Chennai: Channel 4 on Friday telecast a shocking video clipping showing Shoba alias Isaipriya being captured alive and taken away by Sri Lankan armymen, with hands fastened behind her back.
The shocking footage of Isaipriya killed in cold blood was shot by an unidentified Sri Lankan soldier and released to the British channel. Her body was found during “clean-up” operations after the war ended in 2009, according to official reports.
UK-based journalist-filmmaker Callum Macrae, in an earlier award-winning documentary, ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ in June 2011, had released visuals of 27-year-old Isaipriya’s battered and semi-clothed body, with severe wounds and evidence of sexual assault.
In response to the charges that she was raped and killed by the army, the Sri Lankan government had then claimed that she was killed in a combat with the 53rd division of the Lankan Army, commanded by Major General Kamal Gunaratne, on May 18, 2009, a day before LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was put to death.
Contrary to Lankan claims, Priya had a heart problem and was not physically fit enough to fight on the battlefield. Quoting Kalpana, one of Priya’s friends, Macrae in his previous documentary had said Isaipriya never carried a gun. She was a journalist working in the communication wing of the LTTE and always had either a camera, a pen or a notepad.
The disturbing new evidence of Lankan Army’s brutal atrocities on unarmed civilians comes to light when Tamil Nadu is swept by anti-CHOGM wave stirred up by political personalities, student groups and rights activists,urging Manmohan Singh to skip visit to Sri Lanka for Commonwealth summit scheduled in Colombo this month.
Amid divided opinion within the Congress party and stiff opposition from Jayalalithaa-headed AIADMK regime, DMK patriarch Karunanidhi who has warned the centre of ‘consequences’, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan, Manmohan Singh is under pressure to boycott the CHOGM meet. Additionally, this new video footage comes as a fall-out in the run up to India’s participation at the Commonwealth summit.
Top war crimes lawyer Julian Knowles had told Channel 4 News the video was “astonishing evidence” of a type he had only seen “a handful of times” showing the mass killing of civilians or unarmed combatants, a serious war crime.
Meantime, speaking to BBC Tamil Service, Sri Lankan Military Spokesman Ruwan Wanigasuriya has called the Channel 4 video as ‘fake’ and said only special investigations can authenticate if the woman in the video is actually Isaipriya or just an episode of acting.
Isaipriya Raped Video