Balachandran Prabhakaran photos raise questions in Sri Lanka


Relatives leave after placing flowers on the grave of a loved one on All Souls Day at the main cemetery in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo on Nov. 2, 2008. AFP PHOTO/Ishara S. KODIKARA (Photo credit should read Ishara S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)



The group Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) says it has photos showing Balachandran Prabhakaran, the rebel Tamil Tiger chief's 12-year-old son captured by the Sri Lankan army, safe and well just a few hours before his death. 

Sri Lankan authorities say the boy died in crossfire, while human rights organizations like JDS say he was executed, according to BBC News

British filmmaker Callum Macrae said the new photos, which JDS said were taken at 10:14 and 12:01 on the day of his death (May 19, 2009), first show the boy sitting around eating chocolate, then dead with with five bullets in the chest. 

"His death was deliberate and calculated," Macrae, whose documentary "No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka" will be screened at the UN Human Rights Council opener next month. "This is a proof, beyond reasonable doubt, of the execution of a child - not a battlefield death," he said, adding that the visuals "fill in chilling details on the circumstances of his murder - and leave the Sri Lankan government with yet more questions to answer."

Sri Lanka's army spokesperson Ruwan Wanigasuriya played down the news, saying the photos contained "no substantive evidence," according to BBC

Balachandran Prabhakaran died around the same time as his father, a leading rebel commander during the last days of a separatist conflict that took hundreds of thousands of lives in Sri Lanka. 

Over 100 Sri Lankan Christian priests have also signed a letter asking the UN Human Rights Council to launch an investigation into allegations of war crimes during the government's bloody 27-year war against the Tiger rebels, said BBC