War Crimes in Sri Lanka – Asia Report 191 0f May 17, 2010
Posted on July 11th, 2010

Mahinda Gunasekera

Madam Louise Arbour
President & CEO
International Crisis Group
Brussels, Belgium

Dear Madam Louise Arbour,

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ War Crimes in Sri Lanka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Asia Report 191 0f May 17, 2010

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I read the above report authored by your organization which is full of assumptions and lacking reliable evidence and specificity.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I was amazed to find a bunch of highly paid executives and an army of research officers along with academics, jurists and yesterdayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s men and women of the political scene putting together a lopsided report based on highly questionable evidence put together apparently from prejudiced sources, in an attempt to roast Sri Lanka on unsubstantiated tattle tales gathered in the aftermath of the total defeat of the most brutal terrorist group, known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as the Tamil Tigers.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  If the reports produced by your organization are similarly based on conjecture, quoting unknown sources and having a clearly biased approach, the ICG would be better described as the Innovative Crisis Group where you invent a crisis to satisfy the flawed goals of your paymasters.

Gathering of Evidence:

You have stated that the evidence was collected since August 2009 which is long after the actual events took place, from unnamed witnesses considered reliable for your purposes. You have also relied on photos, videos and satellite images that were made available to your investigators.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  You have not disclosed as to who the investigators were that went about digging for information.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Did you hire hitherto undiscovered LTTE cadres linked to sleeper cells, or members of the pro-Tamil Tiger Diaspora to communicate with the obviously Tamil speaking witnesses?ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Also, whom did you hire to translate these witness statements from Tamil to English, to enable your report writers to embellish on these slanted tales?ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  You may probably know that photos, videos and satellite images too could be doctored just like the satellite pictures of the Iraqi WMDs presented by the former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell to the Security Council in an attempt to seek UN intervention in Iraq.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  We have also seen fake videos carried in the Tamilnet website which were hurriedly pulled when the flaws were exposed by viewers.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Even the very witnesses, even if they happened to be the local staff of UN agencies, ICRC, WFP, or other INGO/NGO that may have operated in the Vanni, they do not fall into the credible category as they were hired by the respective agencies only with the prior consent and recommendation of the armed LTTE terrorists in control of the region.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Displacement of Tamil Civilians in the Vanni:

Your report alleges that the Tamil civilians residing in the Vanni region were repeatedly displaced, and that the security forces strategy since mid-2008 was to corral the LTTE cadres and the civilian population into ever smaller areas.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Contrary to what is alleged, the Sri Lankan authorities unilaterally declared ceasefires and appealed to the LTTE to allow the civilians to leave the battleground and enter safer areas in government controlled territory where they could be well cared for and provided with all necessities.

However, the LTTE used harsh measures to prevent the civilians from leaving, thereby endangering their lives as the battle progressed.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It was the LTTE that forced the civilians to withdraw from their villages and herded them across the Vanni from the Mannar area on the west coast to the north eastern coast as their forces retreated, to exploit their labour in the war effort and also use these helpless people as a human shield.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Whilst the civilians were being forcibly removed from their villages by the retreating LTTE, and their homes vandalized by removal of roofing sheets thereby exposing their houses to the extreme vagaries of the prevailing tropical weather, the voices of the bleeding hearts in the human rights organizations or INGO/NGO engaged in supposedly humanitarian work nor that of the ICG were heard protesting these inhumane acts of the Tamil Tigers.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  This forced removal and displacement went on from mid-2007, till these hapless civilians held hostage by the LTTE were rescued by Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s security forces from the grasp of the terrorists in the latter months of the war which concluded in May 2009.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Displaced Civilian Population and Supply of Food, Medicine and Other Essentials:

