“I will never forget that day. They buried us alive.”
“We were herded like cattle to this place.”
“The army used phosphorus. I can still remember the smell.”
– Losing Santhia, by Ben Hillier.
These are the words of Tamils who survived the genocide waged by Sri Lankan Government forces against Sri Lankan Tamils in 2009. In the lead up to Tamil Genocide Day, the Tamil Refugee Council will be screening the Emmy nominated documentary No Fire Zone this Friday at Sydney University. This film is a first-hand account of the final weeks of Sri Lanka’s genocidal attacks in 2009, during which thousands of war crimes took place, and thousands more Tamils were killed.
The mass slaughter that took place over just a few months was a calculated offensive by the Sri Lankan regime to deal a final blow to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a 30 year-long, militant movement of Sri Lankan Tamils struggling for national liberation against. Tens of thousands were killed, many of whom were deliberately targeted by Sri Lankan fighter jets in the supposedly safe ‘no fire zones’.
More than a decade later, the military general who oversaw this atrocity is now the President of Sri Lanka, and the survivors of the war remain in danger, still waiting for justice.
Following the screening, there will be a chance for everyone to ask questions and hear from a panel of Tamil refugees from the Tamil Refugee Council, who are keeping up the fight here in Australia for the rights and freedom of refugees. This preceeds the upcoming Tamil Genocide rally on 8 May to commemorate the 2009 Mullivaikal massacre, and to demand an end to the military occupation of Tamil Eelam and the Australian Government’s support for Sri Lanka’s genocidal regime.