After a successful Breaking The Silence genocide awareness campaign, Barts Tamil Society held a screening of the Channel 4 Documentary, 'No Fire Zone', followed by a question and answer session with director Callum Macrae.
The documentary left a fully packed lecture hall stunned into silence for minutes after the end of the film.
Responding to questions on what the outcome may have been for Tamils in the North-East if the LTTE had retained control of Vaani, Macrae said,
"The peace process of 2002 was relatively successful, and the Tigers themselves were successful in improving in a number of human rights issues for their people, including eradicating caste, improving women's rights etc. However it is questionable if peace talks could have been successful considering the impact of 9/11. The event swayed the balance of support and the military campaign against the Tamils was seen as a 'war on terror; which allowed Rajapaksa along with complicit members of the international community to go on, with this rhetoric enabling what was seen as the final solution."
Addressing a question asking how students could make a change for the Tamils in the North-East, Macrae said,
"Activism is frustrating, but still a lot we can do, if we push the UK and other countries who have recently come out to be as tough as they promised to be, then progress can be made."
Responding to questions on the heightening pressure on Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes, Macrae argued that asking Sri Lanka to perform an independent investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity before March was pointless, stating,
"Sri Lanka's judiciary is not willing or capable to perform a proper investigation."
"The LLRC, Sri Lanka's own investigation was a complete cover up and any half decent requests [from the LLRC], such as decreasing militarisation, were completely ignored. Since then impeachment of Chief Justice has removed the key essence needed for an investigation," he said, referring to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report.
Much of the crowd agreed with this statement, with further members of the audience reiterating the need for an international investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Catch up on previous entries form this year’s Breaking The Silence campaign below:
Breaking The Silence Journal: St George's (04 December 2013)
Breaking The Silence Journal: City University (02 December 2013)
Breaking The Silence Journal: SOAS (26 November 2013)
Breaking The Silence Journal: UCL (23 November 2013)
Breaking The Silence Journal: LSE (17 November 2013)