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UK TV shows Lankan war crimes video, govt denies guilt

world Updated: Dec 03, 2010 10:22 IST
Sri Lanka

A British channel has broadcast a video of alleged massacre in Sri Lanka during the Eelam war showing women's dead bodies in a muddy field, a footage dismissed by Colombo as "unauthentic".

The Channel 4 has claimed that at least seven women might have been killed during the island's civil war. In a five-minute video, Channel 4 last night showed the women's dead bodies in a muddy field.

It was an extension of another video shown by the channel last year in which soldiers appeared to shoot two blindfolded men.

"The new video seems to show the same incident, but rather than stopping after the execution of a second bound man, it continues and the camera plans left revealing the naked and dead bodies," the channel said.

The Sri Lankan High commission here categorically denied that the Channel 4 News TV video is authentic.

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

It said, "there is a common pattern in these sinister moves. Some sections were replete with photographs of alleged war crimes when Sri Lanka'a application for the extension of GSP + facility was being considered by the European Commission."

A leading British newspaper had received photographs of alleged war crimes when Sri Lankan External Affairs minister visited the United Kingdom last October.

The suppliers themselves had admitted that they were not in a position to confirm the authenticity, place or the veracity of the material supplied by them.

The latest move coincides with the visit to the United Kingdom of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The statement said, "it is no secret that the anti-Sri Lankan separatist lobby which is behind these moves live in the comforts mainly in the West, and have not contributed towards restoration of normalcy and livelihoods of the deprived people affected by the conflict. Instead they continue to resuscitate the separatist ideology."

Amid a demonstration by hundreds of Tamils outside the airport, Rajapaksa addressed the Oxford Union yesterday.