It has been a few weeks since Channel 4 screened “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields.” This documentary examined the last few weeks of the war in Sri Lanka, and showed videos illustrating the horrific war crimes that were committed on both sides. This included, in their own words, “some of the most horrific footage [Channel 4] has ever broadcast”.
This was a harrowing piece of broadcasting. But it has been watched by over a million viewers in the UK with over 270,000 views online and has been viewed in over 30 countries. A special screening took place for MPs in the British Parliament on Wed 22nd June. Here at the campaign, our website traffic has increased enormously, with a huge leap in numbers signing our petition to the UN calling for a war crimes inquiry.
The documentary has permeated the public consciousness and engaged people in Sri Lanks’s situation like nothing before it. Members and volunteers of the Campaign have worked on Sri Lankan related issues for a number of years, and it is very apparent that the response to this documentary is unprecedented. The challenge for the Campaign, and all those interested in improving the situation in Sri Lanka, is how to use the momentum given to us by Channel 4.
Please help us keep up the pressure instigation by this landmark documentary.
Tell your friends and family they should go to sign our petition.
Many people have said how helpless the documentary made them feel, but there are things individuals can do to help. Talk to people who are talking about the documentary on blogs and social media (using the hashtag #killingfields) about the petition, and send them the link.
‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ is a difficult program to watch. But it is important that as many people as possible see it and understand what took place in those weeks in May 2009. People also need to understand that there has been no serious attempt to bring the criminals on either side to justice – or even to fully investigate what happened. This despite the Channel 4 footage and the recent UN Panel of Experts report show which both show credible allegations of serious war crimes committed by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE.
An independent investigation needs to happen because some of the perpetrators are still in positions of authority, and some of the crimes are still taking place – nearly 4,000 people are being held in camps to which theinternational community has no access.
The Government of Sri Lanka continues to insist that the footage is fake. The reporting of Channel 4 to Ofcom by pro Government supporters shows a ramping up of attempts to discredit the horrific footage. But the footage shown is genuine, in all its horror: 5 forensic experts commissioned by the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights have testified that they believe the footage to be authentic.
Please help us fight for justice for those war crimes victims shown in ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’, and for all those who weren’t filmed but suffered immensely too.