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Video of killings: LTTE hopes UN, ICC will act

[India Today, Sunday, 30 August 2009 09:29 No Comment]

Reacting for the first time, since a video allegedly depicting the brutal killing of 8 Tamils captives by Sri Lankan soldiers was released, Vishwanathan Rudrakumaran, the senior most leader of the LTTE (after the arrest of its former chief Kumaran Padmanathan) said that he is horrified that such a terrible crime against humanity was committed with such casualness by the Sri Lankan armed forces.     

"However, I am not surprised because this is not the first time the barbarism and the brutality of the government of Sri Lanka has been on public display.  We have seen pictures of small children who were literally hung to death in Vaharai and the explosion of bombs in a woman’s private parts to hide evidence of rape by members of the armed forces.

"We fear there have been many more atrocities committed. There have been tens of thousands of disappearances and extrajudicial killings of Tamils over the past 25 years, for instance, while this is the first to be captured on film." he said.

Rudrakumaran said the latest video released by Germany based "Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka" would be part of his legal campaign against the Sri Lankan government.

"Your browser may not support display of this image. Definitely this video will be part of the legal campaign to bring justice to the victims.  We believe this kind of revelations prick the conscience of the international community.  It is appalling to see even after the killing of more than 30,000 people and the detaining of more than 300,000 people in a clear effort to be rid of an entire community, Sri Lanka is still treated as a normal state. 

"The international community’s failure to bring these criminals to justice not only reinforces the betrayal of the international community of the Tamils, but also undermines the rule of law and the integrity of international institutions such as the UN. We hope that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will do an investigation on its own, will refer the matter to the Security Council and get the Council’s approval to initiate prosecution in the ICC.  India’s support for such action toward justice will be very important." he said

Rudrakumaran expressed concern for the three lakh Tamil civilians in IDP camps set up by the Sri Lankan government in North Sri Lanka.

"We are very concerned about the basic human security of the IDPs in the camps and the former combatants in places unknown. General Sarath Fonseka says that 4-5 suspected combatants are being taken from the camps every day, while Human Rights Watch says that there are "concerns of possible ill-treatment or enforced disappearance" for these individuals removed from the camps without accountability," he said.

Rudrakumaran said many of the Sri Lankan government’s actions during its last war with the LTTE had been in clear violation of the international norms and could be described as "war crimes" and "genocide".   

"Your browser may not support display of this image. There is no doubt that war crimes have been committed by the government of Sri Lanka. How else can one explain the killing of more than 20,000 civilians within the last ten days of the war?  In addition to killing tens of thousands outright, the government deliberately starved 300,000 civilians for months, withheld medical care and deliberately bombed and shelled hospitals, homes, fields, and temples and is holding the survivors in concentration camps indefinitely.

"In fact, the carnage committed by the government of Sri Lanka clearly satisfies the definition of genocide in the Genocide Convention.  The intent to eliminate large numbers of Tamils can easily be inferred from the acts themselves.  "

The Sri Lankan government continues to deny charges of war crimes and human rights violations and has said that there is no need for an internal or international investigations into the latest video or other charges.

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