Statement on Channel 4 Video – January 7,2010
Posted on January 12th, 2010

Ira de Silva London, Canada

Mr. Philip AlstonSpecial Rapporteur on Extrajudicial,
Summary or Arbitrary ExecutionsUnited Nations,
Geneva,
Switzerland.

Dear Sir:

Your press conference on January 7,2010 to express your views and that of your so-called “experts” once again exposes your personal vendetta against Sri Lanka and your continued “hope” that by misusing your position at the U.N. you will achieve your dream of a war crimes inquiry against Sri Lanka. Today that view is confirmed by the Secretary General as he states that you are “acting independently” and distances the UN from your statement.

I would like to ask you to clarify what the “strong indications” are that the video is authentic. You have dismissed the reports that show that the video is a fake merely because two of the experts are from the Sri Lankan army. They may be from the army but the technical analysis provided by them is as valid and perhaps better than any you have come up with. The two non-military experts are certain that the video is a fake so you ignore their analysis and make no mention of them. These analyses should be judged on their content rather than your bias and prejudice.

It would be appreciated if you could provide responses to the following:

1. Did your experts establish that the video was made from images taken by a mobile phone rather than a video camera? You make no mention of this most important aspect. Just to refresh your memory I am sending you the report on this.

2. The video claims that it is the killing of Tamil men by the Sri Lankan army. How did your experts determine that the men were Tamil? Does the video show any such identification? How were the shooters wearing army uniforms identified as being from the army? Did it not occur to you that anyone could wear a uniform? You seem to be ignoring the fact that the LTTE carried out many atrocities wearing uniforms of the Sri Lankan army. In the absence of identification the victims could have been either Sinhalese, Muslim or Tamils being killed by the LTTE terrorists.

3. The person who photographed the incident, supposedly a Sri Lankan soldier to you just because he wears a uniform, has not taken any close-up photographs of either the victims or the perpetrators. He had ample opportunity to do so which have made the perpetrators and victims clearly identifiable. Is it not possible that this has been deliberately done to cover up the fact that the video was staged? Because of your prejudice and bias these facts are ignored by you.

4. The LTTE Prabhakaran leader’s close confidant and aide code named “Gokulan” has stated that Prabhakaran had ordered that civilians trying to leave to the Sri Lankan army controlled areas were to be killed and that he had several such incidents videoed and photographed to be sent to the international media claiming it had been done by the Sri Lankan forces. Was this video one of those?

5. In your determination and inordinate haste to be vindictive rather than behave in a balanced manner which is expected of an official of the U.N., you have dismissed what you claim are a small number of characteristics of the video which the experts were unable to explain, including the movement of certain victims in the video, 17 frames at the end of the video, and the date of 17 July 2009 encoded in the video. Do you not believe that the date is of vital importance? It was claimed that the video was made in January 2009!

The Channel 4 video is supposedly the killing of combatants. Currently in the case of Afghanistan the U.S. regularly kills civilians in their so called pre-emptive attacks by drones and pass off the thousands killed in both Afghanistan and Pakistan as “collateral damage” claiming it is a necessity to protect the U.S. In Sri Lanka it was the legitimate government protecting it’s citizens from ruthless terrorists as opposed to imaginary terrorists. While the West is indulging in killing sprees of perceived terrorists, they were hell bent on trying to save the Tamil terrorists. These same forces seem to be driving your agenda against Sri Lanka. If you are acting as an officer of the U.N. you have to be impartial. Your current and past statements prove that in the case of Sri Lanka you are prejudiced and biased. Now that the Secretary General states that these statements by you are your own and do not reflect the position of the U.N., the Government of Sri Lanka should register it’s protest against you at the U.N. and request that the U.N. call a halt to your harassment of Sri Lanka.

Yours truly,

Ira de Silva

London, Canada

Please note:

Technical analyst exposes ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”C- 4ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚²

Posted on September 3rd, 2009

Siri Hewawitharana

< C-4 video created from a video camera, not from a mobile phone.

< Sound dubbed: a case study for gutter journalism.

In video coding or broadcasting to create a final video for any occasion it is the practice to start with high quality video first while transcending with editing for a final product. Mpeg4 is a compressed format.

