“The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”is proved a fake
Posted on July 12th, 2011
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by Garvin Karunaratne, former Government Agent, Matara District

Channel 4  in an attempt to haul the leaders of Sri Lanka  before the International War Crime Courts, had produced a film ” The  Killing Fields  of Sri Lanka” which was shown on UK Television and given ample publicity, shown at Geneva, New York and Australia, supported by Amnesty International and Human Rights Organizations.,
 
 How the BBC was silenced by Tony Blair
 
Let us see what happened in Zimbabwe and how the BBC failed to portray the true picture  when Prime Minister Tony Blair reneged on the Agreement reached by Britain at the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979 to provide funds to pay off the dispossessed British farmers.  It is on record that  BBC executives who tried to tell the truth in the early days of the Blair Plan were silenced with threats of losing their jobs.( Zimbabwean Herald)
 
 To cave in and be silent in the face of threats leveled at the jobs of BBC executives and allow the British Government to renege on the Lancaster House Agreement speaks miles for the unfair policies and double standards of the BBC.
 
The Statistics of the Numbers Killed  are fictitious
The figure of casualties quoted by Gordon Weiss,  the UN Spokesman quoted in the Killing Fields has varied again and again. In the words of H.L.D. Mahindapala, “Gordon  Weiss, , who claimed that 40,000 died in the last stages of the Vadukoddai War between January 2009 and May 18, 2009, has revised his figures again. When he was in Sri Lanka he put the figure at 7,000. After he left his UN job and went to Australia he jacked it up to 40,000 to sensationalize his book, “The Cage”. At a book launch held in Melbourne last week, he changed his figure again and came down to 10,000 under questioning by Chanaka Bandarage. This denial by Weiss blows up the fictitious figure of 40,000 mentioned in the report of the Advisory Panel of Experts (APEs) appointed by Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General. It also blasts the myths of the anti-Sri Lankan NGOs and pundits who went to the town with Weiss’s figure of 40,000″
This blows up the statistics quoted in the Video “Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”.
Lack of Authenticity
I watched the film “Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”, presented by Jon Snow and am of the opinion that it is merely a compilation of photographs, most of which were published on earlier occasions. Thus there is nothing new or authentic. The scenes are horrific and gruesome as can be found in any war situation.
 
As stated by the presenter the film contains “disturbing and distressing descriptions and film of executions, atrocities and the shelling of civilians”  However it is clear that not a single photograph has been authenticated as pertaining to what happened in Sri Lanka when the LTTE was defeated in May 2008.
 
 Expert Opinion
According to  Siri Hewawitharana, Executive Director of IPTV Systems, and previously Head of Cisco’s  global broadcast and digital video practice division,
“The video is dated UTC 2009-07-15 and taken from a video camera and not from a mobile phone as claimed by one of  Heyns’ experts but not the other,
There is more than one video layer and the unexplainable time off set between  audio and image is 0;296 sec as in the old Ch 4 TV
Grant Fredericks(hired by Heyns) claims that the video uses an optical zoom which is not available as yet on mobile phones and that Philips Editing software has been used contrary to claims of Jeff Spivak, another expert hired by Heyns”
 
The words in Sinhala are very unclear. The filthy language used at times is commonplace in a UK pub brawl  and is alien to a Sri Lankan situation.
 
Professor Rohan Guneratne when questioned on the Channel 4 documentary has said :
“Channel 4 is the latest victim of LTTE disinformation  and misinformation.
For example Channel 4 portrays Thamilvany Kumar as a civilian. On the contrary she is a LTTE weapons trained activist from the UK that worked for Castro who was in charge of LTTE international network including propaganda. Furthermore Channel 4 portrays Issipriya  as a journalist but she is a weapons trained  LTTE cadre  who received the rank of Lt. Colonel in the LTTE. While Issipriya contributed to the radicalization and militarization of an entire generation her husband Sri ram killed security force personnel both in land and maritime attacks.(Daily Mirror:June24,2011)
 
The BBC not providing details of authenticity
The Sri Lankan investigative body, the LLRC  had on the earlier 2009 Channel 4 film called for “textual information”including detailsof when the photos were taken, using which equipment, when and by whom. This information is absolutely necessary for any proper investigation. Channel 4 did not comply. They could not comply because the video was a fake
 
A situation taken out of the context of war
It is said of the sources: “Captured on mobile phones both by Tamils under attack and government soldiers as war trophies”  To my mind the question is that it was a situation of real war, where the LTTE being attacked by the armed forces of the government retreated, dragging Tamil civilians along as a human shield.  The LTTE was pushed towards Mullativu from the Mannar, Vavunia and Trincomalle ends. It was a mass movement and the Tamil civilians and the LTTE as well as the Sri Lankan army was daily moving through mostly jungle. It is a well known fact that mobile phones need to be charged and it is ludicrous to expect that it was possible for anyone either amongst the civilians or among the Armed forces to have got their mobile phones charged.
 
