Al Jazeera spotlights Sri Lanka's alleged War Crimes
[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 November 2010, 00:43 GMT]
Al Jazeera, the international news network headquartered in Qatar, published photographs Wednesday "showing graphic scenes, with dead bodies blindfolded, hands bound [and] shot through the head," that appear to provide further believable evidence of alleged massacre of Tamils during final stages of Sri Lanka's civil war. One of the photos shows a line of bodies, including what is believed to be the body of the son of Velupillai Pirapaharan, the leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the news network said.
Another photo shows the naked body of a young woman and the body of a boy, perhaps in his early teens, Al Jaeera reported.
The Sri Lankan government has always denied allegations of war crimes and promised to take action if it finds evidence of atrocities, the network said.
Sri Lanka officials responded to the damaging publicity from the prima facie authentic photographs with the familiar refrain: "Sri Lanka has launched an 'independent' inquiry into the photos of the alleged massacre."
Sri Lanka has repeatedly rejected international calls for an independent inquiry into the war against the Tamil Tigers, in which a former UN spokesman has said more than 30,000 Tamil civilians were killed.
The mounting evidence and the efforts by the Sri Lanka Government to whitewash the war crimes by proceeding with its own commission of inquiries (LLRC) prompted three international human rights watchdogs, International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, to slam the commission failing to “meet basic international standards for independent and impartial inquiries."
"Some of the scenery in the photos is similar to that in video material leaked to the international media which seems to show the execution of Tamil Tiger fighters by Sri Lankan soldiers. Again the Sri Lankan government denied the military carried out the executions, however, after detailed examination, professor Philip Alston, the UN’s former special rapporteur to Sri Lanka, said he believes the video is genuine," Al Jazeera said.
Since the end of the war in May last year, no one from the military has been charged with any offence and no evidence has emerged from the government inquiries. Critics say the Sri Lankan government is writing its own history, the news network added.