Channel 4 has made a costly Documentary “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” which was diffused on the 14 June,2011, for which I am sure the Tamil Diaspora the followers of the Terrorist Prabhakaran who wants to fulfill his dream of creating a separate Eelam State in Sri Lank, has amply paid. The diaspora Tamils played their part in it and perhaps are satisfied that it was worth the money they paid.
But to the non Sri Lankan British viewers, it may have been too horrifying. The very terrorist sympathetic commentators did the mind washing by focusing only on the Sri Lanka Armed Forces as the villain out to kill as many Tamil Civilians as possible. That may have given the impression to the non-Sri Lankan British viewers that there were no terrorists as such, but the government armed forces were massacring the freedom fighters. That is what the Channel 4 in fact expected.
At one stage when they showed an exodus of Tamil Civilians in Kilinochchi. The commentator says that all civilians indistinguishable from Tamil tigers were deliberately fired at by the government forces and when the civilians fled the government forces followed them. That would have made the uninformed viewers jump from their chairs in horror, if they believed the commentators.
At the beginning the presenter of the Documentary spoke of devastating evidence against the Sri Lanka Armed forces to bring the guilty of the crimes to justice. But the images themselves did not show the « damning evidence » it promised. But far from being evidence it consisted of disconnected images, from different periods of the 30 year old terrorism, and only the presenter spoke of the author of the atrocities as the Armed Forces, without any visual proof of the Armed Forces directly committing the offences. They were undoubtedly those committed by the terrorists being attributed to the armed forces.
No war is clean . Perhaps more so a “war” against terrorism. We saw some of the images but not all of them of the capture of Osama bi Laden by the USA Special Force. The Daily Telegraph reported that Osama bin Laden was captured alive by US forces but shot him dead in front of family members, according to his daughter. The images were not shown , was that to hide the brutality of the way Bin Laden was killed ?
The images of the massacred bodies by Channel 4 only shows that horrible aspect of any war.
Those images shown by the Channel 4 by themselves do not provide any devastating evidence to accuse the Government Forces, other than shock the Viewers of the images to the reality of any « war » . The Channel 4 in trying to cast the responsibility of such horrible « images » to the Government forces, knowing very well the ruthlessness and disrespect to life shown by the Tamil tiger terrorists is a deliberate attempt to accuse the Government Forces, for a “war” it did not seek , but of which they were trying to see the end.
It is immoral and unethical on the part of any journalism, let alone the Channel 4, to accuse Government Forces which was doing its duty to protect its people and the country, without any acceptable evidence, that all the massacres were caused by the Armed Forces . The Channel 4 is well known for its immoral and unethical code of reporting to satisfy their own planned intentions, no matter how the report is presented.
There was no doubt that the target of the film was the President who the presenter spoke of as the repressive President. The British (non Sri Lankan) viewers should know that the so called repressive President of Sri Lanka is not repressive as Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy who are carrying on an illegal war in Libya, in addition to those in Iraq, and Afghanistan out side their own countries putting into risk the lives of their own young soldiers.
Because, the Sri Lanka President who was elected by a vast majority of people in a very British style Democratic System, was only determined to end a ruthless terrorism that had been going on for nearly 28 years without no body being able to stop the terrorists, who were supported by the International Community.
It is his determination to end for good the cancer of terrorism that was pressing his mind when he was elected the President of Sri Lanka, and that determination of the Sri Lanka President was deliberately interpreted by the vindictive presenter of the Channel 4 document, as being repressive.
In that respect the blame for all those horrifying incidents the Channel 4 presented on the 14th June, 2011, should go to the International community more than to the Government Forces. But the last phase of the military operations against the terrorists was made an ideal occasion to point the finger of accusation at the Government Armed Forces and disengage the responsibility of the International Community to that “brutal’ climax,. There were no eye witnesses to accuse the terrorists who were shooting “left and right” caring less who gets killed from the midst of the panicky civilians, and the winning Armed Forces were made to take the whole of the responsibility.
It is easy for any one to make a Documentary film taking images from numerous video footings available in the Internet, showing images of massacres by the terrorists through out their 30 years of terror campaign and mix the images to make the Documentary and show it as images of the last phase of the military offensive against the terrorists after 2008, in which the Armed forces according to the presenter were fighting an uneven war.
The Channel 4 follows the Ban Ki Moon’s Panel report which reduced the period of investigation of violations of human rights by the government forces for the last phase of military operations for the elimination of terrorism , ignoring the 28 or so years unchecked terrorism by the LTTE terrorists, who during whole of that of period had the upper-hand and the loudly voiced « uneven » war of terror was then on the other foot.
The terrorism in Sri Lanka cannot be restricted to the final stages of the military operations to eliminate terrorism, because the terrorism continued for a long period of 30 years. If the International Community had intervened to help the government to bring about a peace settlement at the outset of terrorism, the unfortunate deaths and massacres Channel had arranged to put together would not have taken place during the last phase of the military operations against the terrorists.
Therefore, the Channel 4 Documentary becomes by interpretation a serious accusation for criminal negligence by the Internal Community by leaving a developing Nation without recourse to settle terrorism within its own territory by a“friendly” intervention of the International Community. The Only member of the International Community Norway who through Eric Solheim came to play the role of an intermediary later turned out to be a sympathizer of the terrorists.
Under cover of a Monitoring Mission instead of seeking to settle terrorism Eric Solheim enabled terrorists to acquire arms and ammunition, and communication material. Later he negotiated with the terrorists to enter into a CFA with the Government by which he strengthened the arms of the terrorists assigning territories under terrorist control.
