Monday, 21 June 2010


The man Stephen Sackur, talks loud. He asks a question and before the question is answered he cuts in to ask another question. Thus he leaves the effect of his question in the mind of the listener who has no time to hear the answer.

Watching this comedy of hard talk it becomes quite evident that Sackur does not want to elucidate facts, but impose his prejudiced judgment in the minds of the listener. In such circumstances it becomes a one sided talk show meant to fluster and destabilise the questioned projecting his image as a man who has no answer to the wise white mans questions.

Stephen Sucker had come to Sri Lanka and visited the IDP Camps in the North and finally when he came to question the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse he had nothing new to ask him from what he had gathered in his meetings with the people in the north and the small talk shows he had with the people and the students and their teachers.

Hard talk programme is said to be of “ world wide fame due to its global reach “.. But unfortunate it grapples important subjects about which some of the listeners in the west may be prejudiced, and the talk show which high lights these controversial questions leave out what is important for the prejudiced listeners to clear their doubts.

Hard Talker Sacker, does not look at the positive aspects of the subject, but emphasis on negative side of the subject. After all the time Sacker lost in interviewing the people who had been affected by the terrorism, he comes back to the Defence Secretary to ask him the same old questions which had been repeatedly asked and answered. They will ask this self same questions until the cows come home.

Sackers questions do not interest the people of Sri Lanka except those who oppose the President Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse and his Government. Sacker asks the Defence Secretary that in the North there is a large presence of the Military . This question he asked from a IDP Tamil man about to leave the camp to settle down in his former village, he again asked the same question from Tamil man who had been with the terrorists, then he asked the same question from the Students and their teachers.

But Sacker has no intelligence, to understand that it is necessary to have a military presence as the people have still to be protected. It also helps the people and the children who had come out of the horror of terrorists, who had been brain washed to think of the Government Army is their enemy, know the Soldiers are in fact their friends..

With the constant presence of the Government Army now reverting to civilian non-military tasks, would be an effective means to remove from the brain washed minds of former terrorist child soldiers and terrorist sympathising Tamil people the notion that the Government Army Soldiers are their enemies.

And what the Western interviewer forgets is that the Government Armed Forces were not engaged in a conventional war, but an armed struggled against a group of terrorists who sprang from the people, and utilised by the Indian government to make terrorists of them.

Fighting terrorism is different from fighting against an enemy state or an invading army. Therefore, it is foolish to point to Geneva Conventions of 1949 which was long before terrorism raised its head, to point out that the Government Forces may have acted against the Geneva Convention.

Sacker asks the Defence Secretary, whether he does not think that having the Military Soldiers walking the village paths and streets of their towns a scary concept for the Tamil people.

Sacker cannot imagine with his western mentality that the presence of the Military Soldiers is not a scary experience to the Tamil people as the Sri Lanka Soldiers, are not after all foreigners but there own people, who had in fact rescued them from a more scary experience with the terrorists walking in their villages and towns looking out for children to be forcibly taken away to be trained as child soldiers.

Sacker had not been in the same situation that those Tamil people had been for 30 years, and therefore, he cannot and will not understand their mind set however much he tries. It is only one year after the elimination of terrorism in Sri Lanka. We cannot yet be sure there would not be attempt by a stray terrorist still living some where carry out a suicide bomb attack.

The Hindu of 21 June,2010 carried a very relevant report which may perhaps open the eyes of Sacker to the necessity of the continued monitoring of the North and East by the Armed Forces. The report states; “……Three cadre of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were arrested by the ‘Q' Branch police in the city on Sunday. Large quantities of ordinary and electric detonators were seized from them…….”

Will the West and the Hard Talking man understand why a military presence is necessary in the North ?

I may follow this later to cover Sacker’s rest of the questions to the Defence Secretary.

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