PETALING JAYA, July 26 — Several Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs want Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013 to be held in Sri Lanka and sever ties with the country following revelations of alleged war crimes in a controversial documentary.

At a screening of the film “No Fire Zone” at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur last night, Subang MP R. Sivarasa, speaking on behalf of the group, said atrocities shown committed by the Sri Lankan Army on thousands of Tamil people required a drastic response.

“He must be labelled a war criminal because that’s what he is,” Sivarasa said after the documentary screening, referring to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Headed by Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul, the group of PR MPs, formed on July 3 following a special screening of the documentary to parliamentarians, will now seek to deliver a memorandum to Najib urging him to boycott this year’s edition of the bi-annual CHOGM in Colombo in November.

“No Fire Zone”, a feature-length documentary directed by British film-maker Callum Macrae, debuted in the Palais des Nations in Geneva in late February and was screened during the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

It covers the final weeks of the Sri Lankan civil war and depicts the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan Army on thousands of Tamil people, including the alleged close-range killing of Balachandran Prabhakaran, the 12-year-old son of the slain Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader.

The Sri Lanka High Commission here had earlier sought to prevent yesterday’s screening, petitioning the Foreign Ministry and the Censorship Board to stop what it described as a film “based on false and distorted facts.”

An earlier screening on July 3 by human rights group KOMAS had resulted in the arrest of three staff members and the subsequent questioning of the group’s director, Tan Jo Hann.

Yesterday’s screening by rights group Lawyers for Liberty, however, was uneventful but drew a gaggle of 30 officers from the Home Ministry who left after the screening.

By Liyana Shazreen, the Malay Mail