Of that C-4 charge
Posted on June 14th, 2011

The Island Editorial
June 14, 2011, 6:42 pm

Prabhakaran, in his terrorist war against the State of Sri Lanka, used C-4 (plastic explosives) very effectively, though he could not win the war. His followers are now dependent on a different kind of C-4 (Channel 4) to carry out their anti-Sri Lankan campaign.

Channel 4 has produced a documentary to bolster the LTTE’s claim that war crimes were committed by the Sri Lankan army during the closing stages of the Vanni war in 2009. But, the discerning will see that anything is possible in this Digital Age as evident from Spielberg’s fascinating cinematic creations, where dinosaurs roam and pterosaurs hover. The world is fast becoming one big digital illusion!

Channel 4 video claims to have put together, in its documentary, scenes of war crimes captured on mobile phones during the Vanni war. However, the authenticity of the much touted ‘war crimes documentary’ has been challenged. A non-UN expert has pointed out that the footage of a person being executed was originally filmed on a video camera contrary to Channel 4 claim that it was done on a mobile phone.

An unsubstantiated allegation does not become credible evidence of war crimes simply because a television station claims it to be true or it is widely circulated on the Internet. Following bin Laden’s death, it may be recalled, a picture of his bloodied face went viral on the Internet and even the international media organisations fell hook, line and sinker for it. Many prominent newspapers printed it the world over. But, it turned out to be a fake! Someone had digitally combined two pictures to prepare that graphic image. Authenticity of many of the Gulf War video footages and still pictures has also been questioned by experts.

Irrefutable evidence has surfaced that even President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair were involved in doctoring documents to justify their illegal war against Iraq. No less a person than former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei has pointed out that the documents that the US and the UK submitted, after months of dilly-dallying, to IAEA in support of their claim that Saddam Hussein had obtained uranium from Niger, sufficient to produce 100 nuclear bombs, were all fabricated.

Even the prestigious Pulitzer Board has been taken for a ride by journalists. Janet Cooke of The Washington Post lost her Pulitzer, when it was revealed that her story (Jimmy’s World) about an 8-year-old drug addict in a ghetto was a hoax. Walter Duranty of The New York Times, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Soviet Union in 1932, was posthumously accused of flawed reporting and partiality to Stalin and a call was made for revoking his prize in 2003. There has also been a campaign for the revocation of the 1946 Pulitzer Prize awarded to journalist William L. Laurence of The New York Times on the grounds that he was on the payroll of the War Department.

ElBaradei laments that the reaction of the mainstream western media to the IAEA findings that ran counter to the claim by Bush and Blair that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, was ‘disheartening’. The major media organisations had, he points out, ‘completely bought into the WMD claims’ by the Bush administration and dismissed the IAEA findings as trivial. He is quite critical of the manner in which The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times handled such a vital issue. He recalls that WSJ in an editorial titled, Bush in Lilliput, went so far as to say, “Mr. ElBaradei made a public fuss last week about one British-US claim that turns out to have been false, but which was in any case peripheral to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.”

The western media are far from neutral and truthful, though they claim to be so and look down upon the developing world. Therefore, it will be a mistake for anyone to take as gospel truth the Channel 4 claim of war crimes in Sri Lanka, solely on the basis a documentary consisting of some disputed video footages. That the LTTE is behind the Channel 4 drama is only too well known. Its propaganda blitzkrieg is aimed at not only having the political and military leaders who defeated Prabhakaran’s brutal terrorism hauled up before an international war crimes tribunal but also at ruining Sri Lanka’s booming tourism.

What is called for is not a probe into the unsubstantiated allegations of war crimes against Sri Lanka but a thorough investigation into the Channel 4 videos whose authenticity is in question.

