Philippics, Bias and Videos
Posted on January 9th, 2010

Bandula Kothalawala London N7

Mr Philip Alston has done it again! In his typical almost inimitable style, Mr Alston has presented the findings of the experts, of course, designated by him on the “execution videos”.

It is quite obvious that Mr Alston has made this an exceedingly personal issue and his ten-minute presentation smacks of a gauche attempt to vindicate himself rather than anything else and his performance bears the hallmark of amateurish bravado. Sadly, it falls far below the professional standards expected of a high-ranking UN official.

Mr Alston sounds dismissive of the opinions expressed by previous experts who carried out analyses of the video because they are all Sri Lankans! Mr Alston appears to attribute the differing views of the previous experts, not to their competence or the lack thereof, but to their ethnicity or nationality! As far as I can recall, this is one of the very rare instances in which a UN official of Mr Alston’s standing makes overt use of arguments with racial connotations. I do not remember Mr Alston taking exception to the criticism made of the Sri Lankan Government by Ms Navi Pillai, UN Human Rights Commissioner, on the grounds that she is an ethnic Tamil. Moreover, in Mr Alston’s well-published 15-page self-promoting biography, there are numerous studies which Mr Alston has apparently carried out without his own ethnicity standing in the way. For instance, it is hard to understand how Mr Alston “”…” an Australian – considered himself to be capable of integrity, independence and impartiality when commenting on ethnic issues in his home country. Clearly, Mr Alston is fast running out of arguments in his personal crusade against the Government of Sri Lanka.

Mr Alston brushes aside in unequivocal terms the numerous discrepancies which the experts designated by him could not account for. Curiously enough, one of the very few certainties about the video, according to the British media, was that it was made in January 2009. According to Mr Alston, his experts have found that some frames were dated 17July 2009. Lo and behold, Mr Alston has a ready-made answer. The authors had reasons to doctor the dates. Presumably, Mr Alston has no difficulty in believing that the dates were changed, but nothing else seems to shake his faith in the authenticity of the video, as long as it fits his hypothesis. I have had a look at the website of the Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka considered to be the source of the footage. Only a UN official of Mr Alston’s calibre could be certain of their integrity!

Strangely enough, Mr Alston seems to shift the onus of proof to the Government of Sri Lanka. In other words, it is the Government of Sri Lanka that has to prove that its security forces were not involved in these “executions”. This might sound like a perfectly reasonable proposition if Mr Alston and his experts have produced some credible evidence as to the location, time, dates, identity of soldiers involved etc. Make no mistake about it! It is the accused that has to prove his/her innocence! And Mr Alston is Professor of International Law!

No fair-minded person will have any objections to the matter being properly investigated and the truth ascertained. I am sure that the Government of Sri Lanka will agree to the request if credible evidence is put forward to it. Mr Alston is in no mood to do so.

If Mr Alston is not willing to produce credible evidence that warrants further investigation, he should share this year’s Noble Prize for, say, forensic imagination or pathological obsession with his team of experts.

Bandula Kothalawala London N7

4 Responses to “Philippics, Bias and Videos”

  1. Raj Says:

    Well said Bandula.

  2. PRIYAN WIJEYERATNE Says:

    THIS SUCKER HAS BEEN PAID BY THE TAMIL LTTE AND I THINK VERY LAVISHLY. HE WILL SAY ANYTHING TO DISCREDIT SIHALESE GOVERNMENT. HEY ALSTON! COME BACK WITH THE PLACE, EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY THAT THE SOLDERS WERE INFACT SINHALESE AND THE DEAD BODOES WERE TAMIL, OTHERWISE GO AND HAVE A “DOSAI” DINNER WITH A TAMIL CHIC.

  3. jay-ran Says:

    “Bandula Kothalawala London N7’s” argument is 200% correct and this FOOL,Alston should indicate,
    1) Date & Time of the incident(shooting)
    2) Place of the incident,
    3) Names of those who were shot down,
    4) Names of those WHO SHOT THEM,

    Most importantly 5) Name of the person who filemd/vedeod this????????

    My next question is, when hundreds and thousands of innocent Sinhalese,Muslim and Tamils WERE BUTCHERED by these LTTErs, WHERE WAS THIS ALSTON????

    My final comment is, Mr Alston, PL LEAVE SRI LANKA ALONE, WE HAVE A GREAT HERO AS THE PRESIDENT WHO WAS BEEN CALLED ” KING” BY AN INNOCENT TAMIL LADY AMMA WHO SHE WAS RESCUED BY OUR BRAVE SOLDIERS.

    The whole country is behind the KING-M R!!!

    Already, u have proved that u r hell bent to punish Sri Lanka, but pl note, V R BEEN PROTECTED BY DAITEES.

  4. aravinda Says:

    In regard to Mr.Alston, we should completely ignore this man, most of his research findings lead us to out old Tamilnet articles.

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