In this photograph released by the pro-Liberation LTTE website on May 2 are what they say show some of the 64 people killed and 87 wounded by shelling at a makeshift field hospital in Mullivaikal
This photograph, released by the pro-Liberation LTTE website, shows some of the 64 people killed and 87 wounded by shelling at a makeshift field hospital in Mullivaikal Reuters

In "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields", the film broadcasted yesterday on Channel 4 a team of reporters have tried to piece together an account of what happened in the closing weeks of Sri Lanka's civil war.

The documentary showed images of extreme violence and brutality, and films taken directs from the scenes by Tamils civilians using their phone , government film footage, and mobile phone "trophy footage" in which soldiers filmed themselves abusing and executing Tamils who had either surrendered or been captured.

Evidence shows how Tamil civilians were pushed and cornered into an ever diminishing piece of land while they were repeatedly shelled and bombed by government forces. Some of the images also show how medical facilities emblazoned with the internationally recognised Red Cross were targeted by the government and destroyed.

Much of the footage also documented the existence of summary executions, rape, torture and bombing of tens of thousands of Tamils in the last days of the civil war and after the UN pulled out of the country in September 2008.

It also shows images of soldiers laughing on mobile phones while they shot bound prisoners in the back of the head.

In another horrific scene, civilian women were filmed, lying dead on the ground after they had been raped and mutilated by the government troops, as they had tried to surrender.

Most disturbing of all, though, was the clip of UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon being given what looked like a PR tour of a refugee camp by Sri Lankan government officials.

While the Mr Ban was in the camp, talking to government officials, he however failed to try approach refugees and did not talk to any of them. The survivors said that it was at that point they knew they had no human rights.

To this day, Ban Ki-moon rejects his own organisation's report that the Sri Lankan government was complicit in war crimes. As much as the organisation tries to avoid looking at its own failures, the footage demonstrates how once again, the UN appeared unable to respond effectively to an extremely violent conflict and how it failed to connect with the people it was supposed to be protecting.

While the document highlights the fact that war crimes were committed on both sides, it however also emphases on the extreme brutality of the Government actions that led what can only describe as a massacre of the Tamils.

The film is extremely difficult to watch, but defending the documentary, Jon Snow, who narrated the film, insists "it represents not only the evidence required to convict, but a first ever testament in the digital age to the dawning truth that in this age it is becoming close to impossible for warring forces to cover up what they have done. "