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Sri Lanka War crimes: Crimes against Humanity Video Released Ahead of Channel 4 Documentary

In any military conflict injured and captured fighters are supposed to be treated in a dignified manner according to international law and Geneva Conventions. Injured fighters are supposed to have been given medical attention without any undue delay. However Sri Lankan military personnel seem to have disregarded all international law, humanity and abused dead and injured cadres, suspected to be members of the LTTE at the end of the war in May 2009.

Attached video is referred to in the UN Panel Report that was formally released by the UN Secretary General’s office on 25 April 2011, point 153 under:

(c) Rape and sexual violence
152. Rape and sexual violence against Tamil women during the final stages of the armed conflict and, in its aftermath, are greatly under-reported. Cultural sensitivities and associated stigma often prevented victims from reporting such crimes, even to their relatives.

Nonetheless, there are many indirect accounts reported by women of sexual violence and rape by members of Government forces and their Tamil-surrogate forces, during and in the aftermath of the final phases of the armed conflict.

153. Many photos and video footage, in particular the footage provided by Channel 4, depict dead female cadre. In these, women are reportedly shown naked or with underwear withdrawn to expose breasts and genitalia. The Channel 4 images, with accompanying commentary in Sinhala by SLA soldiers, raise a strong inference that rape or sexual violence may have occurred, either prior to or after execution. One video shows SLA soldiers loading the naked bodies of dead (or nearly dead) women onto a truck in a highly disrespectful manner, in one case, stomping on the leg of a woman who appears to be moving. Rapes of suspected LTTE cadre are also reported to have occurred, when they were in the custody of the Sri Lankan police (CID and TID) or the SLA. International agencies also recorded instances of rape in the IDP camps, but the military warned IDPs not to report cases of rape to the police or to humanitarian actors.

The entire video of 7.27 minutes was made available for the international media and the UN Panel by Global Tamil Forum (GTF). This video was aired on Headlines News TV (part of the India Today Group) recently. This apparently encouraged the new Chief Minister Ms. Jayalalitha Jeyaram to issue a damning statement on her inaugural speech demanding Rajapaksha to be brought in front of the international courts.

The transcript of the conversation in the video is given below (translation from Sinhala to English):


Below is a translation and time stamp that obtained with the help of a Sinhalese American. The soldiers were speaking exclusively in Sinhalese. Conversations are in quotes:

0:04 1st body seen lying with major head wound.

0:15 – 0:25 2nd body shown with clothe noose around the neck. Strangled?

0:42 3rd body shown.

1:10 4th body shown, a tractor trailer appears.

1:25 Body being dragged to load on trailer.

1:30 “Lift, lift and load.”

1:48 5th body shown, private parts exposed.

2:09 “Camera…, Camera is too small to video her stuff.”

2:19 “This one is the stuff”; “Instead of giving service to a man she ends up like this.”; “She is a leader.”

2:29 “She has been shot severely.”

2:58 – 3:11 Several more soldiers approaching, some faces visible.

3:13 “Kumar, come, Kumar come!”

3:25 One body already visible on the trailer.

3:37 – 3:53 Another naked body dragged, lifted and loaded on the trailer with a thump.

3:57 “She has eaten cyanide.”

4:07 – 4:14 Another body loaded.

“Bring that one.”; “She is moaning now.”

4:20 Another starting to be loaded.

4:22 “Pull that one by the leg.”

4:30 Commenting on the naked body: “Bring that one. This is a better one.”

4:55 Another body being dragged.

5:27 – 5:55 “Shot on the head”; “Had come to do a good job.” ; “I blasted her head off”; “Dead”;

“She was moaning.”; “Body is warm.”; “Still the body is moving.”

[It appears they have differing opinions on whether the victim is dead or still alive].

5:40 – 5:50 Lots of shots being fired heard in the background.

6:02 “Let’s go and load the ones on the road.”

“All four women.”

6:20 “This one’s fingers are missing.”

6:36 – 6:45 Another body dragged.

6:45 – 7:00 Body being loaded.

“Remove the jeans and turn it on the side”

“Let them cuddle”

“Put just like that.”

7:07 – 7:15 As the body is dropped, the hand appears to be moving. A soldier is seen stomping on her thigh hard.

7:20 “Kumar, go and pull it.”; “There is one more.”; “Four under the mango tree.”

“There is a pile on the roadside.” [One person is being referred to as “Sir”, suggesting the presence of an officer].

7:27 end


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