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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pardon Us, Balachandran Prabhakaran!

We, the men of civilized world, are ashamed of what had been meted out to you (if the reports are true), my child, perhaps, for your fault of being the son of Prabhakaran, though scriptures say maranaantaani vairaani nirvrittam—hostilities end with death, death of your father.  Alas!  Could this—shooting down of a kid with all the impunity—happen in the land of Buddha!

It was a slap on the face of  the adulthood of humanity, if there is one  today, to capture a young chubby looking kid of 12 years old (as reported in the press), imprison him in a bunker of sandbags, guarded, apparently, by a Sri Lankan Army soldier, dole out some sort of snack to the kid sitting quiet ... all to himself in a distraught frame of mind …eyes wide open in bewilderment ... on a wooden plank, just to execute him within hours at point-blank range by shooting not once, twice, but five times in a row with a weapon whose muzzle was hardly two to three feet or less from the boy’s chest that, in the words of Professor Derrick Pounder, forensic pathologist, the boy “could have reached out with his hand and touched the gun” and jolly well take photos before and after execution to make the world believe that he was killed in a cross firing.  

But the chilling story of executing the young boy at point-blank range, as revealed by the photographs of Balachandran taken just before he was executed and after execution with the same camera, and released now by Channel 4 TV—which were subjected to forensic analysis, the report of which indicates “no evidence to indicate fabrication, manipulation or the use of effects to create the images” and thus concludes that the photographs “appear to be an accurate representation of the events depicted”—is terribly disturbing for the civilized world to read. It is shocking to know from the professor that the “angle of the shots suggested that after that [first] bullet was fired, the boy fell backwards and was then shot four more times.” Another video recording, which was again authenticated by the analysis, tells that there were several military personnel in the area.

Listening to what Professor William A. Schabas, a respected international human rights lawyer, said, “If you look at what looks like the mass execution of naked prisoners, these all add up to possibly the claim that this was in fact systematic—and that could point to the highest levels in the military authority of Sri Lanka as being responsible for war crimes of summary execution, killing and torture”, one cannot sit quiet, for the crimes of one side cannot justify the crimes of another, that too, of a government that is supposed to  observe the international humanitarian lawGeneva Convention

What then all this calls for? It simply calls for unearthing the truth—the truth behind the atrocities alleged to have been committed by the military/government as well as the erstwhile tigers. An independent and credible international enquiry needs to be launched to find the truth behind these atrocities and render justice. That alone ensures a sustainable reconciliation between the warring parties; else, history might repeat itself in Sri Lanka. 

And the civilized world has a role to play in getting the truth unearthed, for it believes that such coldblooded execution of innocent is a blot on its face. India too has a role of its own in asking   for  the truth,  particularly when the Sri Lankan authorities refute these charges as false,  and paving the way for lasting reconciliation between the Tamils of Sri Lanka and the rest so that peace takes firm footing in the region.

Images:  courtesy;;


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