If one considers the Channel- 4 video:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢¢”š¬-ƒ”š‚ It says it came from a mobile phone video source. There are only two formats in mobile video formats. One is an old 3GPP format and the other an advanced Mpeg4, H-264 part 10 which is MP4 format which is highly processor intensive encoding and due to this issue, mobile phones in the present markets does not produce high quality videos. Such processors are not that powerful to take good quality video that Channel- 4 claims since channel ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” 4 video is much high quality than existing Smart phones can create TODAY.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢¢”š¬-ƒ”š‚ Within H-264 coding we also have extra component called Motion Vectors (VMC) which are used to predict motion on temporal and spatial domain. The Channel ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” 4 video have quite high quality VMC(motion Vector) and this VMC came from a video camera and not from a mobile phone source. Also Mobile source also tend to be blocky in nature when it come to motion.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢¢”š¬-ƒ”š‚ Since original video is from AVI and QuickTime format, the whole video scenario indicates that ORIGINAL video is of high quality that came from a video camera source since mobile formats does not use AVI or Quicktime which are high quality video formats.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢¢”š¬-ƒ”š‚ If they changed the mobile format to AVI or QT then the final video will be of poor quality. In the analysis it was found that the AVI and QT formats are of very high quality.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢¢”š¬-ƒ”š‚ Also it is quite explicit that the camcorder video was transferred to a computer for editing and sound was dubbed later and gun shots were not in synchronism with the video and normally audio is always way ahead of the video since video processing takes time and in this case the audio is very late INDICATING a very amateurish video and audio editing.

(Siri Hewawitharana, former head of CiscoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s global broadcast and digital video practice, has held a number of significant business development and technical leadership roles with some of the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s most successful telecommunication and broadcasting organisations. These include head of systems engineering for Star TV Hong Kong, head of visual communication for OTC and director of engineering for WIN TV. As chief architect of OptusƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Network Systems Design Broadcast and Satellite TV operation, Mr. Hewawitharana was responsible for creating and operating OptusƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ $47 million Pay TV Video Operations Centre.)

ORIGINAL VIDEO 1:02.781 EDITED Video stopped at 01:02.312 Audio dub stopped at 1:02.125

(Siri Hewawitharana, former head of Cisco’s global broadcast and digital video practice, has held a number of significant business development and technical leadership roles with some of the world’s most successful telecommunication and broadcasting organisations. These include head of systems engineering for Star TV Hong Kong, head of visual communication for OTC and director of engineering for WIN TV. As chief architect of Optus’ Network Systems Design Broadcast and Satellite TV operation, Mr. Hewawitharana was responsible for creating and operating Optus’ $47 million Pay TV Video Operations Centre.)

DEEMING SRI LANKA EXECUTION VIDEO AUTHENTIC, UN EXPERT CALLS FOR WAR CRIMES PROBE

New York, Jan 7 2010 2:05PM

An independent United Nations human rights expert said today there are strong indications that the video of alleged extrajudicial executions by Sri Lankan soldiers that aired last August on British television is authentic, and called for an inquiry into possible war crimes committed during the conflict with Tamil rebels.

Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, commissioned three experts in forensic pathology, forensic video analysis, and firearm evidence to examine the video, after concluding that the investigations carried out by the Government had not been thorough or impartial.

“The conclusion clearly is that the video is authentic,” he told a news conference in New York. “I have therefore called on the Government of Sri Lanka to respond to these allegations.”

The Government ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” which earlier this year declared victory over the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after years of fighting ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” has categorically denied the allegations raised by the video, which purportedly depicts the extrajudicial execution of two naked and helpless Tamil men by the Sri Lankan military and the presumed prior executions of others.

It had commissioned four separate investigations which concluded that the video was a fake. However, Mr. Alston had pointed out that two of the GovernmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s experts looking into the matter were members of the Sri Lankan Army, the body whose actions have been called into question.

Meanwhile, the reports by the three experts from the United States commissioned by Mr. Alston to examine the video “strongly suggest that the video is authentic,” according to a note prepared by the Special Rapporteur.

Peter Diaczuk, an expert in firearms evidence, concluded that the recoil, movement of the weapon and the shooter, and the gases expelled from the muzzle in both apparent shootings were consistent with firing live ammunition, and not with shooting blank cartridges.

Daniel Spitz, a prominent forensic pathologist, found that the footage appeared authentic, especially with respect to the two individuals who are shown being shot in the head at close range. He found that the body reaction, movement, and blood evidence was entirely consistent with what would be expected in such shootings.

Jeff Spivack, an expert in forensic video analysis, found no evidence of breaks in continuity in the video, no additional video layers, and no evidence of image manipulation.

“Given these conclusions, and in light of the persistent flow of other allegations of extrajudicial executions by both sides during the closing phases of the war against the LTTE, I call for the establishment of an independent inquiry to carry out an impartial investigation into war crimes and other grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law allegedly committed in Sri Lanka,” stated Mr. Alston.

He added that there are a small number of characteristics of the video which the experts were unable to explain, including the movement of certain victims in the video, 17 frames at the end of the video, and the date of 17 July 2009 encoded in the video (the conflict was officially declared over in May 2009).

“Each of these characteristics can, however, be explained in a manner entirely consistent with the conclusion that the videotape appears to be authentic,” noted a news release also issued today.

“In sum, while there are some unexplained elements in the video, there are strong indications of its authenticity. In addition, most of the arguments relied upon by the Government of Sri Lanka to impugn the video have been shown to be flawed.”

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