Channel 4 Undercover Investigation - Interviews Eyewitnesses
Channel 4 did an undercover investigation in Sri Lanka and interviewed few of the eyewitnesses who talks about the civilian deaths when government forces advanced on the tamil tiger's final strong hold. They told the deaths were due to government shelling.
Eyewitnesses interviewed during a week-long undercover investigation for Channel 4 News, told of thousands of civilian deaths as government forces advanced on the Tigers' final stronghold.
The deaths, they said, were the result of government shelling.
One of the eye witness told every day thousand people were killed in the last two weeks.
"I think every day a thousand people were killed," one of the very last to escape the tiny enclave told us. He was referring to the final two weeks of the conflict, during which the Sri Lankan government claimed not to have used heavy artillery.
"There were continuous shelling attacks," said the eyewitness. We have verified his identity as a man in a position of authority, but we are unable to reveal it.
A senior Roman Catholic priest, who has worked with the displaced in the heavily militarised northern town of Vavuniya, said the triumphalism of Sinhalese was "very sad" to witness.
"There is no one to represent the aspirations of the Tamil community," he said. "They have a very uncertain future. It means they will live as a subjugated community, like under a foreign ruler."
Channel 4 spoke to a sinhalese politician who spoke about the threat media is facing inside sri lanka.
Dr Wickramabahu Karunarathne, a left-wing politician and one of the few dissident voices in the Sinhalese community said: "The state media, every day, radio, papers, they classify us as traitors and they are rousing people against us."
Dr Karunaratne was the only interviewee prepared to talk openly on camera without having his face obscured and voice changed. One prominent Sinhalese journalist, Podala Jayantha, who had campaigned for greater media freedom, was abducted and severely beaten by unknown assailants, two weeks ago.
A doctor working at Vavuniya camp expressed his concern about the conditions of the injured civilians in the camp. There were over 20,000 people who lost their limbs. All those who work at that camp were warned, if they reveal the numbers on the sick or about the deaths to any foreign NGOs they will be killed.
Journalists have also been unable to enter the hospital in Vavuniya, where thousands of wounded civilians are being treated. Channel 4 News successfully smuggled a small camera into Vavuniya and interviewed a Tamil doctor there.
"It is most sure that the numbers without limbs are over 20,000. Most of the injuries causing loss of limbs were from shelling," he said. The doctor alleged that conditions in the camps for displaced people around Vavuniya, are poor and that malnutrition and disease are rife.
"We were all gathered together recently by the government and we were told that if we told the figures of the sick and why people are dying to the foreign NGOs that we will be killed for doing this."
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