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Sri Lankan boy enjoys snack - and is then executed

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 20th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Horrific photos of a young boy enjoying a snack moments before he is shot at close range by Sri Lankan government forces have emerged. Government authorities say that the 12-year-old boy was killed because he was the son of a Tamil leader.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The boy, identified as Balachandran Prabhakaran, was the son of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Those forces were taken in May 2009 at the end of the government's conflict with the rebels.

Photos depict the child in the custody of Sri Lankan forces. He is seen sitting on a bench wrapped in a blanket and eating some food. Photographs taken hours later with the same camera show him lying on the ground, topless, his chest riddled with five bullet holes. Experts say he was shot at close range.

As featured in the documentary "No Fire Zone," the film's director Callum Macrae says that the boy was alive when he was captured and was executed later.

"They show he was held, and even given a snack, before being taken and executed in cold blood."

The Sri Lankan government has always claimed that Balachandran was killed in cross-fire. Macrae says that the photographs 'rule out' that possibility. He also points out the fact that the boy's dead body was photographed is also alarming.

"That these events were also photographed and kept as war trophies by the perpetrators are even more disturbing.'

The body of Villupillai Prabhakaran was showed on state television in May 2009 as Sri Lanka's government declared an end to its 26-year civil war. There were also suggestions he had been shot at close range as part of his skull was missing.

Sri Lankan army spokesman Brigadier PR Wanigasooriya told The Independent that there had been repeated "lies, half truths and rumors" said about the country.

Government forces had been accused of human rights abuses including sexual violence, murder and abuse in the final days of the civil way.

"No substantive evidence has been presented for us to launch an investigation" Brigadier Wanigasooriya says.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon published a report in 2011 which revealed as many as 40,000 people were killed in the final months of the war.

The new documentary will be screened at the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival at next month's U.N. Human Rights Council meeting.

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