No Fire Zone: The truth is out about Sri Lanka, despite official efforts to stop it

The government of Sri Lanka have gone to extraordinary lengths to attack us

Share
Related Topics

On Saturday afternoon the Prime Minister sent a tweet that read: “Been watching  @NoFireZoneMovie. Chilling documentary on Sri Lanka. Serious questions to put to @PresRajapaksa next week.”

No Fire Zone is the feature documentary I directed, which contains carefully authenticated video evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the last few months of the Sri Lankan civil war. Both sides in that war committed crimes, although the most of those who died did so as a result of shelling by forces under the ultimate command of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

By including President Rajapaksa’s Twitter address in his tweet, David Cameron in effect sent it directly to him (I’m not sure if this isn’t the first example of diplomacy by tweet) while yesterday the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh announced – under huge domestic pressure from Tamil Nadu, partly as a result of our film – that he would join the Canadian Prime Minister in boycotting the summit.

That’s one side of the response to No Fire Zone. The other is that the government of Sri Lanka have gone to extraordinary lengths to attack us. I have now directed three films looking at the last few months of the civil war, the first two commissioned by Channel 4, while No Fire Zone – which was cited by the UN and saw the team nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize – went out on the channel last week.

Since its release the Sri Lankan government has gone to extraordinary lengths to silence the film which chronicles how, just four years ago, the Sri Lankan government announced a series of grotesquely misnamed ‘No Fire Zones’, encouraged hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians to gather there – and then systematically shelled them. Perhaps – as one UN report suggested– 70,000 civilians died. At the end of the war, government forces committed a series of grotesque war crimes – and filmed themselves doing so – including the execution of bound, blindfolded prisoners and the apparent systematic sexual abuse and execution of female Tamil Tiger fighters.

Sri Lankan government supporters made over 100 complaints about our TV coverage to Ofcom. After lengthy investigations every complaint was rejected.

Around the world the Sri Lankan government has tried to stop the film being shown; they protested over screenings in the UN and the European parliament and they are accused of putting pressure on the Malaysian government to stop a screening. It went ahead anyway but was raided by the Censorship Board and the police.

Just this weekend we have heard that every journalist arriving for the CHOGM will be given a 222-page book entitled Corrupted Journalism: Channel 4 and Sri Lanka which we understand rehashes many of the complaints rejected by Ofcom.

So far Sri Lankan attempts to silence the film have failed. The truth is, albeit belatedly, getting out.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour's Jeremy Corbyn arrives to take part in a Labour party leadership final debate, at the Sage in Gateshead, England, Thursday, Sept. 3  

Jeremy Corbyn is here to stay and the Labour Party is never going to look the same again

Andrew Grice
Serena Williams  

As Stella Creasy and Serena Williams know, a woman's achievements are still judged on appearance

Holly Baxter
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones