Sri Lanka: Colombo rejects UN call for war crimes inquiry

Colombo, 8 Jan. (AKI) - Sri Lanka has strongly rejected United Nations' calls for an inquiry into possible war crimes committed during its conflict with Tamil separatists. An independent UN human rights expert said there were strong indications that a video of alleged extrajudicial executions by Sri Lankan soldiers that aired last August on British television was authentic.

Philip Alston, the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, commissioned three experts in forensic pathology, forensic video analysis, and firearm evidence to examine the video, after concluding that investigations carried out by the government had not been thorough or impartial.

“The conclusion clearly is that the video is authentic,” he told a news conference in New York on Thursday.

“I have therefore called on the government of Sri Lanka to respond to these allegations.”

On Friday the government described the UN inquiry into the video's authenticity as "highly subjective and biased". It also said that the footage was "fabricated".

The government last year declared victory over the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after years of conflict.

It has categorically denied the allegations raised by the video, which purportedly depicts the extrajudicial execution of two naked and helpless Tamil men by the Sri Lankan military and the presumed prior executions of others.

It had commissioned four separate investigations which concluded that the video was a fake.

However, Alston said that two of the government’s experts looking into the matter were members of the Sri Lankan Army, the body whose actions have been called into question.


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