Doublespeak and doublethink with regard to alleged attacks on
hospitals - Darusman, Weiss and Tamilnet at play
Continued from yesterday
On the same day however we have the first straightforward assertion
that the army 'shelled Puthukkudiyirippu (PTK) hospital Sunday night
killing nine civilians. There is no further mention of harm to that
hospital although on Thursday the 5th of February it was reported that
'The only remaining hospital in Udaiyaarkaddu within the so-called safe
zone has again come under heavy shelling by the Sri Lankan army on
Thursday. At least 7 civilians were killed and 27 wounded in the close
vicinity of the makeshift hospital functioning at a school'.
Once again, there is no claim of casualties in the hospital, which
makes it crystal clear that the allegations of deliberate attacks on
hospitals are absurd. It is only on the 8th that, as mentioned, we are
told the Air Force bombed the Ponnampalam hospital which - leaving aside
its shady origins - was not supposed to be functioning at the time.
Though Weiss talks of the 'sheer scale of the shelling of PTK hospital',
there is no evidence of this in Tamilnet claims at the time, and we know
that at the end of January 'hundreds of seriously wounded' were
evacuated to government territory. Weiss also notes that, on January
5th, 'the ICRC evacuated.
All the drugs and equipment that remained were loaded into jeeps and
trucks, along with 300 of the most seriously wounded patients'. No
information was conveyed that the hospital meant for LTTE cadres was
still functioning, perhaps for the simple reason that that had been kept
a secret throughout, given the abuse of funding that had occurred.
One realizes then that the multiple confusion in all the narratives
conceals basic facts, viz -
a) There was a civilian hospital in PTK which was recognized as such
by the government.
b) The LTTE had its own not openly acknowledged hospital for its
c) Both hospitals were used for both civilians and cadres. d) The
LTTE kept heavy weapons near the PTK hospital (and probably near the
other as well).
e) There were no allegations at the time of attacks on the PTK
hospital, except for the claim that 9 civilians including patients were
killed in the ward on February 2nd
f) Rather, there were several allegations of attacks at a hospital at
Udaiyaarkaddu, asserting in turn that
i Shells exploded inside the hospital premises on January 24th
ii 10 patients were killed in the hospital on January 26th iii A
nurse was killed in the hospital on 2nd February
iv At least 7 civilians were killed in the close vicinity of the
hospital on February 5th
In short, the showpiece of Weiss as well as Darusman seems to be a
construct, full of blood and thunder and emotion, signifying nothing.