New Delhi: The dilemma for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over participating in CHOGM in Colombo later this month worsened on Friday with Channel Four coming out with ‘yet another evidence’ of war crimes by the Sri Lankan forces during the final phase of the Eelam war in May 2009.
The latest video footage released by the channel, whose earlier footage ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ had gory visuals of Tamils being executed with hands tied and of Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran’s 12-year-son Balachandran dead with bullet shots in chest, shows the LTTE journalist Issei Priya, dragged by the troops believing she was the LTTE leader’s daughter.
The video showed Priya, aged about 27, weeping and telling the soldiers she was not Prabhakaran’s daughter, being dragged through slushy ground.
While there are no visuals of her being shot, the fact that she was captured on camera while being dragged away crying and found later dead in a trench, with hands tied, proved she was killed in custody. However, the Lankan military has been claimed that Lieutenant Colonel Issei Priya was killed in combat.
Issei Priya was mostly involved in LTTE media as a TV news presenter.
The Sri Lankan high commission has told Channel Four that “Lieutenant Colonel Issei Priya was engaged in a hostile operation against the Sri Lanka Security Forces when she met her end”.
Photographs that the channel could obtain showed that she was captured by the soldiers on May 18 (2009), the day before Prabhakaran was shot dead. That she was later found dead and there was video footage showing soldiers dragging her weeping only proved that Priya was killed after being captured.
While the Lankan military claimed that Priya was a combatant, her friends in LTTE have been quoted saying she had never involved in fighting because of a heart condition. It was said that she was a singer, dancer, actor and was mostly involved in LTTE media as a TV news presenter. Her six-month-old child was killed in the battle.
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