Channel 4 Releases New Sri Lanka Execution Video During President’s Visit to London

Channel 4 Releases New Sri Lanka Execution Video During President’s Visit to London

London : United Kingdom | Nov 30, 2010 at 11:54 PM PST
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Sri Lanka government doing genocide in 'safety zone'?

Just as Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in London this week, Britain’s Channel 4 News released new footage that it claims shows the alleged execution of Tamil prisoners by government troops. The media organization said it was an extended version of the same controversial video that it first aired in August 2009.

“We've now sent this five minute 30 second video to the U.N. panel convened to determine whether or not there should be an independent international war crimes inquiry,” said Channel 4 News foreign affairs correspondent, Jonathan Miller.

The Sri Lankan High Commission on Tuesday issued a statement in which it said it “categorically denies that the Channel 4 News TV video is authentic.”

“Last year when Channel 4 News telecast a similar video, the Government of Sri Lanka clearly established, by reference to technical considerations, that it was not genuine but fake,” the statement said. “The present video is nothing more than an elongated version of the same video.”

In January of this year, a U.N. investigator said that the video released in August 2009 appeared to be authentic. The Sri Lankan government, however, has always maintained that the video is a fake. Following the latest release, officials pointed the finger at what it called the “anti-Sri Lankan separatist lobby.”

“The latest move coincides with the visit to the United Kingdom of President Mahinda Rajapaksa,” the statement from the high commission said. “It is no secret that the anti-Sri Lankan separatist lobby, which is behind these moves, lives in the comforts mainly in the West and (has) not contributed towards restoration of normalcy and livelihoods of the deprived people affected by the conflict. Instead (it) continue to resuscitate the separatist ideology.”

Rajapaksa’s visit to London came amidst protests calling for his arrest on allegations of war crimes. The president is scheduled to speak at the Oxford Union Thursday. According to government reports, Rajapaksa will be the only head of state to address the body for a second time.

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Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse
Anuradha K. Herath is based in Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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