UN expert seeks probe into Lankan video footage

Last Updated: Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 11:53

New York: A top UN human rights expert has sought probe into the authenticity of a video footage purportedly showing Sri Lankan troops executing helpless Tamils, notwithstanding Colombo`s assertion that the clip was a "distortion of truth".
The images, which first appeared on Britain`s Channel 4, were horrendous and, if authentic, would indicate "a serious violation of international law”, Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, said in a statement.

A Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat statement on Wednesday had said the video clip was "absolutely false". The government will also seek to pursue remedies available with regard to the "distortion of truth", it had said.

Alston said the denial by Colombo makes it all the more necessary to set up an independent investigation. "If the Government`s position is validated as a result of an inquiry, the international community can rest easy and the Government will have been vindicated," he said.

"There is no justification for not moving ahead with such an investigation in view of the Government`s confidence that such atrocities were never perpetrated by its armed forces."

At the same time he regretted that Colombo so far had not yet issued him an invitation to make an official visit to Sri Lanka, despite a number of requests in recent years.

Alston reports to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and to the General Assembly and he serves in an independent and unpaid capacity.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 11:53

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