Second Channel 4 video:
Another mud smearing effort- govt
The government while denying outright the wild allegations contained
in the second video footage released by Channel 4 yesterday stressed
that it is another attempt aimed at tarnishing the country’s reputation.
Media Centre for National Security Director General Lakshman
Hulugalle said that this programme is another example of the Western
media’s arrogance in dealing with or claiming to report on the emergent
and developing world. Hulugalle in a release said that this programme
represents nothing more than self-indulgent and deeply flawed focus of
self selecting, middle class white elite. “The Western elite is
represented by British journalists, British politicians, bureaucrats,
Canadian and American Human Rights activists – all of whom were
commenting on the internal affairs of a sovereign state.
“Channel 4 has come up with another disgusting piece of journalism
aimed at tarnishing Sri Lanka’s reputation.
“We deny outright the wild allegations contained therein.
The programme is yet another example of the Western media’s arrogance
in dealing with or claiming to report on the emergent and developing
world. Sri Lanka may be in focus at the moment, but it will be another
developing world country in the not too distant future.
The programme represents nothing more than the self-indulgent and
deeply-flawed focus of self-selecting, middle-class white elite.This
white,Western elite is represented by British journalists, British
politicians, British international bureaucrats, Canadian and American
Human Rights activists - all of whom were commenting on the internal
affairs of a sovereign state.
This western self-indulgence - interventionism as it were by media -
clearly endangers peace and reconciliation within post-war Sri Lanka.
It inevitably fans the flames of the very extremism that was defeated
at the end of the civil war. This sort of external media campaigning
will encourage intransigence within those political forces
historically identified with LTTE extremism - intransigence which will
postpone a final political settlement within Sri Lanka.
The programme was made up in large part of essentially rehashed and
repackaged allegations edited and reformatted in time for presentation
at - and with the clear intention of influencing - the United Nations
Human Rights Council meetings in Geneva, and any possible vote regarding
Sri Lanka within those meetings. Channel 4 News’ objective was
self-evidently more political and partisan than objective and
journalistic. It was “advocacy” in the guise of journalism.
The self-publicised presence of Callum Macrae, the director of both
of Channel 4 News’ programmes on Sri Lanka, in Geneva during the
meetings of the Human Rights Council amply demonstrates the real
motivation for the programme and why it was screened when it was.
That Channel 4 News has continued to rely largely upon sensationalist
materials made available to it by anti-government groups and
individuals. Unnamed and disguised “witnesses” are once again used by
Channel 4, together with sworn statements by an unnamed Sri Lankan “Army
For all the focus on Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan government and
military and the country’s civil war, Channel 4 still makes fundamental
mistakes in describing Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as the Minister of Defence as
opposed to his actual position as the Permanent Secretary at the
Ministry of Defence.
There is no mention yet again of the fact that the LTTE were a
terrorist organisation. There is no focus on the fact that the LTTE
forced hundreds of thousands of civilians to accompany them or that they
killed civilians to prevent them leaving.
There is no mention whatsoever of the fact that the LTTE had
artillery and mortar units and that these fired into the No Fire Zones
and at hospitals. Ironically, the only picture of an artillery piece
being fired appears to be one manned by the LTTE.
David Miliband’s comments are somewhat undermined by the fact that
Wikileaks showed that his interest in Sri Lankan was solely the result
of the influence of Tamil voters within the United Kingdom. Miliband’s
stated concerns for Human Rights investigations and justice do not
extend to his own country’s 30 year civil war in Northern Ireland (ended
with an amnesty) or the responsibility the government of which he was
part for thousands of civilian deaths and injuries in Iraq and
The consistent telecasts have had no objectives other than to name
and shame Sri Lanka with unsubstantiated materials quite contrary to the
ethics of journalism and international norms. The commercialization
behind the telecast is possibly the only motivating factor that drives
Channel 4 towards this scurrilous campaign against Sri Lanka.