There were some disparities in the estimation of the total number of displaced civilians with the governmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s figures falling below that of other sources both foreign and local. The LTTE had prevented the National Census Department from carrying out their ten yearly physical count after the 1981census, making it necessary to guesstimate the resident population which naturally led to discrepancies.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The problem was further complicated as adjustments for natural growth as well as movement of people out of the Vanni area to southern parts of the island and the Jaffna peninsula had to be factored in. There were also the large number of Indian Tamil plantation workers that had opted to move back to their native places in Tamilnadu, South India, under the Sirima ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Shastri Pact, that had been financially induced by the Tamil groups who sought a separate state in the north and east of Sri Lanka to illicitly encroach into state lands in the Vanni. Interestingly, this was carried out with the help of the Norwegian NGO called Red Barna led by Jon Wesborg, later NorwayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ambassador to Sri Lanka around the time of the Norwegian facilitated Ceasefire Agreement of 2002.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It has now come to light, that these Indian Tamil plantation workers who illicitly remained in the Vanni had allowed their youth to be conscripted into the Tamil Tiger fighting units, for which they were rewarded by the LTTE to have their kith and kin belonging to the Dalit class in Tamilnadu to illegally migrate and settle in the Vanni.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Estimation of the civilian population was certainly complex for reasons given above. Nevertheless, adequate food and other essential supplies were regularly shipped and in the later stages put in place at Putukuduyirippu with the help of the WFP and the ICRC.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  In fact, the head of the WFP in Sri Lanka did inform at the end of January 2009 that the buffer stock built up for use of the displaced civilians was sufficient for the next six weeks ending mid-March of 2009.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  With the military action intensifying and the LTTEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s area of control diminishing rapidly, the ability to ship food, medicine and other necessities became still more difficult. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Yet, the Sri Lankan authorities devised a way of bringing supplies by sea and offloading same on the narrow coastal strip still in the hands of the Tamil Tigers.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  No doubt, the food situation would have deteriorated in the latter stages.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Your statement that the government did not have a Humane Plan to separate the civilians from the LTTE is ludicrous to say the least, as all previous ceasefires aimed at allowing the IDPs to move out into territory controlled by the government where they would be out of harms way was deliberately blocked by the LTTE, as the latter wanted to use them as a human shield to barter a deal to save their skins.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  This obstruction by the LTTE was not condemned by the various HR groups or the ICG, and no international pressure was brought to bear on the LTTE for this callous treatment of the IDPs.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  According to your own findings, the LTTE confiscated about 25% of the food stocks for use of their cadres thereby depriving the civilians of a substantial portion.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The Tigers even used some of food stocks such as rice and lentils to bolster their bunkers instead of sand, which was indeed shocking, inhumane and unpardonable.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Alleged Shelling of Hospitals and Food Distribution Centres:

This allegation was one that was carried over the Tamil.net by a few Tamil doctors who remained behind to man the hospitals and makeshift medical facilities within the diminishing area controlled by the LTTE.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The same doctors who subsequently surrendered to the authorities publicly denied the exaggerated numbers of both fatal and other casualties previously handled by them, stating that they had been forced by the Tamil Tigers to publicize bogus statistics to western media and HR organizations.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  One such hospital said to have been shelled killing nearly 300 civilians and injuring 700 others was later determined by a senior government surgeon who inspected the site at the conclusion of the military action against the LTTE to be a fabricated story, as the buildings including the glass window panes were found to be in tact, and no blood stains whatsoever were found on any of the walls, floor, furniture or stored equipment.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The ICG report claims that the GPS locations of the hospitals and food distribution centres were provided by the local WFP and ICRC personnel to the security forces command office in Vavunia to ensure that these facilities would not be targeted. Furthermore, the governmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s own representatives are also said to have been associated in the food distribution work.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  However, the report claims that these humanitarian sites were also shelled, and to reinforce the claim, the unnamed witnesses have said that they saw unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over flying these sites just prior to the shelling.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  There is no necessity to have UAV over flights when the GPS coordinates have been provided, if such shelling were to be undertaken.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  These supposed witness statements and allegations have obviously been invented to blame the security forces.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  No hospital or medical facility would be knowingly targeted unless it took place in retaliatory fire to neutralize the shelling directed by the LTTE at the security forces from close to hospitals. In fact, it has been the LTTEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s strategy to adopt such tactics throughout their campaigns to draw retaliatory fire even if it would damage a hospital or harm civilians, as they sought to discredit the security forces and score some propaganda points in the process.

