[After international media picked up on this story, Sri Lanka reversed its ban on visas for al-Jazeera. See the video below.–Frontlines ed.]
Sri Lanka denies visa to Al Jazeera over disturbing images of war
Nov 12, Colombo: Sri Lanka has denied visas to reporters of Qatar-based Al Jazeera news service who wanted to cover the inauguration ceremony of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the broadcast of disturbing images of alleged war crimes.
The Deutsche Press Agency news report citing an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said a decision had been taken not to issue the visas for at least three staffers of Al Jazeera who wanted to cover the swearing-in on November 19 and also to visit the North.
Al Jazeera on last Wednesday published unverified photographs showing a mound of dead bodies piled up in a trailer and an associated video clip describing that the scene appears to be a mop up operation by the Army. Al Jazeera said it is not possible to verify the authenticity of the images obtained from Tamil contacts who have reportedly received them from some one in the Sri Lankan military.
The Sri Lankan government has vehemently rejected the photographs saying that remnants of the LTTE and pro-LTTE forces are attempting to revive the vanquished terrorist organization by bringing false allegations of human right violations against the troops. The government said it has proved that the pictures published by pro-LTTE websites were a fabrication. “The government on previous occasions has denied these pictures. It is improper to suggest that the military was involved in these killings,” the Ministry spokesman has told the Deutsche Press Agency.
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