12-yr-old Balachandran Prabhakaran, son of Tamil leader, 'killed' by Sri Lankan army

Updated: 20 Feb 2013
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Balachandran Prabhakaran
Balachandran Prabhakaran, 12, is seen apparently in Sri Lankan custody as he sits in a bunker
Disturbing new images have emerged of the dead body of the 12-year-old son of a Tamil leader that researchers say could prove he was executed by Sri Lankan government forces.

The photographs of Balachandran Prabhakaran, son of Velupillai Prabhakaran, head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, were taken in May 2009 at the end of the government's conflict with the rebels.

The first pictures appear to show the child in the custody of Sri Lankan forces and he is seen sitting on a bench wrapped in a blanket and eating some food.

But photographs taken hours later on the same camera show him lying on the ground, topless and his chest riddled with bullet holes.

He has five holes to his chest and experts say he was shot at close range.

The pictures, which feature in documentary No Fire Zone, show the boy was alive when he was captured and was executed later, says the film's director Callum Macrae.

He told The Independent: 'They show he was held, and even given a snack, before being taken and executed in cold blood.'

The Sri Lankan government have always claimed that Balachandran was killed in cross-fire but Mr Macrae said the photographs 'rule out' that possibility.

Mr Macrae said the fact that the boy's dead body was photographed is also alarming.

He said: 'That these events were also photographed and kept as war trophies by the perpetrators is 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 rumours' said about the country.

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

Brigadier Wanigasooriya: 'No substantive evidence have been presented for us to launch an investigation.'
In 2011, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon published a report 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 UN Human Rights Council meeting. 
SOURCE: Daily Mail
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