Soldiers enaged in photography!
As far as soldiers engaging in photography with mobile phones is concerned I have another argument.  The soldiers were pursing the enemy day and night and throughout,
they were in the fighting mode. Any soldier who dared to use a phone to photograph would have been relieved of his duties immediately by one of the commanding officers. It is likely that he would have even been shot dead for dereliction of duty.It was a situation of real warfare, and the soldiers were not alone.  Under normal conditions any soldier acting in this manner would be arrested and court marshaled. There were commanding officers who would have taken immediate action if they saw anyone of their platoon taking photographs instead of having their finger on the trigger. The last few days of the battle  was a grim situation where the soldiers did not know from which direction they would be attacked and  fall dead.  The total situation has been taken out of the context of a war. It looks as if none of the producers had seen a real war situation in its grim ordeal of shootings- people falling dead by the minute.
 
Defeating the LTTE was a humanitarian task
The fact that defeating the LTTE was a humanitarian task to save the twenty million peaceful citizens of Sri Lanka from daily attacks by the LTTE has been totally forgotten. Further the LTTE, in the territory it controlled, held a population of  around three hundred thousand Tamils as hostage.  The LTTE stole their children as soldiers and made suicide bombers of them. Any parent that protested was killed. It was the Government of Sri Lanka that liberated this mass of thousands from the clutches of the LTTE.
 
The Only War where the enemy was fed with food and medicines!
Further it is an accepted fact that this was the only war where the Government provided food and medicines and officials to work for the people under enemy control. The food was taken weekly in hundreds of lorries and handed over to the LTTE. It was totally free- not a cent was charged for the food  and medicines, but it is on record that the LTTE charged when handing over the food to the people. Normally in a war situation the enemy is starved to death. Not so in Sri Lanka where the Government of SriLanka was so humanitarian as to feed the people in LTTE territory!
 
Lack of any Authenticity.
In the case of the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka it is clear that Channel 4 had provided fake footage without any authenticity in an attempt to create a public outcry against the country aimed at crippling its tourism and also attempting to make a case to bring its leaders before the International Courts for War Crimes. Perhaps in the pay of the  Tamil Diaspora, the Channel 4  Killing Fields is an attempt to create animosity between the Tamils and the Sinhala people and to call a halt to the peace and stability that is prevalent in the country. This is a very sinister move on the part of a reputable organization like the Channel 4  .
 
The record of the Sri Lankan Army in maintaining discipline
It will be of interest for the Channel 4   to be aware that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces adhere to a strict code of discipline implemented through a Court Marshal procedure.  In my administrative duties as a member of the Administrative Service, I have had the occasion to work very closely to the Army. In the 1971 JVP insurrection the officer in charge of the Kataragama army,  went beserk and shot dead a girl who was supposed to be a JVP activist after subjecting her to public ridicule.  My colleague  Sonny Gunawardena then  Government Agent at Hambantota investigated and collected evidence. The Army found him and another corporal guilty and both of them were imprisoned and died in custody. I need not mention that in any Army, Court Marshalling  soldiers for mistakes is common and as Major General, Ambassador  Shavendra Silva said, the Army will investigate and will not hesitate to punish anyone that is  found to have done any wrong.  The Government has already set in motion the LLRC, led by leading local personages to investigate.
 
Conclusion
In the absence of authenticity, Channel 4  can be held guilty of inciting further hatred between Tamils and Sinhalese. As stated by the Government of Sri Lanka this film goes against the actions of the Government of Sri Lanka to heal the wounds cast on the Tamils by the LTTE insurrection. It is a sinister attempt of the Channel 4  to haul the leaders of Sri Lanka before the International Courts for war crimes they never committed. Their humanitarian act of liberating the country and its citizens-20 million from the marauding LTTE has been misrepresented for this nefarious purpose.
 
