News24

UK media shows footage of Sri Lanka massacre

2010-12-01 13:19

London - New footage of an alleged massacre by Sri Lankan troops during the island's civil war has been broadcast by a British television channel, which says at least seven women may have been killed.

Channel 4 said the five-minute video 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 pans left revealing the naked and dead bodies," the channel said.

Edited short clips of the video were broadcast on Tuesday as Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse arrived in London to address the Oxford Union on Thursday.

Hundreds of Tamils staged a demonstration outside the airport as Rajapakse arrived.

Channel 4 said the video had accompanying dialogue in which onlookers made "lewd and callous comments, which seems to strongly suggest that sexual assaults have taken place before the death of the women".

Sri Lanka has already dismissed the shorter version of the video, which was obtained from the Europe-based media lobby group Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, as a "fabrication designed to discredit" its armed forces.

However, UN human rights envoy Philip Alston concluded in January that the video, said to be of Sri Lankan troops executing unarmed Tamil Tiger rebels, was authentic.

Sri Lankan troops defeated Tamil separatist forces in May 2009 after decades of bloody warfare.

The final military offensive triggered allegations of war crimes, with the United Nations, Western nations and rights groups pushing for a probe of possible violations by both sides.