Sri Lanka Killing Fields goes international
The Sri Lankan government will be annoyed to learn that the a British documentary film "exposing some of the worst war crimes of the 21st century" - at the end of the country's civil war - will be launched at the Geneva Human Rights Film Festival during the UN Human Rights Council meeting in March.
The makers say that No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka "is expected to renew international controversy over the issue of accountability in Sri Lanka" ahead of the UN meeting. They desribe the film, which began life as TV documentary in 2011, as "a devastating indictment of the men responsible for the crimes and an exposé of the failure of the international community to prevent this catastrophe."
Since 2009 there has been no independent judicial investigation into what happened and the Sri Lanka government continues to say the video evidence of war crimes is faked.
After Geneva, the documentary will be taken on a worldwide screening tour backed by a campaign.
Director Callum Macrae says: “This film isn’t an academic exercise in historical accountability. The men responsible for these crimes are still in charge. They are going to extraordinary lengths to deny those crimes ever happened. They are continuing to brutally repress Tamils in the north and persecute anyone who criticises the government including their own judiciary.
“If there is no attempt to address these issues and to bring justice to those who suffered, then history is destined to repeat itself with yet more bloodshed. We hope our film will be part of that process of truth-telling.”
To add to the bad public relations, British press reports today say that 15 Sri Lanka nationals have claimed they were tortured and sentenced to inhuman and degrading treatment after being forcibly returned there from Britain. Both governments have said there is no eveidence for the claims.
The Guardian report says that the next deportation of Sri Lankans is scheduled for 28 February,