PM calls for independent investigation after viewing No Fire Zone
Prime Minister, David Cameron, has called for an independent investigation into the final months of the bloody Sri Lankan civil war after viewing the ‘truly shocking’ footage that features in the Channel 4 film No Fire Zone.
Speaking ahead of his visit to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, taking place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the PM says the documentary raises very serious questions that the Sri Lankan government must answer about what it did to protect innocent civilians.’
In 2009, following a 26-year civil war, the government of Sri Lanka launched a major offensive against the rebel forces of the Tamil Tigers.
It was supposed to be a war without witness. But there were witnesses and they filmed the appalling events. These witnesses included victims and government soldiers themselves. Since then Channel 4’s News and Current Affairs journalists have continued to expose the country’s war crimes, culminating in the broadcast of the feature length documentary No Fire Zone - a forensic investigation into the final weeks of the bloody civil war in Sri Lanka.
The Government of Sri Lanka insists the video evidence of war crimes is faked. However, Channel 4’s reporting is corroborated by the United Nations and Amnesty International.
After watching the film Prime Minister, David Cameron said on Saturday:
"No Fire Zone is one of the most chilling documentaries I've watched. It brings home the brutal end to the civil war and the immense suffering of thousands of innocent civilians who kept hoping that they would reach safety, but tragically many did not. Many of the images are truly shocking.
"No right-thinking person can regret the end of the terrorist campaign waged by the Tamil Tigers nor ignore the terrible crimes they committed. But that wrong does not change the fact that this documentary raises very serious questions that the Sri Lankan government must answer about what it did to protect innocent civilians. Questions that strengthen the case for an independent investigation. Questions that need answers if Sri Lanka is to build the truly peaceful and inclusive future its people deserve.
"The Sri Lankan Government has taken some positive steps since 2009 with provincial elections in the North and a Commission to investigate disappearances during the war. But much more is needed. I will raise my concerns when I see President Rajapaksa next week in Colombo. And I will tell him that if Sri Lanka doesn't deliver an independent investigation, the world will need to ensure an international investigation is carried out instead."
The Prime Minister also took to social media to draw attention to the ‘chilling documentary’ by tweeting his reaction and including the Twitter handle of the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa -https://twitter.com/Number10gov/status/399236573575016448
Channel 4’ Chief Executive welcomes the PM’s comments
Channel 4's Chief Executive, David Abraham, says:
“We welcome Prime Minister David Cameron’s comments about the ‘truly shocking’ evidence that features in the No Fire Zone documentary and his promise to raise concerns with President Rajapaksa.
With the world’s media focussing on Sri Lanka during this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting we hope that all delegates may find the time to watch this film which is freely available both in the UK and internationally."
No Fire Zone is freely available to watch internationally
No Fire Zone is freely available to watch online internationally via the interactive No Fire Zone app.
While watching the film, app users on IoS and Android tablets are encouraged to interact with the rich content including news reports; United Nations and Red Cross reports and analysis of the atrocities; a timeline chartering key events from 1956 to the present day. There are biographies, location maps; video from key contributors and film makers, live links to the latest opinions, and further reading.
In addition – the film is being made available to watch internationally on 4 on Demand (this week only) - for the duration of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Where to watch the film and download the free app: