Foreign involvement in mechanism a political decision – Paranagama
Posted on October 23rd, 2015

Courtesy Adaderana

The Chairman of Sri Lanka’s three-member probe commission says that certain isolated incidents that may have occurred outside the activities of the war should be investigated in depth to come to conclusion.

He said that whether to permit foreign involvement in the mechanism, more than observing, is a political decision. Those are political decisions we never wanted to tread,” Maxwell Paranagama told Ada Derana in an interview.

The Paranagama report, which was presented to Parliament on Tuesday, is relevant to the commission’s second mandate which is to inquire into violations of international human rights law during the last phase of the war, the period from January 01 to May 18, 2009.

In this report we have set out in detail how the international laws become applicable into these incidents,” he said.

Thereafter we have set out in detail the incidents that occurred through both the security forces and the LTTE during the phase of the war and analyze them, he said.

We also have set out where on the face of evidence we received and also other evidence from various material where you can accept certain wrongs have been accepted without much investigation.”

But there were a few incidents that were of very public importance, incidents like the Channel 4 video, the white flag case and surrendees going missing, Mr Paranagama.

Those are isolated incidents that may have occurred outside the activities of the war which we say they should be investigated in depth to come to conclusion,” he said.

At no time have we come to conclusion those wrongs have been committed by our security forces. We can also say security forces always acted for the safety of civilians. They took all precautions. They created No Fire Zones. They always acted in defence of the civilians. Sometimes they had to shoot to save civilians. In the midst of this crossfire some civilians may have died.”

We have applied that humanitarian principle proportionality and we have analyzed to what extent it can be justified in regard to the number that may have died and what the army achieved by doing so,” he added.

I could say we have set out a balanced report also when you overall take into consideration our forces have done a humanitarian operation sometimes you cannot have nil casualties because it’s a war with both sides dealing with arms.”

We have also suggested a mechanism,” he said, adding that if someone had done wrong – be they LTTE or our security forces – how they can go through a process of freeing themselves.”

We have said setup a special High Court so that if some soldier is alleged to have committed crime may go before the High Court and proving his innocence by going through the process of law,” he said.

At the same time we have recommended to set up a truth commission where if anybody – LTTE or security forces – can go before the truth commission and say ‘I did this wrong under these circumstances please have amnesty.’ So the truth commission will consider.”

Putting into operation what we have suggested is not a difficult task.” We have recommended the process, he said.

Speaking on the 2011 report of the US Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, he said that: We have been critical of the Darusman report but there are instances we have accepted some of those things said.”

The Darusman report specifically says 40,000 died during the last phase of the war. We have said it is without any basis. In this matter the commission went through many sources to find out what the correct number of death during the last phase of the war.”

He stated that all the data and statistics the commission has analyzed point to a figure of about 7,000.

To be honest about it even considering this we can’t come to an exact number but considering all these facts we can definitely say it is not 40,000 as set out in the Darusman report.”

3 Responses to “Foreign involvement in mechanism a political decision – Paranagama”

  1. Independent Says:

    A very good professional statement by Mr. Paranagama. This problem has already come to an end.
    We should not be distracted by this but should concentrate on the wrong direction the current government is heading with regard to corruption and nepotism.
    Sirisena should not be allowed to build his own empire. Ranil should not be allowed to steal away people’s money.

  2. Hiranthe Says:

    If the MR government published this report and given it the right place it deserves, all these international ha ho would have diminished I think.

    But who stopped these reports debating in the Parliament and make them formal?? Can anyone shed some light into this please?? Were we only busy developing the infrastructure and digging our own grave??

  3. Cerberus Says:

    I fully agree with Justice Paranagama that the CH4 video should be fully investigated and if it is found that it is a false video which is a dubbing of a video showing LTTE killing Sinhala soldiers then we MUST sue ITN for a few Billion $ for the damage to the reputation of the country that has been caused. It is easy to prove that it is a dubbed video. See the original video on the link below along with the technical evaluation by a Video expert.