The LTTE has always placed their heavy weapons in and around hospitals, schools and churches, and even vandalized the hospitals and schools when they were forced to retreat from such sites.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The UAV usage was to allow ground commanders to study the enemy positions, locate their long range guns and neutralize enemy fire, but not for attacking hospitals and centres distributing humanitarian aid.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  In fact, with the security forces advancing rapidly over running LTTE positions and the battle lines being confined to narrower strips of land, the authorities arranged to move out the patients and injured personnel in the hospitals that needed to be evacuated to other hospitals outside the battle zone by land and sea, in conjunction with the ICRC.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Civilian Deaths in the Final Weeks of the Military Action against the LTTE:

The ICG report concludes that tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the conflict during the period from January to the termination of military action on May 18, 2009, and countless more injured.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  This vague statement clearly shows that the ICG is on a guessing game with no verifiable evidence other than hearsay from unnamed witnesses

gathered after August 2009.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Part of the supporting evidence is a guesstimate made by Gordon Weiss of the UN office in Sri Lanka claiming that 7,000 civilians had been killed in the four months from January to April 2009 based on information collected from aid workers in the conflict zone.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  These aid workers are Tamils from the Vanni who had earlier been recruited with the consent of the LTTE.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Even this claim made by the UN spokesman in Sri Lanka was rejected by Sir John Holmes, UN Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, stating that these were estimates that could not be verified as the UN did not have a presence on the ground.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  CNN, the London Times and Channel 4 News also concocted a number of 20,000 civilians having been killed in the last stages of the military action during the month of May 2009 when they were no where near the scene, with the only likely source being the LTTEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s propaganda unit called the Tamil.net.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Contrary to what is given in the ICG report, having confined the Tamil Tigers to a narrow coastal strip in Puttumatalan extending to about 14 square kilometres, the security forces abandoned the use of heavy weapons and air strikes from about the middle of April 2009 and used their special forces and troops from five divisions that completely outnumbered the trapped Tiger fighters to breach the last of the earthen defensive bunds to overcome

the demoralized LTTEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s resistance. As soon as the defensive bunds were breached, nearly 100,000 Tamil civilians held hostage poured out like a fast moving river carrying their meagre possessions out of the Tiger hell into the arms of security forces, braving the Tiger bullets and suicide bombers that attempted to stop them from fleeing into government controlled terrain.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The security forces moved fast to seal off the shoreline completely surrounding the remaining Tiger cadres and the civilians still being held by the LTTE under orders to shoot and kill any that dared to escape from their clutches. Next big exodus of civilians took place immediately after the daring move by the security forces to bisect this narrow strip thereby freeing another 85,000 civilians to care and safety.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The Tigers who were completely bottled up looked towards the western powers and the Norwegian government to pull them out of their predicament, hoping to find asylum in Eritrea or Norway to resume their terrorism and destabilization of Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

This Tiger dream was not to be as Sri Lanka held firm, and the end came in the early hours of May 18, 2009, when a final attempt to break through the defences west of the Nanthikadal Lagoon by the LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, Sea Tiger Chief Soosai, Intelligence Chief Pottu Amman and the handful of senior commanders along with the contingent of bodyguards from the Charles Anthony Brigade, plus suicide bombers, went down in a hail of fire bringing an end to thirty years of terrorist violence and mayhem.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Two to three days earlier, the Tigers began setting fire to their unwanted military hardware, and even commenced exploding their stockpile of bombs which they placed on flatbed trucks and other vehicles which were of no use now, creating a massive fire and huge screen of smoke which lasted for days. Their days began with guns and ended with guns, and the fire and smoke that they set off did not help to cover their tracks as it only added to the destruction and desolation of their last camp ground which the UN

Secretary General referred as the most abominable place he had ever seen.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

With the curtain drawn on the last act of the Tamil Tigers, the remaining civilians numbering almost 70,000 most of whom were members of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Maaveera FamiliesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ who were loyal to the Tiger leadership that allowed family members to join the Tiger fighting units, were now free to chart their lives along with their compatriots within a more orderly and democratic framework instead of supporting a failed insurgency.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  With the rescue of this last batch of civilians held by the LTTE, the total number of IDPs needing care and assistance of the government rose to nearly 300,000, most of whom have since been re-settled in their former villages leaving roughly a further 45,000 to be rehabilitated following the de-mining of their localities and repairs to homes and infrastructure which are currently in progress.

