The new war crimes film on Sri Lanka from the makers of the ‘No Fire Zone’ was screened at the UN building in Geneva today.
The film ‘Sri Lanka: The Search for Justice’ was hosted by Human Rights Watch. In his remarks to the audience Callum Macrae, director of Sri Lanka: The Search for Justice, said that the report of the UN’s war crimes investigation on Sri Lanka is devastating and marks a turning point.
“For the past few years, under the last regime, the government of Sri Lanka has constantly insisted that the evidence presented in our films is fake, concocted and that our motive was somehow malicious. Sadly those sentiments have been echoed, on occasion, by senior figures in the new government. But now we have an independent, authoritative investigation, which has assessed all the evidence and confirmed what we said, and what the victims have always known. At long last I hope we will move from debating the truth of the allegations and move on to deciding what to do about them. So what can be done? The unequivocal rejection of a domestic accountability mechanism by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, sends a clear message,” Macrae said.
He said the recommendation of the High Commissioner to create an independent, impartial hybrid court integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators is wise – and offers the opportunity to create a process which can be trusted by all sides to be fair and impartial.
“Like many others I would argue that it needs to have a majority of international judges and prosecutors. It needs to operate under international law. It needs to be fully independent, including in its finances. It needs to be in a position to guarantee the safety and security of witnesses. But the important thing just now is that the Human Rights Council has the opportunity to do the right thing – to take the process forward in the interests of all the members of every community in Sri Lanka,” he added.
The screening of the film took place while the UN Human Rights Council was meeting for its 30th session at the same building. (Colombo Gazette)