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Sri Lanka cannot hide behind the crimes of the LTTE - Callum Macrae

2014 Feb 24

Channel 4 Director of controversial documentary ‘No Fire Zone’, Callum Macrae says that the LTTE had miscalculated the “ruthlessness of the Sri Lankan Army” and also that the international community would interfere and stop the war in Sri Lanka.

The award-winning film maker and journalist made these comments during an online interaction following the screening of his documentary by a students’ organisation in Chennai.

In his interaction with the audience through Skype, while reiterating that what had happened in Sri Lanka was a “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing”, Mr Macrae also was critical of the LTTE for their miscalculation.

“Their calculation about the ruthlessness of the Sri Lankan Army was wrong. They also miscalculated that the international community would interfere and stop the war,” Mr Macrae said, rejecting the suggestion that India denied him visa because he was pro-LTTE.

“India is afraid of the truth. It also fears that its relation with Sri Lanka will be affected,” he was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

The journalist said he was not a campaigner, but a journalist defending his stories, when asked whether he would stand by the Tamils in their campaign for a credible international investigation into the alleged war crimes. But, he made it clear he was for a credible and independent international inquiry.

Reiterating that the Sri Lankan Army shelled no-fire zones and denied humanitarian aid to the Tamil population, he said Sri Lanka could not hide behind the crimes of the LTTE. He said there was a wide international acceptance of the aspirations of the Tamils for their democratic rights and a political solution.

As part of their effort to mobilise public opinion in favour of the US resolution against Sri Lanka and for urging India to move a resolution seeking an independent inquiry into the war crimes in the last moments of civil war, Youths and Students Federation screened Callum Macrae’s film, No Fire Zone: The killing fields of Sri Lanka, followed by an interaction over Skype with him.

“Our objective is to educate the people so that the Indian government will not fall prey to the designs of Sri Lanka and move a completely watered down resolution [at the UNHRC in Geneva next month] as it did last time,” said V. Prabakaran, co-ordinator of the federation, campaigning for the Sri Lankan Tamil cause.

Mr. Prabakaran said the organisation planned to screen the film, which has a few additions, across the State of Tamil Nadu.

The director of the controversial documentary has decided to make it available for free online, following a ban on its public screening in India.


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