Defence Ministry dismisses ‘execution’ video as propaganda lie

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Defence Ministry alleges that those propagating unsubstantiated allegations to justify war crimes investigations against Sri Lanka wouldn’t dare question the circumstances under which al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in May two years ago.

A senior spokesperson told The Island that top US officials had issued contradictory statements as regards the heli-borne operation leading to the killing of the unarmed bin Laden.

The official was responding to recent allegations made by New Delhi based Adam Roberts, the South Asia Bureau Chief of The Economist at the inauguration of a two-day conference at the Jamia Millia University in New Delhi. Roberts alleged that the Sri Lankan Army had executed LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s youngest son, Balachandran (12), during the final phase of the conflict in early May 2009.Having accused the SLA of executing Prabhakaran’s son, Adam claimed that the execution of prisoners of war with hands tied to their backs wouldn’t have come to light if not for the perpetrators, in this case SLA personnel, releasing video footage of the executions, at the conclusion of the conflict.

Roberts was addressing a group of journalists from India, Pakistan, Australia, Iran, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Singapore, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives and Nepal, at the Jamia Millia Islamia University, in New Delhi.

The official pointed out that The Economist representative made use of a conference jointly organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Nelson Mandela Center for Peace and Reconciliation and Jamia Millia University to give credence to Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields series produced by UK’s Channel 4. The statement was meant to support the US-sponsored resolution moved against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva, the official said.

The official said that The Economist correspondent also painted a bleak picture of post-war Jaffna even after the setting up of the first Northern Provincial Council. Those who couldn’t stomach Sri Lanka’s victory over LTTE terrorism would continue to downplay the post-war recovery process, the Defence Ministry said. The official alleged that Western media would step up pressure in the run-up to the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

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