US War Crimes Unit receives list of Sri Lanka's missing Tamil surrendees

[TamilNet, Friday, 15 October 2010, 21:32 GMT]
Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based activist group, submitted to the War Crimes unit of the U.S. Department of State, a list of persons known to have surrendered to the Government of Sri Lanka forces in the final stages of the war in the first five months of 2009 and who remain missing in custody as of October 2010. The list was compiled from witness statements and interview data collected by Tamil Diaspora groups in the UK.

Over 70% of those surrendees who had been previously associated with the Liberation Tigers and who are missing in custody were with the political and other administrative and non-combat sections of the organisation, including medical and finance.

PDF IconCiting photo evidence, HRW
calls for UN war crimes probes
Earlier this year Human Rights Watch (HRW) obtained photographs taken by a solider of the Sri Lankan Air mobile brigade of a young man tied to a tree in the custody of GOSL. He was later seen executed in a subsequent photograph. Tamilnet identified this young person as 21 year old Chandraseenan Vinothan a political cadre within the LTTE.

SLA tortures, murders LTTE surrendee
Recently a video has emerged via global social media of this young man being tortured in custody. Concerns among human rights community grow that the surrendees will have been tortured and killed contrary to the laws of war amid the significant volumes of photographic and video evidence of executions.

The alleged torture and executions of surrendees depicted in these photos and videos took place under the command of General Sarath Fonseka, a United States Green card holder. According to a deposition made by a former General in the Sri Lankan army, who is currently in the United States, the orders to execute surrendees were given by Defense Secretary Rajapakse, a dual citizen of the United States and Sri Lanka.

Further, direct testimony of surviving spouses of surrendered and missing LTTE cadres are raising further concerns among the human rights community on the wide-spread violations of laws of war, and war crimes committed during the final stages of the war.

“I have not seen my husband after Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers took him away saying that he was to be given medical treatment and I do not know what had happened to him,” Vanitha Ilanthirayan, the wife of former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) spokesman Ilanthirayan (Rasiah Sivaroopan), said on 10th October to the LLRC in Batticaloa District Government Secretariat.

Ananthi Sasitharan, the wife of Elilan, the former Trincomalee Political Head of the LTTE, told the BBC Tamil Service, after complaining to the LLRC, that SL President should know the whereabouts of her husband and fellow LTTE officials surrendered through a Catholic Priest in Mullaiththeevu on 18 May 2009.

Photographs of disabled ex-LTTE fighters held in undisclosed locations by GOSL and believed to have been tortured have also been provided by the group War Without Witnesses to the US government.

TAG previously authenticated a video aired by Channel 4 of blind-folded, naked prisoners being executed by GOSL soldiers. The group is also in possession of photographs showing similar scenes of executions.


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19.09.10   LTTE's Elilan surrendered to SLA on 18 May, wife tells BBC
07.06.10   SLA Commander's deposition provides convincing evidence of w..
08.01.10   Video authentic, Alston calls for wider war crimes probe


External Links:
Youtube: Sri Lanka Army soldiers torture member of LTTE political section

 

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