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

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Election catch-up: I’m not saying the Ed stone is bad – it is so terrible I am lost for words

John Rentoul
 

General Election 2015: The SNP and an SMC (Salmond-Murdoch Conspiracy)

Matthew Norman
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living