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Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - 06.04 GMT

UK ignorant of Lanka's stature Nirj Deva


Sri Lanka's case had not been understood by the British because they were either ignorant of or ignored the country's history and its political position as one of Asia's oldest democracies and its dominant place in the geography of the Indian Ocean through which major sea lanes carried goods in both directions to the Pacific nations and the Atlantic Ocean, states Nirj Deva of Sri Lankan origin, former Conservative Party MP and incumbent member of the European Parliament.

Member European Parliament Deva was addressing members of the Sri Lankan community and foreigners gathered at the Carlton Club in London last week where a Colombo-produced documentary that depicted a facet of the final stages of the war against the LTTE totally at variance to what was portrayed by the Callum Macrae-Channel-4 combination, was screened.

The Channel 4-Macrae-Frances Harrison image of the last days of the war is a contrived, unsubstantiated version of the end of the war propagandised by Sri Lanka's critics, according to Conservative Friends of Sri Lanka who organised the talk and video presentation and who are a dedicated group of the Sri Lankan community in the UK determined to educate the British public about the Channel 4 hoax.

The documentary 'The Last Phase' directed by Jeevan Chandimal and narrated by Richard Mundy tells the story of some Tamils, mainly women and children, who, while trying to escape the LTTE human shield, suffered severe injuries and were flown to Colombo hospitals for surgical treatment and months of resuscitation.

It tells the story of a LTTE woman cadre who, as a child, was trained to fight for the Tamil cause, but later decided to quit. However, she was injured along with her infant son.

It also portrays other Tamil women and of the suffering of these women who suffered critical injuries, and civilians who tried to break away from the clutches of the LTTE.

They were eager to be free to lead a normal life they were accustomed to but had to pay a heavy price physically and psychologically. This provided the audience with a different perspective of the humanitarian operation that has been hidden from public view in the UK.

Giving a few lessons in history, Nirj Deva pointed out how India involved itself in Sri Lanka's politics and trained and armed militant groups that eventually launched terrorist attacks on the country.

He emphasised Sri Lanka's geo strategic position and hence the need to delicately balance the country's foreign policy.

Dr Lionel Samarasinghe, President of the Conservative Friends of Sri Lanka, Rajan Yorke and Amal Abeywardena, the livewires behind the organisation, which receives no financial or logistical support from anyone and is completely self-financing, encouraged the gathering to inform their friends to attend the next screening in the UK Parliament.







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Last modified: January 21, 2014.

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