Was LTTE chief's son's death a cold blooded murder?

Channel 4 alleged that the LTTE chief's son was shot from a close range and then photographed.

COLOMBO: Fresh questions have been raised over the Sri Lankan forces conduct during the operation against Tamil Tiger rebels after new photographs emerged claiming that the 12-year-old son of the militants' leader was executed by the country's armed forces.

An NDTV report says that the Sri Lankan government has rubbished a Channel 4 documentary maker Callum Macrae's allegation that the nation's armed forced executed LTTE chief Prabhakaran's son in May 2009.

According to an editorial in The Independent, one of the photos shows the boy sitting in a bunker, alive and unharmed, apparently in the custody of Sri Lankan troops.

Another picture which was taken a few hours later shows the boy's body lying on the ground, his chest pierced by bullets.

The images were taken in May 2009 at the end of the Sri Lankan government's operation to crush the LTTE, which had launched a bloody, decades-long insurgency against the state that led to the deaths of perhaps 70,000 people.

According to the report, the authorities always said Prabhakaran's son was killed in cross-fire, as troops moved in to take the LTTE's last stronghold.

But the images, contained in a new documentary, No Fire Zone, which will be screened at the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival during the UN Human Rights Council meeting in March, suggest the boy was captured alive and killed at a later stage.

Channel 4 alleged that the LTTE chief's son was shot from a close range and then photographed.

A series of photographs showing Balachandran Prabhakaran's body riddled with bullet were released last year by Channel 4.

A NDTV reports says that the new photos are a part of Channel 4's new documentary titled, 'No War Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka' that is to be screened in Geneva.

The film's director, Callum Macrae, claimed that the new photographs were important evidence because they appear to rule out any suggestion that Balachandran was killed in cross-fire or during a battle.

They show he was held, and even given a snack, before being taken and executed in cold blood.

Prabhakaran's body was displayed on state television, part of the front of his skull missing, also suggesting he may have been shot at close range.

A forensic pathologist who examined the later images for the film-makers, said the boy was shot five times in the chest.

Furthermore, propellant burns around the wound suggest he was shot at very close range.

The maker of the documentary says: 'Carefully evidenced and powerfully measured, 'No Fire Zone' is a feature length film about the final awful months of the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war told by the people who lived through it. It is a meticulous and chilling expose of some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity of recent times -  told through the extraordinary personal stories of a small group of characters and also through some of the most dramatic and disturbing video evidence ever recorded.'