AM

    Yo deen, be a man..dont be a jack ass, every one knows what USA/ISRAEL doing to poor Iraqi/Afganistan & palestine people. They just kill in the name of Terror..innocent children/old people/todlers /pregnant women and men. for what???? since they have no power to hit them back???
    will they do the same to other countries like china/russia etc.
    since there are people like you thinking with your tiny brains not with their hearts...no one to standup for their mistakes. They do not allow people to search their back yard...if you do u will find billions of skeltons....so they keep media and UN busy with others small small matters...to hide their big mistakes.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:14 AM

    This man should know that this kind of irresponsible statements do not help Sri Lanka anyway. This is purely his cheap election properganda.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:15 AM

    Tit for Tat,Good one when SL Army it,s War Crime when NATO or US Army does self defence

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:32 AM

    Hon. Rambukwella the US in this instance is not its own people. In Sri Lanka's case, the accusation is that it killed its own people. This is why the charge is serious.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:39 AM

    I think this is totally unnecessary. US has effectively dropped war crimes allegations against SL. Why drag trouble again?

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:43 AM

    What Kind of brutes can ever justify this? Even if we committed war crimes??

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:44 AM

    Whether you are a man or jackass is amply clear when one reads your comment. The wars fought by USA/Europe is transparent with numerous jounalists covering each stage of event. Thus any crime such as the above reported is public. What GOSL did in the north was a closed door mission where the theatre of operation was closed with accusation of manslaughter and human mayhem which is yet not allowed investigation or transparency. One would feel this unless a sinhalese.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:45 AM

    In the US (and other developed countries) a citizen can take their government to court for such violations. In Banana Republics the government takes its citizens to court for pointing out such violations. That's the difference Hon Minister Rambukwella.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:49 AM

    the whole 17 min of the video available on wikileak may be thatll change you mind..hypocrits

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:50 AM

    Banki moon has to keep silence otherwise he cannot stay in that seat.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:52 AM

    that's funny... what justice... only money talks.... the only reason west has so much of interest in SL is not coz they care about human rights, its just that SL is in the middle of the Indian ocean and who ever control SL can have a major impact on prices of goods all around the world

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:54 AM

    i wouldnt trust 20 year old western soldior with a real gun and live ammos cos its all a video game for them more you kill more points you get.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:54 AM

    don't worry... even though they shout and howl they will not escalate the situation in SL to something like full out sanctions... see somalia and its pirates coz of them how much has the prices on goods gone up

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:57 AM

    is there any possibility to suspect the authenticity of the video clip? because we did it with the Chanel4 video. However that the US/UK involved in such things does not give us a free license to kill anybody!

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 07:00 AM

    That's a pretty idiotic statement. Its ok to kill citizens of another country to save one's own citizens but its a crime to kill terrorists in your country. Is that what you mean?

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 07:10 AM

    dude this happend in 2007 and untill now they tryied to cover it up...calling it collatteral damage and regretable.thouse they actually investigate like the black water trial they let thouse criminals walk.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 03:32 PM

    Stupidity ... pretend to be the 'kings of the world.' The noose is getting tighter ...

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 03:57 PM

    'Two wrongs do not make a right.' They killed 25 people - We? ALL PERPETRATORS SHOULD BE PUNISHED!

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 04:06 PM

    This cannot be made use of to excuse 'war criminals' in Sri Lanka.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 04:41 PM

    When the white-man does it, it is called 'collateral damage.' This still DOES NOT absolve Sri Lanka, but it is worth a war-crimes panel at the UN!

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 04:44 PM

    The Americans came-out with the video themselves; so the ones responsible will be punished. This cannot be said of Sri Lanka!

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 05:15 PM

    Looks like the LTTE-Western propaganda agents are shocked that their standpoint has been dented, by this article!

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 05:29 PM

    Sadly, the US have the veto power to stop any action by the UN.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 09:42 AM

    US needs a rambukwela to say, the video is FAKE.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 09:50 AM

    Hey Naushad!! That means U can kill other county's people even though they are innocent. What a world we are living!!!

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 09:51 AM

    Somebodies wrong act is not a permission to do some thing wrong. Two wrong never makes a right.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 09:54 AM

    i am proud that we have such ministers in SL. a couple of years back, all we had were a bunch of clumsy cowards who danced to the tunes of the big blue. now we have real ministers with backbones.

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:53 PM

    This is like 'people living in glass houses throwing stones at each other'!

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 09:54 AM

    why those civilions carrying AK47?

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 10:01 AM

    I am sure Srilankan army is much superior to US army thats why Us is begging Srialnka to trian their army?

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 10:02 AM

    I think Srilanka should impose sanctions in US

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 08:07 PM

    If five 'super powers' can exercise thier veto, then how can the UN preach about democracy, human, rights, and war-crimes? The UN 'measuring machine' works only against the Third World? Only the USA and UK 'fight terrorism' - others 'violate human rights'!

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 10:09 AM

    Invading Iraq is unlawful in the first place, why can't other countries call for a War Crimes Tribunal against US and the UK,.. US nor UK will never solve anything in middle east,... before long they will face disastrous consequences

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 10:10 AM

    Have you ever gone to school, even pre-school kid would understand

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 05:52 AM

    Good One !!!

    Tuesday, 06 April 2010 05:53 AM

    It is a pity to note that those in power roar as if they are far superior to UK & USA in every sphere, but little do they realize, after all, today we are living in a global village and we need the support and help of powerful nations especially the West, whether you like it or not.

    A day will come in the near future that these countries will impose sanctions and we will be nowhere. Already GSP is suspended and a vast number of people have lost their jobs and where are we heading to!

    Is it going to be a "Subha Anaghthayak" or a "Andhuru Anagathayak"!


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