The Sri Lankan government still denies responsibility for the killing of up to 70,000Tamil civilians at the end of the civil war in 2009. So why has it been chosen to host aCommonwealth summit asks Callum Macrae, director of a harrowing film about themassacreTwo young girls caught up in the shelling … a still from No Fire Zone.
Tuesday 3 September 2013I have spent the best part of the last three years looking at some of the most terribleimages I could have imagined. I've covered wars and seen some awful things, but fewthat could prepare me for the hours of video and mobile footage that emerged from thelast 138 days of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war between the government and the Tamil
Tiger secessionists; a war that ended four years ago – and whose bloody denouementis the subject of my filmNo Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka.The film records what happened when the government of Sri Lanka told some 400,000civilians to gather in what they described as "no fire zones" – and then subjected themto merciless, sustained shelling. We humans are good at reducing terrible massacresto statistics. We instinctively distance ourselves from the lost humanity represented byheaps of corpses or rows of dead bodies. But it is more difficult to avoid the anguish of those who survive.