The Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs calls Channel 4 Killing fields video authentic

18/5/2016

  
In an open letter addressed to the former president of Sri Lanka titled "My Dear Mahinda, I don’t Want To See You Going Towards Further Doom" , the Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera has called the Channel 4 documentary "Sri Lanka's Killing fields" authentic. After the civil war in Sri Lanka came to an end in May 2009, Channel 4 was the first media house to expose the brutal ending of the Bloody civil war that has ravaged the teardrop-shaped Sri Lanka for decades. 

Channel 4's News and Current Affairs journalists have led the way in exposing the country's war crimes, culminating in the broadcast of the feature length documentary No Fire Zone - a forensic investigation into the final weeks of the bloody civil war in Sri Lanka. This documentary includes footage of apparent extra-judicial massacres of prisoners by Sri Lankan government forces, the aftermath of targeted shelling of civilian hospitals and the bodies of female Tamil fighters who appear to have been sexually assaulted. The documentary does not only focus on the Sri Lankan government troops - it also examines atrocities carried out by the Tamil Tigers, including the use of human shields, and footage depicting the aftermath of a suicide bombing in a government centre for the displaced.

For the last six years the Sri Lankan Government had dismissed the footage as "fake" and had even released its own propaganda version of the final stages of war highlighting the humanitarian operation of the Sri Lankan armed forces. Despite the Sri Lankan Government dismissing the video as "fake", the documentary was screened in the United nations, and a report released by the UN said the video "appears authentic" and that there was no evidence that the video was faked.
Now, after seven years of denial, the Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera finally accepts the documentary's authenticity. In the open letter addressed to the former president of Sri Lanka, Mangala Samaraweera states "the Channel 4 allegations are a good example of your(Mahinda Rajapaksa) government’s total mismanagement. In fact, when the footage was first shown I remember asking your government to hand over the video footage to any world-renowned forensics expert to establish your argument that they were tampered and distorted with. Having secured such evidence you could have sued Channel 4 in the UK courts to prove your innocence. Instead, laughably, you gave it to forensic experts hired by the Defence Ministry in order to disprove the footage’s authenticity. In fact, according to the information we have the video footage is not only authentic but was given to Channel 4 by members of the armed forces who themselves were deeply shocked at some of the acts carried out as a result of orders from above".