The team behind the controversial Emmy-nominated feature documentary No Fire Zone – credited with playing a key role in convincing the international community to take action over the Sri Lankan massacres of 2009, in which tens of thousands of Tamil civilians died – have today launched a new short film, Sri Lanka: The Search For Justice.
The hard-hitting half-hour long video coincides with the long anticipated publication of the international war crimes investigation into the massacres, ordered by the United Nations Human Rights Council 18 months ago in Geneva. It will be made live to an international public today – initially in English and Spanish, with translations in Tamil, Sinhala, French and Hindi to follow online in the next few days.
Under the campaign slogan, #LetThemBeHeard, the new film – containing graphic video evidence of the war crimes and massacres – is addressed to members of the Human Rights Council. It calls on the international community to listen to the voices of the Tamil victims who are calling for an international accountability process to ensure truth and justice. A resolution calling for such a process was recently passed unanimously by the Northern Provincial Council – the regional assembly in the former war zone. It has been echoed by Tamil civil society groups, by public demonstrations and a public signature campaign, which is gaining considerable support despite reports of harassment by security forces.
Sri Lanka: The Search For Justice is currently being taken on an international preview tour through five Latin American countries – Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Mexico – by No Fire Zone director Callum Macrae. He will then travel to the United States to screen the film and meet with politicians, government officials and human rights activists in both New York and Washington. From there he will take the film to Geneva, where it will be screened in the Palais de Nation, the Human Rights Council’s headquarters.
Last month the United States Government caused alarm among Tamil groups and human rights activists alike when it announced that it will seek to present a consensus resolution on Sri Lanka to this month’s Human Rights Council jointly with the Government of Sri Lanka. However the Government of Sri Lanka’s refusal to accept anything other than a domestic inquiry has led to fears that the Council itself might be asked to endorse a domestic process (with some technical assistance from the UN). Such a proposal would run directly counter to the wishes of the victims.(Colombo Gazette)