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Video: Damilvany Gnanakumar describes camp conditions to channel 4

British medic Damilvany Gnanakumar, detained for four months in one of Sri Lanka's Tamil internment camps, describes to Jonathan Miller the bleakness of the conditions she found there:

Channel 4 UK's Jonathan Miller talks to British Tamil Damilvany Gnanakumar.

"Dead bodies everywhere," recalls Damilvany Gnanakumar. "Wherever you turn round, it's dead bodies."

16 Comments

*** Dead bodies everywhere," ***

So What? Did you people honestly think that this war was going to end without Casualties? You people can all blame the LTTE for this. The LTTE are nothing more than Hit and Run Jungle Monkeys, in order to finish them there were going to be Civilian casualties. All you who are getting falsy Morally uptight about this are fooling no one... Everyone knew that war with the Tigers would mean Tamil Civilian Casualties.... The GoSL knew it, the LTTE knew it... and any one with Half a Brain knew it too...

Posted by: Devinda Fernando | September 16, 2009 08:12 PM

it's very clear that she's a diehard tiger symperthiser. because the whole world witnessed how tigers herded tamil civilians in to that small sliver for their own survival and they shot at the people who tried to escape. it was a mass hostage taking.
yet she denies it. she talks like the tigers are the gurdian angels of tamil people.
also she tells that she was interrogated 5 times or more. so whats the big deal? dont they have the right to interrogate tiger supporters? and sri lankan army didnt torture or rape her or abuse her and she has returned to UK alive and well. that shows all this talk of abuses are nonsence.
there have been civilian casualties but our armed forces have not specifically targetd the civilians. this is inevitable in a war situation. but finally we'r blessed that evil terrorist were eradicated from this lovely island. Thanks to our head of state and the armed forces. we will never let those evil creatures rise up again. i'm so sad that so many innocent tamil, sinhala, muslim civilians had to die invain because of this so called "liberators". remember those who supported tamil tigers directly or indirecly have lot of innocent blood in their hands.

Posted by: rodney | September 16, 2009 11:05 PM

All this time MR & Co have been denieing that there were civilian casualties. Now we have first hand reports about what really happened and the Government has gone into a frenzy expelling UN staff and branding everyone who utters two words as Tiger Sympathisers. It will be very difficult for the Government to maintain this stand as more and more evidence and witnesses tell the true story. Hence it is advisable that GOSL come clean and allow an impartial UN investigation into war crimes and FDP camps at this stage rather than face a sanctions regime which will hurt the livelihood of ordinary Sri Lankans.

Posted by: OrdinaryMan | September 17, 2009 12:18 AM

Whenever LTTE caught SL special forces soldiers "dead or alive" they were butchered using chain saws. This was told to me by one of my colleagues when they went to see the corpse of his cousin.

So, its fair game in War. The US Marines would have done many atrocities but only a few were caught like urinating on the head of a Moslem or rubbing their panties on faces of fugitives.

When the SL government gave into release this woman, they should have realized what LTTE did to their soldiers.

So when this person tells all these gory details, to Channel 4, the gullible westerner will swallow the story, "hook, line and sinker" and GOSL will have to spend extra money to refute this concoction like that canard of a video.

I could understand if this pays well on the IDP but some jackass GOSL official gets to go to UK to fix Channel 4 in the Crown Courts and our tax money goes down the chute with that.

I mean couldn't she have done better?

Posted by: Max Headroom | September 17, 2009 01:13 AM

It is a shame that people like Devinda Fernando has no knowledge about actual problem or root causes(or do not want to speak out). Problem is not started with LTTE and thus can not be ended with the defeat of LTTE. we are Tamils have undergone extreme discriminations over 5 decades, I am sure no one would say that "there were no discrimanation against Tamil in Sri Lanka over the 5 decades" (But still believe Devinda Fernando would say it). I am not sure whether Devinda Fernando has a half Brain or full to understand that there would be Civilian Casualties in the battle, further "*** Dead bodies everywhere," *** So What?" I would like to ask one simple question, Will Devinda Fernando say same if this happen to his relatives, friends and family?? Every life is important and need to be respected. There are many people lost their relatives, friends and family members, it is disgusting to see comments like this.
Let Independent International Investigation to start and see who is war criminals.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 17, 2009 04:43 AM

I know the words "Thank you" won't be adequate for what you did, Vani. I bow before you for your courage.

