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UK presses SL over Ch4 film

15 June 2011 04:16 am - 52     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The UK Foreign Office has pressed Sri Lanka to investigate alleged atrocities during its civil war after "horrific" footage aired in a TV programme. Britain's Channel 4 showed what it said was previously unseen footage of what purported to be extrajudicial killings of Tamils by the military.

Sri Lanka's defence ministry dismissed the videos as fabricated, saying they were intended to discredit the army.

The army defeated the Tamil Tigers in 2009, ending 25 years of war.

Both the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels have been accused of human rights abuses during the conflict, which killed an estimated 100,000 people.

The one-hour film, entitled Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, shows what appears to be executions of Tamil men, and video showing the corpses of naked women who appeared to have been sexually assaulted.

The programme - the result of two years' collection of video and eyewitness accounts - said the reports amounted to evidence of war crimes committed during the final months of fighting.

One video - which was said to have been taken by the military - shows graphic images of at least three bound prisoners, including one woman, being shot at close range.

In it, a soldier gives instructions to the others about how to kill the men.

"Is there no one with the balls to kill a terrorist?" he is heard saying, before telling his colleagues to aim at the prisoners' heads.

Channel 4, which also showed alleged abuses carried out by Tamil Tigers, said experts had found the video to have no signs of manipulation.

The film also cited witnesses describing the aftermath of the alleged shelling of hospitals in so-called designated safe zones.

British Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said he was "shocked by the horrific scenes" in the documentary, which he said contained "convincing evidence of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law".

Mr Burt said the UK was ready to join the rest of the international community in pursuing "all options available" to pressure the Sri Lankan government to act.

The announcement comes as the UK Home Office prepares to deport some 40 Tamils, including five who claim that their safety has been compromised after their case papers were passed to officials in Colombo.

Sri Lanka, which has maintained that no civilians were killed by its army during the fighting, rejected the claims.

In a statement on its website, the country's Defence Ministry cites an expert who says the video had been deliberately manipulated.

The government has repeatedly argued that it has been unfairly criticised for ending a conflict that claimed tens of thousands of lives amid regular suicide bombings of government targets.

Last month, the UN special investigator into extrajudicial killings in Sri Lanka, Christof Heyns, said that video footage showing soldiers apparently executing civilians is evidence of serious rights abuses.

Presenting the footage to the UN Human Rights Council, he said that after careful analysis, he had concluded that it was authentic. (BBC)

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  Comments - 52

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  • Kumar Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:56 AM

    Is this true. C4 trying to make problem Tamils and Sinhala people in Sri Lanka. If we these thing happen Tamil people very well. Please put we in trouble. This news is make by tamil dais pora and C4

    atchtha Wednesday, 15 June 2011 07:07 AM

    So the justice for the innocent people killed by the ....., so we don't need even our courts and police, after the crime we can tell to victim forget about the past lets get together?

    dumini Wednesday, 15 June 2011 07:53 AM

    We don't have proper judiciary system inquire this case.So we are really appreciation international community pressure to government.

    jacoob Wednesday, 15 June 2011 08:01 AM

    Just see the C4 mate ..

    jacoob Wednesday, 15 June 2011 08:02 AM


    Hiring intl' experts .. never .. we have had enough trouble with them

    vignesh Wednesday, 15 June 2011 08:03 AM

    you are so funny .

    Ruwan Wednesday, 15 June 2011 08:20 AM

    Apparently the videos were taken by cellular phones Am I correct? These incidents is supposed to have taken place in the north. One should try to figure out why a soldier carry a cellular phone in the northern territory when there was no transmission available in the said territory by any of the cellular operators!! Two years ago were cellular phone with cameras affordable to a soldier operating in the northern territory? I seriously doubt whether this would have been possible?

    Dias Wednesday, 15 June 2011 08:17 AM

    When LTTE killed 700 policeman you people were sleeping

    Shame Wednesday, 15 June 2011 08:30 AM

    didn't you see the phones, digital cameras on our soldiers hand when our national televisions rupavahini, ITN, eye channel were telecasting live coverage from war front?

    Musthafa Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:26 AM

    All editted in Tamil nadu Film industry/ LTTE still tryin the best. good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Titta Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:28 AM

    Anyway, we believe Rupavahini,ITN,and Channel Eye only.

    Prabakaran Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:33 AM

    Chanel 4, Thanks for showing this again. It is worth for the big money we spent on you. I trust u british people, are always clever to devide nations. Hurray for queen & British donkeys

    Nissanka Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:50 AM

    Everyone just watch the whole thing on' youtube' and make up your own mind. Whether you are happy or sad, it is all upto the individual, but there are lots of questions to be answered.

    atchtha Wednesday, 15 June 2011 07:00 AM

    We all are newly born babies born after 3 decades. We don't know anything to think at this moment. We all accept what our government say. doesn't matter what the international community says. We don't know what is HR, etc etc...

    Lal Medawatte Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:54 AM

    Do not show your ignorance!.Military had all the modern communication equipment, digital cameras, phones etc during the war as you and I have paid and still paying the cost of them.

    milliband Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:58 AM

    It is hardly believe that Sri Lanka soldiers filmed their own execution and distributed. Only British like hostile elements can believe such happening.

    colin Wednesday, 15 June 2011 10:06 AM

    It appears that all the people in the country have such a short memory...I couldn't care less if it was for real. That was the only way to end a 'BLOODY WAR"...!!!!

    Niv Wednesday, 15 June 2011 10:07 AM

    you are wasting your life always blaming LTTE for everything, though our gov finished them up. just think the reality....

    CW Wednesday, 15 June 2011 10:08 AM

    Whers is our Rana the Gona when UK accuses a sovereign nation? SL is no longer a British Colony, probably they have forgotten. These are aftermaths of comments by our loose Cannons.

    Ezhilini Wednesday, 15 June 2011 10:19 AM

    Come and ask the wanni people. They will tell you the truth from chemmani to Mullivaaikkaal.

    jacoob Wednesday, 15 June 2011 10:24 AM


    Looks like the war is not over yet !!

    Rajini Wednesday, 15 June 2011 10:34 AM

    Soldiers fighting the terrorists to be getting hold of their cameras to record. What blooming madness is that when they were trying to save themselves?

    Cheran Wednesday, 15 June 2011 10:39 AM

    That is why international community (Foreign Countries) banned LTTE. Now the IC believe ......

    Jason Wednesday, 15 June 2011 10:59 AM

    if god is fare, why allow atrocities to happen to all...

    Ramesh Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:26 AM

    SF pls comment....

    Coolman Wednesday, 15 June 2011 04:52 AM

    For the world of me I cannot understand how they can say without doubt that this is done by the Gov. soldiers.

    malini Wednesday, 15 June 2011 05:27 AM

    common tamil people this is war

    Cheran Wednesday, 15 June 2011 05:35 AM

    Dear Editor, why can't you arrange for us to view the Video so that we ourselves can determine whether it is fake or genuine.

    RAJIV Wednesday, 15 June 2011 05:38 AM

    The truth will set you free. The tides are turning and the wagons are stating to circle. All will be over sooner than we thinking. God is always fair to all humanity.

    Ambal Wednesday, 15 June 2011 05:42 AM

    Why they took two years to fabricate a video? Unfortunately we did not have the digital technology 200 years back to record true atrocities done by british to all Sri Lankans.If so those ppl will not open their mouth.

    malkanthi Wednesday, 15 June 2011 05:46 AM

    Genuine anger over false accusation does not need denials but face it head-on.”

    cholan Wednesday, 15 June 2011 05:49 AM

    "Sri Lanka, which has maintained that no civilians were killed by its army during the fighting" - how old are you people.. Grow up and accept the truth.

    dilan Wednesday, 15 June 2011 05:57 AM

    As the news article say "1 hour film"....In other's all fiction....

    dilan Wednesday, 15 June 2011 05:59 AM

    If the article showed alleged abuses carried out by Tamil Tigers, Why dont UK take action against the LTTE diaspora in UK some of whome are former LTTE terrorists...?

    dilan Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:14 AM

    All are pack of lies....Its a film

    Ramesh Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:15 AM

    The Tides of lies are turning sponsored by the LTTE disaspora

    cracko Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:23 AM

    Malkanthi, it appears you have concluded it is false accusation. What you would "like to believe" and the "truth" can be different.

    Raj Wednesday, 15 June 2011 04:55 AM

    whether it is fake or real, sri lanka must hire real experts, may be international experts too, and show thier side of analysis. Just saying fake does not amount to be correct. We are living in electronic age, even the kids can do lots excellent videos and media content. But to keep the faith of the international community where we are part of, we should prove it beyond any doubts. Govt of Sri lanka can must spend money on finding the widely accepted expects in the respective fields and let them work independently or collaboratively with the UN team and prove it. This video has stirred lots hearts and minds. To me, the tourism can be affected the least as the foreigners are going to see. Our economy is not in good shape with the current cost of living. so please clear the name of the country scientifically, technically so we can make the opponents quiet once and for all.

    Ramesh Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:26 AM

    Yes....most of them are living in UK, on their back yard....

    Ganeopola Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:30 AM

    OK, now the film Sri Lanka's Killing Fields is finally released, When will be the Sri Lanka's Killing Fields 2 released? Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:35 AM

    terrorists are not civilians. Even in this fake video they don't show SL army killing civilians. Killing terrorists is not a crime.

    Calvin Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:38 AM

    its still under editing. so probably by end of 2011. They must be waiting for latest photoshop to be released. that will give them a real edge.

    mohan Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:36 AM

    after MR Finished battle with Sinhalese (may be start from FTZ).

    narkut Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:44 AM

    better have an independent inquiry to see the fact

    atchtha Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:52 AM

    Didn't the camera man show the fellow SL soldier? hope you didn't watch and just making comments for time passing.. really funny

    Javi Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:55 AM

    Truth always bitter

    atchtha Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:52 AM

    you can directly watch this on channel4 website. Sl media dont get guts to publish anything. They can only copy the contents from BBC, indian express etc and republished after removing small part /adding something to the originals... no wonder.

    Paul Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:52 AM

    We are against it, if it is against us.It doesn't matter to us whether it is true or false.

    Slkan Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:57 AM

    Guys! if u listen to this video it doesn't acused the G.ment forces... it accuses the LTTE aswell. what best for the country and people now is Forget the past and be together to rebuild the country.... we shd be pionners in unity and brotherhood after the bldy war...

    atchtha Wednesday, 15 June 2011 06:59 AM

    So international community should punish the sri lankan singalese who are in out side of Sri lanka instead of SL government?

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