Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields
Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields is an investigative two part series about the final weeks of the quarter-century-long civil war in Sri Lanka. The films are made and broadcast as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon faces growing criticism for refusing to launch an investigation into ‘credible allegations’ that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes during the the bloody conflict with the rebel group, the Tamil Tigers. With disturbing and distressing descriptions and film of executions, atrocities and the shelling of civilians; the programmes show and investigate devastating video evidence of war crimes—some of the most horrific footage of war ever captured.
Captured on mobile phones, both by Tamils under attack and government soldiers as war trophies, part one shows disturbing footage of executions of prisoners; the aftermath of targeted shelling of civilian camps; and dead female Tamil fighters who appear to have been raped and sexually assaulted, abused and murdered. This harrowing footage forms the call for the creation of an international mechanism to investigate war crimes committed by government forces and the Tamil Tigers during that time. The film raises serious questions about the consequences if the UN fails to act, not only with respect to Sri Lanka but also to future violations of international law and human rights.
Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished focuses on four specific cases from the war and investigates who was responsible for them. Using amateur video from the conflict zone filmed by civilians and Sri Lankan soldiers, photographs and statements by civilians, soldiers and United Nations workers, the documentary traces ultimate responsibility for the cases to Sri Lanka’s political and military leaders.