- Post 19 February 2013
- By Ramanan Veerasingham
(Contains graphic images, may cause distress)
Scientifically authenticated fresh and exclusive photographic evidence has shown that Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran’s 12-year old son Balachandran was alive in Sri Lankan military custody, barely a couple of hours before he was found executed on the final day of the bloody war.
These photographs, obtained by the Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) have been used in the upcoming documentary film “No Fire Zone” (NFZ) directed by Callum Macrae for the UK-based Channel 4 television. The new documentary film is set to be screened at the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival during the UN Human Rights Council meeting in March this year.
Talking to the JDS, Macrae said that "by obtaining these photographs - which have had such an impact - JDS has once again shown what an important voice it is in the fight for democracy and accountability in Sri Lanka. As an organisation of journalists, both Sinhala and Tamil, it is a vital source of accurate news on the situation in Sri Lanka"
"These new photographs - which we have had independently analysed and authenticated - are a very significant piece of evidence which make it ever more difficult for the Rajapaksa regime to deny the charges that they are responsible for extra-judicial killings, crimes against humanity and war crimes, violating all international humanitarian laws" he further said.
According to the metadata, both photos were taken on May, 19 2009. The time gap between the 2 photos is 1 hour and 45 minutes. To be precise, the one which shows him alive was taken at 10.14 am and the one with his dead body was taken at 12.01 pm.
“These new photographs are important evidentially, because they prove that Balachandran was not killed in crossfire or in a battle – or even that he was executed by some maverick band of paramilitaries,” the NFZ Film Director said.
Analysed and authenticated
“His death was deliberate and calculated. This is a proof, beyond reasonable doubt, of the execution of a child – not a battlefield death. The pictures fill in chilling details on the circumstances of his murder – and leave the Sri Lankan government with yet more questions to answer,” Callum Macrae said.
Talking on the authenticity of the photographs, he said that the digital image analysis has indicated that the photographs before and after the execution of Balachandran were taken with the same camera.
“The embedded information in the pictures places them less than two hours apart. The new photographs of his corpse corroborate the video footage and stills which we obtained last year and were analysed by a respected forensic pathologist, Professor Derrick Pounder. According to Prof Pounder, the speckling on his skin suggests he was shot at close range. The angle of the hole indicates that after that bullet was fired, the boy fell back and was shot four more times,” he said, adding that there was no evidence to indicate fabrication, manipulation or the use of effects to create these images.
'Lies and half truths' - SL Army
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan army as usual has rejected the fresh evidence “as usual allegations by some pro-Tamil separatist organisations abroad” to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka in the run up to the UNHRC meeting in Geneva.
“They use lies, half-truths, rumours, and numerous forms of speculation and interestingly these come up as we get closer to a UNHRC meeting but die down thereafter,” Sri Lanka’s Military Spokesman R. Wanigasooriya has been quoted as saying by Colombo-based Daily Mirror newspaper.
“If there is genuine concern in bringing perpetrators to justice the concerned parties have to make complaints to the police with whatever evidence have rather than floating rumours and baseless allegations through the internet and other media,” the Military Spokesman has said.