Members of the International Community had direct Communication with the terrorists, with the Government Representatives or Ambassadors visiting them directly in Killinochchi, sometimes even without the consultation with the Government. The peace negotiations the Norwegians arranged in foreign countries became a farce, the representatives of the terrorists making it an occasion to meet with Arms Dealers in Europe and purchase highly sophisticated military equipment , and even purchase planes and Cargo Ships.
That was the stage that the International Community which had very close relationship with the terrorists could have settled terrorism for good through negotiation, but they just did the opposite strengthening the terrorist armed forces, making them partners in what as the Channel 4 said “ an uneven war” with the government which was then very ”poorly” equipped with out dated military armaments.
The Ban Ki Moon Panel, the American State Department, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and all foreign Human Rights Activists who point their fingers at the Sri Lanka Armed Forces today for violation of human rights and threatening to take them before a Criminal court for war crimes are equally responsible for the debacle at the final phase of the military operations against terrorists . They cannot now escape from that responsibility showing images presumed to have been taken during the final phase of the “war”.
It seems to me that this Channel 4 documentary had been sponsored by the International Community to save their skin from being accused for serious neglect of duty of the member States of the UNO to have failed to come to the rescue of another member State under ruthless terrorism.
During that 30 years the terrorists massacred innocent persons, the men women and children in border villages. They massacred people in crowded market places, they blasted bombs inside buses, trains and at different functions where people had assembled. Then they used grenade lobbers, pistol gangs, Snipers, and human suicide bombs to kill, innocent men, women and children, Government Officials, police officers, parliamentarians , Presidents, Ministers, even a Prime Minister of India, and wound a President, and an Army Commander.
In the Channel 4 documentary , the narrator speaking angrily said that the relentless war of the Armed Forces begun in 2008 was an uneven war with the Government Army being heavily armed . Yes it was apparently seen as an uneven war only at the last phase of the military operations, but the Armed Forces found large quantities of Military arms and ammunitions , underwater submarines, home made bombs, large stocks of claymore bombs, explosives, underground homes.
But then at that last phase of the “war” the terrorists had not the numbers necessary to carry out offensive action despite the large quantities of material that were in their possession. The terrorists then resorted to planting their heavy artillery amoung the people using them as a human shield and shot at every thing that moved.
The terrorist were fighting a losing war, and they will have no one to answer, and probably knew the larger the number of civilians are killed it is likely that the blame will go to the army that would remain after them.
Prabhakaran was a very cunning man and knew even at the end how to put the responsibility of massacres to the Armed Forces, and get posthumous sympathy from some quarter. He may then have ordered to shoot at civilians , hospitals, schools and their own weak feeble women cadre,( perhaps not wanting them killed by the Armed Forces, but more to put the blame on the Armed Forces).
It is interesting to understand the cunningness both by Ban Ki Moon’s Panel and following it Channel 4 to select the last phase of the elimination terrorism to present “ devastating evidence” against an uneven war that had been conducted by the heavily armed Sri Lanka armed forces.
The answer is simple, if the past nearly 28 years of the massacres and violation of human rights were to be taken into account the terrorists had breached all norms of human rights and that even the Norwegian Eric Solheim and the Monitoring Mission though heavily sympathetic towards the terrorists would not deny. And the accusation of crimes against humanity would have fallen heavily on the terrorist Prabhakaran and his murderous gang of terrorists, banned in 35 or more countries.
And hence there would not have been any difficulty of finding evidence against the terrorists in every murder of politicians, innocent men, women and children, killing of 600 police officers, a bus full of 35 young Buddhist monks and their Chief Priest, and all the rest of the numerous massacres, seriously wounding a President and a Army Commander.
But if the investigation of violation of human rights and massacres of civilians is restricted to the last phase of the military offensive, the number of the terrorists had dwindled and it would therefore be more convenient and easy to accuse the Armed Forces for the killings as eye witnesses are not there, other than those who think who may have done the shooting.
It was evident in the Chanel Documentary, they had even invented a witness. A woman Vany Kumar who claims she had come to visit her relatives and was displaced amoung the exodus of Civilians running away from Vanni. But she does not present her relatives with whom she had escaped, and she is supposed to have helped the Doctors in a hospital which she says was shelled by the Armed Forces, but she had not “seen” but nevertheless she says so. Is that evidence. She was shown in a pink dress once seemingly amoung the wounded not with a shocked and a sad face , but often shown answering questions posed to her not as some one who had gone through that horrible phase of war.
Half naked dead bodies of women were dumped into a truck by men making rude remarks but no actual rape seemed to have taken place. There were not even reasonable evidence of rape. A man tied to a tree had been tortured, we see him tied to the tree, we see him wounded , then we see him dead, but we do not see the criminal in the act of torture or killing the man. There is no evidence of killing.
There are many instances that suggest probable evidence but there was no acceptable evidence that make a party responsible for the act.
Are these the “devastating evidence” on which the Channel 4 suggest to bring those who are guilty of crimes to justice pointing the finger directly at the Armed Forces ?
I could continue to comment on the Images taken by Gorden Weiss and his incompetent remark, that the UN Officials were asked to quit the area as the Armed Forces did not want to have the International Witness for what they were planning to do. His reasoning was an absurdity, taking himself to be a sort of an angel that had been sent by the God to save the people in Vanni, but turned away by the Satanic forces.
One can imagine now what would have happened if any one of them were killed by a terrorists. The International Community would have put the blame on the government forces and USA would have sent their marines and helicopters to evacuate their personnel and the terrorist leaders in the melee.
Leave the rest for perhaps a later date.