SL probe urged as video airs in US

2011-07-16 05:20:27

US lawmakers and rights advocates on Friday stepped up calls for an international probe into Sri Lanka's civil war as they screened a British documentary that purports to show war crimes.
"Sri Lanka's Killing Fields" was shown to the public inside the US Capitol complex. First aired on Channel 4 in June, the 50-minute documentary caused shock in Britain and angry denials from Sri Lanka's military.
Representative James McGovern, co-chair of a US Congress human rights commission named in honor of late lawmaker Tom Lantos, said that the film was "a gruesome example of humans at their worst."
"These scenes provide much more than simply shock value, however: They also are powerful evidence of the need for an independent investigation to hold those responsible accountable for the crimes," said McGovern, a member of President Barack Obama's Democratic Party from Massachusetts.
"If the Sri Lankan government is unable or unwilling to act, then the international community must respond in its place," McGovern said.

McGovern said that anyone found guilty of war crimes should be punished, regardless of whether they belonged to government forces or the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels.
The documentary, which includes footage from mobile telephones allegedly shot at the scene of war crimes, showed what appeared to be prisoner executions and the aftermath of the shelling of civilian hospitals as the military crushed the Tamil Tigers in 2009.
It showed the bodies of female Tiger fighters who appeared to have been sexually assaulted. It also pointed to abuses by the Tigers, who were known for suicide bombings during their nearly four-decade-long separatist insurgency.
A UN report has also spoke of abuses, alleging that the government executed rebel leaders who had worked out a surrender. The United Nations has said that up to 7,000 civilians were killed in the final months of fighting.
Sri Lanka's military has said that a local panel will take action if war crimes allegations are proven but denied any civilian deaths. The military said original footage showed that soldiers -- presented in the documentary as executing prisoners -- were actually rebels dressed in army fatigues.
Sri Lankan media said last week that authorities detained a Briton for allegedly helping produce the documentary.
US lawmakers, after lobbying from Tamil Americans, have led calls for a UN-led inquiry into war crimes allegations. The State Department has warned Sri Lanka that it must ensure accountability or face growing global pressure, although it has stopped short of fully backing an international probe.
Amnesty International helped arrange the US screening of the documentary. Adotei Akwei, the rights group's US managing director of government relations, said the event was meant to "counter an effort to describe the end of the war as neat and precise by the Sri Lankan government."
"I think that there has been either a reluctance or an unwillingness by the administration to be a champion on this. This documentary will make it much harder for that to continue," he said. (AFP)

  Comments - 22

  • Dr.Wimal_Modawansa Saturday, 16 July 2011 05:48

    Begining of the end or End of the Begining?
    We should join our hands to gether to fight the western forces sponsered by the diaspora linked to LTTE.

    Reply : 86       81

    Bumba Saturday, 16 July 2011 06:00

    Looks like it will be difficult to hide behind the religious and patriotic veil.

    Reply : 50       86

    ASFAR Saturday, 16 July 2011 06:17

    who can say for sure who are civilians and who are tigers? is there any mechanism for that ?

    Reply : 41       84

    Suren Saturday, 16 July 2011 10:01

    Very true Like in Kashmir

    Reply : 2       4

    Smart Alec Saturday, 16 July 2011 17:07

    What a joke, The tigers have 4 legs,and the civilians have only 2

    Reply : 3       7

    Fair N Square Sunday, 17 July 2011 06:24

    the 2 legged tigers were more vicious in their hay days now an eradicated species.....

    4       7

    MAH Saturday, 16 July 2011 06:22

    Politically motivated and highly suspect, who in their right minds will believe this video. I certainly hope that at the same time, the countless points raised (52) to be exact about inconsistencies of this video will be aired. I doubt it though, as this video from start to finish is nothing new and totally unacceptable as any kind of evidence for anything as important and grave charges of human rights. Let's get the fact, air all sided, before such garbage is presented to the public under the pretense of fact.

    Reply : 51       70

    ICC Saturday, 16 July 2011 13:57

    you are correct, thats why they demand international

    Reply : 1       3

    Saleem Saturday, 16 July 2011 16:48

    In independent probe will establish the facts once and for all, only there is nothing to hide.

    Reply : 0       8

    Hash Saturday, 16 July 2011 10:16

    Why do they just reply for the video if its a hoax, other than boasting in election rallies? Before its spread to the whole world ??

    Reply : 1       7

    Gunapala Saturday, 16 July 2011 10:24

    Shall we probe into the mass killings happened in Central Bank explotion, Colombo 11 explotion, Dehiwela train explosion etc. etc. and, let's probe each one by one in order.

    Reply : 8       6

    Hisham Saturday, 16 July 2011 10:27

    There is no hope for diaspora linked to LTTE .Riots in some middleeastern countries USA financial debt,hasking scandal taking centre stage,better try something new

    Reply : 1       2

    niyaz Saturday, 16 July 2011 11:37

    Could anything be worse than napalming whole villages. The americans sure have short memories when it comes to their war crimes. This is just one incidence of the many.

    Reply : 3       3

    Yehiya-Doha Saturday, 16 July 2011 14:26

    situation come to worse.

    Reply : 0       4

    freehit Saturday, 16 July 2011 16:41

    The director of the film seem to have done an awesome ( or, is it awful ? ) job in making fiction look real and fooling lot of big wigs.

    Reply : 7       2

    dias Saturday, 16 July 2011 18:20

    What about th USA war crimes

    Reply : 3       6

    GKA Saturday, 16 July 2011 19:13

    This is certainly nothing new for the Amercians. They have seen worst incidents happening where-ever their forces have seen action. Also how stupid are these Americans to believe this drama, specially created for this purpose and outcome.

    Reply : 3       2

    SL tamil Boy Saturday, 16 July 2011 19:21

    There are more to come just need the reply for this first .

    Reply : 2       5

    Grumpy Saturday, 16 July 2011 22:14

    Now it is clear why KP is with the SL government. Living in any other country, he would be arrested and tried for war crimes. But in SL he is safe.

    Reply : 0       5

    raj Sunday, 17 July 2011 00:04

    has anyone ever be punished for crimes against humanity? Has anyone ever be punished for 1983 riots or burning jaffna library or war crimes or any other crimes against humanity? Answer is no. It means we need an international mechanism to punishe who committed crimes and be immuned with Sri Lanka. If anyone would have punished for 1983 riots or burning library, there would not have been any armed violence or the violence may not have been justified.

    Reply : 5       9

    YURI Sunday, 17 July 2011 04:54

    Why dont Sl send their Video as well, or SL version video only for SL folks.

    Reply : 1       13

    Fair N Square Sunday, 17 July 2011 07:15

    who gets to watch all the crimes committed by the US UK and the combined forces in Iraq and Afghanistan? any world panel? UN? NATO? oh c'mon double standards....

    Reply : 7       1

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