 In this particular case the Channel 4   has tried to discredit the only country in the world that was able to defeat an insurgency in its own country. Sri Lanka was not waging a battle in another sovereign country 5,000 miles away on the pretext of safeguarding its interests. Sri Lanka was defeating an insurrection by the LTTE to control and take a chunk of its own country. As an Assistant Commissioner in the service of the Government of Sri Lanka I had the occasion to travel in the Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Bartticaloa and Vavunia Districts till the Sixties in connection with the development programmes which we implemented. I can  vouch for the fact that there was no discrimination whatsoever against the Tamils or Muslims. The Tamils were spoken to in Tamil, their letters were replied in Tamil and their children attended government schools. Tamil administrators held some of the highest positions in the Public Service.
 
In actuality, the defeat of the LTTE the most ruthless terrorist organization in the last few decades, the only terrorist organization that was equipped with  air power, should have received accolades from the Channel 4   and such other organizations. But the power of the money disbursed by the Diaspora is perhaps reflected in the manner that these organizations have fabricated evidence and resort to misinformation to lead people astray
 
The aim of the Channel 4   appears to be  to mislead the international community and bring disrepute to Sri Lanka.
 
The film was  an attempt to derail  Sri Lanka’s rapid development and to revive the defunct LTTE.
Thus today the Channel 4  , once the epitome of impartiality and fairness stands disgraced.
Misinformation, the partiality it has shown, the fake video, perhaps  indicate that the Channel 4   is now in the pay of terrorists.
 
Garvin Karunaratne
Former SLAS- Government Agent, Matara District.

July 11, 2011

7 Responses to ““The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”is proved a fake”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    An excellent summary of all the facts about the Ch-4 fiasco. Our thanks to Dr Karunaratne for this article.

  2. Marco Says:

    There is a grave error in the opening paragraph when the author refers to “Channel 4 of the BBC”.

    Mr Karunaratne must be well aware that Channel 4 is an independent broadcasting network that has nothing whatsoever to do with the BBC.

    The error repeats a deliberately wrong linkage of the two which has recently been made on several Sri Lankan media groups, namely SLBC, Lankapuvath and The Island

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    The error about the BBC part has got inadvertently repeated as one article at the outset stated that : ” Ch-4 of the British Broadcasting System”, BBS, which statement is correct. The term BBC is so familiar all over the world, that people grasped BBS as BBC. Ch-4 is part of ITN (International Television Network), as indicated by Marco. Of course, all the tv networks in Britain are part of the British Broadcasting System (BBS), not the BBC.

  4. Marco Says:

    Fran
    Many thanks for your response.
    Without wishing to “split hairs” on this, there is no such body/organisation called the British Broadcasting System.
    As you say BBC is familiar and world re-known and am sure you, me and Mr Karunaratne would have listened to the BBC World Service for news from abroad and local news in the past for unbiased news coverage. The British taxpayer in the form TV licence fees pays for the BBC.(

    CH4 is part of ITN (Independent Television News) depends on advertising revenue.

    There are certain (many) examples given by M Karunaratne are that are factually incorrect.
    Eg:
    Mr Tony Blair had just graduated from University when the Lancaster Agreement was signed. It was Mrs Margaret Thatcher as PM in 1979.

    There is a serious contradictory view between Mr Siri Hewawitharana and Prof Rajiva Wijesinha view on Grant Fredricks expert opinion given to the Times of London back in 2009. (Refer to RW blog)

  5. Rohan8 Says:

    BBC = British BullS**t Corporation. This is a good summing up Dr. Karunaratne but you are preaching the converted. You need to spread this article far and wide in the west. This is a job for the expatriate community to get active.

  6. AsokaK Says:

    Another correction: war ended on 19 May 2009 and not 2008.

    BBC is also a liar as exposed by John Pilger in his latest documentary ” The war you don’t see”.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    Marco: what you say is correct, there is no such organisation called the BBS, and I did not indicate that there is such. I simply wanted to show how the human mind skips to the similar & familiar terms we have got used to. I repeat, how it all happened was that one of the first articles that came out re this matter stated that Ch-4 is part of the British Broadcasting ‘system’ (they had used a simple ‘s’ for ‘System’), and that is how the BBs became the familiar BBC.

    Dr Karunaratne has done a marvellous jobs of compiling all the facts to prove the Ch-4 a FAKE. We have to say Ch-4 = FAKE,
    short & sweet, like the tv ads. Spread Dr K’s article around, folks ! Now is the time.

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