The civilian death toll was minimized by the security forces by abandoning the use of heavy weapons and air strikes from mid-April 2009, and further by using well thought out strategies and daring manoeuvres, the ArmyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s special forces were able to breach the high earthen dam defences built by the Tamil Tigers which enabled the trapped civilians to break loose and make a dash into government controlled territory.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Even the Tiger bullets fired at the fleeing civilians did not deter them from seeking freedom and care.

These humane tactics adopted by the security forces enhanced the risks to their own lives as they had to face oncoming fire from the Tigers who were well entrenched in bunkers and camouflaged vantage points on these earth dams.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The casualties suffered in this risky exercise accounted for nearly 40 percent of the total deaths of security forces personnel numbering just over 6,000 in the three year military action to eliminate terrorism and a very large number of non-fatal injuries causing serious disabilities.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ A large percentage of Tamil Tiger fighters did not wear uniforms and engaged in battle in civilian outfits thereby giving the false impression of being civilian casualties when they fell in action.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  In fact, a captured video from a LTTE crew manning a heavy gun mounted on a truck are seen not only disguising this weapon with branches of trees but also changing from their military uniforms to civilian dress.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It is also well known and even stated in the ICG report that a large number of youth and elders were pressed to do battle by the LTTE to replace fallen cadres.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Other civilians were used by the LTTE in the digging of trenches, building of earth dams and manufacture and laying of IEDs and mines to bolster their defences, who either willingly or unwillingly became part of the TigerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s military apparatus that was legitimately targeted by the security forces.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The civilians so caught up functioned as combatants or engaged in acts furthering the military objectives of the LTTE, and could therefore be validly attacked in terms of the rule of law relating to armed conflict.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The attempt made in the report to project numbers as regards the resident civilian population in the Vanni and deduct the number of IDPs rescued by the forces and adjust for estimated deaths of LTTE cadres to arrive at the number of civilian deaths is highly questionable as no census had been carried out after 1981, and other factors noted under ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Displaced Civilian PopulationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ make such assumptions ridiculous and merely part of a guessing game.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  There could well have been some civilian movements out of the area by sea to South India and yet other IDPs who may have managed to avoid processing in the interim welfare camps by going direct to homes of friends or relatives. No doubt some civilian deaths may have been caused by some being caught in the crossfire of battle, or a retaliatory strike on a LTTE position within or close to the safe zone earmarked for civilians, but not as a result of deliberate attacks to harm civilians.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The policy throughout the campaign in the eastern province as well the north was a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”zero casualty policyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ strictly adhered to in order to minimize harm to civilians, as the main thrust of the military action was to root out and destroy the Tamil Tiger terrorist organization and its military apparatus.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Alleged Battlefield Execution of LTTE Surrendees with White Flags:

