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Thursday, August 27, 2009 - 5.23 GMT

Channel 4: Absolutely false, deliberately sinister – Sri Lanka

 

There is a absolutely no truth to the allegations made in video footage shown on UK’s Channel 4 News on Aug 25 claiming alleged atrocities against the Sri Lankan Tamil community during the recently concluded military offensive against the LTTE; it is a deliberate and sinister attempt to prevent the reconciliation process that is taking place now to heal the wounds of the past and rebuild the country, states the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, in a response to Channel 4 sent yesterday (Aug 26).

“The video footage said to have been filmed ‘in January’ and received by you ‘only yesterday’ is another attempt by LTTE front organizations and other anti Government elements whose prime objective is to discredit the country,” states High Commissioner Justice Nihal Jayasinghe in this response.

“One cannot believe that it took eight months for the so-called ‘journalists for democracy’ to “smuggle out” the video which is said to have been filmed in January. Sri Lanka is a country with modern communication facilities that link it to the rest of the world. If the video was actually done in January it would have not taken this long to reach London. This is an unbelievable fabrication,” the statement adds.

Justice Jayasinghe was  interviewed by BBC World News on TV last night, which also showed part of the video shown by Channel 4. He strongly refuted any claims to truth of this video footage, and said it lacked credibility because there was no record of the date or place when and where it was made. When the presenter said those who were seen carrying out the alleged attacks were dressed in Sri Lankan military uniforms, the High Commissioner said the LTTE was well known to carry out some of its terrorist acts wearing uniforms of Sri Lankan forces. He also recalled that following an attack on a LTTE training camp for women cadres at Sencholai in the East the LTTE had later dressed the bodies of the deceased in school uniforms.

He firmly countered the BBC presenter’s charge that Sri Lanka was not holding an international investigation on alleged war crimes in the final stages of the battle with the LTTE, stating for such an inquiry to be held there should be substantial and well documented charges, and not merely the demand of any persons and unverified video footage.

BBC also failed to get an employee of its Tamil service to substantiate or accept the claims of alleged atrocities made in the Channel 4 video, who also said it was not possible to accept the credibility of it in the absence of the date and time of making the video and its location, among other doubtful details.

Here is text of the response to Channel 4 from the Sri Lanka High Commission London:

26th August 2009
Mr. Ben de Pear
Foreign Editor
Channel 4 News
200 Gray’s Inn Road
London
WC1X8XZ

Dear Mr. de Pear

Channel 4 news cast on Sri Lanka-25th August, 2009 at 7.00pm

Reference to channel 4 news reportage on Sri Lanka yesterday (25/8) at 7.00pm where you telecast a video footage allegedly of the Sri Lankan Military Forces ‘executing Tamils.

I categorically denied that the Sri Lankan government forces engaged in atrocities again Sri Lankan Tamil community during the recently concluded military offensive against the LTTE. The policy of the government of Sri Lanka when carried out military offensive was ‘Zero casualties’ of the innocent civilian population. The entire military forces were highly trained and disciplined in contrast to the LTTE terrorists who were forcibly keeping the civilian population of the North as a human shield and killing and maiming whoever tried to escape their grip.

The video footage said to have been filmed ‘in January’ and received by you ‘only yesterday’ is another attempt to by LTTE front organizations and other anti Government elements whose prime objective is to discredit the government of Sri Lanka in this post conflict developments phase of the country. There is absolutely no truth in the allegations you have made in your reportage and it is a deliberate and sinister attempt to prevent the reconciliation process that is taking place now to heal the wounds of the past and to rebuild the country in order to move to the future.

On the other hand, one can not believe that it took eight months for the so called ‘journalists for democracy’ to “smuggle out” the video which is said to have been filmed in January. Sri Lanka is a country with modern communication facilities that link it to the rest of the world. If the video was actually done in January it would have not taken this long to reach London. This is an unbelievable fabrication.

In the light of the above, once again I wish to emphasis that Sri Lankan Government forces have never engage in such atrocities alleged in your news cast. It was the LTTE who in fact carried out unspeakable horrendous atrocities against innocent children, women and elderly people in Sri Lanka. It is strange that channel 4 news not only this time but never in the past ever dared to report on these heinous crimes of the LTTE.

I sincerely hope that channel 4 news would be unbiased, balanced, objective and more over professional in its reporting on Sri Lanka in the future.

Yours Sincerely
Justice Nihal Jayasinghe
High Commissioner




 


 
   
   
   
   
   

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