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Col. R. Hariharan: FAQs on Channel 4 Video on War Crimes

Written by kumaran   // July 14, 2011   // Comments Off

Col-Hari- SLG

I have received a number of mails asking for my comments on the Channel 4 video Killing Fields on alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan Army, particularly after I participated in a panel discussion on the subject in the Headlines Today TV channel recently. I am giving my views and comments on questions summarised below:

Do you think the Sri Lanka armys war crimes depicted graphically on Channel 4 video are true?

There are two issues related to the allegations war crimes.
First is whether the video footage is genuine or not; the footage has been examined by international experts (including some from the UN) who believe they are original. However, Sri Lanka governments experts claim they are doctored. I feel the video establishes a prima facie case for an international commission to look into the war crimes allegation; the same commission can also get the video footage examined by neutral experts in the course of its inquiry.

A second aspect is Sri Lanakas extreme reluctance to allow any external or internal inquiry into the allegations. Internationally, the Sri Lankan argument on the subject had only been based on technicalities of jurisdiction of UN Secretary General or procedural aspects of bringing UN panellists report before the UN Human Rights Council. From the beginning Sri Lanka had been reluctant to allow foreign media (except for the PTI perhaps) to cover the war front. Sri Lanka could have sought the help of the International Red Cross in evacuating the civilians from the war affected areas and saved a lot of lives. Somehow, it had provided only limited access to the ICRC; in the case of the UN even the limited access was denied. [Read More]


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