9 Responses to “Of that C-4 charge”

  1. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    Channel-4 has now built a reputation that they would do anything, whether unethical or not, just to balance their budget and save their lucrative jobs (like some NGOs & Politicians). I believe, Ch-4 is only interested in the stream of funds the Tiger Terrorists are able to regularly dole out, if in return Ch-4 could throw the welfare of civilians living in liberated from Tiger terrorists to the dust bin, and air on TV these fabricated videos which could put life back to the dead terrorist movement. It is now confirmed by neutral experts in the field of digital technology, that these are not videos taken with mobile phones and as such no soldier could have filmed such scenes without a Video camera and still remain undetected. Therefore, these videos could be either fabricated (like any violent movie on TV) or scenes of actual events where the Tiger Terrorists themselves, filmed the torturing of their prisoners (we have seen their torture cages and prisons in Vanni), for their sadistic leadership to enjoy watching in the comfort of air-conditioned homes and bunkers in the jungles of Vanni.

  2. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    A disturbing characteristic of C-4 videos is that they do not divulge the actual source, the incidents have no time or date, they have no indication of location, they assume the victims are Tamils and not the other way around, they are coming out over 2 years after the events and most amazing is that these are readily acclaimed as credible by the same bunch of interested parties. There is no attempt to verify whether the scenes could be from an old film or if it is a real conflict then, from which part of the world (south america, middle east, India, Africa etc), and which nationalities are involved. Media propogating this type of unverified gruesome propoganda are in fact doing a great disservice to the peace loving people of the world.

  3. cassandra Says:

    What is also quite possible is that some of the scenes are of the LTTE torturing and killing Tamils suspected of having collaborated with the SL forces. We remember only too well how in the early days of their campaign, anyone suspected of being an informer or assisting the security forces was killed and the dead boy strung up from a lamp post. Those capable of such atrocities are quite capable of the atrocities that the films now aired by Channel 4 show. As Prof Rajiva Wijesinha has remarked during a TV interview, in one scene of an alleged torture you notice the feet of a bystander with thongs on – not shoes. Now, the SL armed forces are hardly likely to have been going around in thongs.

    In this age of digital technology all manner of manipulation and doctoring of films are possible and those in the West should know this only too well. I would have thought that before rushing to accept these films as genuine, those in the West would want conclusive confirmation, before accepting them as true. Then, again, can we expect real ethical conduct from western TV stations? Small wonder that in the west itself, journalists (and that includes those from TV) are held in such low esteem.

  4. thurai Says:

    LTTE members mostly mafia are trying to safegurd their assets in all countries. They need protection
    from Tamil community. Only way to keep them from supporting the Sri Lanka Government is inciting
    against Sinhalese community. It is normal in western world cheatig their own communities to
    winning support for war and Trading with arms.

  5. Raj Says:

    Anything can be faked and some will believe as in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kav0FEhtLug

  6. Sajith Says:

    Most Tamils in Sri Lanka will soon view the Channel-4 doc in one way or the other.

    After seeing it no Tamil will ever forgive or forget the government.

    Bye bye reconciliation.

    Delete my comment but this is the truth.

    Tigers deserve to be killed, etc. but civilians should not have been killed according to all the Tamils in the country.

  7. Leela Says:

    I am sure; everyone who saw the video footages that channel 1V showed agree that its quality is pretty good. But I must say; I have enough common sense to smell a rot there.

    For one, hand phones with good quality cameras were very expensive in Sri Lanka before 2010. So much so, at the time, a soldier would have to spend twice his entire monthly salary to pay for a high resolution camera hand phone. We all know that all most all soldiers come from poor families. And their wages were hardly enough to maintain their homes and families. In such circumstances, is it logical for a soldier to spend two month salary on an expensive camera phone? Besides, would he carry his expensive gadget to the war theatre and risk damaging or losing it?

    For another, if such a camera was in possession with a soldier, it would have been an outstanding case. And all his buddies would have known it. Assuming this reporting is true, hand-phone cameraman-soldier would have being easily identified and arrested by now. And channel 1V would have come to know about it. And, it would have been ‘braking news’.

    Now, not just the Sri Lanka government and the army but an expert on digital video systems namely Mr Siri Hevavitharana, the former head of Cisco’s Global Broadcast and Digital Video Practice division is also rubbishing the entire film footage.

