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SL dismisses video of Tamil execution

world Updated: Aug 26, 2009 23:22 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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A disturbing video showing a man in army fatigues executing naked, blindfolded and bound man has been dismissed by Sri Lanka as doctored.

News agencies from London reported that video footage released by Britain’s Channel 4 has shown an alleged Sri Lankan soldier shooting a suspected LTTE cadre at point blank range in spite of the latter being young, naked, bound and blindfolded. To top it all, the visibly amused soldier simply says after the killing: "It’s like he jumped," the reports said.

Channel 4 said it could not verify the authenticity of the video which it received from a group called Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka. It claims the video footage was taken in January by a soldier using a mobile phone. The Berlin-based group was formed in July.

The Sri Lankan High Commission in London denied its army was involved in atrocities against the ethnic Tamil minority.

"The High Commission of Sri Lanka categorically denies that the Sri Lankan armed forces engaged in atrocities against the Sri Lankan Tamil community," it said in a statement to Channel 4.

"They were only engaged in a military offensive against the LTTE."

"The High Commission has noted that in many instances in the past, various media institutions used doctored videos, photographs and documents to defame the Sri Lankan government and armed forces," it added.

In Colombo, military spokesperson, Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said: “The video shown has been doctored. There is no truth in the video footage seen.’’

Human rights bodies had alleged large-scale violation of human rights as the war with the LTTE reached a violent climax in May. Both the LTTE and the Lankan government have blamed each other for the death of civilians.

The Lankan army called the final stage of the war the "biggest humanitarian hostage rescue mission" as displaced Tamil civilians crossed over to the government side from LTTE-controlled areas.