Friday, 25 July 2014
Home Tamil Affairs International Affairs Editorial Opinion Feature Culture & Community Interviews
Latest Entries:
‘A child is summarily executed’
Tamil Guardian 11 March 2012 Print ArticleE-mail ArticleFeedback On Article
   

Writing in the Independent, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields Director Callum Macrae has revealed some of the new evidence of summary executions that they have uncovered whilst making their follow up documentary, “War Crimes Unpunished”.

Extracts have been reproduced below. See the full piece here.

For more information on the upcoming documentary “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished”, see here. It will be broadcast on Channel 4 this Wednesday the 14th of March at 10.55pm.

“A 12-year-old boy lies on the ground. He is stripped to the waist and has five neat bullet holes in his chest. His name is Balachandran Prabakaran and he is the son of the LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. He has been executed in cold blood. Beside him lie the bodies of five men, believed to be his bodyguards. There are strips of cloth on the ground indicating that they were tied and blindfolded before they were shot – further evidence suggesting that the Sri Lankan government forces had a systematic policy of executing many surrendering or captured LTTE fighters and leading figures, even if they were children.

“In one incident, legally significant because it is well documented, two international UN workers leading the last UN overland food convoy became trapped near a temporary hospital in a village primary school in Uddiyakattu, in the first of the government's No Fire Zones.”

“With the help of other civilians they began to dig bunkers to provide some protection from incoming shellfire. As was standard practice, one of the UN workers, an Australian called Peter Mackay, took precise GPS co-ordinates of the site, and these were supplied to the government. But if that had any effect, it was certainly not the desired one. Over the next couple of days the camp was subjected to a massive, sustained barrage of incoming shellfire, much of it falling directly on or near to the UN bunker. Dozens were killed – and many more horrifically injured. It was all photographed by the UN workers.”

“In a sense, it was just one relatively small incident in the ongoing carnage of the war, but it is potentially significant because it provides specific evidence linking the Sri Lankan government's chain of command to knowledge of targeted attacks on civilians – attacks that appear to constitute war crimes.”

“As the barrage continued, the UN workers took turns to stand clear of the bunker where they could get line of sight to make frantic sat-phone calls to the Australian High Commi-ssion and other UN officials in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, pleading with them to get the government forces to stop the shelling. They were told these requests were passed on directly to both the then Sri Lankan army chief, General Sarath Fonseka, and the Defence Minister.”

“Shortly after these phone calls, the shelling shifted slightly away from the UN bunkers. But it continued to rain down on the No Fire Zone. In a sworn statement about the incident, Mr Mackay describes how the shelling was re-targeted: "Now the closest shells landed 100 metres from us, indicating that they could control the fire when they wanted to."

“That is likely to be significant in any future legal proceedings over command responsibility for war crimes because it amounts to specific evidence suggesting the Defence Minister and army chief had now at least a direct knowledge of the shelling of the No Fire Zone, and that while shelling was then ordered away from the actual UN bunkers, it continued to rain down on the No Fire Zone. It also represents evidence that the attacks killing civilians were accurately targeted.”

“In addition to the footage of the boy's dead body lying beside his slaughtered bodyguards, Channel 4 has obtained a series of high-resolution stills of the scene. These have been analysed by a respected forensic pathologist, Professor Derrick Pounder, to assess the cause of death. It is possible, he suggests, that the boy may have been made to watch the execution of his bound and blindfolded guards before the gun was turned on him.”

“Professor Pounder believes he has identified the first of the shots to be fired at the boy: "There is a speckling from propellant tattooing, indicating that the distance of the muzzle of the weapon to this boy's chest was two to three feet or less. He could have reached out with his hand and touched the gun that killed him."

 
Share on Facebook Print ArticlePrint Article E-mail ArticleE-mail Article Feedback On ArticleFeedback On Article
 
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Tamil Affairs
Tamil Guardian 24 July 2014
Jaya urges Modi to ensure visas are granted to UN inquiry team
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa, on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Modi to ensure that visas were issued to the investigative team, appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to carry out an international inquiry into mass atrocities in Sri Lanka, [more]

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2014
Tamil Nadu fishermen launch indefinite hunger strike against SL navy arrests
Fishermen in Tamil Nadu launched an indefinite hunger strike on Thursday, demanding the release of fishermen and boats, currently in the custody of the Sri Lankan navy, the Times of India reported. [more]

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2014
Rajapaksa declines invitation to Commonwealth event, fearing Tamil protests

Sri Lanka’s president declined an invitation by Britain to take part in a Commonwealth event to commemorate the beginning of the World War I in Glasgow on August 4, [more]

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2014
Sri Lanka condemns 'deliberate attacks' in Gaza causing civilian deaths

The Sri Lankan government has expressed “deep concern” at the escalating violence in Gaza and said it condemns all “deliberate attacks causing mayhem and loss of life of civilians”, [more]

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2014
Tamils protest Sri Lanka's inclusion in Commonwealth at opening ceremony of Glasgow games
All photographs Tamil Guardian Hundreds of Tamils protested against Sri Lanka's inclusion within the Commonwealth and that the country's president remained as chair, [more]

Tamil Guardian 24 July 2014
Tamils mark Black July in London, call for justice for ongoing genocide
All photographs by Amrita Chandradas Remembering the anti-Tamil pogrom of Black July in 1983, [more]

Tamil Guardian 23 July 2014
Canadian opposition leader commemorates Black July pogroms

The leader of the NDP, Canada’s main opposition party released a statement commemorating Black July.

Tom Mulcair said his party renewed its commitment “to defend the human rights of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka and press for accountability.”

See full statement below:

“Today, [more]

Tamil Guardian 23 July 2014
India agrees to investigate aslyum seekers detained in Australian waters
The Indian government has agreed with to access asylum seekers currently detained off the coast of Australia and determine whether they are Tamil refugees from a camp in Puducherry for Tamils that have fled Sri Lanka, reports the Times of India. [more]


Print Editions

 
 

Contact Tamil Guardian
www.tamilguardian.com