Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Imaginarium of Dr. Channel 4

Channel 4 Television yesterday posted a story on its website titled "Sri Lanka Tamil Killings Ordered from the Top", another damning article against, firstly the Military (SLA) and secondly the Political Leadership. We wish to address the first accusation against the Military (SLA) in this article response. This is the first (and hopefully the last) reaction to Channel 4 by DefenceWire.

Before getting into the factual accuracy of these written and video reports, we would like to address the ethnicized language used in the written article beginning with its title "Tamil Killings". The ethnicized language is contained even in the video report which claims a "point blank executions of Tamils by uniformed Sri Lankan soldiers", which video is claimed to have been "authenticated by the UN".

It is disturbing to hear a news service make such unfounded claims based on an act carried out by 2-3 men in green uniform in an obscure video and blame it on the entire Sri Lankan Military. Channel 4 goes beyond all reasonable explanation to claim that the victims were Tamils. How did Channel 4 make this conclusion about the victims' ethnic identity by watching an obscure video clip is a complete mystery to us.

The choice of words in both the written and video reports is astounding and hints at a massacre of one ethnic group by another (Tamils massacred by Sinhalese) as in a genocide--an unmistakable parallel to the LTTE's own propaganda.

Channel 4 forgets that, of the total Tamil population in Sri Lanka, less than 330,000 were trapped in the No-Fire Zone area as hostages of the LTTE. These men, women and children were liberated in batches by the Army--the overwhelming majority of whom are still living.

The impact of this ethnicized rendering of the report has a definite impact on the subsequent reading of the statements made by the secretive "Commander and front line soldier". Their statements are as follows:

Soldier: "Yes, our commander ordered us to kill everyone. We killed everyone."

Commander: "Definitely, the order would have been to kill everybody and finish them off...I don't think we wanted to keep any hardcore elements, so they were done away with. It is clear that such orders were, in fact, received from the top."

Maybe it is us, here at DefenceWire but what is the connection between this statement and the angle of the story, beginning with the title "Tamil Killings"? To us the statements made by these two mysterious men could, if they were really from the Sri Lanka Army, indicate orders to eliminate members of the ruthless Tamil Terrorist group. Read the statements and you will realize that they say nothing about the killing of civilians here.

In the second clip, a man with a British accent voicing over a clip of the alleged 'front line soldier' says he killed civilians. Posed the question "what happened when the LTTE and its families surrendered with white flag" the man with the British accent now interpreting the ‘front line soldier’ says "first we arrest them, tortured them, and killed them". This is where the report loses all credibility.

Front line infantry troops only rescued the persons trapped within the NFZ. They were never given orders or had the time or skills to interrogate them. When the Army has been given orders to kill all terrorists and the terrorists have fought the Army with everything they had, including suicide bombers, would any LTTE leader in his/her right mind, fleeing from the battle to safeguard his/her life and the lives of his loved ones, openly claim to front line troops that they were from the LTTE?

The front line troops, even if a Tamil person claimed they were from the LTTE would not be able to identify them as LTTE. There was only one unit that can identify LTTE leaders and their families. That was Military Intelligence. Even then, not every officer or NCO in the MI would know all the leaders of the LTTE and their families.
Unless hoards of experienced MI officers and men come forward making this claim starting now, there is no way anyone with a reasonable knowledge of the last days of the war could trust the words of this alleged 'front line' soldier. The same applies to the ‘Commander’. Unless he was Chula Dias, Shavendra Silva, Prasanna Silva, Chagie Gallage or any of the Majors General or Brigadiers directly in-charge of troops in the front lines, there cannot be an iota of reliability in these claims.

A soldier is commanded by a junior officer. That officer could be a 2Lt or Lt or sometimes even a Captain or Major. To make the claim that there was an order given from the 'top', one must know what that top is in a battlefield scenario. The Secretary Defence, the Army Commander nor even a Division Commander would order a soldier directly. The so-called ‘Commander’ is relating second or third hand accounts of what could have been the orders. This is too presumptuous. This combined with the fact that only one 'front line soldier' has 'confessed' indicates nothing.

For the sake of the argument, let’s assume that a killing took place on the battle field as described by these two men. Does it indicate systematic, targeted and deliberate killing of LTTE surrendees and Tamil civilian throughout the battle field? That's negative. Thousands of LTTE cadres, both hard and soft core have been documented by the MI as surrendees and those documents are in the possession of humanitarian organizations. Some of these men, women and children have even been rehabilitated and handed over to their families.

We at DefenceWire would like to demand from Channel 4 the identity of the two men. The identity of these men and the video containing their full statements must be handed over to the government for investigations to be carried out on these massacres. This is because Channel 4's report suggests one incident of extra judicial killing; that which was alleged by the soldier. This soldier must be allowed to provide his evidence to the proper local authorities. Any attempt by Channel 4 to withhold that information would tantamount to conspiracy against the Sri Lankan people.

If by any chance members of the Armed Forces did make such statements to a foreign media they should be severely dealt with. The Army, just like any other profession or place of occupation is not always a just place. There are no workers' unions in the armed forces. All officers and men enlisting in them do so with the awareness that they must comply with the rules and regulations of the armed service but have the option of complaining TO YOUR SENIOR OFFICERS UPON COMPLETION OF TASK if the task was against the law (Comply and Complain). Go beyond those boundaries and they are errant on the side of military laws and regulations.

