Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Useful Video Evidence of Sri Lankan War Crime

by Tamils for Obama, December 10, 2010

It is this plain certainty among the soldiers that makes this pair of videos significant. It indicates that these soldiers were not acting on their own. We can surmise that these soldiers were acting on instructions from their commander, and that the officer was sure that he would never face consequences if the killing were known. We think that the soldiers’ belief in their own invulnerability shows that they were sure that their orders came from the very highest levels.

SECRETARY GENERAL’S PANEL OF EXPERTS ON SRI LANKA
Mr. Marzuki Darusman, Chairman
Mr. Steven Ratner, Panel Member
Ms.Yasmin Sooka, Panel Member

Dear Sirs and Madam:

When we saw the first video that ran on UK Channel 4 News last August, showing Sri Lankan soldiers executing prisoners, we were appalled. We were also puzzled.  Why would  anyone commit a murder with another person standing by with a camera? We decided that the cell phone is smaller than a deck of cards and easily concealable.  Even if the cell phone were noticed, people would guess the person was just talking on the phone. We thought that this was a bold way for a brave person to record an earth-shaking event at a risk to his own life.

But then we saw the second video of the same event, which emerged a couple of weeks ago in November. There were not one but two video cameras recording the same event, and neither one of them was making any attempt to stay hidden. We saw videos of the same killings—naked bound men and women shot at close range, and a well-known TV reporter apparently raped before she was killed--taken from two slightly different angles. One of the camera men held up his cell phone for the other to film, and for everyone there to see. It was clear that all of the soldiers knew that they were being filmed. They went on with their bloody business cheerfully, with no apparent fear that they would ever have to answer for these killings. They chattered, laughed, and continued their task with confidence and apparent faith in their impunity.

It is this plain certainty among the soldiers that makes this pair of videos significant. It indicates that these soldiers were not acting on their own. We can surmise that these soldiers were acting on instructions from their commander, and that the officer was sure that he would never face consequences if the killing were known. We think that the soldiers’ belief in their own invulnerability shows that they were sure that their orders came from the very highest levels. This would include President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defense Minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, and General Sarath Fonseka.

To see the first video, go to: http://www.tamilsforobama.com/video/Old_Video/Srilanka_Genocide_of_Tamils_War_Crimes_Evidence_first.html


To see the second video, go to:
http://www.tamilsforobama.com/video/New_Video/Srilanka_Genocide_of_Tamils_War_Crimes_Evidence.html

UK Channel 4 News called this “astonishing evidence” and said “this is not something that the UN can ignore or should ignore.”  To see the video clip with these comments, go to: http://www.channel4.com/news/sri-lanka-video-is-astonishing-evidence
The New York Times and the US’s Associated Press noted “new video evidence…  linking the (Sri Lankan) military to execution of prisoners during the final hours of the civil war last year.” To  read the Times/AP story, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/world/asia/10briefs-Srilanka.html?ref=world

W e hope this is helpful to you in making your recommendation to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. 

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Tamils for Obama
Email: info@Tamilsforobama.com
Phone: (617) 765-4394