COMPLAINT ON ABC TV PROGRAM 7.30 REPORT OF 25TH APRIL 2013
Posted on May 8th, 2013

Ranjith Soysa Spokesperson SPUR  (Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka Inc)

ABC Audience Affairs

ABC PO Box 9994

Melbourne-Victoria

 COMPLAINT ON ABC TV PROGRAM 7.30 REPORT OF  25TH APRIL 2013

We wish to refer to the above program and request you  to investigate into the following issues based on the ABC Code of Practice and restore the integrity as a leading media organization.

We wish to draw your attention to the section 2  i.e.  Accuracy , of the Principles and Standards outlined in the Code of Practice especially to the necessity to ensure the gathering and presentation of news..”

 

The subject of the program was the alleged torture of shadowy figure called Kumar by  the Sri Lankan Army Intelligence Services.  The charges were made by Kumar who is alleged to have received injuries and other bodily harm.

 

The ABC “ƒ”¹…”730 Report Anchor’ Lee Sales and presenter Heather Ewart were  either biased or appear to have gulped the story told by Kumar hook, line and the sinker.  As a result the program bas unbalanced and inaccurate when considered by any recognized standard.  It also misled the Australian public and its leaders on a matter of national importance.

 

The presenter failed to cross-examine Kumar and did not engage other relevant experts to verify the accuracy of Kumar’s story.

  1. She did not question why and how Kumar visited Sri Lanka in   December 2010 and July 2011 when he did not encounter any violence then? Kumar said that he was interrogated by the Army intelligence prior to 2008 and indicated that he left for Australia for that reason, inferring that he was a marked person.
  2. She did not get a medical officer to examine and advise the audience about the torture marks to make sure that these were inflicted in the month of April or thereabout.  (Kumar was in Colombo on 30th March and said that he was taken in a white van in about one week of his arrival in Sri Lanka and his ordeal took place on the  4th day of his abduction and hence the incident would have taken place on 11th April).
  3. The torture marks were utterly unconvincing.  If these were deep flesh  wounds it couldn’t have healed within 2 weeks (11th April “”…” 24th April?)  The highly linear pattern of marks indicate that the hot irons were placed carefully to create scars as visuals to promote his claim of being tortured and thereby enhance his claims for residence status (which is unlikely from his current 437 visa category due to the lack of skills).
  4. Medical evidence available to us indicates that deep flesh wounds not have healed so fast. The pictures indicate that they are only pre-planned burning of the surface skin for  his claims in Australia. If they were wounds inflicted by the Intelligence Unit of the Security to torture Tamils by drunken soldiers would it be mere skin burns? Besides, the wounds “inflicted by 11th April” would not have allowed him to travel from Sri Lanka as a fit person to have been accepted by an airline. This aspect was not probed by the presenter.
  5. ABC stated that Kumar was abducted three weeks ago which contradicts Kumar’s statement that the abduction took place on or after 11th April.
  6. Kumar’s friend “ƒ”¹…”Samjee’ was portrayed as an independent witness when his story was entirely hearsay.
  7. The false “ƒ”¹…”anonymity’ portrayed by the program is misleading the viewers if in fact the man had already travelled on a Sri Lankan passport and claims to have been interrogated by Sri Lankan authorities.   If this was true, he and his relatives in Sri Lanka would already be known.  The program did not raise this obvious inconsistency.
  8. It was not questioned why a relatively low-level  LTTE operative would be abducted and tortured when more than 11,000 former LTTE members including hard-core members who were held in custody, have been rehabilitated and returned to their families and are living without fear or any form of harassment in Sri Lanka
  9. If the man was indeed missing and his abduction was known to his relatives as claimed, it is highly likely that his family and friends in Melbourne would have immediately gone to the Australian authorities instead of waiting for several weeks after his return.
  10. To verify the statements of Kumar it would be helpful for an independent source fully aware of local conditions to interview him. Is it possible for you to organise an interview of Kumar with a lawyer with his head covered, in your presence to get at the truth?
  11. The introduction of Trevor Grant (from the Tamil Refugee Council) and Gordon Weiss (who was a recent speaker at the pro-LTTE Global Tamil Forum), both of who are well known for their anti Sri Lankan activities, further distorted the program.

We appeal to the ABC to investigate this complaint and take remedial action to restore the credibility of the 730 Report.

 

Ranjith Soysa

Spokesperson

SPUR  (Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka Inc)

Reg: A003 0777 M

P.O. Box 4066, Mulgrave VIC 3170, Australia

Phone: (+613)   9795 7143         Fax:  (+613) 9795 7142

4 Responses to “COMPLAINT ON ABC TV PROGRAM 7.30 REPORT OF 25TH APRIL 2013”

  1. Voice123 Says:

    The ABC not only needs to investigate it, they need to air Rankitg’s highly playsible alternative explanation and publicise that Kumar’s story is not factual but based in allegation. The ABC must be made to do this and pursued in the courts if necessary. There is no other way to get them to listen.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Thank you Ranjith. Very good with all the points listed down.

    Investigation and remedial action to restore the credibility is the way to go.

  3. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    these bloody anglo saxon ungulates! they have the habit of smelling the filth of others, like dogs as their own doesn’t smell. however much we write here, these bastards to what ever they like. americans and british have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes but do these Australian ungulates pursue them? no never! they are cousins and together in this. castigating others and their media protecting their interests. that is the bottom line.

  4. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    Mr Soysa thank you for highlighting the obviously biased and questionable ABC report to mislead the Australian public, which would assist illegal migrants to be accepted as refugees. Thank you also for sacrificing your own time and money for the love of your country, which is being slandered and economically damaged by hostile forces with sufficient funds to pay their agents to carry false propoganda.
    We know that many like to migrate to greener pastures in developed nations. For those who are unskilled or unqualified or want to escape from prosecution due to criminal activity, the best way and probably the only way to migrate is to take a boat and illegally enter the targted country. They are too ignorant or too desperate to realise the sea journey by boat could be their last journey that could result in death. This man Kumar hasn’t even taken that risk as he seems to be travelling to and fro between Australia and SriLanka by air for short holidays. Since he is obviously unskilled, he would have resorted to this cunning way to obtain Australian citizenship now open to “refugees”.
    First find a connection to the LTTE terrorists which the current UNHCR officials considers sufficient to categorise them as refugees who will be persecuted if to returned to SriLanka.
    Nrxt either self inflict or get through organised groups the injuries you wish to have, like lashes on the back or cigarette butt burns etc and then show it to the immigration officers as proof of torture by the security forces in the source country. Then the politicians from the Greens and Labour marginal seats as well as some journalists would get into action to canvass residential status for these illegal immigrants.
    I hope the Australian immigration officials wont fall into this trap unlike their counterparts in Canada and UK.

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