MPs stunned after seeing “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields”

With some trepidation I helped organise a showing of “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” in the Beehive Theatrette last Tuesday.  It is a shocking film, mainly using cell-phone footage to show what it was like for the 300,000 civilians repeatedly bombed and shelled by the Sri Lankan military in the final weeks of the civil war. An estimated 40,000 were killed.

This BBC film, wherever it is shown, prompts calls for an independent international inquiry into what are clearly war crimes – which is why the Sri Lankan government hates it. Pro-government Sri Lankans, in tandem with their High Commission, did everything they could to stop the film being shown in the New Zealand Parliament. But they were not successful.

The screening was hosted by three Members of Parliament, Maryan Street from Labour, Jackie Blue from National and myself from the Green Party and attended by other MPs, including Hone Harawira, leader of the Mana Party.

The film is now being shown around the country by community groups. See it if it comes your way. It’s a film you need to see, even if you don’t “enjoy” it.

23 thoughts on “MPs stunned after seeing “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields”

  1. I think it’s clear that the Tamil Tigers started the insurgency, delibrately targeted civilians as a strategy, reneged on a peace deal that gave them autonomy in the Tamil north and east, and then refused to surrender when the Sri Lankan armed forces cornered them into a hopeless situation and instead used civilians as human shields. You can label me an apologist for the Sri Lankan Government, but the blame for the war lays solely with the Tamil Tigers.

    Besides, I clearly recall Keith demanding the US stay out of other territorial jurisdictions when the US pursued al-Qaeda terrorists who committed similar crimes against humanity in Afghanistan.

  2. Michael, this film focuses more on govt actions, but does show some of what the TT did and clearly states that both sides committed war crimes against civilians. Do you think the govt is blameless and only the Tigers guilty?

  3. “…You’ve been quite clear, so I’d like to hear what Keith has to say too ..”

    here’s a thought..!

    ..why don’t you email him…?

    ..asking him to answer the questions posted here..?

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  4. no no..freedom of speech means freedom to ad hom..(‘i may not agree etc etc ‘)

    (look..!..you are already..!..falsly impugning some sort of fascist ad-hom-control-desire on my part…eh..?)

    ..and who is loiz…?

    ..and did you say you were virgo with capricorn rising..?

    ..or the other way around..?

    ..i forget…

    (and i’ll let you know if anyone finds yr sense of humour…eh..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  5. Did you show the blown apart civilians of the world first suicide bombers to target non combatants? Did you show the summary executions of the Tamil Tigers of anyone accused of being disloyal? Did you show how the Tamil Tigers sent a suicide bomber on a bicycle to the hotel where the New Zealand cricket team were staying to try and kill them? Did you show the death of Rajiv Ghandi, assassinated by the Tamil Tigers?

  6. my name is not loiz…

    ..and my ad homs are more considered insults…

    (whereas ad-homs are usually unconsidered/cliched-sneers)

    ..and usually only come after extreme provocation/irritation…

    ..like being called loiz…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  7. Lolz, I mean only that Keith isn’t talking back and it’s frustrating you won’t fix that when you so easily could. If “talking to yourself” is ad hom, then I look forward to you never saying anything so strong as that ever again.

  8. here is all the material you need to ‘investigate’…

    http://whoar.co.nz/?s=libya

    and i don’t think i am ‘talking to myself’…

    ..there are many here who read but do not comment..

    and that i appear to be out of step with most/the popular view…

    ..that is hardly unusual..

    ..eh..?

    ..and you really are keen on the use of ad hominems..

    ..aren’t you..?

    ..maybe an issue you need to deal with..?

    ..’cos it only lessens you…

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  9. For sure an important issue that I haven’t had the time to investigate myself. You’ve been quite clear, so I’d like to hear what Keith has to say too – that’s why I suggested you contact him. I reacted to you saying he’s ignoring you when you don’t know if that’s true and don’t want to find out, but I’ll just let you get on with talking to yourself now.

  10. I don’t think it is acceptable for MPs to treat blogs the same as press releases. What is the point in having comments if the poster is not to read or respond to them? If MPs do not like this style of medium they should not use it.

  11. valis..this is a discussion green party members have to have with themselves/each other…

    ..as it stands..the green party is supporting an iraq redux…

    ..a prosperous/peaceful country is being remade into an internicene basket-case…

    ..with a ‘case for war’ ..as with iraq…now proven to be total bullshit..