Posted by: Ravi Shankar | September 17, 2009 04:52 AM


I've been following the situation in Sri Lanka for several months now. Especially I am following with interest how certain groups (in particularly GOSL & Sinhalese) are countering claims of human rights abuses in the war as well as in the camps.

All criticers are idiots who does not know anything. Others are terrorist sympathisers. In my view this as previous Sri Lankan Governments is a state which conducts state terrorism. How can one partially claim that the LTTE used terrorism whereas there is not a single word about the Sri Lankan Armys abuses? They are even raping Tamil women in the camps.

Let me be clear, I am not supporting either side but it is just ridiculous how some interested parties are arguing.

If Sri Lanka has nothing to hide from the outside world, why can there be any investigations? Should'nt they be confident enough to have investigations when they have not done anything to the Tamils?

At the same time they are welcoming international funds. Taxes which we are working hard for are being sent to this terrorist Government of Sri Lanka. I am disgusted!


Posted by: Sam Richardson | September 17, 2009 08:35 AM


** Dead bodies everywhere," ***
So What?
Devinda Fernando

I don't blame him for this. It is the moderator of the web site to be blamed. I think the moderator encourage this kind of poating. Whe I wrote a comment for Dayan, I wrote "He should get him appointed as an ambassidor to Cuba. As he would have nothing to do there, he can enjoy the sea side, cigar and women." The moderator dutifylly acted and remove the word "women". Look at now .. only an insane person would write like this.. "Dead bodies everywhere, so what?"

Posted by: Ravi Shankar | September 17, 2009 10:50 AM

Damilvani is a Robot created by Channel 4 to spoil the name of Sri Lankan Government. I don’t believe an iota of what she says, and until I see her in person I won’t believe that such person exist. The technology in such a well-advanced stage, that they can create Robots like this in a jiffy.

True, this robot must be very expensive Channel 4 can’t foot the bill on its own. Why worry, LTTE and its backers would have supported it. Look at her name…Damilvani…it should be Thamil Vaani, don’t you see the difference? Look at her, does she look like a Tamil girl?

She is tall, thin and got a Chinese tinge. Tamils are dark and well nourished. If she is a real person, she must be from Cambodia or another south Asian Country. She was not raped, not killed, how could that be that she escaped? We all are stupid! Isn’t it?

Posted by: Sakthi | September 17, 2009 12:53 PM

Devinda Fernando,

Oh yaah, GOSL terrorists are very good in killing people from the air. You barbaric killers, first look at the history of terrorist state. If you point to a person, 4 of your fingers point to you, mind you.


Posted by: SET | September 17, 2009 02:32 PM

In all likelihood this lady must have been close to LTTE leaders having come with funds and knowhow from London, yet speaks very little about the war that was being conducted around her; how thousands of SL soldiers were shot and electrocuted in their attempts to rescue the LTTE human shield. No surrender was the cry from Jaffna and Parliament Sq London even in the last weeks of April 2009. Nor does she mention the suicide missions sent by air and the young girls sent on suicide missions to refugee camps. I saw a U tube record of three doctors who accepted propagating lies, living among LTTE shield at the time and presented a far truer facts. Moreover they explained their own life stories of the priviledges they received in their education and training that is not available to the Sinhala villagers or even majority of Sinhala doctors. This lady is weaving a palpably false story and seems to begrudge at being released which devalued the eventual value of her as a 'propagandist'.

