Director says video shows Sri Lanka army committed war crimes

By Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal

COLOMBO (Reuters) - A documentary maker said on Friday video of a Tamil Tiger television presenter suggests she was captured alive and killed, rather than dying in the chaotic end of Sri Lanka's three decade war.

The footage is in the documentary "No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka", the fourth by British journalist and director Callum Macrae to allege the Sri Lankan army committed war crimes at the end of the separatist conflict in 2009.

Military spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the army never resorted to killing those captured or who surrendered, and disputed the authenticity of the video it said was an attempt to discredit Sri Lanka before it hosts a Commonwealth summit.

The footage shows Isaipriya, a celebrity news presenter at a rebel-run television station, half naked and being given a cloth to cover herself by people in military uniform who were heard saying they had found Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabakaran's daughter.

Isaipriya, whose body was found at the end of the war on May 18, 2009, is seen telling her captors: "No, I am not her."

"This shows the pattern of war crimes that happened in the final days of the war," Macrae told Reuters.

"They are not mistreating her and they are attempting to cover her partial nakedness with a cloth, but this footage demonstrates that she was alive and uninjured."

While the army disputes the footage, its release, on November 7 in New Delhi, will raise more questions about its actions before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), on November 15-17.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has declined to attend because of concerns over alleged abuses, while British Prime Minister David Cameron, rejecting calls to boycott the summit, had said he would raise difficult issues at the talks.

"They have been releasing fake videos targeting Geneva human rights commission meetings and now they have come out with another fake video targeting CHOGM to discredit the army and Sri Lanka in general," the military spokesman said.

Tens of thousands of civilians were killed in 2009 in the final months the war, a U.N. panel has said, as government troops advanced on the ever-shrinking northern tip of the island controlled by Tamil rebels fighting for an independent homeland.

The panel said it had "credible allegations" that Sri Lankan troops and the Tamil Tigers both carried out atrocities but said the government was responsible for most of the deaths.

The U.N. Human Rights Commission, through two resolutions, has urged Sri Lanka to investigate into the alleged war crimes, which President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government has rejected.

Political violence has eased since Sri Lanka's army crushed the Tamil rebellion, but international human rights groups say rule of law problems persist, including abductions and attacks on media and government critics. (Writing by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Alison Williams)

Latest News

  • Malini Ramani, Rina Dhaka unfold winter story on AIFW ramp

    New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) It was time for the darker shades of winter to take over the ramp of the Amazon India Fashion Week here, with designers Malini Ramani and Rina Dhaka taking to the stage to present their collections with a recurring naturalistic theme, tying them up together. The ensemble was complemented with a gothic look, created with smoky eyes and umkept plaits. …

  • 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani' trailer to come with 'Mr. X' release

    Mumbai, March 27 (IANS) Actor Emraan Hashmi has wrapped up his film "Hamari Adhuri Kahani" and says its trailer will be unveiled alongside the release of his other film "Mr. X" on April 17. "Hamari Adhuri Kahani" is complete, edit is finished and it will release on June 12. …

  • Nora Fatehi lands special song in 'Baahubali'

    Hyderabad, March 27 (IANS) Actress Nora Fatehi, who has worked in films such as "Roar: The Tigers of Sunderbans" and "Crazy Cukkad Family", has been signed for a special song in S.S. Rajamouli's magnum opus "Baahubali". "Impressed with her work in 'Temper', Rajamouli has roped her in for a special number in 'Baahubali'. …

  • Marriage on cards towards 2015 end: Shahid Kapoor

    Mumbai, March 27 (IANS) Actor Shahid Kapoor has spoken out on rumours about his wedding plans and has confirmed that he may be finally settling down by the end of the year. At an awards event held here on Thursday, Shahid was asked if he has got engaged. Marriage is on the cards sometimes towards the end of the year and I think that's all I can say." Shahid, who was earlier in a relationship with Kareena Kapoor, is rumoured to be getting married to Delhi student Mira Rajput. …

  • Shruti Haasan in legal trouble

    Chennai, March 27 (IANS) Picturehouse Media, a leading media and entertainment house, has initiated legal proceedings against actress Shruti Haasan, who pulled out of its yet-untitled Tamil-Telugu bilingual project citing the issue of dates. "Shruti Hassan after entering into a contractual agreement to be the female lead in a bilingual starring Nagarjuna and Karthi directed by Vamsi Paidipalli has reneged on her contractual obligations. The company claims that the unethical and unprofessional …

  • Oscars producers out after three years and a TV ratings drop
    Oscars producers out after three years and a TV ratings drop

    Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the producers behind the last three Academy Awards telecasts, will not be returning for next year's Oscars, the ceremony organizers said on Thursday. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts Hollywood's biggest night each year, declined to say why Zadan and Meron were not invited back. Their departure comes after the television audience for the 2015 show dropped 16 percent from the previous year and first-time host Neil Patrick Harris received …

  • Vice expands HBO deal and ventures into daily newscast
    Vice expands HBO deal and ventures into daily newscast

    Vice Media, known for its coverage of current affairs for the Millennial generation, will expand its partnership with Time Warner Inc's premium cable network HBO to include daily newscasts and more weekly series and specials, the network said on Thursday. Vice's half-hour show on weekdays will present news reports from journalists in bureaus around the world, the first time HBO has offered a daily newscast. The weekly Vice series, currently seen on Fridays, will expand from 14 to 35 shows a …

  • Final curtain for 'Downton Abbey' after Season 6
    Final curtain for 'Downton Abbey' after Season 6

    By Michael Roddy LONDON (Reuters) - The hugely successful British period drama "Downton Abbey" will wind up after the sixth season, its executive producer said on Thursday, but a possible movie version cannot be ruled out. "There's so many different explanations" for the decision, Gareth Neame said in a conference call with reporters. "I think our feeling is that it's good to quit while you're ahead." Creator Julian Fellowes, the sole writer of the drama about an aristocratic British …

Loading...