One week after broadcast, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields has been watched by over a million viewers in the UK* and over 270,000 views worldwide on VoD. The film has been viewed on 4oD in over 30 countries.**
On Tuesday, the film was screened to diplomats and US media in New York. United Nations missions from the US, India, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and East Timor attended.
The Sri Lankan government sent a delegation of eight with Mr Palitha T.B. Kohona, Ambassador & Permanent Representative of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and Brigadier Shavendra de Silva both speaking after the film.
During his response to the film, Mr Palitha T.B. Kohona said: “Even if you counted all the people who are dead on that video, I do not think you could come up with a total of 100. That is not to suggest that others were not hurt or died, they may have, but even if you counted every single body that was in that video I do not think you can come up to a total of 100.”
He went on to refer to a statement released by the military saying; “The military will look into any instances that can be substantiated where soldiers have broken the law. And there are instances which we saw on that screen which were not very pleasant and which may be brought under the criminal law of the country and the military have said that, very categorically, that they will deal with situations like that. And, of course, to suggest that Sri Lanka cannot handle its own shortcomings is extremely paternalistic and extremely colonial, we can handle our own shortcomings.”
On Wednesday, there was a well-attended Sri Lanka event at the House of Commons. Jon Snow introduced clips from Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields and Channel 4 News Foreign Correspondent Jonathan Miller chaired a discussion.
On the panel were Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Alistair Burt MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights Ann Clwyd MP, Yolanda Foster from Amnesty international and the film’s director Callum Macrae. Attendees included Siobhan McDonagh MP, Andy Love MP, Jim Dowd MP, Lee Scott MP, Yasmin Qureshi MP, Mike Gapes MP, Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer Susan Miller and Former MP, Joan Ryan.
The critically-acclaimed investigation into the final weeks of the quarter-century-long civil war between the government and the secessionist rebels, the Tamil Tigers, featuring devastating new video evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity has already provoked comment from Prime Minister David Cameron.
The response from viewers has been overwhelmingly positive making it the most appreciated Channel 4 programme in the last seven days.
© Channel 4 Televison