Posted by: Tissa Wije | September 17, 2009 02:46 PM

The ROOT CAUSE of this problem is the TAMIL COMMUNALISM. Over the Decades the TAMIL TIGER PROPAGANDA MACHINE has managed to successfully Hide the TRUTH of our country and the causes of the Ethnic Strife. They have managed to REPEAT THEIR LIES to the Western World with such Metronomic frequency that even many Sinhalese Diaspora pay lip service to this Propaganda as the Gospel TRUTH.

TAMILS were never interested in EQUALITY when they had the Upper hand as Privileged Minority - ruling over the Sinhalese by willingly embracing the British and being their COLONIAL LACKEYS...

But when Independence rapidly approached the TAMIL POLITY that ruled the Roost... (Second to the Brits) realized that they would now have to settle for being the numeric Minority and that Sinhalese would get Equal Votes, unlike during the LIMITED FRANCHISE SYSTEM where Tamils being only 10% of the Population yet controlling 40% of the VOTES.

So the Backlash these TAMIL COMMIES Reaped was the Sinhala Communalism that had been brewing... so Please spare me your TAMIL LIES... You people REAPED what you Sowed.... and to this day you can't stand being a NUMERICAL MINORITY to the Sinhalese so you continue to Fight us...

Posted by: Devinda Fernando | September 18, 2009 03:44 AM

TAMIL TERRORISTS are the reason these Civilians were caught in the Cross Fire. This Damilvany Women never Mentions why the LTTE were present within the Civilians? Why would they be there? Why are they placing their Guns in Civilian populations? We Intelligent people know... only deluded DIASPORA with HATE in their HEARTS overlook this OBVIOUS FACT.

Posted by: Devinda Fernando | September 18, 2009 03:54 AM

If she was in the area of action during the 2-3rd week of May and swears LTTE men did not shoot and kill Tamil civilians – their own captives – then she forgoes any and all claims as a credible witness. Someone in these blogs wonders if she is Tamil at all and says she could be Cambodian. Geez! One more reason martians are also living amongst our midst. Her looks, body language, halting English spoken with a Northern Tamil accent are far too convincing she’s Lankan Tamil as can be. No point in attacking Channel Four or Al Jazeera. They have their own views of events to maintain the confidence of their wide audience. Its always good to turn the searchlight inward than to bark at the moon.

ISS

Posted by: Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan | September 18, 2009 12:32 PM

This comment is for all my Sinhala friends who have commented on this interview. I can understand your moment of excitation.... the drive which is making you all to comment like this no matter who and how many and how they suffered to their death. its all about we defeat the Tigers and moving forwards towards our establishment of Sinhala Buddhist country according to the myth " Mahavamsa". But pls be aware this is not the end more and magnified troubles are to come .. for we Tamils are dignified and courageous people

Posted by: Nilmini subramaniam | September 20, 2009 08:36 AM

Dear Mr. Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan.

I read your comment..yesterday, and sorry for my tardiness in responding to you

It was me in my comment questioned if she was a Tamil. I apologize for the confusion, it was just a sarcastic comment to criticize some people who always defend whatever the atrocities committed by SLA.

In a previous blog about Execution Video, someone refuted the video on the basis of appearance. That gentleman argued that Tamils are dark and well nourished, and those being shot didn’t look like Tamils, and appears to be tall, thin and got a Chinese tinge and they must be from Cambodia or another South Asian country. And I used the exact words used by him in my comment here to criticize those non believers. Some Sinhalese people still think that Tamils are Dark and there are no Fair complexion people among Tamils. They don’t know that there are enough fair complexioned Tamils, and I am one of them.

I guess unfortunately I didn’t get the message across, and I only confused the readers. In fact I believe 100% of what she says, and there is no question that she is a Tamil from North East.

I am sorry about the confusion.

About shooting their own people, I heard that SLA agents infiltrated the area and shot people to make LTTE look bad

Posted by: sakthi | September 21, 2009 10:11 AM

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