Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 19 June 2011





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Government Gazette

Channel 4 does it again!

The notorious British television Channel 4, has released the latest edition of its concocted series. This is yet another attempt by the infamous British television channel to discredit Sri Lanka in the eyes of the world with doctored television footage.

The production of Channel 4's tendentious film "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' has been evidently made at the behest of certain parties with vested interests. It is abundantly clear that the fabricated video caters only to the interests of separatist and terror forces living outside Sri Lanka.

The latest Channel 4 video proves beyond a shadow of doubt that it is a desperate exercise by a minuscule section of the international media. The ultimate objective of these sinister elements is to push Sri Lanka back to war, by way of lacerating the wounds that the country is attempting to heal through a well-planned reconciliation process.

Channel 4 had aired the doctored film without any guarantee of its authenticity. The film has the potential to incite hatred among different communities in Sri Lanka, including future generations, and would thereby, adversely affect the ongoing national reconciliation process.

The malicious allegations woven in the film on the conduct of the Sri Lankan Army run counter to the high standards maintained by the Sri Lankan Army, which had been given strict orders to protect human rights at all times. There had been numerous instances where the soldiers had to sacrifice even their lives as they had to give priority to human rights even at the height of the conflict.

Those who pontificate to Sri Lanka on human rights should bear in mind that Sri Lanka had fought the deadliest battle against the world's most ruthless terrorist outfit. When over half a million people were held as a human shield by the LTTE and the terrorists exploded bombs indiscriminately targeting civilians, regrettably there wasn't even a single human rights organisation that came to the rescue of those hapless civilians.

Hence, Sri Lanka's gallant Security Forces risked their life and limb and embarked on the world's largest human rescue mission and liberated around 600,000 civilians from the jaws of LTTE terror in the North and the East.

Thousands of soldiers made the supreme sacrifice to liberate those civilians and helped provide a secure future for them.

These "godfathers" of human rights should take due cognizance that Sri Lanka has already implemented its own mechanism for the reconciliation process, just as much as the country found its own successful formula to eradicate terrorism. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has made considerable progress with its own findings. This has been the order of the day in any part of the world after a conflict situation.

Acutely aware of comparative experiences elsewhere and local sensitivities, the LLRC, which reflects the pluralistic nature of Sri Lankan polity in its composition, has held over 200 public sittings covering former conflict areas as well. Had there been any genuine human rights violations during the final phase of the battle against terrorism, as alleged by certain quarters in the West, the LLRC would definitely take due note of them and effect remedial measures.

The West should also take serious note of the prevailing peaceful atmosphere in the island after terrorism was eradicated. The people in the North as well as those in the South equally enjoy the dividends of peace.

People in far-flung areas across the country now enjoy that innermost peace and, moreover, rejoice that no civilian has been affected in any manner due to any act of terrorism after the LTTE leadership perished in May 2009.

It's needless to state that Sri Lanka needs friends in the reconciliation process and not mere arbitrators or judges to take the country to task.

Such insidious attempts by the West, or any other organisation for that matter, would shatter the aspirations of the majority of those living in Sri Lanka. Those who show an uncanny concern for the so-called human rights violations or the well-being of the Tamil community, should make a perceptible contribution to the Government's development efforts in the North and the East.

It is an open secret that Channel 4 has more often than not relied on footage already publicised by pro-LTTE websites and media organisations and also those claimed to have been supplied by the pro-LTTE lobby.

Therefore, the viewers should think twice before drawing any conclusions on the basis of this film. Channel 4's gross amplification of sensitive matters, on face value, insinuates only a sinister motive driven by a well-orchestrated political agenda against Sri Lanka.

Those who look at Sri Lanka with tinted glasses must first and foremost tour the North and the East to get first-hand information on what the Government had done to improve the quality of life of those who had been rescued from LTTE terror. The selfsame people who had been subjected to untold misery have now opened a new chapter in their lives.

Sri Lanka has a proud history of over 2,500 years of glory. It is one of the few nations which had protected human rights from time immemorial.

Countries which have a civilisation of only a few centuries need not preach to Sri Lanka on human rights.

Sri Lanka stands out as a nation which maintains high traditions and protects values when it comes to human rights. Its gracious hospitality has been known the world over for many centuries. People in any part of the island kindly treat even a stranger who calls for assistance.

They care not only for humans, but also for animals. The rich culture associated with Buddhism does not approve animal slaughter. These time-honoured values are woefully lacking in the West. Has anyone ever witnessed a cow being released from slaughter in the West? This is seen in umpteen numbers daily in Sri Lanka.

The pertinent question is whether people in the West have a social and moral right to talk on human rights as it was their forefathers who invaded countries such as Sri Lanka and killed thousands of innocent people. Who is accountable for the innumerable number of killings and human rights' violations during the British rule from 1815 to 1948?

It is astonishing to note that those countries which should be held responsible for the countless number of human rights' violations in countries such as Sri Lanka are now weeping buckets of crocodile tears.

This is perhaps the biggest joke in the history of human rights.


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