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Video evidence exposes war crimes against Tamils

The pure horror of the Sri Lankan government’s genocidal war against the Tamils in May 2009 has been released in new photo and video evidence, which contradicts the Sri Lankan government’s lies.

The photo and video footage show piles of dead bodies, many of them naked, with their hands bound behind their backs, and shot in the head. The summary execution of helpless prisoners, a war crime under the Geneva Convention, could lead to an investigation by the United Nations.

Julian Knowles QC, an expert in war crimes who viewed the tape, said: “On the question of whether there should be an inquiry, this is astonishingly powerful evidence of a type I’ve only seen in a handful of times… there’s some footage from Yugoslavia about mass killings… the idea that there can be a debate about whether there should be an investigation in the face of evidence like this is very surprising.”

The Sri Lankan government, with financial and technical aid from Israel, Britain and the US, launched its assault in 2009 on the last remaining areas held by the Tamil Tigers, with the intention of annihilating the Tamil resistance movement.

The government’s bloody slaughter of more than 8,000 civilians, and the subsequent internment of tens of thousands in camps in the north of the country, caused an international outcry from human rights groups and the Tamil diaspora organisations that identified these actions as a genocide against the Tamil people, but saw only mild “concern” from Western political leaders.

The hypocrisy of the UK government is revealed in the US diplomatic cables published on WikiLeaks, which includes one sent in May 2009 by Richard Mills, an official at the US embassy in London, quoting his British counterpart Tim Waite.

Waite explained that the then UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s diplomatic focus on Sri Lanka – which included requests to grant visas to foreign relief workers – was motivated by the need to gain the votes of UK-resident Tamils in the coming general election, carrying the suggestion that it would be back to business as usual once the election was over.

The Tamil resistance movement may have been defeated, but the desire for a real resolution to the national question in Sri Lanka has not gone away.

  • Internationally we need to support the rights of the Tamils and call for a full inquiry into the crimes of the Sri Lankan army.
    We must support the right for self-determination of the Tamil people up to and including the formation of a state separate from the Sinhalese majority.

The outrageous actions of the Sri Lankan government show us how brutal a capitalist state can be when it seeks to crush legitimate resistance to oppression.

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