Film breaks si­lence on 'mad­ness' of Sri Lanka civil war

New Straits Times - - World -

CANNES: Jude Rat­nam is wor­ried how his film might go down with his fel­low Sri Lankan Tamils. De­mons in Par­adise, which is pre­mier­ing at the Cannes film festival, tells of the blood­bath that drove some Tamils to take up arms in the three decades-long in­sur­gency that tore the is­land apart.

But the doc­u­men­tary also in­sists that some of most horrific vi­o­lence the mi­nor­ity en­dured was at the hands of the Tamil Tigers. And the “hard truth” comes from the mouths of former Tamil fight­ers them­selves.

“The Sin­halese will claim that I am betraying my coun­try by stir­ring up the past that is best for­got­ten. The Tamils will in­sist that I be­trayed our cause by re­veal­ing the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by the Tamil Tigers.”

As many as 20,000 civil­ians died as the Tigers, led by Velupil­lai Prab­hakaran, im­posed their will through a bloody reign of ter­ror in the Tamil-dom­i­nated north. An­other 10,000 are be­lieved to have dis­ap­peared af­ter be­ing tor­tured or taken to camps.

“If you don’t recog­nise that mad­ness and just keep say­ing we were the vic­tims, you are not fac­ing the truth,” he added.

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