Channel 4 film, bid at harming Sri Lanka
*LLRC entitled to space and time to complete its work
*INGOs critical of SL turned down invitation to give evidence
The channel 4 documentary titled ‘Sri Lanka’s killing fields’ is a
mere ‘collection of visuals previously aired through LTTE websites and a
minuscule section of the international media, at the behest of parties
with vested interests to undermine the present efforts at reconciliation
and development taking place in Sri Lanka, a statement issued by the
Ministry of External Affairs said. “The views expressed in the film are
without guarantee of authenticity,” it added.
The External Affairs Ministry was responding to a statement by the
British Foreign Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt on the
Channel 4 documentary telecast on June 14, 2011.
The statement of the Ministry of External Affairs:
“This document, like the Darusman Report, does no more than put
together a sequence of events and images, to justify a conclusion
arrived at in advance. The origins of this footage are yet to be
established, and no one has so far taken responsibility for its
contents. It is a mere collection of visuals previously aired through
LTTE websites and a minuscule section of the international media, at the
behest of parties with vested interests to undermine the present efforts
at reconciliation and development taking place in Sri Lanka. The views
expressed in the film are without any guarantee of authenticity.
“This is one of the matters before the Lessons Learnt and
Reconciliation Commission which is scheduled to complete its work by
“When Minister Burt telephoned the Minister of External Affairs
during the afternoon of June 14, 2011, Prof. Peiris emphasized that the
Sri Lankan Commission is entitled to the space and time to complete its
work. He took the opportunity to brief Minister Burt on the significant
progress that has been made in a variety of fields.
These, he pointed out, include the demining of vast tracts of land,
the resettlement of displaced persons, the reintegration into society of
former combatants including child soldiers after exposure to programmes
of training, the return to their rightful owners of lands previously
included in High Security Zones, and the revival of the economy of areas
affected by military operations and restoration of livelihoods of those
who, for many decades, had been under the yoke of LTTE terrorism.
It must be noted that, in the interest of transparency, the Lessons
Learnt and Reconciliation Commission invited INGOs who have been
aggressively critical, to give evidence before the Commission, but this
has been publicly rejected by these organizations.
It is much to be regretted that Minister Burt has taken no account of
the Sri Lankan Government’s strong refutation of the suggestion that the
Government of Sri Lanka deliberately targeted its own civilians, as
alleged in the video.
This is in stark contrast with the visible standards maintained by
the Sri Lankan Army during a three year long operation to liberate the
Northern and Eastern Provinces of the menace of the LTTE, including
bringing to safety 300,000 innocent Tamil civilians being held as human
shields by the LTTE which has been proscribed as a terrorist
organization in 32 countries.
At this crucial time what Sri Lanka needs from its friends is not
threats but the space and support for restoration of what was lost over
three decades and the opportunity to move rapidly forward towards
reconciliation and economic development.”