May 19 2010

a senior Sri Lankan army commander and frontline soldier tell Channel 4 News that point-blank executions of Tamils at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war were carried out under orders.

Published by ச‌றோ at 10:42 am under மின்ன‌ஞ்ச‌ல்

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/international_politics/sri+lanka+option/3652687

Sri Lanka Tamil killings ‘ordered from the top’

By Jonathan Miller

Updated on 18 May 2010

Exclusive: a senior Sri Lankan army commander and frontline soldier
tell Channel 4 News that point-blank executions of Tamils at the end
of the Sri Lankan civil war were carried out under orders.

In August 2009 Channel 4 News obtained video evidence, later
authenticated by the United Nations, purporting to show point-blank
executions of Tamils by uniformed Sri Lankan soldiers.

Now a senior army commander and a frontline soldier have told Channel
4 News that such killings were indeed ordered from the top.

One frontline soldier said: “Yes, our commander ordered us to kill
everyone. We killed everyone.”

And a senior Sri Lankan army commander said: “Definitely, the order
would have been to kill everybody and finish them off.

“I don’t think we wanted to keep any hardcore elements, so they were
done away with. It is clear that such orders were, in fact, received
from the top.”

Despite allegations of war crimes, Sri Lanka’s government has managed
to avoid an independent inquiry. But the evidence continues to mount.

‘Body blows to humanitarian law’
So decisive was Sri Lanka’s victory over the Tamil Tigers last year
that other nations facing violent insurgencies are now citing the “Sri
Lanka option” as a model for crushing rebellion, writes Channel 4 News
foreign reporter Jonathan Miller.

International lawyers, human rights and conflict prevention groups are
alarmed, accusing the Colombo government of riding roughshod over
international law.

Last night Louise Arbour, a former chief prosecutor in international
war crimes trials, told an audience at Chatham House – the foreign
policy think tank – that “the [Sri Lankan] government’s refusal to
distinguish between combatants and non-combatants” and the “sheer
magnitude of civilian death and suffering” dealt what she called “the
most serious of body blows to international humanitarian law”.

Now, the International Crisis Group, of which Ms Arbour is the
president, has joined forces with Amnesty International and Human
Rights Watch to demand an independent international investigation into
what they brand “massive human rights violations” and “repeated
violations of international law” – by both side

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