5 March, 2024


Full Video Of The Frontline Club Debate, London

16/05/12 Nearly three years after the end of the 26-year civil war in Sri Lanka that reportedly left an estimated 80,000-100,000 dead, questions are still arising about alleged war crimes and how they will be addressed.

The Killing Fields, first broadcast by Channel 4 in June last year and a follow up aired this March called Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, have been significant in bringing evidence of executions, the shelling of civilians and other atrocities to light.

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence rejects the evidence, however, arguing that it has been falsified by Channel 4 and that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE ) were responsible for a proportion of the civilian casualties. It also rejected calls from the UN-led investigation into alleged war crimes, opting for a locally-organised investigation, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

What action will the Sri Lankan government take in light of new footage and will it be forced address the issue of high-command responsibility? After the failing of the international community to prevent such atrocities, what role can they play in the future?

Join us at the Frontline Club to discuss the impact of Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields and the situation today in Sri Lanka.

Chaired by Stephen Sackur, the host of BBC Hardtalk.


Callum Macrae, journalist, filmmaker and Director of both Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields and Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished that documents evidence of alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan Government.

Arun Thambimuttu, a Tamil political activist from Batticaloa, in the Eastern province, Sri Lanka. His father, Sam Tambimuttu, a Member of Parliament of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), and his mother were both assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1990.

Jan Jananayagam, spokesperson for Tamils Against Genocide [TAG] an NGO that assists victims and witnesses of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide including by bringing litigations against perpetrators.

Professor Rajiva Wijesinha MP, adviser to the President on Reconciliation.

Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International’s Sri Lanka researcher.


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Latest comments

  • 0

    Yolande Foster drew attention to an “alarming rise in enforced disappearances” and said that the government had consistently failed to fulfil its promises. She commented on the recent announcement by the government that the details of all detainees would be released, and remarked, “we have discovered this promise is completely empty.”

    Rajiva Wijesinha, Sri Lanka’s presidential advisor on reconciliation called the researcher on Sri Lankan at Amnesty International a “vengeful harridan”.

  • 0

    Just look at the faces of Jan Jananayagam, Yolanda Foster and Callum Macrae when shaking hands with Rajiva Wijesinha at the end of the debate. Their expressions sum up the sorry story!

  • 0

    Interesting. Stephen Sachur and the BBC deserve our thanks.

    Rajiva had an unenviable role to perform. Despite his learning and so on failed to defend an untenable regime that earned for themselves a diabolic record in the May 2009 period.

    Yoland Foster did AI well and so did Callum Macrae, whose knowledge of the Lankan scene is impressive.

    Janani Jananayagam carried herself with much composure and effectiveness.

    The least spoken of Arun Tambimuttu the better. He continues to harm the Tamil people in his keen desire to win the confidence of the Rajapakses to recognise him as their man in the Batticoloa District.
    To say Tamils in large numbers in the District are learning Sinhala and vice versa is an indication what he will do for his personal advancement.

    Dr. Manoharan should come with prepared texts to raise questions of the terrible incidence of the Trinco Five. His English is poor and he is unable to speak effectively – something I note for the 2nd time.

    In general the Govt lost its case badly – and that is no fault of Rajiva, whose very standing with the Rajapakse regime is now in doubt with Sajin taking over the Foreign Ministry. Will he and Dayan get the boot as Tamara did?


  • 0

    Arun Tambimuthu is a selfish politician who does not care about his own race just like the other two ninkampoops from the east of SL who will sell their own parents for their own high life. Instead of helping his own tamillians harping on about his dead parents. He should do the honourable thing rather than going on the path of revenge. It proves that he’s only a puppet on a (Rajapakse)string. He will realise when the string splits he’ll be a dead rat. He should be careful.

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