Sri Lanka: War Crimes

A United Nations investigation panel says both the government and Tamil Tigers are to blame.

In May 2009, Sri Lanka’s decades long civil war with the Tamil Tigers, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam came to a bloody close after government forces launched a massive offensive.

What exactly happened during the last days of the battle is still the subject of fierce debate, but it is clear that as the rebel perimeter shrank, around a third of a million civilians were trapped between the two armies and tens of thousands were killed.

The government says the LTTE were using civilians as human shields, Tamil exiles say the deaths were the result of indiscriminate shelling by the Sri Lankan army. The LTTE was crushed in the offensive, most of its leaders killed and thousands were captured and imprisoned but the Sri Lankan government has so far refused to agree to an independent, international war crimes investigation.

Now a UN panel has found that the allegations against both sides are credible saying they may have committed serious violations of humanitarian law.

As Juliana Ruhfus and Dom Rotheroe have been finding out, unless and until the truth is established, a final reconciliation in Sri Lanka may prove impossible.

Some of the images in their film are deeply disturbing.

This episode of People & Power can be seen from Wednesday, April 20.


Looming humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka camps

The Interview – with Douglas Keh

On this program Sanjana Hattotuwa talks to Douglas Keh, Country Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The series that gives you insights on Peace and Politics; Business and Development; Society and the Environment; Culture and the Arts.

Featuring diverse views and perspectives; informing people; contributing to the debate on important national issues – The Interview is produced by Young Asia Television.

Source : YaTV

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Interview with Dayan Jayatilleka

Recorded 31 July 2009, Geneva.

Dayan Jayatilleka was Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva from June 2007 to August 2009. This interview was the first he gave after the sudden and unexpected news of the termination of his services in July 2009.

Source : CPA(Centre for Policy Alternatives)

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Crossing Fires – Stepping Out

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Crossing Fires – Loss and Gain

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Crossing Fires – A Place called home

A Place called home –
Almost all of Sri Lanka’s displaced people left or were forced to leave their homes at times of heightened activity between Sri Lankan military and LTTE troops. In addition to assaults against each other’s infra structure and personnel, combatants on both sides also engaged in deliberate, large-scale massacres of civilians.

Among those who experienced the heaviest toll in a bloody cycle of attacks and counterattacks were the residents of four villages in the Polonnaruwa District, in north-central Sri Lanka. In October 1992, over 300 people, most of them Muslim civilians, were shot and hacked to death at dawn, by attackers whom witnesses identified as LTTE cadre.

Palliyagodelle was one of the villages where 84 families lost their men. 23 widows eventually moved to a neighboring village – Sungawila.

Source :

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