Dutch court to screen Channel 4 video on Sri Lanka

Sept 16, The Hague: A domestic Dutch criminal court, trying five Sri Lankan Tamils for supporting Sri Lanka’s defeated Tamil Tiger terrorist organization LTTE, is to screen Britain’s Channel 4 documentary “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” on a request made by the defence counsel.

According to Radio Netherlands (RNW), the defence counsel Victor Koppe has asked the Judge Van Rossum of the criminal court in The Hague to screen the documentary describing the documentary as being an “important source of information on the conflict.”

The court is to view the film today, Radio Netherlands said.

Sri Lankan Ambassador in the Netherlands, Buddhi Athauda has said that the planned screening is unfair since the video is unauthentic.

“They play the emotional card in a legal case. And the video is a fraud, it’s a PR clip from the LTTE, it’s wrong… we intend to make a formal request not to show the video in court,” RNW quoted the Ambassador.

RNW says when it asked the court whether it will also screen the” Lies Agreed Upon”, the documentary the Sri Lankan government released as a rebuttal to the Channel 4 film, the Dutch prosecution in the current case seemed unprepared and undecided.

The unauthenticated documentary, Channel 4 first aired in Britain in June this year, shows men clad in military uniform killing naked unarmed men and alleges that Sri Lankan troops committed war crime during last phase of the war against the Tiger terrorists.

The Sri Lankan government has strongly rejected the video saying that it is fabricated and meant to incite racial hatred and derail the ongoing reconciliation process.

Based on the Channel 4 video and the recent UN Expert Panel report on the last stage of Sri Lanka’s war Western governments and right organizations are mounting pressure on the Sri Lankan government to address allegations that its military committed war crimes.

The Sri Lankan government rejects both the UN report and the Channel 4 video saying that the evidence gathered in both are unverified information provided by LTTE supporters.

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