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US group to use satellite images to prosecute officials for alleged war crimes

[The Sunday Leader.lk, Sunday, 13 September 2009 07:54 No Comment]

A US based non-profit organisation is gathering war pictures taken via satellite in an attempt to prosecute Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly committing war crimes against Tamil civilians.

Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) who are currently working on obtaining indictments against US citizen and Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse and US Green Card Holder and former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka has announced that it will be using several images of the war area acquired from a satellite image vendor at different dates prior to and after May 18, when Sri Lanka’s war officially ended, and will be processing the data to collect evidence of the alleged massacre by Sri Lanka.

“Times UK has alleged from aerial photos and using expert analysis that the number killed is close to 20,000 civilians. TAG has assembled a group of experts and volunteers to do the work, and have sought help from image analysis departments in two premier educational institutions for assistance,” the group said.

TAG noted that as part of the effort, the team will attempt to correlate the documented attacks on hospitals in Puthukkudiyiruppu and those located inside the Safe Zone, using these images. Evidence will also show attacks allegedly carried out by the army on hospitals outside the Safe Zone.

“TAG will document evidence from January to May/June this year, including satellite based analysis that covers several weeks prior to, and after, May 18. TAG believes that the evidence collected in this satellite project, and the evidence currently available from TAG’s previous work can be used in totality to file civil claims in the US, as well as courts in several other countries that have statutes allowing universal jurisdiction for alleged war crimes against these highly placed Sri Lankan government officials,” the group added.

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