Tuesday, 30 September 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 30 September 2014
Further evidence of
An investigation by a researcher into Australia’s asylum seekers policies found that those deported back to Sri Lanka faced “unthinkable sexual abuse and torture. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 September 2014
People in North-East 'too scared' to meet with British official

The British Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Laura Davies has detailed how she was monitored and people she met questioned, during her visit to Amparai, Batticaloa and Trincomalee, in the North-East of the island. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 September 2014
Sri Lanka's rejection of ESVC summit will 'become more and more obvious' - William Hague
William Hague opening the End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London earlier this year. Former British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Sri Lanka's refusal to participate in the End Sexual Violence in Conflict summit was an “obvious gap”, [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 September 2014
Nonis resignation rejected by Mahinda after thrashing by MP

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has refused to allow Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK Chris Nonis to resign, after he was assaulted by UPFA MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 September 2014
Complaint made against Tamil councillors for letter to Pillay condemning genocide
Complaints have been made to the Court of Appeal against 33 Tamil councillors in the Northern and Eastern provinces for a letter to the UN High Commissioner condemning the genocide of Tamils by Sinhala state forces, reports the Island. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 September 2014
Man found dead with throat slit in Batticaloa
A man was found dead with his throat lacerated inside a house in Batticaloa, Kaluvanjikudi Makiloor on Sunday. The body, identified as 68 year old Sellathambi Thangavel, [more]

Tamil Guardian 29 September 2014
#FreeJeyakumary campaigners protest in Colombo
Protestors gathered in Colombo on Monday to call for the release of a prominent Tamil rights campaigner, Balendran Jeyakumari, who has been detained under the Sri Lankan Prevention of Terror Act (PTA) since March 2014. [more]

Tamil Guardian 29 September 2014
Sri Lanka increases defence budget by 12.25% to new high
Sri Lanka has increased its 2015 defence budget by 12.25% to a record high despite the end of the armed conflict over 5 years ago. According to the government's official figures released on Friday in a bill tabled in parliament, [more]


Print Editions

 
 

Contact Tamil Guardian
www.tamilguardian.com