The LTTE hatched Plan A with the assistance of the Norwegian authorities and help from the pro-Tiger minister, Eric Solheim, where they sought military intervention by the western powers to spring the Tiger leader and his core group out of Sri Lanka with a guarantee of asylum in Eritrea or perhaps Norway, to pursue their armed insurgency from foreign shores.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The Tamil diaspora with votes in western electorates were ordered to demonstrate in their respective countries to seek the same intervention alleging genocidal attacks on Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan forces, and to even disrupt the normal life in these countries through aggressive demonstrations.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  However, with signs of Plan A failing and their hopes fading, the LTTE which was losing its grip over the Tamil civilians being used as a human shield desperately sought an alternate way to save their skins.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  According to KP, Kumaran Pathmanathan, confidant of the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran (alias Surya Thevan – Sun God), holder of 23 passports and procurer of weapons and manager of illicit funds held in secret bank accounts, in his satellite phone conversation with his leader which was likely the last, discussed Plan B which involved in the Tiger military leaders attempting to break through the security forces line on the west of the Nanthikadal Lagoon with the remaining fighters and suicide bombers into the jungles of the Vanni, whilst yet others would seek to surrender to later resume their terrorist game plan to break up Sri Lanka by force of arms.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ KP went into action calling his contacts in the western media, diplomats, UN officials and political leaders to arrange for the surrender of B.Nadesan and S.Puleedevan, heads of the LTTE peace secretariat (misnomer for war secretariat), but their efforts were apparently at the very late stages when the battles were drawing to a close.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I recall Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Foreign Secretary in a TV interview with Al Jazeera stating that he was woken up at 2.00 a.m. to negotiate a surrender of some LTTE personnel, but that he had to request the caller to contact an official who may be in a position to deal with it, further adding that the military operation may already be over.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It is not clear if the caller seeking to negotiate the surrender did call anyone else at that hour, as the party concerned has so far not publicly stated what action was taken.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Even granting that these two LTTE heads and their party said to number 60 persons had carried white flags with the intention of surrendering to the Sri Lankan forces during the final stages of battle that night, it is difficult to say if they would have been spotted in the darkness as they emerged from the narrow jungle strip.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Young soldiers at the front faced with the attempt by the main leaders to break through their lines with about 200 specially trained bodyguards from the Charles Anthony Brigade and Tiger suicide bombers detonating their body bombs would not be in a position to distinguish one group from the

Other.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Furthermore, the Tigers were detonating bombs placed on trucks and smoke from fires started by the LTTE days earlier was adding to the confusion.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Security forces personnel are well aware of the risks faced in confronting Tiger units as they are often

accompanied by brainwashed suicide bombers who pose a grave danger to those even standing 100 feet away.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Security forces that risked their lives to rescue 300,000 civilians including over 10,000 cadres that surrendered cannot be blamed for taking no chances with this group belonging to the same terror outfit.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya RajapakseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statement quoted in your report which aptly explains the position is given below to further clarify the issues involved: Gotabaya Rajapaksa explained: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-This was supposed to have happened on the last day ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” May 18, 2010 [sic] ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” the day Prabhakaran was killed. The LTTE leaders were now trapped in an area 400 meters by 400 meters, about 200 of them, surrounded by the military. It is late at night, past midnight. Make a mental picture of this. Can you see them coming out with white flags in this dense jungle in pitch darkness? The situation was that some terrorist cadres counter-attacked. Prabhakaran was trying to break out and escape to the lagoon, his son went in another direction. At the same time 10,000 surrendered cadres came down from one side. In this kind of situation in the thick of battle, can you expect a young recruit, barely a month into battle, to recognise a senior LTTE cadre and make a decision as to shoot him selectively or spare him?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Fake Execution Video Screened by Channel 4 News of UK on August 25, 2009:

