The Paranagama Commission report tabled in parliament on Tuesday states that the extra judicial executions of 18 May 2009 that were dubbed “White Flag Killings” in the Channel 4 programmes must be the subject of an independent judicial inquiry.
These events are alleged to have led to the death of Balasingham Nadesan, the head of the political wing of the LTTE and Seevaratnam Pulidevan the LTTE’s head of the peace secretariat and others who are said to have emerged under the protection of a white flag and on assurances of their personal safety.
The commission states, if proven such conduct undoubtedly qualifies as a war crime under the Hague regulations and under the Geneva convention.
Paranagama commission notes that the desire of Nadesan, Pulidevan and others to surrender was communicated to the well known British Journalist, the late Marie Colvin.
The Commission says that assurances of safety from the Government were conveyed to Nadesan at about 6.30 am on 18 May 2009, according to an unsigned statement of a witness.
Quoting a US State department communique the report says that Nadesan and Pulidevan spoke to international and domestic actors who acted as intermediaries with the then Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Dr. Palitha Kohona to negotiate along with 300 other people.
Again quoting US state Department the reports says “Nadesan requested the presence of UN Secretary General envoy Vijay Nambiar to witness the surrender, but was told that he had President Rajapaksa’s assurance that the safety of surrendering LTTE leaders would be assured. On the morning of May 18, Nadesan and Pulidevan led a group of approximately one dozen men and women out to the SLA troops, waving a white flag. According to a Tamil witness who later escaped the area, the SLA started firing machine guns at them, everyone in the group reportedly was killed”.
Noting the above facts the commission states that it has come to the conclusion that an independent judicial inquiry is necessary to establish the facts, determine responsibility and arrive at the truth.