Government tells Channel 4:
Scientific evidence proves it was a fake:
Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe
yesterday said that the Government is going to ask the retraction of the
controversial execution video from Channel 4, as comprehensive
investigations and analysis conducted by four experts on the video have
provided scientific evidence to prove that it was a fake and a heavily
Addressing the media at the Media Centre for National Security along
with Defence Affairs Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and three
other experts to discuss the authenticity of the controversial video,
the Minister said that he will also take up the controversial video
issue with United Nations Secretary General Ban ki- Moon very soon.
The United Nations Secretary General raised the issue about this
controversial execution video broadcast by UK based Channel 4 when
Minister Samarasinghe met him last week. “We are not making a mere
political statement; it is backed by scientific evidence following
comprehensive investigations by well-known experts,” the Minister said.
“Not only Channel 4 we will also submit scientific evidence to prove
the video is a fake to Norwegian International Development Minister Erik
Solheim too, to retract his statement based on the video footing,” the
Minister Rambukwella said the Government cannot easily forget the
issue as a simple one because it was matter concerning the reputation
and image of the country, the Government and the Armed Forces.
Minister Rambukwella said apart from the scientific evidence
obtained, the Defence Ministry has also conducted investigations to
ascertain whether there are Security Forces personnel similar to the
people appearing in the video footage.
“It has been established with finality that the people appearing in
the video are not in the Armed Forces,” Minister Rambukwella added.
Minister Samarasinghe said that four experts on the subject have
conducted investigations into this controversial video telecast by
Channel 4 and subsequently picked up by various other international
media including BBC and CNN.
“We will also raise this issue with other international media
channels which had picked up the Channel 4 video and broadcast it
without verifying the authenticity of the video footage provided by the
so-called media organization called Journalist for Democracy in Sri
Lanka,” the Minister added.
He said the Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka or the JDS has
organized and published their blogpost only on August 1, 2009.
The Minister made the statement that the video was a fake based on
the findings made by Siri Hewawitharana, an international expert on the
subject who is also the former head of Cisco’s global broadcast and
digital video practice, Dr. Chatura Ranjan de Silva, a Senior Lecturer
on Computer Science and Engineering and Director of the
Centre for Instructional Technology, Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe,
the Chief Signal Officer of the Sri Lanka Army and the Major P.A Bandara
attached to the Media Centre for National Security.
The four experts who analyzed the video had come to the obvious
conclusion that the video footage had been filmed not by a mobile phone
camera but by a digital cam code and the sound had been dubbed
separately into the video and the gun noise in the video is coming from
a long distance proving the fact that the video footage was doctored.
Major P.A. Bandara making his presentation on the controversial video
after playing it on normal speed and 50 percent speed, pointed out the
discrepancies of the video footage and the unusual things appearing in
The non- spreading blood stains, the movements of the victims while
being executed, the outward appearance of the victims and the uniforms
worn by the so-called soldiers executing those victims came under close
study by him.
“It is not the practice of the Sri Lanka Army soldiers to wear a
white coloured T-shirt with an olive green uniform,” Major Bandara said
making a valid point that the video was doctored.
The movements of the executed victims also came under his close
scrutiny to suggest that that the video was a fake.
Dr. Chatura Ranjan de Silva from the University of Moratuwa who had
earlier assisted the Government to analyse the videos of Minister
Jeyaraj Fernandopulle’s assassination and the suicide attempt on
Minister Douglas Devananda said that the video has not been filmed by
mobile phone camera but a digital cam code.
“If it had been filmed by a mobile phone camera it should have
jumping or discrete effects,” he added.
He said that although the video has less colour sensitivity in the
blood stains of the victims it is unusually colour sensitive and the
blood stains with clear margins prove the fact that it was heavily
tampered or fabricated.
“There is clear proof that the sound has been dubbed into the video
separately,” he added.
Dr. Chatura Ranjan de Silva made his technical analysis based on the
video footage downloaded from the internet.
Chief Signal Officer of the Sri Lanka Army Brigadier Prasad
Samarasinghe said that the Signal Base Workshop of the Army following a
comprehensive investigation noticed a gap between the sound and the
video film to suggest that the sound has been dubbed
into the video footage.
The sound of gun firing had been recorded at a distance of some 102.4
metres which is quite impossible to be done by a mobile phone camera,
the Brigadier added.