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Sri Lanka investigates British TV footage on rights abuse

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 17:56

Colombo: The Sri Lankan government is investigating a controversial video footage aired by a British Channel accusing the army of war crimes during the final phase of the battle with the LTTE.

This was conveyed to European Parliament by Sri Lankan Ambassador to European Union PM Amza yesterday, a government statement said.

The investigation is to happen irrespective of Sri Lanka’s categorical rejection of the Channel-4 footage in the "Killing Fields" series where three different segments were aired.

Amza, a native Tamil speaker, has said that he could provide ample evidence to prove that Channel-4 had a sinister motive to discredit Sri Lanka in connivance with the pro-LTTE diaspora organisations.

"The Channel-4 has made serious mistakes by misinterpreting what the witnesses have said in Tamil to suit its agenda," said Amza during a panel discussion that followed the screening of a latest film "No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka", jointly organised by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group at European Parliament.

The Ambassador pointed that in the "Killing Fields" documentary, the civilians who spoke in Tamil at no stage stated that the attacks were carried out specifically by the Sri Lankan Army, rather they always mentioned that "they attacked", leaving it ambiguous.

The Ambassador also refuted allegations on the killing of a 12-year-old boy identified as the son of the slained LTTE leader Thiruvenkadam Velupillai Prabhakaran.

The Ambassador, while casting doubts on Channel-4 questioned as to why the "expert opinion" disregarded the possibility of the boy being killed by his own bodyguards to avoid being captured by the Sri Lankan Armed forces.

Amza, however, has reiterated Sri Lanka’s request to Channel-4 to provide original materials available with them to help the investigation process.

Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission had recommended an independent investigation to verify the authenticity of the Channel-4 footage.


First Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 17:56

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