FULLY BOOKED Sri Lanka: reconciliation and justice

Talk May 16, 2012 7:00 PM

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.