Sunday, 05 July 2015
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 05 July 2015
JHU to withdraw from UPFA

The Jathika Hela Urumaya, one of the main coalition partners of the current government led by President Sirisena, says it will leave the UPFA.

JHU General Secretary Patali Champika Ranawaka addressing a media briefing said the Central Committee of the Buddhist party had decided to contest the elections from a new party, [more]

Tamil Guardian 05 July 2015
Karumpuli Naal observed at Jaffna University
All photographs: Tamil Guardian Students at Jaffna University observed Karumpuli Naal - Black Tigers Day – on Sunday. [more]

Tamil Guardian 05 July 2015
Military coordinates Hindu temple festival held in Sri Lankan HSZ

The Sri Lankan military “organised and facilitated” a Hindu temple ceremony at a temple inside a High Security Zone (HSZ) in Jaffna on Tuesday, [more]

Tamil Guardian 05 July 2015
Maithri 'unaware' of Rajapaksa nomination

A senior Buddhist monk says President Maithiripala Sirisena told him he did not know about the nomination of Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the forthcoming general elections. [more]

Tamil Guardian 04 July 2015
All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils agrees objectives for new Parliament

The UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils has voted in a new chair and agreed on new objectives for the new Parliament.

Conservative MP for Kingston and Surbiton, James Berry, was elected as the new chair of the group. [more]

Tamil Guardian 04 July 2015
UNP outlines post-election priorities
A prominent United National Party (UNP) MP Harsha de Silva said that the party would give top priority to develop the country’s education and health sector after elections. [more]

Tamil Guardian 04 July 2015
Maithri pledges to 'protect silent revolution'

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena said he would not allow the "silent revolution" of the January 8 win over Mahinda Rajapaksa to be overturned. [more]

Tamil Guardian 04 July 2015
Former Sri Lankan army general denied US visa

The former army commander and suspected war criminal Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya is thought to have been denied a visa to enter the United States for a private trip, the Daily Mirror reports. [more]


Print Editions

 
 

Contact Tamil Guardian
www.tamilguardian.com