Channel 4 is to screen Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, a special one-hour investigation which features devastating new video evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka, at the UN this Friday 3 June.
Presented by Channel 4 News journalist Jon Snow, the film features footage captured on mobile phones, both by Tamil civilians under attack and government soldiers as war trophies.
“The footage is probably the most horrific the channel has ever shown. The decision to show it at length was made only after serious and careful consideration,” Channel 4's Head of News & Current Affairs Dorothy Byrne, who commissioned the film.
“We believe this dossier of visual evidence combined with harrowing eye-witness testimony represents prima facie evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by forces of the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. It is of the greatest possible public interest and as such we have a duty to journalistically scrutinise it.”
The film provides powerful evidence - including photographic stills, official Sri Lankan army video footage and satellite imagery - which contradicts the Sri Lankan government's claims of a policy of ‘Zero Civilian Casualties'.
The film raises serious questions about the failures of the international community to intervene and prevent the deaths of up to forty thousand people and lends new urgency to the UN-appointed panel of expert's call for an international inquiry to be mounted.
The director, Callum Macrae, said:
"The Sri Lankan government wanted a war without witness - deporting journalists and pressurising UN representatives to leave - but it didn't allow for the extraordinary power of mobile phone and satellite technology.
“We have trawled through hours of painfully raw recordings of the some of the most awful events I have ever seen in many years of war reporting.
"Sri Lanka's Killing Fields raises serious questions about the consequences if the UN fails to act - not only for Sri Lanka but for future violations of international law."