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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Proham Calls on KDN & AG to review its action against KOMAS Human Rights Defenders

Proham calls on the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Attorney-General Chambers to review its position on Komas staff on the screening of the documentary “No Fire Zone, the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” on July 3, 2013.

Proham is of the opinion that KDN is being misled by the Sri Lanka embassy representatives in Malaysia.

This investigatory documentary which was produced by an award-winning film maker, Callum Macrae was screened in March 2013 at the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Furthermore it was also screened at the committee room in the Australian Parliament on June 24, 2013. It is a well-researched documentary  
The Malaysian officials must be reminded that on March 21, 2013 the UN Human Rights Council took a vote calling the Sri Lanka government to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights.  25 countries supported the resolution, 13 were against and 8 absented including Malaysia.

Earlier on March 31, 2011,  in the report of the “UN Secretary General Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka”, indicated that “the Panel found credible allegations, which if proven indicates that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law as committed both by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE”
Furthermore the theme of Callum Macrae documentary is consistent with the 2011 Jon Snow’s Channel 4 documentary entitled “Sri Lanka killing fields”

Therefore, Proham views this action by the Malaysian Government of charging the Komas staff as restricting the democratic space for reasonable public discussion a matter of great international concern and which has already secured the support of a majority of the Human Rights Council members which  the Sri Lanka government  is not complying with. 
The action by the Malaysian authorities seems irreverent as these documentaries, materials and discussions are now available on the social media and you-tube. The initiative by the Komas team is consistent with creating public awareness on international human rights violations and therefore a legitimate human rights activity, a theme that the Human Rights Council has openly discussed, decided upon and is well documented on its official website -

The Home Affairs Ministry must review its position as it is in danger of taking a position contrary to Malaysia’s abstinence during the Geneva Human Rights Council meeting. It might also be found supporting a country which in the eyes of the Human Rights Commissioner and a majority of the Human Rights Council members might have committed major human rights violations on ordinary Sri Lankan citizens of Tamil ethnic origin.
Proham is of the view that the Home Ministry's   stand on Komas and the Sri Lankan ethnic conflicts   will   cause more   serious  domestic and especially  international  doubts  on Malaysia's claim to be  moderate  country  that is supportive  of  Human Rights.

Released on behalf of Proham by Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (Proham Secretary General), Datuk Kuthbul Zaman Bukhari (Proham Exco) and Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam (Proham member)

Sept 19, 2013

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