This video was tested by four separate Sri Lankan experts including a highly reputed technologist who has held senior positions with leading companies in the field who provided valid reasons to prove that it was a doctored piece.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The victims are purported to be members of the Tamil community.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The alleged incident is said to have taken place in January 2009 in an unidentified location, and secretly videoed by another soldier whose identity is not revealed.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  This video is said to have been delivered to Channel 4 by exiled journalists claiming to be from an unknown group called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Journalists for Democracy in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It would be utterly foolish to give any credit to this fabricated video broadcast by Channel 4 due to the numerous unknown factors, such as the unidentified gunman dressed in military attire resembling that of the Sri Lankan Army, the unidentified victims, the unidentified location, unidentified maker of the video said to be another soldier, and some unclear Sinhalese words being spoken in the background without the face of the speaker, leaving the real possibility of dubbing these sounds.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The subsequent tests ordered by Prof. Phillip Alston, UNƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions came to the strange conclusion that the video was authentic, despite admitting that certain movements of the depicted victims and the contents of the last 17 frames had unexplained elements that baffled the chosen experts.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Also, the fact that the date July 17, 2009 being encoded in it when the alleged executions are said to have taken place in January 2009.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  If in fact it had been filmed in January 2009, the delay of 8 months in delivering it to Channel 4 becomes extremely suspicious, when same could have easily been e-mailed to the TV station.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Tamil Tiger terrorists had an abundant supply of Sri Lankan Army uniforms gathered in earlier raids on army camps.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It is well known that the Tigers often dressed in Sri Lankan Army uniforms whenever they carried out atrocities mainly against their own people whom they executed if considered dissidents or those suspected of collaborating with the enemy.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Furthermore, it is a well known fact that the Tamil Tiger terrorist propaganda machine fabricated bogus videos in their attempt to discredit the Sri Lankan authorities and her security forces.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  There is a great possibility that the tiger organizations which openly function in western countries decided to concoct such a video using one of their own execution videos available in their library, in order to frame the Sri Lanka security forces after their total defeat in May 2009.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ On a prior occasion, Channel 4 in their coverage on Sri Lanka announced that a local man and a foreign woman linked to NGOsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ claimed the mistreatment of internally displaced Tamils housed in the transition camps pending resettlement, were being raped, abducted at gun point and removed to unknown locations, the presence of badly decomposed bodies of dead IDPs, and a long list of abuses, which turned out to be a whole lot of crap, which were rejected by representatives of international relief agencies such as UNHCR, Care, Oxfam and local NGOs.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Considering all of the above, there is no reason whatsoever to give any credibility to this fake video which has all the signs of tampering by the treacherous and deceptive Tamil Tiger propaganda machine.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Conclusions:

This ICG report is a mish-mash of baseless allegations produced by their innovative division using evidence of a prejudiced nature for no other purpose but to mislead the international community.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Earlier on, the former President and CEO, Mr. Gareth Evans threatened ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”R2PƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ action against Sri Lanka in a speech that he delivered in Colombo on the invitation of the foreign funded NGO named the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The ICG which is funded mainly by leading western countries mistakenly believes that it carries the voice of the international community when it is nothing more than a non-government organization which plays no role in the decision making process of the international community.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  There is room to believe that this report was authored with the help of the pro-Tamil Tiger diaspora which likely provided the slanted evidence and monies from their extorted funds and ill-gotten coffers, to pursue their unceasing grudge against Sri Lanka where this 11 percent minorityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s level of dominance achieved during the British colonial period began to diminish after the country gained independence.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sri Lanka has rapidly re-settled nearly 80 percent of the IDPs in their villages within the space of one year leaving about 45,000 more to be re-habilitated following de-mining and restoration of infrastructure.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  They concentrated on re-settlement as the first priority to ensure that the Tamil civilians who were herded and removed from their villages to be used as a human shield by the Tamil Tigers could lead normal lives, whilst also developing the region creating better livelihood opportunities.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  As a responsible nation, Sri Lanka has appointed a Presidential Commission drawing distinguished leaders from the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim communities, to learn from previous mistakes which led to a violent conflict that lasted over 30 years, and also seek the best possible ways of bringing about harmony and reconciliation amongst the constituent communities.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Space must be provided to allow Sri Lanka to resolve her issues as a sovereign country.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s human rights issues have been dealt with by the international community at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva where the members decided in a 29 to 12 vote to not intervene in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s internal issues.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  In the light of the above, any steps contemplated by the UN Secretary General to appoint a panel to inquire into what has already been discussed and decided on by the appropriate forum of the United Nations will be looked upon as an act of bad faith on the part of the UNSG.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Sri Lanka has the ability to deal with her internal problems and has capable candidates who understand the history, culture and inter-community relations far better than any foreign panellist.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The international community should therefore allow Sri Lanka to resolve her internal issues and extend any assistance that may be asked of them in their efforts to rebuild and reconcile after three decades of violent upheaval.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Yours sincerely,

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Mahinda Gunasekera
Tambrook Drive
Agincourt, Ontario
ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Canada, M1W 3L9

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ June 10, 2010

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