Channel 4 paid to tarnish Sri Lanka’s humanitarian rescue & terrorist elimination operation
What is the aim of Channel 4 & its persistence to tarnish the image of a sovereign Government? LTTE is an internationally banned terrorist group & a sovereign Government has all the right to militarily eliminate it for the protection of its citizens. Sri Lanka remains the only nation to have given plenty of chances to LTTE terrorists to give up terrorism & enter democratic governance by coming into power by a vote & not through bullets. It was after 30 years of endless peace negotiations & ceasefires that served to only equip the LTTE to carry out daring attacks that finally resulted in the decision to militarily take on the LTTE while rescuing all Tamils kept as human shields by the LTTE. No other foreign Government has given so many chances to a terrorist group operating clandestinely internationally. With LTTE eliminated & after 2 years of peace we can but question the motive behind this campaign to vilify Sri Lanka?
Anyone has a right to produce documentaries & it is the moral right of the production house to first realize & understand the message they aim to convey in airing the programs that are being sponsored. It takes more than a program to understand the reasons for LTTE to prevail, the real aspirations of majority Tamils & how it connects with the politics in Sri Lanka. How far LTTE really connects with Tamil polity can be answered in the manner the LTTE had killed every moderate Tamil leader starting with Alfred Duraiappah. That Tamils themselves are divided more than united as a result of caste is clearly evident in the main rump of the LTTE being low caste including the leader itself & much of their terror was targeted towards high caste Tamils though for propaganda purposes & to gage credibility for the LTTE to prevail it was easy to promote Sinhala racism & discrimination. Thus far neither the LTTE nor any of the Tamil political parties have been able to point down what the grievances are which only Tamils are subject to. Most grievances they have been pointing out are grievances that Sinhalese & Muslims also share & deal with administrative shortcomings. An administrative shortcoming does not solicit a right to ask for a separate state.
Moreover, while keeping to the subject of separatism the Illangai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) formed in 1949 was solely based on the ideology to separate & to camouflage this pursuit, the leaders named the party Federal Party in English. The formation of ITAK in 1949 advocating separatism clearly nullifies all claims made thereafter that Sinhala discrimination & racism prompted the struggle for a separate homeland & the need for Tamils to take up arms. LTTE came into the picture much later. What Prabakaran & the LTTE did was to artfully use this ideology as the theme for their terror campaign that was against ALL whether they were Sinhalese, Muslims or even Tamils. Why else would LTTE kill Tamils if their anger was towards Sinhalese only? These are facts that all foreign elements arguing against Sri Lanka need to take into consideration before they point fingers.
Faulting the Government & ridiculing them cannot give credibility to the LTTE. In the eyes of all those who know what the LTTE is capable of & how it has functioned over 3 decades it simply projects bias & compels many to accept that these documentaries are merely paid campaigns sponsored by pro-LTTE & meant to hide the truth about the LTTE. How much would the Channel charge to air a documentary against the LTTE?
Would it not have been better to air a program about how free people are to travel throughout Sri Lanka. This is clearly evident from the number of buses that ply to the North & East, the Sinhalese & Muslims that travel North & to the large numbers of Tamils who prefer to reside amongst the Sinhalese‚ as well as‚ the steady increase in the number of tourists to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankans need not have to remind the world of LTTE atrocities (though the Ministry of Defense has just published a very detailed version of the truth) why else would over 30 countries ban it & continue the ban well after the LTTE leadership has perished. A Tamil Diaspora that was able to collect USD300m annually obviously is perturbed about how to continue that kitty especially when much of the funds collected have been through coercion of Tamils living abroad & Tamil businessmen. Part funds have come from foreign governments, NGO lobbies & Christian based organizations that use terror to advance their own agendas. We should not be surprised that British parliamentarians are joining in calls for a probe into the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka because many of these parliamentarians have been videoed atop LTTE stages in UK that were ranting separatism. It is upto the UK Government to question their parliamentarians for appearing on LTTE stages in a country that is supposed to have banned the LTTE though the LTTE publicly declared its headquarters in London & we are well aware how parliamentarians find it easy to enter parliament through the minority vote & that has become a trend in Europe, UK, Canada & US.
As a sovereign nation we are not bound to be giving explanations to countries that have yet to answer why they are illegally present in countries with scores of their own military personnel inflicting harm to the citizens of these countries & even illegally securing economic interests in these countries for their own citizens & companies. The very countries that accuse Sri Lanka have much to answer for with secret camps that treats captured rebels with all the inhumanity & more & units that are trained to inflict such inhuman treatment. Is it a wonder that these soldiers are mentally ill & scores of videos are available on the net that show these gruesome treatment though Muslim terrorism is supposed to be different from other terrorism & US & UK today openly have agreed to even arm & financially assist rebels in Libya.
When Osama bi Laden was captured on foreign soil in a capture that did not involve the government of that country & was killed & put to sea, where were the questions on the legality of this & juxtapose this with the killing of Prabakaran himself a ruthless terrorist leader banned in over 30 countries but whose body was publicly displayed & identified & his family members were even asked to come though none of them did before his ashes were put to sea. So presently what we see is international policies that are misconstrued & purposely attempting to embarrass & mitigate smaller nations into submission by bullying factors such as the C4 that are afforded credibility by their Governments.
Sri Lanka told the world that terrorism must be dealt with the same brute force with which these terrorists themselves function. The decision to militarily defeat a terrorist organization is nothing the Government of Sri Lanka need to apologize to anyone. That is why Sri Lanka becomes the only nation to end terrorism militarily & put an end to all the collateral damage that has taken place as a result of allowing LTTE to prevail all these years. Peace talks & negotiations advocated through foreign powers were meant only to delay their annihilation. Two years on a nation remains relieved that people can live without the fear of bombs or suicide missions. Who says terrorists must be given Geneva Rights? Why would they say so for on what grounds do they plant bombs or send suicide missions targeting & killing innocent people who have done no harm to them? Why would international conventions wish to protect brute forces that gain publicity purely on the grounds that they enjoy instilling fear?
