Lies , Damn Lies & Channel 4
Posted on June 19th, 2011

Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM Spokesperson, United Sri Lanka Association, Wellington New Zealand

Lies, Damn Lies &  Statistics. That was then. Now it is, Lies, Damn Lies & Channel 4. So shamelessly has Channel 4 sold their soul to Tiger funds to propagate deceit and deception.

 Despite having admitted to doctoring their original  video clip regarding it’s date, despite having been shown to have made a mess of editing by reversing the sequence of some of the video clips, the Channel  4 continues shamelessly to air these video’s most  recently in their program ” Killing Fields” (14th June 11). These have been supplied by unknown persons , with no one claiming responsibility for it’s origin, except that the video’s have been repeatedly aired in Tiger Diaspora websites many times before screening on  Channel 4.

 And the Tiger Diaspora’s   highest credential is  their ability to repeatedly misinform and distort, practicing to perfection Joseph Goebell’s doctrine that any big lie, if repeated enough will eventually be believed.  Now this same Cannel 4   wants us to believe that it is true, using an “authentication” by a group already   discredited .  Killing Fields  would not do credit even to an amateur   in the fiction film industry let alone to investigative journalism, that it is claimed to be.

 In this day and age we know from every one’s experience how easy it is to doctor a video. We know how many times Tigers were exposed doctoring videos falsely alleging shelling hospitals and civilians during the war and the many times the Tigers were exposed  dressed in Sri Lankan soldiers uniforms, shooting civilians  and their captives and blaming it on the SL soldiers..

 If there are any credible allegations from identified witnesses to crime not anonymous allegations through video, then such  allegations should be investigated. This  is what the SL government has agreed to do.

 The only reliable testimony from those witness to the war have come from the rescued hostages most prominently Mr. Kanagaranam the MP for Vanni . All of them have repeatedly testified that SL soldiers never  deliberately shot at civilians or hospitals & that it was the Tigers who did both and quite deliberately to prevent and deter attempts by hostages at escaping from the Tigers and to lay the blame  falsely on the SL soldiers.

 If there is  any basis  for an international investigation on the available information now, it   should   be  on how an arm of the  respected international news organization the BBC, has come to lend itself to so questionably becoming  a forum to repeat information from Tiger websites with such regularity.

 The SL  government for it’s part  should   keep exposing these deceptions  repeatedly and relentlessly  and convey the true picture  on Sri Lanka equally relentlessly, on their web sites, through their spokesmen and most importantly through repeated,  communications to international news media, and western politicians all over the western world. This can be  done through direct emailing of short sharp statements  highlighting bullet points and head lines with links to details for those more interested.

 Building up such emailing list can be done with little effort through the web alone. MP’ Ministers, Senators,, Congressmen of all western democracies whose freedoms the Tigers are subverting to falsely discredit SL should be the target for supplying  the correct information on SL.

Human  memory is short and a politician is bombarded with a lot of information these days. To create  a  true and favorable prevailing impression on Sri Lanka the supply to foreign politicians and media has to be done repeatedly. Also, special efforts should be made repeatedly to  encourage  foreign  media organizations  to air favorable programs on SL in the West. Direct contact with western politicians also needs to be fostered

  Such  media and information campaigns need the highest priority . It should probably be under  a dedicated Ministry of Foreign Information and appropriately funded with adequate   know how working in corporation with committed and supportive expatriate groups world over.

 The  tiger terrorist war  was not won for three decades not because of failure in the battlefields in Sri Lanka alone  but even more because of the failure on the propaganda battlefields of the Western capitals . This  is what made it possible for the tigers to garner support with money and  opinion in the west to sustain their campaign in SL.

 This   cannot and should not be allowed to happen again.


4 Responses to “Lies , Damn Lies & Channel 4”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    A very good suggestion that came from many expatriate quarters. Government must do it ASAP.

    However, we should not forget one more important thing about the whole affair. Most foreign nations that are allowing discrediting campaigns against Sri Lanka know perfectly well what really happened in the island. They know very well what the LTTE is and what its front organisations were doing. That is why they banned all these (2006) even before Sri Lanka reintroduced the LTTE ban (2008). They maintain the ban on the LTTE and LTTE front organisations to this date.

