|Special Rappoteur on Extra- Judicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions, Mr. Philip Alston has already said that it is the government’s responsibility to set up an independent investigation to probe into the authenticity of this video clip.
Under these circumstances, when the reputation of Sri Lanka is at stake, it is imperative that the government acts in a credible and mature manner in meeting the serious allegations. Instead, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London says that the video clip is “doctored” while the Foreign Secretary along with the state run media has attacked everyone who raised their concerns about this gruesome video clip and are as usual talking about an international conspiracy to tarnish the image of our country. If this is so, an opportunity has arisen for the government to prove to the whole world the veracity of its conspiracy theory.
It is a well-known fact that video clips can be doctored using sophisticated digital
equipment. However there are Forensic Video Tape Experts who can issue an authenticity certificate of videotapes, which are recognized in civil, and criminal litigation cases internationally. These forensic experts can also provide tape-tampering analysis of suspect video clips. Armed with such certificates, the Sri Lankan Government must then proceed to initiate legal action against Channel 4 and the other media institutions for airing a video clip that by proxy has damaged the image of the Sri Lankan people.
This is the time for the government to take the “bull by the horns” and prove its credibility to the world once and for all. It is not only the credibility of the Rajapakse regime, which is at stake, but the very reputation of our country is also at stake. Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans (especially the Sinhala Buddhist majority) now stand in the dock of international public opinion accused of heinous crimes. If we miss this opportunity, we will providing ample grounds for further suspicion and accusation on “human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity” will be taken more seriously than ever before.
Tape authentication and initiating legal action in international courts may be a costly exercise but whatever money the government spends on clearing the name of our noble “dhammadeepa” will be money well spent.