This is an invitation to the launch of Frances Harrison’s new book “Still counting the dead”.
Date: Friday October 5th 2012.
Amnesty International UK
The Human Rights Action Centre
17-25 New Inn Yard London EC2A 3EA
In the spring of 2009 Londoners saw thousands of British Tamils protesting daily in Parliament Square, calling on the world to intervene in the civil war in Sri Lanka. We now know a lot more about those first five months of 2009, in which up to forty thousand people perished in the most appalling conditions. Dying mothers screamed to feed their starving babies milk one last time as a last gesture of love. There was no time for funerals as the shells crashed down – almost everyone remembers talking to someone one minute and seeing them dead the next.
A new book, Still Counting the Dead, (published Oct 4 2012 by Portobello Books) by former BBC Correspondent, Frances Harrison, relates the stories of the survivors in sobering, shattering detail. Years later many are still fearful to speak out about what they witnessed, concerned their families back home could be targeted. There will be a reading from the book and explanation about two spin-off projects – a stage drama by Ice and Fire and an ambitious interactive graphic novel project by Benjamin Dix.
The horror of what occurred in 2009 raises questions about whether the catastrophe was preventable. Who is to blame for the lack of intervention in 2009 and the slow progress towards justice now?
For the first time, Norwegian peace mediator, Erik Solheim will discuss his role in trying to broker a Tamil Tiger surrender at the height of the crisis in 2009. It’s gradually emerged that Norway was involved in months of secret talks with different representatives of the rebel group and the government, aimed at averting mass bloodshed. Looking forward, Alan Keenan, Sri Lanka project director at the International Crisis Group, will assess the prospects for accountability and post-war reconciliation, including through the ongoing process at the UN Human Rights Council at Geneva.
Tickets for this non-profit event are £10 in advance. The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice are administering the ticketing of the event via EventBrite.
NB. Copies of Still Counting the Dead will be on sale at the venue, or can be purchased on Amazon here. Tickets are limited to four per credit card. Subsequent purchases on the same credit card will be rejected.