SRI LANKA’S HUMAN RIGHTS MINISTER SAYS IN GENEVA THAT CHANNEL 4 VIDEO FOOTAGE IS PART OF AN ORCHESTRATED CAMPAIGN TO TARNISH
Posted on September 4th, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

Sri Lanka’s Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights speaking to this correspondent from the United Nations in Geneva said the British Channel Four video broadcasting of an alleged extra judicial killing of a Sri Lankan prisoner is a part of an orchestrated campaign to tarnish the country and shift attention from a recovery back to a conflict period.

“The highly suspicious Channel four said they could not be given any authenticity to a video allegedly shot back in January this year and broadcast eight months later,” Samarasinghe said in Geneva after taking part in discussions with Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

He likened the alleged video to the constant statements used by the international media of four medical doctors in the war torn Wanni region but who later confessed that they were compelled to make those statements under the pressure of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“This kind of thing happened during the last stages of the conflict ; four doctors in the Wanni were used regularly by the international media to say there were massive human rights violations including bombing of hospitals and civilians by the Sri Lanka army. However after May 19, the end of the conflict, the doctors publicly admitted that what they said at the time was a result of extreme pressure brought on them by the LTTE. But unfortunately, by then, despite denial the damage had already been done.”

“We also knew then there were certain video footage at that time smuggled out, according to sources, which turned out to be video footage shot by the LTTE stage managing or dramatization of the videoed incidents. One such incident was exposed on the defence website clearly showing a LTTE operative stage managing one.”

Samarasinghe said, this is once again , in his opinion, another repletion of those incidents. He added, “But in any case a comprehensive investigation is underway in respect of the channel 4 video footage.”

Mahinda Samarasinghe said during the discussion he has had with Secretary General Ban Ki Moon he showed grave concern about the video footage. He said he promised the SG a thorough investigation into the authenticity of the footage and keep him informed about the results.

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