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Four Corners -

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Produced by the Channel 4 in Britain, the program forensically investigates allegations that up to
40,000 Tamil civilians were killed as Sri Lankan Government forces moved in to destroy the Tamil
Tiger army. The program provides evidence that while the 'Tigers' used civilians as human shields,
the Government forces repeatedly shelled civilians who had been offered sanctuary in "no fire
zones". The Government of Sri Lanka denies this, questioning the numbers killed and the
authenticity of the visual evidence. You can judge for yourself.

The program contains disturbing descriptions and footage of executions, atrocities and the shelling
of civilians. It includes devastating new video evidence of war crimes. Some of this material was
shot on video cameras; other scenes are taken from mobile phones used by Sri Lankan soldiers as
trophy vision. Put together it creates one of the most confronting stories of war and conflict ever
seen on Australian television.

The film goes to air as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon faces growing criticism for
refusing to launch a full independent investigation into "credible allegations" of war crimes and
crimes against humanity.

In June 2010, the UN chief asked a panel of experts to advise him on the evidence available
relating to the conduct by both sides in the closing months of the war. In a report published in
April this year, the panel of experts concluded that there was credible evidence that up to 40,000
people were killed in the final months of the civil war between the Tamil Tigers and Government

The report called for the creation of an international mechanism to investigate alleged violations
of international humanitarian and international human rights laws committed by Sri Lankan
Government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

This film provides powerful evidence that will lend new urgency to the panel's call for an
international inquiry, including harrowing interviews with eye-witnesses, new photographic stills,
official Sri Lankan Army video footage, and satellite imagery.

While the program clearly shows the brutality of Government forces, the film's producers also
detail the horrific atrocities carried out by the Tamil Tigers, who used civilians as human
shields. In one case, a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber detonates an explosive charge while standing in
the middle of a "safe haven" area for other Tamils.

As one international legal expert explains, the behaviour of the 'Tigers' cannot be ignored:

"Crimes by one side do not begin to give a kind of carte blanche to the other side to break the
rules as well."

However, in the end "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields" presents a damning account of the actions of Sri
Lankan Government forces, in a war that the Government still insists was conducted with a policy of
"Zero Civilian Casualties".

Presented by Kerry O'Brien, "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields" goes to air on Monday 4th July at 8.30pm
on ABC1. It is repeated on Tuesday 5th July at 11.35pm. It can also be seen at 8.00pm on Saturdays
on ABC News 24. It is also available on ABC iview.