    In such circumstances, promoters of these video footings must not beat about the bush. They must prove their point with proof. LTTE rump has the money. So, they can pay up and get their bogey man out. They must come out with the exact details of the victims and the culprits and give a British passport and protection to the hand phone cameraman. Otherwise, only the gullible would believe real Sri Lankan soldiers are in this film.
    Leela

  8. radha Says:

    Yes definitely; this video is for gullible westerners like Burt, who has a big mouth but little brain. Brain and tongue are disconnected, and so they utter anything to create the impression that they are on top of the job and so mislead the public. Otherwise why would a minister of country who firebombed Dresden and burnt to death a whole community of innocent civilians in their beds utter such nonsense about Sri Lankans having to answer to a concocted images with a dubbed sound track, which had no authenticated origin.

    There is a rule in the UK that no one could send an annonymous allegation to the police, as the police will simply laugh and file it in the dustbin. Certainly Burt would say, we would not entertain anonymous accusations. That makes his kneejerk reactions just a load of hotair to keep the tamil LTTE diaspora activists who control tamil votes in UK warm. Politicians are awful opportunists; they make the LTTE backers of their party votes happy. Human Rights are just a prop in their stage acts.

    Those who shout loudest are the least caring for human suffering and rights, if not why they incite discontent and riots throughout middle-east in the recent months and cause endless suffering to all those silent majorities who enjhoyed a peaceful life. Iraq was destroyed on the basis of doctored photos of non-existent WMD, Afghanistan was destroyed on the basis of a Bin Laden when he was not even living there. What happened to the human rights of all those who were bombed by US and NATO in those countries. Did they care for the human rights of the ones who perished under the western bombs. Colateral damage, that’s your word for them Burk ……!!! In my book, that is insensitive and careless bombing as long as the ones that were dying were not of your kind.

    My thoughts about the video. If they say the pictures are SLK soldiers killing terrorists, then it is equally possible that they were tamil terrorists killing Sinhala prisoners of war or those civilians that they had kidnapped.

    An advancing army has no need to kill terrorists that they capture, because terrorists that are alive can sing and reveal a lot of intelligence. The supply lines are open, the battle fronts are near and the captured can be transferred back to interrogation centres or prisons behind front lines is quite easy. There is really no need to kill them when they are of better use alive.

    The retreating terrorists, on the other hand, find their Sinhala prisoners a liability. They have nowhere to hold them, and cannot risk leaving them behind alive as they knew too much about the terrorists and their identities. The short and simple solution is to murder them and get rid of the witnesses.

    The reason why the victim wearing tamil style shirts and the shooter wearing SLK army uniform is obvious;change the clothes, change the identity, it is safer if you are trying to escape after the atrocity. If all this happened in the few weeks before the 19th May 2009, I say with confidence that the dubbed videos were of terrorists killing Sinhala prisoners of war and civilians that they had been holding.

    BTW did you know that LTTE terrorists were holding hundreds of SLK military, police and civilians captive as prisoners. The horrific prisons were there all to see in the newsreels. But there were no news about even a single prisoner ever being set free by LTTE.

    Ask Red Cross in Sri Lanka at the time. Did they ever bring back a prisoner held by LTTE; No, never, they always brought back only one thing, dead bodies. What happened to our brothers and sisters that the terrorists were holding. I say, few of them were at the receiving end of the guns shown on this video.

  9. Rohan8 Says:

    Western Media outlets credibility are at an all time low. Polls show now that people are extremely distrustful of the so called news being pumped out with approval ratings at all time low. The mainstream media is dying on its feet and their is a exponential rise in the credibility of Alternative media mainly through the internet. Good riddance I say to the western media if they keep churning out crap like this.
    @ A. Sooriyaracchi and Sajith. Well if your worried that the LTTE as a result can rise up again. I am sure the SL Army, Navy and Airforce will be ready for them and a winning formula ready to put into action that will wipe them out a second time if the need should arise.
    Personally I don’t think this will wreck reconciliation with Tamils in Sri Lanka because under the LTTE they the Tamils were forced at gunpoint to join their death cult or be shot by the LTTE. Since the LTTE are no more, Tamil people can finally go about their daily lives in Sri Lanka in peace without the threat of LTTE gunmen coming after them and their families. So no I wouldn’t worry what these jokers in the Western mainstream media put out. I think the Tamil people itself in Sri Lanka have been the biggest victims of the LTTE.

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