The cold-blooded murder of Balachandran, Prabakaran’s 12-year-old son, shows how much the Sri Lankan army feared even a child. It is evident that the Sri Lankan army was keen on eliminating those who were directly or indirectly associated with the LTTE, rather than just get rid of terrorists.
In an era when capital punishment for even the worst of criminals is being questioned, killing a child for his father’s deeds is an act reminiscent of the nightmarish days of Nazism. As an immediate and responsible neighbour, New Delhi should take a clear stand, even if it means going against the interests of Colombo, on the rights violations perpetrated by the Sri Lankan armed forces during the final stages of their war with the LTTE.
The pictures of Balachandran Prabakaran’s execution (Feb. 19) serve as a grim reminder of rights violations across the world. When even prisoners of war are expected to be treated in a humanitarian manner, a country’s citizen being denied the right to life is really horrifying.
Colombo will try to obfuscate all ethnic killings in the glory of victory in the civil war. But they are a stigma on Sri Lanka and will be recorded in war history. Whether the regime that was responsible for the war crimes will be punished or not, a day will come for the nation to re-establish the past splendour of peaceful co-existence of all communities. The world will then condemn those culpable for the viciousness.
Madan Menon Thottasseri,
The killing of Prabakaran’s son by the Sri Lankan forces is inhuman, shameful and disgusting. That a professional army which embodies valour could stoop to such a low level is appalling. Why should a son pay for his father’s actions?
From the pictures, it appears that the Sri Lankan forces first gained the confidence of the innocent boy and betrayed his trust by pumping bullets into him without even blindfolding him.
Lalit Kumar Bhardwaj,
The brutal and spine-chilling incident, a blatant violation of the Geneva Convention, is in contrast to the repeated assertions by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa that no human rights violations took place during the 2009 war against the LTTE. One shudders to think of the plight of numerous other prisoners of war. Although Velupillai Prabakaran was no saint, the cold-blooded murder of his son by the Sri Lankan army is totally unjustifiable.
B. Suresh Kumar,
I have read many reports on the atrocities of the Sri Lankan army and the government, but I never took them seriously. The LTTE was a terrorist organisation, so I did not think its defeat or the killing of its leaders in the civil war was wrong.
But killing a child, even if he is the son of a terrorist, is deplorable. I am sure the world will move on and forget the gruesome killing in a week’s time. One wonders whether those responsible for the horror will ever be brought before the law.
K.C. Mujeeb Zaid,
Hats off to The Hindu for publishing the photographs that exposed Colombo’s continuous denial that civilians were killed in the war! Even if Prabakaran was a terrorist, what did his 12-year-old son do to deserve such treatment? Thanks to Callum Macrae for bringing out the truth. One hopes the international community will bring the perpetrators to justice.
A lot of us were unsympathetic to the LTTE because it was a terrorist outfit. But the photos make me wonder which is a bigger terror organisation — the LTTE or the Sri Lankan army.
Keywords: Velupillai Prabakaran, Balachandran Prabakaran, Balachandran death, Sri Lanka war crimes, Channel 4 TV photographs, Sri Lankan military, No War Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka documentary, Eelam War, LTTE, Sri Lankan Tamils, ethnic conflict