    This means there is a strong geopolitical element here as well. Western nations are battling their geopolitical interests with morality on Sri Lanka (and all other nations). Looks like the victor of this battle is geopolitics than morality. Geopolitical interests cannot be altered by media campaigns. They must be managed by leveraging Sri Lanka’s own geopolitical clout.

  2. SR Says:

    SL government is still fast asleep.They are so “Darmishta” to take action against C4.

  3. Vis8 Says:

    The London Times on the morally-bankrupt “channel-4”:

    “Choosing to Die [Terry Prachett’s BBC 2 documentary on euthanasia] was billed, hyperbolically, as the first time the moment of death has been shown on television. It isn’t. Not by many, many deaths. What they meant was the first death of a white western man in a sitting room; there is death all over television all the time. Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, Channel 4’s documentary on that country’s civil war, was made up of little else but the moment of death. Just before we get into it, I am going to pause, yet again, to have an eye-rollingly weary word about Jon Snow’s comic ties and jocund socks. And to explain why I mind and why they matter. The ugly garish ties are worn to semaphore the fact that this is a chap who is only wearing a suit because the headmaster says he must. Inside, he is really a far more relaxed, counterculture kind of dude, not at all the establishment flunky the two-piece single-breasted implies. It is a pathetically and worryingly childish pose in a man approaching retirement who wants what comes out of his mouth to be taken seriously. Back to the programme.

    Channel 4 has been flogging this story for more than a year, ever since it was given an unattributed but disturbing clip of footage that appeared to show Tamil Tiger prisoners being executed. It has showed it so often, to righteously harangue the Sri Lankan ambassador and various spokesmen, that now nobody will talk to it. The channel has accumulated a large collection of samizdat amateur footage from mobile phones and video cameras – mostly unattributed and uncorroborated. It mixes this footage with comment from unnamed sources with distorted voices and shadowed faces. And human rights lawyers. It was brutal, it was shocking, but it wasn’t journalism.

    Not a second of this has been shot by Channel 4; none of the eyewitness accounts comes from journalists.

    Snow’s commentary was intemperate and partisan, and it was all held together by assumptions. Channel 4 News has drifted from providing news broadcasts into being an outlet for nodding spokespeople and assorted NGOs and environmental pressure groups, or anyone who can provide interesting or sensational film. It follows the old American news adage, “If it bleeds, it leads”.

    What was depressing about this particularly bloody special was not just that it had precious little context or considered thought, but that the people who will suffer most from it are not governments or soldiers, but the victims of this brutal war, who deserve a more measured professionalism and due diligence, and who deserve better than this compilation of gore, topped and tailed by a man in a comedy tie.

    Finally, the most demeaning and prurient part of it all was that the penises of the naked men being executed were smudged out, as if they were the shocking part. And the pubic hair of abused and murdered women was coyly pixelated so as not to be titillating. The horror of war tidied up like Japanese porn, to save us the embarrassment and distaste of having to look at the genitals of the dead.

    This was a piece of politically correct sanitising that was degrading and humiliating for the viewer and the viewed, but was symbolic of this programme’s contorted news agenda. It really was the most astonishing and misjudged editorial decision from a news broadcaster that has grown into the habit of poor judgment on almost everything. Channel 4 News once had clever and astute reporters; now it boasts a revolving handful of Autocue readers with hair issues. And its arts coverage, which was by far the best of any terrestrial news, is now ill-informed, naff and embarrassing. This documentary was a low point in a continuing slump.

    What both Choosing to Die and the Sri Lankan documentary suffered from in different ways was empathy – which is very popular in documentaries these days. What both should have had was a buttoned-up sober detachment.”

  4. Vis8 Says:

    A documentary showing the American army command was complicit in the killing of 3,000 prisoners who were separated out from the total of 8,000 POWs and transported to a prison compound in the town of Shibarghan, was aired in Germany in 2002. It was covered-up nicely by the West:

    German TV aired documentary charging American war crimes in Afghanistan

    Wonder if Channel-4 and its ltte cronies saw this.

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