    See also this new item from 2009.
    Daily News, Sept 8, 2009
    Government tells Channel 4: Retract video
    Scientific evidence proves it was a fake

    Ranil Wijayapala,
    Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said that the Government is going to ask the retraction of the controversial execution video from Channel 4, as comprehensive investigations and analysis conducted by four experts on the video have provided scientific evidence to prove that it was a fake and a heavily tampered video.

    Addressing the media at the Media Centre for National Security along with Defence Affairs Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and three other experts to discuss the authenticity of the controversial video, the Minister said that he will also take up the controversial video issue with United Nations Secretary General Ban ki- Moon very soon.

    The United Nations Secretary General raised the issue about this controversial execution video broadcast by UK based Channel 4 when Minister Samarasinghe met him last week. “We are not making a mere political statement; it is backed by scientific evidence following comprehensive investigations by well-known experts,” the Minister said.

    “Not only Channel 4 we will also submit scientific evidence to prove the video is a fake to Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim too, to retract his statement based on the video footing,” the Minister said.

    Minister Rambukwella said the Government cannot easily forget the issue as a simple one because it was matter concerning the reputation and image of the country, the Government and the Armed Forces.

    Minister Rambukwella said apart from the scientific evidence obtained, the Defence Ministry has also conducted investigations to ascertain whether there are Security Forces personnel similar to the people appearing in the video footage.

    “It has been established with finality that the people appearing in the video are not in the Armed Forces,” Minister Rambukwella added.

    Minister Samarasinghe said that four experts on the subject have conducted investigations into this controversial video telecast by Channel 4 and subsequently picked up by various other international media including BBC and CNN.

    “We will also raise this issue with other international media channels which had picked up the Channel 4 video and broadcast it without verifying the authenticity of the video footage provided by the so-called media organization called Journalist for Democracy in Sri Lanka,” the Minister added.

    He said the Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka or the JDS has organized and published their blogpost only on August 1, 2009.

    The Minister made the statement that the video was a fake based on the findings made by Siri Hewawitharana, an international expert on the subject who is also the former head of Cisco’s global broadcast and digital video practice, Dr. Chatura Ranjan de Silva, a Senior Lecturer on Computer Science and Engineering and Director of the

    Centre for Instructional Technology, Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe, the Chief Signal Officer of the Sri Lanka Army and the Major P.A Bandara attached to the Media Centre for National Security.

    The four experts who analyzed the video had come to the obvious conclusion that the video footage had been filmed not by a mobile phone camera but by a digital cam code and the sound had been dubbed separately into the video and the gun noise in the video is coming from a long distance proving the fact that the video footage was doctored.

    Major P.A. Bandara making his presentation on the controversial video after playing it on normal speed and 50 percent speed, pointed out the discrepancies of the video footage and the unusual things appearing in the video.

    The non- spreading blood stains, the movements of the victims while being executed, the outward appearance of the victims and the uniforms worn by the so-called soldiers executing those victims came under close study by him.

    “It is not the practice of the Sri Lanka Army soldiers to wear a white coloured T-shirt with an olive green uniform,” Major Bandara said making a valid point that the video was doctored.

    The movements of the executed victims also came under his close scrutiny to suggest that that the video was a fake.

    Dr. Chatura Ranjan de Silva from the University of Moratuwa who had earlier assisted the Government to analyse the videos of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle’s assassination and the suicide attempt on Minister Douglas Devananda said that the video has not been filmed by mobile phone camera but a digital cam code.

    “If it had been filmed by a mobile phone camera it should have jumping or discrete effects,” he added.

    He said that although the video has less colour sensitivity in the blood stains of the victims it is unusually colour sensitive and the blood stains with clear margins prove the fact that it was heavily tampered or fabricated.

    “There is clear proof that the sound has been dubbed into the video separately,” he added.

    Dr. Chatura Ranjan de Silva made his technical analysis based on the video footage downloaded from the internet.

    Chief Signal Officer of the Sri Lanka Army Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said that the Signal Base Workshop of the Army following a comprehensive investigation noticed a gap between the sound and the video film to suggest that the sound has been dubbed

    into the video footage.

    The sound of gun firing had been recorded at a distance of some 102.4 metres which is quite impossible to be done by a mobile phone camera, the Brigadier added.

    We must then present this to the UN and request that this be shown at the next session of UNHRC for the edification of the people there.

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