Sri Lanka under renewed pressure over violations

Sri Lanka came under renewed pressure this week at the UN Human Rights Council over video footages detailing violations allegedly committed by soldiers during the country`s civil war.

Last Updated: Jun 04, 2011, 23:33 PM IST

Geneva: Sri Lanka came under renewed
pressure this week at the UN Human Rights Council over video
footages detailing violations allegedly committed by soldiers
during the country`s civil war.

A UN investigator authenticated some of the footage
early this week, while at the end of the week, a documentary
by Britain`s Channel 4 detailing the serious abuses was
screened at the sidelines of the Human Rights Council.

Sri Lankan officials attending the screening angrily
refuted the video, describing the disturbing footages as fake,
and condemned Channel 4 for concluding that war crimes had
been committed.

The documentary, which will be aired in Britain on
June 14, depicts naked, blindfolded men being executed by
soldiers, naked female corpses being dragged onto a trailer
while lewd comments were being made by soldiers, and witness
accounts of hospitals being shelled.

Some of the footage, which was filmed during the Sri
Lankan army`s battle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam (LTTE) separatists, had earlier been provided to two UN
investigators, both of whom confirmed that it was authentic.

On Monday, UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial,
summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, said: "What
is reflected in the extended video are crimes of the highest
order -- definitive war crimes."

"I believe that the prima facie case of serious
international crimes has been made by the video that I`ve
examined," he told the UN Human Rights Council.

Bureau Report