We have been highlighting the plight of civilians caught up in the Sri Lanka civilian war since 2007. Back in 2009, after the last Tamil stronghold fell into the hands of the government, I published a post called "The killing fields of Sri Lanka".
Channel 4 just released a video, with the same title, documenting repetitive and systematically executed war crimes committed by both the government and Tamil fighters against unarmed civilians, clearly marked medical facilities and other non-combat targets.
It shows a forensic investigation into the final weeks of the quarter-century-long civil war between the government of Sri Lanka and the secessionist rebels, the Tamil Tigers.
Captured on mobile phones, both by Tamils under attack and government soldiers as war trophies, the disturbing footage shows the extra-judicial executions of prisoners; the aftermath of targeted shelling of civilian camps; and dead female Tamil fighters who appear to have been raped or sexually assaulted, abused and murdered.
The film is made and broadcast as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon faces growing criticism for refusing to launch an investigation into 'credible allegations' that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes during the closing weeks of the bloody conflict with the Tamil Tigers.
In April 2011, Ban Ki-moon published a report by a UN-appointed panel of experts, which concluded that as many as 40,000 people were killed in the final weeks of the war between the Tamil Tigers and government forces.
It called for the creation of an international mechanism to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed by government forces and the Tamil Tigers during that time.
This film provides powerful evidence that will lend new urgency to the panel's call for an international inquiry to be mounted, including harrowing interviews with eye-witnesses, new photographic stills, official Sri Lankan army video footage, and satellite imagery. (Full article)
You can watch the 50 minute video here, but please beware the scenes are horrific and extremely graphic.
Picture courtesy Channel 4.