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Channel 4 Video of Sri Lanka executions causes shockwaves

Channel 4 Video of Sri Lanka executions causes shockwaves
London: Please note the video carried here has disturbing and graphic images and is not suitable for children.  

A video from Sri Lanka aired by Channel 4 in UK is causing shockwaves.  The footage shows men in uniform executing naked unarmed men and women. Channel 4 has said it cannot vouch for the authenticity of the video, believed to be shot during the final push by the Sri Lankan government against the LTTE.

The video has been aired at a time when Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is visiting the UK.

Video Courtesy: Channel 4

From the Channel 4 website:

Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, which obtained the material, said it was filmed in January 2009 - when the international media were prevented by the Sri Lankan government from covering the conflict zone.

The Sri Lankan High Commission denied the government had carried out atrocities against the Tamil community. A Sri Lankan army spokesman also called the video a "fake".

"While it's true that Tamil Tiger insurgents were known to masquerade in government uniforms, what makes the video credible is that telltale casual dialogue between the killers as they dispatch their helpless captives," explains Foreign Correspondent Jonathan Miller.  

There is no indication of the ethnicity of the dead men, but the group which obtained the pictures claim the victims are Tamils.

It is impossible to independently authenticate the pictures. The group of exiled Sri Lankan journalists who passed the footage to Channel 4 News are not a Tamil liberation group: they campaign for press freedom.

The existence of such footage had been rumoured for months; these pictures were reportedly filmed in January 2009, but only smuggled out of Sri Lanka two days before Channel 4 News broadcast them.

Channel 4 News has sent the new video to the UN panel investigating allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka.
Story First Published: December 03, 2010 11:44 IST

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