Perhaps the final twist in this Channel 4 story appears at the end of the video documentary. This indicates the hidden interest of Channel 4. The long sob story of decay and ruin of the ‘paradise island’ ends with the mentioning of war crimes charges being leveled against the Secretary Defence, a man who was instrumental in kicking Channel 4 out of Sri Lanka long before this alleged massacre.

16 comments:

Sam Perera said...

Defencewire,

It is not that difficult to prove that these videos amount to nothing but propaganda by LTTE and their western masters. I believe that the government should make a case and ask for all available documents first. Once these monkeys admit all evidence, we can shoot down one by one. However, on the governments part, they need to create something like a commission to officially request for evidence.

No_MESS said...

The Senior Army Commander who appears at:

01:57 - 02:10
04:43 - 04:55
06:30 – 06:40.

I don’t know about you guys, but if I saw my boss, or come to think of it any of my previous bosses in the past 5 years, talking as this Army officer does on the video clip:

With close ups of him, and the peculiar way he rubs his left forearm etc. …

I would recognise him without any problem. And if he was a Senior Army Commander, then there should be hundreds if not thousands of people who’d recognise him.

So who is he? An Army officer or a pot bellied actor paid by the JDS?


BTW, if it’s so hard to track down these headless Channel 4 witnesses, why don’t we stage our own report?

The British Government told the LTTE leader to use Tamil Civilians as Human Shields – We talk to a former member of British Tamil Forum.

Moshe Dyan said...

thanks DW.

very convincing points.

channel-4 is on a mission of vengence. that's all.

their UNSUBSTANTIATED claims are HILARIOUS!!! and their logic is as MUTTA as tamil elam logic. no wonder they LOST!!

andare said...

Gents,
It is very easy to handle channel 4 case. We should attack the very base of news channal using its own weakness or requirements.
All the TV channels are making money from advertisements and immediately, GOSL tourism promotion dept (better if it a outside organization) should talk to Channel 4 to advertise "small miracle" sorts of things in channel 4.

They start to loose the credibility of their bullshit against SL... Tamil coolies go nuts...
Imagine the effect....

bIjJa said...

I am confused, I thought we buried CH4 video on execution and proved that it was manufactured.

Poor choice of putting an actor to speak out what the alleged military informant is saying. It shows desperate journalism.

I agree with some of what they commented about government in Sri Lanka. They say people are paranoid about anything these days.

So true by looking at user comments and removal of some of the comments by blogs of Sri Lankan origin.

Do I believe government asked to execute all surrendering Terrorists? - I do.

Was it justifiable? - yes, within Sri Lankan context.

Did we violate international law on surrendering? - Yes.

Are we the only ones doing it? - No

Why there is no international pressure when Sinhalese are killed as oppose to Tamils?

Tamil diaspora is active and smarter than their Sinhalese counterparts.

What do we need to do to gain international recognition?

REFORMS!!!!

bIjJa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bIjJa said...

This author has been banned from posting on the other competing web site from Sri Lankan origin called SLDF and all his postings have been removed. Number of other bloogers posted in SLDF have complained removal of their posts.

He was banned after questioning the true patriotism of expatriates since they were called ex(pired)patriates.

The press suppressive culture within Sri Lanka have now spread to the bloggesphere as well. I would have been killed by SLDF bunch if I was living in SL and they knew my whereabouts.

It is natural for Sri Lankans to kidnap or kill press who write against mainstream views. Whitevanning has become a part of our culture.

You can't fight bad journalism like Channel 4 with journalistic blood on our hand.

Those who get angry at others wrongdoings by ignoring our own are hypocrites.

Rajaratasurfer said...

Who gives a crap abt. what outsiders think SLDF defeated a terrorist outfit end of story ! Now, we gotta build our nation not cater to Channel 4 or other idiots. The fat lady has sung in Sri Lanka, we won the battle & all I care tamil diaspora or Channel 4 can kiss my candy ass !(Miltbrand too, well he's not in office)

Go SLA , SLAF & SLN.....Police too ! (my prayers to all those who won the battle for us....men & women god bless you )

Miss Information said...

bIjJa said...

This author has been banned from posting on the other competing web site from Sri Lankan origin called SLDF and all his postings have been removed. Number of other bloogers posted in SLDF have complained removal of their posts.


****


Get to the back of the line buddy... there are many of us who have been threatened with various death and white vanning adventures in addition to the usual removal of posts.


Let me guess... tough-guy Sam Pee-area threatens you with abduction and Amanda(hug'n'kiss)USA mentions his handguns... whose load capacities he does not know but still brags about.

I have described that place as a stupid party where all of the A-listers have attended.



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Sri Lanka News said...

Channel 4 gives more new information regarding srilankan Tamils.

Miss Information said...

I see that a couple of hundred posts here have been "white vanned" after what can only be described as a troll-fest led by Amanda-USeH.

Oh well... did Basil make you do it?



}{MI}{



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Defencewire readers please visit Sri Lanka Defense Analytics for discussing SL defence matters.

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