On 23rd April 2013, the documentary “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” , outlining credible allegations of war crimes and human rights abuses committed by the Sri Lankan government, was screened for the first time in the United Kingdom.
Introducing the documentary to an oversubscribed preview screening event at The Frontline Club, the director, Callum Macrae, assured that,
“We can rule out any possibility of this evidence being faked.”
He also noted,
“if there are any Sri Lankan government representatives here they will say that this evidence is fake.”
The documentary used forensically verified video footage to chronologically depict some of the war crimes and human rights abuses that were committed against Tamil Civilians during the last 3 months of the final brutal onslaught into Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held territory, in 2009.
The audience numbing documentary was followed by an open mic discussion with Callum Macrae.
Highlighting the Sinhala-chauvinist nature of the Sri Lankan government Macrae stated,
“This regime is a deeply corrupt regime. Building its power base on Sinhala ultra nationalism.”
Acknowledging that the legitimate grievances of the Tamil people have been ignored, Macrae also touched on the failure of the international community to act on the atrocities, suggesting that,
“The UN is going through a soul searching process, and begginning to accept it has appallingly failed.”
Macrae went on to emphasise the present reality of the continuing oppression of Tamils in Sri Lanka, asserting,
“This is not some kind of historical academic exercise which we’re saying we need some kind of justice or accounting or truth telling for historical reasons. The situation, is absolutely desperate. Repression continues, this is a very live issue. This has to be confronted."
"There is a generation of very angry young Tamils who watched the world betray them and allowed these massacres to happen. The world now has an opportunity and a duty, to ensure that justice is done.”
For further remarks from the discussion, check our tweets from the night.
The No Fire Zone documentary, which was also screened at the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, received a strong response from international actors.