It has been an interesting week for the airing of documentaries on UK television on issues relating to refugee and forced migration issues. These will be touched upon below.
Sri Lanka's Killing Fields is currently available online (UK only) on the 4OD website.
On Tuesday 14 June, Channel 4 presented a documentary entitled `Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ which presented `a forensic investigation into the final weeks of the quarter-century-long civil war between the government of Sri Lanka and the secessionist rebels, the Tamil Tigers.’ The Channel 4 website goes on to describe how the programme attempts to capture what appear to be serious war crimes committed in the final weeks of the conflict between the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers:
Captured on mobile phones, both by Tamils under attack and government soldiers as war trophies, the disturbing footage shows: the extra-judicial executions of prisoners; the aftermath of targeted shelling of civilian camps; and dead female Tamil fighters who appear to have been raped or sexually assaulted, abused and murdered.
A full programme description is available on both the Channel 4 website and on the BUFVC Trilt database. In light of this programme, several news stories detail the UK’s attempts to deport around 40 Sri Lankans back to potential danger. On the Channel 4 news site, there is an article entitled `Sri Lanka’s face deportation despite safety fears‘ and Amnesty International have also published an article entitled, `Tamil set for UK deportation following suicide attempt.’
The BBC have shown two interesting documentaries this week. The first of these was also shown on Tuesday 14 June as part of the This World strand. It was entitled `The Invasion of Lampedusa’ and, according to the BBC wesbite the programme aimed to document:
How a crisis on a tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean is changing the face of immigration in Europe. This spring, in the wake of the uprisings across the Arab world, the Italian island of Lampedusa, just 70 miles from the African coast, has seen the arrival of over 40,000 migrants from Tunisia and Libya.
This programme charts how, within weeks, its small migrant reception centre is overflowing, and the island’s tourist economy faces meltdown. The islanders openly revolt, blockading the small port and riot in the streets. Local mayor Bernadino de Rubeis makes desperate attempts to keep everyone calm, with limited results.
Photo: Kate Thomas/IRIN A boat carrying sub-Saharan African migrant workers arrives in Lampedusa from Tripoli
A recent article on the IRIN website, entitled, `LIBYA-ITALY: By boat to Lampedusa and a new life‘ further goes to demonstrate the difficulties currently being experienced.
Lastly, on Thursday 16 June, BBC1 broadcaste a documentary entitled `Breaking into Britain’ as part of the Panorama documentary series. The programme details the difficult and often distressing stories of the attempts by refugees to gain access to Britian, often thro
ugh the port of Calais in France. Further details can be found on the BBC article entitled `The migrants risking death to break into Britain.’
Both of the BBC programmes are currently available on the BBC iPlayer service, for UK users, for a limited time.