Free online screening exposing British hand in Sri Lanka’s war crimes

A documentary film investigating the British involvement in Sri Lanka’s war crimes will be released online today.

KEENIE MEENIE directed by Phil Miller and Lou Macnamara will be live streamed by Declassified UK at 11.30 pm Sri Lanka time.

The link to the free livestream is here: KEENI MEENI

Veteran British film director Ken Loach said, "Important, dangerous and must be screened. It deals with those charged with war crimes – and they are in our midst.”


Four years in the making, the film investigates Keenie Meenie Services (KMS), which was one of Britain’s first mercenary companies established by former Special Air Service (SAS) veterans.

In the early 80s, KMS trained the police Special Task Force (STF).

The film uses archive footage, British intelligence files, interviews with diplomats, ex mercenaries and top STF officials in Sri Lanka to expose the role of KMS.

“I hope this film helps people in Sri Lanka understand the neo-colonial role played by British mercenaries at the start of the civil war and especially their formative influence on the Special Task Force, a unit which has committed abuses against Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese civilians over the last 35 years,” Phil Miller told JDS.

KMS had earned millions of pounds directing military operations and flying helicopter gunships on combat missions in which scores of civilians were killed.

Grenades in wine glasses

Britain’s former defence attaché to Sri Lanka, Lt Col Richard Holworthy told Miller that the helicopters bombed Tamil civilians using grenades placed inside wine glasses. “They’d fly over and drop the grenade with the wine glass, and of course when it hit the ground the glass broke, the grenade exploded,” Holworthy said.

In addition to Sri Lanka, KMS had operated behind the scenes in the Seventies and Eighties Nicaragua and Oman, usually with the tacit agreement of the British government, doing jobs that would cause a diplomatic fall-out if carried out by regular troops.

After Phil Miller’s exposure, the Metropolitan Police in UK had opened a war crimes investigation into his allegations and the UN Working Group on Mercenaries has questioned the British government about Keenie Meenie's activities.


Articles by Phil Miller:

06.12.2012 - Deporting Tamils: More UK complicity in torture
23.07.2013 - Deportation of Tamils helped the Sri Lankan state
08.08.2013 - Vedanta’s oil: The British oil interest in Sri Lanka
13.08.2013 - ‘You want your land back?’ : The geopolitics of military bases, empire and independence

17.01.2014 - UK let SAS veterans coach Sri Lanka in 1984
16.06.2015 - In the Shadow of Military: Sri Lanka’s ‘new democracy’ and Tamil people
25.05.2018 - Britain destroys files on military dealings with Sri Lanka
30.01.2019 - UK Shredding Sri Lankan skeletons in the closet


Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

  • JDS is the Sri Lankan partner organization of international media rights group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The launching of this website was made possible by the EU’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), of which Reporters Without Borders is a beneficiary.