    ..there were no viagra-engorged soldiers tasked with raping as many libyan women as possible…

    ..there was no shelling/bombing of civilians..

    ..there were no african mercenaries..(depicted as gadaffi having to buy his suppport..)..

    ..they were just a bunch of undocumented foreign workers..rounded-up for the black-propaganda cameras/compliant media…

    ..gaddaffi did not promise ‘rivers of blood’..

    ..(interesting how they/the propagandists borrowed that phrase from the rantings of enoch powell..eh..?..)

    ..is this really where you want to be..?

    ..part of this cia-operation…?

    ..supporting it..?

    ..are you quite happy to just ‘go along’ with that…?

    ..why aren’t you asking these questions of locke..?

    ..why is it being left to me..?

    ..how you no qualms at all at being cia-pawns..?

    ..in this fucken atrocity that is unfolding…?

    ..f.f.s..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  12. I fail to see why it being a public issue has anything to do with determining an effective way of bringing it to an MP’s attention. They certainly do not consider their correspondence with the public not to be public. There is no such thing as a private statement to a constituent on a political issue.

    ..and dissent to the official-view is ‘you just like to hear yourself shout.’..?

    In another context yes, but not in this one which is simply about your tactics.

  13. and it is john pilger vs keith locke..

    “..It hardly seemed coincidental that on the day before Cameron raged against “phony human rights” –

    – NATO aircraft – which include British bombers sent by him –

    – killed a reported 85 civilians in a peaceful Libyan town.

    These were people in their homes, children in their schools.

    Watch the BBC’s man on the spot trying his best to dispute the evidence of his eyes –

    – just as the political and media class sought to discredit the evidence of a civilian bloodbath in Iraq as epic as the Rwanda genocide.

    Who are the criminals?..”

    (i think i’m quite happy to stand with pilger on this one..)

    ..and you valis have no disquiet at all about these latest war-crimes..?

    ..that locke..as spokesperson for the green party…

    ..is claiming is being done in his/their name..?

    ..f.f.s..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  14. “..but holding Libya to task for war crimes and human rights abuses…”

    all of which have been proven to be false/war-propaganda..

    ..and valis…this is a public issue…

    ..not a private one..

    ..so i’ll just press on…

    ..and dissent to the official-view is ‘you just like to hear yourself shout.’..?

    ..eh..?

    ..it could also be viewed as thinking for oneself..

    ..and then articulating those thoughts..eh..?

    ..i guess it must be in the eye of the beholder..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  15. I’ve no better idea now whether Keith has seen your questions, because I don’t know if he reads the comment threads or how often. Many MPs treat blog posts very similarly to a press release.

    What I am pretty sure of is that MPs are aware of their direct correspondence and that most people get a reply. You could send an email and post the answer here if you really cared. Not taking such a simple step makes it look like you just like to hear yourself shout.

  16. You posted no comments on the thread he made on Libya. And you are free to debate the matter with me “on that thread” any time. Not here.

    PS For the benefit of others, Keith Locke has only represented the Green position on Libya in his posts – and that is one opposed to the military actions by NATO etc, but holding Libya to task for war crimes and human rights abuses.

  17. um..!..because he dosen’t answer the questions (around his bizzare support for a cia-coup against a leader who has the support of 85% of his people)..there/anywhere..?

    and yr simplistic-analysis of the realities in libya is right up there with his..

    ..eh..?

    (still believing that viagra-rape black propaganda..are you..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  18. phil, Keith is being consistent he has opposed war crimes by governments in the case of Sri Lanka and Libya – in the latter case now before the ICC.

    PS Why don’t you post your comments on the latest post by Keith Locke on Libya and debate this on topic?

  19. still think keith just hasn’t seen all these questions yet..?..valis..?

    y’know..!..calling him on his support for the cia-run/led/manned invasion/coup in libya..?

    ..all these questions he dosn’t deign to answer..?

    ..have you heard of his long record as a supporter of free/open democracy..?

    it obviously dosen’t include him..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  20. shame we have no footage of the current killing-fields in libya..eh..?

    y’know..!..that cia-run invasion that you support..?

    ..where women/children are being murdered by cia-thugs..?

    ..as we speak..?

    ..’thugs’ that you support..

    ..any chance you could answer the questions/concerns about that..?

    ..as voiced in the last two general debates..?

    ..one war ‘good’..

    ..another war ‘bad’..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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