Continuing to delay militarily dealing with terrorists has left countries worse off though the risk factor has been calculated in view that these countries prefer to allow terrorists to exist as their country GDP is balanced by means of the sale of arms & ammunition clandestinely to these terrorists while they pretend to denounce terrorism through their political leaderships. Double standards such as what takes place presently does not do any good & Norway self-proud of itself as peace negotiator & facilitator has discovered a few weeks back in back to back incidents that has rocked & shocked the entire country. None of these incidents are likely to perturb these nations who are well aware of the dangers of rubbing shoulders with terrorists but decide to take the risk in view of the political, geographical & economic benefits that accrue indirectly though citizens of these nations are totally clueless about them. The common Norwegians, Britishers or Americans know anything of the clandestine activities that their Governments are involved in.
Lets sift the facts from fiction. The accusation against Sri Lanka’s military is that it has killed an x number of people for there is inconsistencies in the number & contradictions by various organizations. At the bottom scale it is 7000 a figure given by Gordon Weiss the UN Spokesman in Sri Lanka but overruled by UN Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs” Sir John Holmes for UN did not have ground presence. At the top end the killings are supposed to cross 40,000. Anyone can give casualty figures & accuse the military but it is proof that matters & during a military operation against a terrorist movement it behoves the accusers to explain why Sri Lanka’s military had saved over 11,000 LTTE cadres (without killing them which Sri Lanka’s military had all the right to do as they were terrorists) & instead put them through rehabilitation to reintroduce them into society without keeping them in Guatanomo styled prison camps? Accusers must also answer why a batch of these LTTE cadres were even given away in marriage through a wedding ceremony organized by the military with many sponsoring their outfits & the wedding ceremony itself? Accusers may also like to answer why Sri Lanka’s military would spare the spouses of Tamil leaders who are today scared of how the Tamil people are likely to treat them more than fearing the Sinhalese. Accusers may also like to answer why the military would even care to remove the ailing parents of Prabakaran to safety whose lives were at risk inside the refugee camps by Tamils angered at how much they had suffered as a result of the LTTE.
If orders had been given to kill, would there have been 6000 soldier casualties? A former TNA parliamentarian has commented that these Tamil people were treated like stray dogs, shot & killed mercilessly by the LTTE. If orders had been to kill why would the Government carry out a humanitarian rescue operation & save 294,000 Tamil people? That soldiers perished during the rescue operation is evident by the fact that the LTTE had moved their heavy artillery into the -no fire zoneš‚ & positioned them within hospital compounds. There is sufficient satellite evidence to prove this. Tamil people had to either corroborate with the LTTE or face death as some did. Did Channel 4 care to logically think of these areas before coming to a conclusion that clearly spells of bias?
Sri Lanka also remains the only country to have supplied food & provisions to the North despite its 30 year terror campaign. Even during the height of the conflict food provisions were distributed & these were all confiscated by the LTTE & what was given free by the State was sold to the Tamils by the LTTE. Interviewing a man held as a human shield in December 2010 by the LTTE he had bought a kilo of rice for Rs.2500 from the LTTE to feed his family.
Obtaining eyewitness accounts is no arduous tasks. The question is why would they remain anonymous Just as many have been paid to remain mum over LTTE atrocities, it is easy to take eyewitness accounts for a payment, but if they are being protected by this private television channel & even the country that this television channel is located in, why would there be any reason to remain anonymous? Obviously with pro-LTTE videos already supplied all that was needed was the presentation by a C4 journalist & aired over C4. First it was supposed to be images taken from a mobile phone then it turned out to be from a video camera. There are inconsistencies in the dates with C4 first citing that the summary killings took place in January 2009 & later changing it to May 2009. Ironically the inscribed date on the video is UTC 2009-07-15 13:17:23 by July, peace prevailed throughout Sri Lanka. Enough experts have gone through these to determine the veracity of this so called disturbing documentary. The only thing that is disturbing about it is the MORALITY of airing such.
Lest Channel 4 should get carried away with their own documentary, we must caution readers about the ethical journalism currently facing UK & Channel 4 becomes no exception in the light of its own journalists who bear a grudge against the Sri Lankan Government for being deported. The ironical part of the documentary is the manner Channel 4 has taken video clippings available on LTTE websites as sufficient grounds for that of quoted buzz word crimes against humanity. Taking clippings from pro-LTTE website does not constitute evidence for war crimes especially when the narrator is herself an LTTE cadre. These are factors that C4 executives should have taken into account before allowing their name to be used to give credibility for a terrorist group to continue to prevail when it has been eliminated through some utopian unit called a transnational government trying all the tricks in the world to politically stay alive & instill fear amongst the Tamil people.
Channel 4 needs to first understand that of the two protagonists in the documentary it aired one was an internationally banned terrorist organization (LTTE) & therefore a Government has every right to protect its citizens from a terrorist organization & therefore in attempting to embarrass the Government through its documentary, Channel 4 is guilty of also embarrassing its populace & we demand an apology from Channel 4.
C4, foreign governments, the Tamil Diaspora by their actions are only securing sweeping popularity for the ruling Government & that is the irony behind all the accusations that are currently been through at Sri Lanka. The Rajapakse Government does not need to do any campaigning to stay in power so long as foreign elements continue to tarnish the country for the majority votes will ensure the Government does not collapse. This is the demarche that prevails.
Shenali D Waduge