By Colombo Telegraph –
” No person resident anywhere in Sri Lanka helped us with this film. No-one was paid for any evidence or interviews.” says Callum Macrae, the producer of the Channel 4, ‘No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka‘.
Macrae issued a statement this evening responding to a report published in today Sinhala language Divaina newspaper.
We publish below the statement in full;
In relation to the statement apparently issued today from within the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence, I would like to make it clear that not one person living anywhere in Sri Lanka helped us make this film. Furthermore we have not paid anything to anyone for any evidential material or interviews. That is simply a fact.
What is even more astonishing and disturbing is that these threats come from government sources.
The eyes of the world are on Sri Lanka just now, as the UN Human Rights Council considers how justice and accountability can best be ensured in Sri Lanka. Thereafter Commonwealth countries will also be considering their position in relation to Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting scheduled to be held in November in Sri Lanka.
In a country which is under criticism for the high levels of disappearances of government critics, its attacks on the judiciary and attempts to silence journalists, these apparently government-sponsored threats are beyond belief. They can only further the determination of everyone who cares about truth and accountability to ensure that justice is done.
When our first film came out – and provoked angry denials from the government – Sri Lanka’s own former president, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said: “continued denial of proven facts and abuse of our honest critics will not resolve the problem for anyone.”
Open threats will resolve the problem even less.
I repeat again. No person resident anywhere in Sri Lanka helped us with this film. No-one was paid for any evidence or interviews.
If Sri Lanka uses our film to justify a witch-hunt, or worse, against anyone it perceives as a critic it will condemn itself in the eyes of the world.
Translation of the Divaina newspaper story;
Sri Lanka on the watch for Sri Lankans helping Channel – 4
By Noman Palihawadana
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is requesting the public to inform the government if they know any Sri Lankans who are secretly helping the Channel 4.
There is a growing suspicion whether some have deliberately turned their back to the motherland in exchange for various favors. A spokesman from the MoD told ‘Divaina’, that they are requesting the public to inform the government on any such individuals without any delay.
The MoD says that regardless of Tamilnadu’s dreams, they will not be able to realize any of their dreams about the Kachchathivu island.