Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa questioned the credibility of the latest Channel-4 video broadcast on Wednesday night charging that the British Government should take action against Channel-4 for airing what he called “irresponsible videos”.
In the fresh documentary broadcast on Wednesday night over Channel-4, two people claiming to be soldiers had alleged that Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had ordered Brigadier Shavendra Silva to execute those who had surrendered.
“Will Shavendra Silva tell everyone what he is doing and what he is going to do?. They quote two people claiming to be soldiers and alleging that the executions were done by us.
These are false propaganda”, the Defence Secretary told the Daily Mirror.
“The United Nations Country Representative at that time Neil Burhne never informed us about people who were surrendering to the security forces. How can they say that the United Nations estimated that 40,000 civilians were killed during the last days of the war? The Mullaitivu Government Agent had 300,000 registered civilians and at the end of the war it was 294,000. The rest, most of them LTTE cadres were killed during confrontations with the security forces and some of them managed to flee to Canada and India”, Mr. Rajapaksa said.
“We are protecting the families of Soosai and Thamilselvan. Soosai’s family was caught when they attempted to flee the country. We could have killed them as Soosai was responsible for the death of all the sailors. We are taking care of them now. We took good care of Prabhakaran’s parents as well”, he added.
“More than 11,000 ex combatants who were mass murderers and suicide cadres surrendered to the security forces. We rehabilitated and educated them and released them back to the society”, he said.
“We have evidence that the woman who appeared in the previous video was a former LTTE cadre. She was among the 200,000 civilians who were rescued by the security forces”, Mr. Rajapaksa said.
Meanwhile Military spokesman Ubaya Medawala said the people appearing in the latest video were not from the Sri Lanka Army. “This is yet another attempt to justify their earlier video”, he said.
“None of our officers or soldiers gave interviews or voice cuts to the foreign media therefore the two men appearing as soldiers are not part of the army”, Major General Medawala said.
“These are all false propaganda developed from the money earned by the self exiled population living in Europe”, he said.
“They have attempted to tarnish the image of the security forces several times and this is another similar attempt”, Major General Medawala said.
LLRC report won’t highlight Channel 4 video
In the midst of the controversy over the third Channel Four clip on war crimes in Sri Lankan which was aired recently, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) said yesterday that despite popular belief the LLRC report which is due in November this year will not highlight the Channel 4 videos.
When asked if the LLRC would draw more attention to the Channel 4 videos in its report due to the pressure building up on the country to take responsibility for the alleged war crimes, LLRC spokesman Lakshman Wickremasinghe said that the commission had not yet taken a decision on the matter.
“The report will mainly focus on the commission’s mandate and not the Channel 4 videos. While the report will include evidence on the videos, it will not be the main highlight, contrary to what people think,” he said.
The LLRC called on computer expert, Chathura De Silva to analyse the first Channel 4 video on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka over a year ago. De Silva at the time chose to make his submissions to the commission in camera due to fear for his life.
Wickremasinghe said the second clip would be analysed by the commission. The third has still not yet been viewed by the commission, he said. The government has said it would take a decision on the war crimes allegations after the LLRC report is completed.
Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay has said that the international community intended to take action against Sri Lanka if the country took too long to probe the war crimes allegations.
Courtesy: Daily Mirror