Home » Related

SLankan army calls execution video a fabrication

[AFP, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 08:05 No Comment]

Sri Lanka’s military rejected on Wednesday a video clip broadcast in Britain allegedly showing its troops executing prisoners during the final stages of its battle against Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sri Lankan army spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the footage aired by Channel 4 in Britain was a fabrication to discredit security forces who defeated Tamil separatists in mid-May.

"This video has been made to discredit the armed forces," Nanayakkara said. "This was said to have been filmed at a time when the Tigers too were operating dressed in (Sri Lankan) military uniforms."

The disturbing footage shows a man dressed in army uniform shooting a naked, bound and blindfolded man in the back of the head, while the bodies of eight others can be seen nearby in a muddy field.

A 10th man was also shot in the same way towards the end of the video with men in the background gloating over the killings.

In its report, Channel 4 stressed it could not verify the authenticity of the video which it received from a group called Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka.

The group claims the video footage was taken in January by a soldier using a mobile phone.

The Sri Lankan High Commission (embassy) in London said in a statement to Channel 4 that soldiers were only involved in fighting against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and denied "that the Sri Lankan armed forces engaged in atrocities against the Sri Lankan Tamil community".

"The High Commission has noted that in many instances in the past, various media institutions used doctored videos, photographs and documents to defame the Sri Lankan government and armed forces," it added.

Sri Lanka won support from Russia and China at the UN Human Rights Council to stave off calls for war crimes investigations.

The United Nations has said that up to 7,000 civilians may have died in the final stages of fighting in the first five months of this year.

The United States and rights groups have been pressing for investigations into crimes against humanity.

Journalists were barred from the conflict zone in the country’s northeast where rights groups said a "humanitarian crisis" unfolded without a media presence.

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.