Monday, 18 July 2011

Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields

Just over a month ago, the UK’s Channel 4 aired a documentary that has lent credence to what were till now only allegations. Allegations of war crimes, human rights abuses and torture of prisoners by the victorious Sri Lankan forces as they routed the LTTE in the jungles of Northern and North Eastern Sri Lanka over two years ago. This documentary which is now available on YouTube shows the Sri Lankan army shelling Red Cross run hospitals, intentionally targeting civilians, executing enemy combatants in their custody and worst of all, raping and sexually abusing female prisoners before killing them. Each of these incidents seem to have taken place on a large enough scale to raise the possibility that they were not isolated incidents, but were carried out on a systematic basis with the knowledge and connivance or possibly even on the orders of those very high up in the Sri Lankan military hierarchy.

Channel 4’s documentary is reasonably even-handed and there are mentions of how the LTTE itself used civilians as human shields and prevented them from leaving from areas under their control. On one occasion, an LTTE suicide bomber detonated herself inside an Sri Lankan army run medical centre which was treating Tamil civilians. However, the LTTE was a terrorist group and the democratically elected Sri Lankan government cannot use the LTTE’s behaviour as an excuse for its.

Shame on you Sri Lanka!

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