Marie had a little blank…….
Posted on July 29th, 2011

Dr Bandula Kothalawala London N7

C4 is determined to continue its crusade against Sri Lanka. Reinforcements have already been brought in with “two Sri Lankan soldiers” and an award-winning journalist “”…” Marie Colvin “”…” drafted in!

It is not possible to assess the credibility of “the soldiers”, as they are portrayed as little more than nameless, faceless and voiceless ghosts. However, Marie is indeed a star witness.

Marie is no stranger to Sri Lanka. Her coverage of the conflict in the Times has won her fame, and, perhaps, a small fortune, though, tragically, it cost her one eye. Marie has harboured a visceral hatred against Sri Lanka ever since she was wounded in the crossfire between the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE in 2001. Indeed, it was tragic that she lost her sight in one eye. What is even more tragic is that Marie seems to have lost all her critical faculties as well, perhaps, due to the injuries. On 18 April 2001, The Times carried an article by Stephan Farell in Colombo in which he says:

Struck by grenade shrapnel in the chest, shoulder and left eye, the US-born correspondent, who was named Best Foreign Correspondent in the British Press Awards last month, collapsed screaming “Journalist, journalist, American” as her party scattered around her”¦..

On the third night they took a chance and tried to slip through. Ms Colvin said that the first she knew things had gone wrong was when the shooting began. “They fired on us, which, I can’t really complain about because all they saw was shapes moving in the dark,” she said. “It was terrifying. You could see them moving out of their base, firing all around them and coming toward us in some sort of mopping-up operation. “Then I got hit. I got shrapnel in the chest but that’s OK – it didn’t go deep and didn’t affect anything. What I’m worried about is the eye. I have still got shrapnel in it, but I am all right, the worst is over.(My emphasis)

However, by May 2009, Marie’s memory had been so clouded, perhaps by hatred and prejudice or due to the injuries, that she said that she was targeted by the Sri Lankan Army. “As I was being smuggled out of the area at night, we were ambushed by the Sri Lankan army. I was unhurt until I shouted, “Journalist, journalist.” Then they fired an RPG at me, severely wounding me.(Times online 24 May 2009). (My emphasis)

Please, see the sequence of events and the gravity of the injuries as described in the two versions of the same incident. In the article in the Times on 18 April 2001, Marie collapsed, screaming “Journalist, journalist, American”. By 2009, the same award-winning Marie was unhurt until she shouted “Journalist, Journalist”!

In another account of her adventures, the award-winning Marie could not remember whether she spent 7 days or 14 days with the LTTE in the Wanni, the difference being only a matter of 7 days! However, Marie was able to count exactly one thousand “amputees” on a beach in the war zone in Sri Lanka in the final few days, but failed to explain how the patients were operated on without surgeons. In 2001, The Times was truthful enough to say that Marie had gone to the war zone without clearance from the authorities and that she had overstayed her visa issued on 17 March 2001. In fact, Mr Ashley Wills, then American Ambassador in Colombo, was concerned about possible criminal proceedings against her by the Sri Lankan authorities. “We hope there will be no more complications in that regard. The Government has issued its statement, but it doesn’t say anything about criminal proceedings for overstaying and we are encouraged by that, said the American Ambassador, according to the The Times.  However, by 2009, Marie had forgotten any irregularities concerning her journey to the war zone. On 24 May 2009, Marie, in her account of the events, launched fresh allegations against the Sri Lankan forces. In her own almost inimitable style of peddling in bare-faced lies, innuendos, gossip, half-truths and distortions, roughly in equal measure, the incorrigible Marie, related in great detail how the LTTE relied on “her to negotiate their surrender.” Marie appears to have been an eyewitness, for she gives a vivid account of the unfolding events with direct quotes and names. Indeed, her linguistic prowess in Sri Lankan vernaculars sounds quite remarkable, as she reported on one conversation which, according to her, took place in Sinhalese!

By July 2011, Marie no longer seems to remember the details or the names! In 2001, the Press Complaints Commission upheld two complaints against the award-winning Marie for her articles on Sri Lanka which the PCC found to be biased and inaccurate.

C4 was fierce in its criticism of the lack of access to independent journalists, presumably, the likes of Marie Colvin and, of course, its own breed. Marie deserves at least one more award for her objectivity and impartiality. Sangam “”…” website of the Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA “”…” has a special collection named after Marie “”…” Marie Colvin pages!

Dr Bandula Kothalawala

London N7

4 Responses to “Marie had a little blank…….”

  1. Dissanayake Says:

    This is good opportunity we can strip all shameless creatures and vultures in the name of western Journalists. It is not like in any other country, if the western media clash with Sri Lanka unreasonably, they will taste how hard it is to defeat Sri Lankans physycally and mentally as in 1818.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    THE VOICE OF THE SOLDIER SPEAKING IN THE VIDEO, HAS A DISTINCT BRITISH ACCENT. THE VOICE SOUNDS IDENTICAL TO THE CHANNEL 4 JOURNALIST, ACCOSTING MAJOR GENERAL SHAVENDRA SILVA ON THE PAVEMENT. THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF TAMIL TERRORIST FUNDS IN THE UK, TO BRIBE FRAUDSTERS, TO CONTINUE THE PERVERSE CRUSADE AGAINST SRI LANKA. THESE ARE ALL SUBJECTS OF HER MAJESTY. DISGRACE. DAMNING BRITISH PERVERTS.

  3. dhane Says:

    Why worried western media this similar to Rupert Merdoch case. Both in UK & USA.

  4. cassandra Says:

    Sadly, some journalists won’t let facts get in the way of a ‘good’ story. It is impact they seek, (and, maybe, awards) not necessarily accurate reporting. Marie Colvin belongs to this category.

    As for the latest offering from Chanel 4, one is bound to ask, ‘How clumsy can they get?’I understand that the ‘soldier’ making the allegations bears the name Fernando. Picking on one of the commonest surnames surely gives the game away. I was once told that if there is one thing worse than doing something crooked, is doing it in inept fashion. That is what Chanel 4 has clearly done. But isn’t it interesting how liars so often give it away with some little slip like we see here? As they say, ‘truth will out’.

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