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Hurdles for international Sri Lanka ‘war crimes’ inquiry – Channel4 News

[MISC, Sunday, 12 December 2010 10:07 One Comment]

Next week, the UN panel looking at alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka finishes gathering evidence – but it is difficult to see how any international inquiry could operate there, writes Ben De Pear.

10_srilankaun_r_k Last year, after a UN investigation into the authenticity of what became known as the Channel 4 video – depicting the execution of a group of bound men in a muddy field in Sri Lanka – declared the video to be authentic, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established a panel of experts to gather and look at evidence of possible war crimes, writes Channel 4 News Foreign Editor Ben De Pear.

They are in the evidence gathering stage until 15 December, when they will begin to compile their report.


That panel is now thought to have gathered a great deal of evidence especially photographs and videos. The evidence, such as there is out on the internet, contains many photos and videos seeming to depict or describe sexual violence and killings.

Channel 4 News has sent the latest evidence it has obtained – including a longer version of the original Sri Lanka execution video, broadcast last week, to the panel.

Leading war crimes lawyer Julian Knowles told Channel 4 News the video, and details gathered around it on the potential identity of one of the victims as well as the date and location, was "astonishing evidence".

The Sri Lanka report by the panel will then be given to Ban Ki-moon.

Normally, formal war crimes tribunals have to be established by a formal motion of the UN Security Council or the General Assembly, but there have been UN investigations such as the Goldstone investigation into the Gaza conflict of 2008-2009 that were commissioned outside of these processes.

[Full Coverage]

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One Comment »

  • Jay Pathbey said:

    The gathering in Sri Lanka of the highest ranking Navy personnel from Russia, USA, China, India, France and the UK is a prominent and a clear sign of these countries’ acceptance of Sri Lanka’s finishing off of the LTTE. After 30 plus years of suffering and pain caused by the LTTE and their diaspora supporters in the west where the maximum suffering was caused to the tamil minority of the island the nations who have gathered in Sri Lanka to celebrate its 60th anniversary includes every one of the permanent members of the UN which is also a clear indication of its acceptance of the wipeout of the LTTE the worlds most dangerous and notorious terrorist group.

    Your newspaper should report this event in Colombo if not for anything else at least for the sake of amusement of your Tamil Diaspora in the west. Going around in circles glorifying the Channel 4 video which seems like a fabricated piece of trash propaganda is of no significance to an august body like the UN.