Accredited journalists and entry to Sri Lanka to cover CHOGM
Posted on July 18th, 2013

Asada M Erpini

A report dated 16 July, quoted in the local media, says that all the accredited journalists should be allowed to enter the country to cover the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Colombo.

The request, or demand, seems reasonable on the surface. But what Sri Lanka does is up to the authorities of the country. If some of the journalists are declared persona non grata, that should not be debated: the old adage, “Once bitten, twice shy” may come up in these situations.

When one reads the reports published by the reputed media (reputation, my foot!), one cannot blame if the authorities wish to scrutinise the objectivity of reporting, and even ban media representatives who come with their preconceived notions.

A classic example of distorted and biased reporting is what BBC – the epitome of news reporting, as the writer was taught to believe many moons ago “”…” on 16 July is reported to have said: a UN report found that 40,000 civilians were killed in the final stages (of the liberation war), adding that the figure may have been higher.

The UN never produced a report under the seal of the World Assembly giving the number of civilians killed in Sri Lanka when the legally constituted armed forces of the island nation took the terrorists head on. The so-called UN Report is a document that was produced by a troika that Ban Ki Moon appointed to advise him. It was UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts, constituted by three members, whose objectivity would be open to question. The UN Security Council or the General Assembly had no role whatsoever in the unwholesome episode, to categorise the report as a UN Report.

After the LTTE terrorists based in Sri Lanka received their dues at the hands of the armed forces of the much-maligned island nation, the UN Office in Colombo estimated “”…” yes, estimated “”…” that approximately 7100 civilians may have been killed in the final stages of the liberation war (Why every busybody and his dog are concerned only with the final few months of the conflict is a million dollar question!), but the figure was not released as official because the “ƒ”¹…”august’ institution admitted it had no way of verifying it. Gordon Weiss, who happened to be attached to the UN Office in Sri Lanka at the time, said that the figure was 20,000, but lo and behold, by the time he reached his native Australia after parting company with the UN, the figure had ballooned to 40,000. And today, the official figure of the number of innocents killed by the Sri Lanka armed forces is at least 40,000! There are many who are ready to quote figures of 100,000 and even 200,000.

Media freedom is not equivalent to the freedom of the ass. Responsible reporting is the need of the day, and correspondents who are not ready to abide by the pristine tenants of journalism should not be allowed to set foot in Sri Lanka. The damage done when Sri Lanka is described as not having media freedom is a lesser evil than being projected to the rest of the world as a country of Sinhala criminals out to kill every innocent Tamil, and its armed forces hell bent on raping every Tamil woman (Yuk!) in the North!

One Response to “Accredited journalists and entry to Sri Lanka to cover CHOGM”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    To quote the article:”Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. It is not unusual to police foreign journalists. Many renowned nations do it routinely. From China, Russia, Israel, most Muslim nations, many African to South American nations police foreign journalists for they do come with an agenda. Though it may not be blatantly apparent so do many western nations. A free carte blanche is not given to any foreign journalist hell bent in defaming a nation. The control of the press be it domestic or foreign by nature is essential in keeping a nation’s integrity and avoiding the web of lies that has been spun by Channel 4 which has been used to whip Sri Lanka at every turn. As the saying goes “When in Rome do as the Romans do” so When in Sri Lanka time for these bigoted hypocritical Tamil influenced journalists tow the long and narrow line or be banned from entering the nation.

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