Channel 4 News and Sri Lanka Tamil executions

Channel 4 is the same British broadcaster who managed to secure an 'exclusive' interview with Kumaran Pathmanathan, the new Tamil Tiger leader, and a man who was on the Interpol's wanted list.

When law enforcement couldn't find Pathmanathan, Channel 4 utilised it's contacts within the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) to get a video interview. Incidentally, the Tamil Tigers are listed as a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom.

Channel 4, by the way, is also the same entity that released a video claiming to be Sri Lankan troops executing what they claimed were "Tamils." Surely they meant Tamil Tigers? Do they refer to Taliban or Al Qaeda insurgents as Muslims or Afghans?

A few months back (02 Feb 2010) they posted the following on their website when UN's Special Rapporteur Philip Alston conducted his own investigation into the execution video and made public his opinion on the video,

For Channel 4 News, last week’s verdict was the last chapter in an ongoing saga that has seen the Sri Lankan government attempt to destroy the reputation of Channel 4 journalism across the globe.

Of course, in some ways, the UN conclusion is just the beginning of what surely must be a new investigation into Sri Lanka. But for now, this is the story of the tape – and the shocking repercussions of reporting uncomfortable truths from secretive war zones.

What they wanted you to believe was that the findings made public by Philip Alston was the word of the UN and that it disproved the Sri Lankan government's own investigation.

Nice try Channel 4, but you don't fool me.

The Sri Lankan government pointed out that the video's audio had been doctored. In fact this video that AFP has posted on Youtube, is the same execution video, but, instead of the men in uniform speaking Sinhalese, they are speaking in Tamil!

The Sri Lankan government also pointed out that it's own investigation had revealed that the video was not shot on a cell phone, but on a camcorder or a similar video recording device; the source of the video claimed it came from a soldier's camera phone.

Let's remind Channel 4 that the Alston investigation has only revealed that weapons used in the video are real and the victims appear to collapse in a manner consistent with the injury sustained and nothing else.

So what do they have for us Sri Lankans today? They have yet another exclusive!

One frontline soldier told Channel 4 News: "Yes, our commander ordered us to kill everyone. We killed everyone."

And senior Sri Lankan army commander said: "Definitely, the order would have been to kill everybody and finish them off.

"I don't think we wanted to keep any hardcore elements, so they were done away with. It is clear that such orders were, in fact, received from the top."

Despite allegations of war crimes, Sri Lanka's government has managed to avoid an independent inquiry. But the evidence continues to mount.

A small problem with that theory, Channel 4.

Sri Lanka has over 11,000 Tamil Tiger combatants in custody. Why did they not just kill them all? Why are they now a burden on the state? The same state that provided for these people, even in areas under Tiger control, for more than three decades? One would think that taking a senior leader captive makes more strategical sense to the military rather than killing them? The information obtained from captives can prevent them from rearming and regrouping?

Has anyone noticed? The ICG report and now this Channel 4 claim comes just days apart.

The rich (funds raised through extortion, human smuggling and debit card scams) and influential Tamil Tiger network overseas remains intact and is heavily lobbying for war crimes charges.

Unfortunately, as with all their recent endeavours to get back at the Sri Lankan government, after a crushing defeat, this too shall pass with nothing coming of it.

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