Appalling Journalism: Jon Snow and Channel 4 on Sri Lanka
Posted on December 7th, 2011

Mahinda Gunasekera Agincourt, Ontario Canada

Honourable Members of the House of Commons,

 This is addressed especially to the members of the House of Commons Sub-Committee on Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development who are currently reviewing the human rights situation prevailing in Sri Lanka, both during the military action taken by the Sri Lankan authorities against the armed forces of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) aka Tamil Tigers designated a terrorist organization by 32 countries including Canada, which was concluded in May 2009 and the period thereafter.

 Various allegations were made by Rights Groups such as the ICG, HRW, AI, etc., and Channel 4 News of UK, all of whom were far removed from the ground, which remain unsubstantiated allegations based on hearsay evidence from second or third hand sources with the added spin of translators interpreting such evidence from Tamil to English, together with doctored or staged scenes coming from the propaganda arm of the Tamil Tiger network known as the Tamilnet, which are one-sided and also prejudiced sources.

 Submitted in attachment is a 26 page document prepared by Sri Lanka Media Watch which is affiliated to Engage Sri Lanka (www.engagesrilanka.com) dated November 2011, which makes a detailed analysis of the various allegations against the Sri Lankan authorities and her armed forces, which provides the different perspectives from sources that had some access to persons at the battlefront, that would be helpful in understanding or seeing through the web of allegations that have yet to be substantiated by the string of accusers.

 With reference to the presentation by Ms. Elaine Pearson, Deputy Director, Asia Division of Human Rights Watch on November 18, 2011, in my assessment, she made one important observation which was not further pursued by the members of the Sub-Committee and probably got lost and muddied in the swath of unsubstantiated allegations put forward by her. It was her statement that the LTTE blurred the lines at the battlefront, which in reality was the fact that more than half of the Tamil Tiger fighters engaged in combat dressed in civilian attire. So the question as to who is a ‘True Civilian’ may escape the minds of observers in distant places belonging to these HR groups, who would rush to wrong conclusions based on pictures of felled cadres in civilian dress reaching them via the propaganda arm of the Tamil Tigers. Furthermore, the LTTE also deployed an equal number of civilians in combat related duties in support roles at the frontlines, to supply their fighting cadres with ammunition, remove bodies of dead or injured cadres, and other duties such as bolstering of their defences by constructing high bunds or digging deep ditches, making and laying of anti-personal and other land mines, thereby endangering the lives of those civilians to become valid targets in the battleground.

 It must also be noted that the representatives from HRW and AI devoted little or no time to the horrendous atrocities committed by the LTTE over a 30 year period where they blatantly violated the right to life of the 21 million citizens of Sri Lanka from all of the constituent ethnic communities by unleashing nearly 387 suicide bombers, planting bombs in all modes of public transit and shopping centres, detonating claymore mines, car and truck bombs, and descending in the middle of the night on non-Tamils living in remote villages and hacking them to death in machete attacks and automatic gunfire. The LTTE’s attacks on sacred Buddhist sites in Anuradhapura, the Sacred Temple of the Tooth in Kandy killing pilgrims and others participating in contemplative meditation or other spiritual observances, killing of Buddhist monks at Arantalawa, or the killing of hundreds of Muslims at prayer in mosques located at Katankudy and Eravur in east Sri Lanka. Nor was anything said of the ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese and Muslims living in areas sought by the LTTE for their separate state in the north and east of the island, or the killing of 680 non-Tamil police officers who surrendered after the police stations in some parts of the east were surrounded by LTTE forces in the midst of direct peace talks initiated by President Ranasinghe Premadasa with the LTTE in Colombo, and assurance given by the LTTE’s Chief Negotiator Anton Balasingham who guaranteed that the surrendering officers would be set free at an agreed location. None of these factual incidents are mentioned by these human rights activists, but they put out reports running into hundreds of pages on alleged events based on questionable evidence coming from prejudiced sources linked to the Tamil Tigers.

 I trust you would give due consideration to the contents of the attached document and other points made in this short cover note being submitted to you.

 Yours sincerely,

 Mahinda Gunasekera

Agincourt, Ontario

5 Responses to “Appalling Journalism: Jon Snow and Channel 4 on Sri Lanka”

  1. Andare Says:

    Please log into this web site and check out the videos. The original video which was of LTTE shooting Sri Lanka soldiers and speaking in Tamil, had been dubbed into Sinhalese and shown as Sinhala soldiers killing Tamils. This video was rescued from Facebook prior to it being removed by LTTE. The other videos show how they are showing scenes from Africa where African soldiers are shooting prisoners were shown on Indian T.V. as killings by Sinhala soldiers. If you look at those videos you can see that the scene is from Africa with African people. When will the cheat and deceit and the lies end?
    http://terrorinlanka.org/01%20-%20Channel%204%20-%20UK/

  2. S de Silva Says:

    Thank you Mahinda G again for your contribution – Whenever we are called into account for the consequences of the War, we in return, in the same breath, should call into account and seek compensation from those very Western countries who allowed (and still allow) the LTTE to collect funds, prosper, and finance the terrorism by the LTTE against Sri Lanka in the first place – Starting with Norway!. This is one sure way to shut them all up but as usual the GoSL has not yet woken up to fully take this opportunity. Of course with so much evidence in favour included in the document by Sri Lanka Media Watch quoted herein and elsewhere, the short route would have been to succeed at a libel case against the bogus CH4 ‘documentary’ and receive compensation. But the GoSL has apparently chosen strategically the long route to discredit all the anti- Sri Lankan bogus propaganda internationally in the countries and establishments that matter to SL – eg UNHRC, CHOG, etc, which I believe was the ultimate objective of the anti-SL propagandists. – S de Silva – London

  3. helaya Says:

    Thanks Andare, The link you shown here has the answer to everything. First vedio before dubbung it clear that the orginal being mutilated with tamil words. It is too bad that SL government doesnot take more active role in combating LTTE propaganda.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    More the lies, cheat & deceit from the ltte rump plus tamil Diaspora, LESS the self respect of Tamil people as a community. Less Trust & Respect toward the Tamil people as a whole from the rest of the world, not only by other Sri Lankans. Everyone losses with lies, cheat & deceit – a waste of time & energy for everyone concerned.

  5. Raj Says:

    Thank you Mahinda for this excellent article. Also thank you for Andare’s link which says it all.

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