News / Asia

Sri Lanka Denies Accusations of Abusing Tamils

Sri Lanka Denies Accusations Of Tamil Abuses At UN Meetingi
X
February 28, 2013 8:28 PM
Newly-discovered photographs have raised questions over the death of a Sri Lankan rebel leader's son in 2009. The photos will be shown at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, which plans to discuss alleged atrocities against Sri Lanka's Tamil minority. Sri Lanka accuses the Council of bias. Henry Ridgwell reports. We warn you that some of the images shown may be disturbing.

Sri Lanka Denies Accusations Of Tamil Abuses At UN Meeting

Henry Ridgwell
— Newly-discovered photographs have raised questions over the death of a Sri Lankan rebel leader's son in 2009.  The photos will be shown at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, which plans to discuss alleged atrocities against Sri Lanka's Tamil minority.  Sri Lanka accuses the Council of bias.  

The group Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka says the photos show Balachandran Prabhakaran, the son of the late Tamil Tiger rebel leader, in the custody of government soldiers in May 2009.

Another photo, which the journalists say was taken two hours later, appears to show the same 12-year-old boy lying dead on the ground with five bullet wounds in his chest.

The photos, and additional video footage, appear to contradict government accounts that the boy was killed in crossfire, says the head of Amnesty International India, G. Ananthapadmanabhan.

“We think they are credible evidence that needs investigation, but we cannot exactly say at this point what exactly happened," said Ananthapadmanabhan. "But having said that, even the thought that a 12-year-old boy could be executed in that fashion is quite horrifying."

The alleged killing happened during fierce fighting as the civil war between the government and armed Tamil separatists known as the LTTE, was coming to an end.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam doubts the veracity of the pictures.

"This footage for us is kind of morphed in a way that this series of photographs doesn't add up, so we totally reject this," said Kariyawasam. "We have no doubt that Prabhakaran's son died, but he was a victim of that battle at that time."

The group Human Rights Watch says abuses against Tamils took place long after the civil war - in many cases to extract information or to force confessions.  Video footage taken by the group shows victims with scars across their backs.  One of them, given the name "DK," says he was tortured in 2012.

“They beat me severely. They burned cigarettes on my back. I was sexually abused. They hanged me upside down and beat me. My body was full of bruises. They submerged my head in water," he said.

David Mepham is UK Director of Human Rights Watch.

“We’ve got 75 cases where we are very clear that the evidence is compelling and that these people were subject to rape and sexual violence," said Mepham. "And overwhelmingly this is violence carried out by members of the Sri Lankan security forces.”

Sri Lanka says the allegations are fabricated by Tamils seeking asylum overseas.

For the second year in a row, the United States is sponsoring a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council calling on Sri Lanka to cease what it calls rights abuses.

Sri Lanka's presidential envoy on human rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe, claims the U.N. council is biased.

“We have put in place structures for discussion and implementation of solutions," said Samarasinghe. "However, we are being told that our chosen path is perhaps the wrong one. It is supposedly deficient. We must be lectured to or even taught. We must be instructed by people who know little of our history, culture or socio-political background."

Sri Lanka is due to host the Commonwealth summit in November this year. Canada has threatened to boycott the meeting unless Colombo addresses the allegations of atrocities.

You May Like

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid