The producers of the award-winning, Emmy-nominated documentary No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka released a version of the movie in the Sinhalese language at an event in the House of Commons in London.
A press release said the new version was a “direct challenge to the new government over its commitment to a free media”.
The event, which coincided with the new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to London, was attended by No Fire Zone Director Callum Macrae, Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh and Conservative MP Lee Scott and was also addressed by exiled Sinhalese writer Bashana Abeywardane.
“I welcome President Sirisena’s commitment to freeing the media in Sri Lanka from the censorship and repression of the Rajapaksa years,” Mr Macrae said.
“Today we have placed the Sinhalese version of the film on a special dedicated web-page where anyone can download it and see it. I call on President Sirisena to ensure that the website is not blocked.”
Director Callum Macrae and MP Lee Scott at launch of No Fire Zone in Sinhalese in the House of Commons
The director also called on Sri Lankan broadcasters to show the documentary.
“I call on Sri Lanka’s television stations to show the film. I would be very pleased to take part in a television debate after the transmission. I hope that in the interests of encouraging a free and open debate President Sirisena will encourage Sri Lankan media to show the film.”
“Under the last regime the truth about what happened at the end of the terrible war in Sri Lanka was denied to the vast majority of people in the country. Now they will be able to watch it and make up their own minds at last. I hope that the release of the Sinhala language version of No Fire Zone will help stimulate a national discussion in Sri Lanka about the best way forward.”
Around 1,000 Tamils from across the UK gathered in London to demonstrate against the visit of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday. The protest, which was held outside Westminster Abbey and the Commonwealth Head Office at Marlborough House, took place as Sirisena joined the British Queen and others at the Annual Commonwealth Day evening reception. The demonstration saw a large participation of youth activists who rejected the LLRC and demanded an independent international investigation into the genocide of Eezham Tamils. Full story >>
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This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War review – a moving portrayal of the agonies of the conflict[ Guardian ][ Mar 10 19:48 GMT ]
This Divided Island – balanced, observant, good-natured, discursive and frequently witty – is a searingly angry and deeply moving portrayal of the agonies of this conflict, especially by the innocent Tamils caught in the middle of two ruthless forces. The final section of the book talks about the attempts of the Sri Lankan military to erase all reminders of the war: houses, camps, villages and graveyards associated with the Tigers have all been bulldozed. This is a major work, containing oral testimonies from all sides of the conflict, and will stand as a fine literary monument against the government’s attempt at imposed forgetfulness. [ full story |
Is Sri Lanka changing under President Sirisena?[ Channel 4 News ][ Mar 10 19:41 GMT ]
David Cameron praises the “open and progressive stance” taken by new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena as the pair meet in the UK – but how is Sri Lanka changing?…However, some questioned to what extent Mr Sirisena’s presidency would benefit the Tamils – who, it is alleged, were the targets of repressive measures and human rights abuses since the end of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war.Allegations of enforced disappearances of Tamils, and repression at the hands of the Sri Lankan military continued after the Tamil Tigers were defeated. President Sirisena was the acting defence minister at the end of the conflict – and has echoed his predecessor’s refusal to co-operate with the UN investigation. [ full story |