New Delhi, February 24 (The Hindu): Amnesty International India on Monday urged the Central Board of Film Certification and the Government to “swiftly remove the ban’’ on the film `No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ – a documentary on the last phase of the war between the Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE in early 2009.
Questioning the CBFC decision, Amnesty in a statement said the refusal of certification for the theatre release of the film was an attack on the freedom of speech and information in India. “It also hurts the movement within India to push for an independent and international investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka’s 2009 war.’’
Of the view that the special screening of the film in India last year had helped mobilise opinion enough to force a “response from Indian leaders’’, Amnesty added that this ban would prevent a larger Indian audience from learning about the serious allegations of war crimes levelled against Sri Lankan troops and the LTTE.
Also, according to Amnesty, India “risks undoing some of the great work it has done to support a just reconciliation process in Sri Lanka,’’ including the advocacy of a credible investigation that is to the satisfaction of the international community.
The Board had refused to certify the film for theatre release on the grounds that most of the visuals were of a “disturbing nature’’ and not fit for public exhibition. “The documentary may also strain friendly relations with Sri Lanka,’’ the Board noted.