Home > News > Regional
Monday February 24, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday February 24, 2014 MYT 6:51:06 AM
NEW DELHI: The director of a controversial war film on Sri Lanka streamed it free online in India, after censors banned its theatrical release over fears it may strain friendly ties with Colombo.
Callum Macrae, the British director of No Fire Zone: The killing fields of Sri Lanka, said the film will also be available free in Malaysia, Nepal and Sri Lanka – the other countries where its general screening has been banned.
The 93-minute film is a collection of footage recorded in Sri Lanka’s northeast by doctors, civilians, rebels and soldiers as the government allegedly bombarded areas teeming with refugees trying to flee the fighting.
The documentary has been contested by the Sri Lankan government as propaganda to discredit Colombo in the eyes of the international community.
In a statement, the producers of the film said the Indian censor board had banned its release on the grounds it “may strain friendly relations with Sri Lanka”.
Macrae said India’s reluctance to release the film hurt him the most, given the country’s deep-rooted tradition of democracy and free speech.
“I find it very disturbing that a country whose independent history is rooted in the struggle for democratic rights and free speech should have taken what is, in effect, an act of overt political censorship,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.
In protest against the ban, the documentary was screened yesterday in the southern Indian city of Chennai by a student’s group.
The ruling Congress party is seen as being soft on Sri Lanka because it does not want to alienate potential Tamil supporters with elections due by May 2014.
The ban on the film comes after the Indian government last year refused to grant a visa to Macrae to attend the premiere of the documentary which was screened in private in New Delhi and Mumbai.
Rights groups say up to 40,000 civilians were killed by security forces in the final months of a no-holds-barred offensive in 2009 that ended Sri Lanka’s decades-long fight against Tamil separatists. — AFP
Tags / Keywords:
Sri Lanka police face media flak over riots
Academic angry after book on Hindus pulped in India
Red carpet awaits as Busan film festival opens
US academic 'angry' after book on Hindus pulped in India
Man fined for filming cashier’s chest
Pope Francis plays long game to reform Catholic Church
Australia's JACC heading to KL for MH370 talks
Wife admits ordering killing of Briton on Bali
Drugmakers to join forces to make millions of Ebola vaccine doses
Catalans: independence drive will intensify unless Madrid negotiates
EU's Juncker promises tough stance on arbitration in U.S. talks
Your brain has a free calorie counter
Japan court orders Facebook to reveal revenge porn IP addresses
Fright nights at Disney and Warner Bros parks
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)