y, Campaign for Democracy in Sri Lanka – Aust
ox 2240 Fountain Gate Vic- 3805 Email: info@democracy
It was obvious that Sri Lankans experienced a war of mass destruction. But for a television audi-ence who don’t have even the slightest understanding about the war protracted for 3 decadeswith its complexity, the opportunity to gain a relative understanding was denied. For example, theprogramme unequivocally questioned the war crimes of the government forces but failed to ques-tion those of the LTTE. The atrocities released by the LTTE towards the Sri Lankan Sinhalese,Tamil and Muslim communities are a reality. Even though that government forces are alwaysresponsible over any other forces involved in the operation of conducting wars, a program thatpurports unbalanced conclusions by reporting only isolated parts of the story does not epitomizeinvestigative journalism. This is not to satisfy petty communalist prejudices or to emphasize thatviolence should be answered by violence. Violence should be opposed and condemn with abhor-rence. But, it is a need to oppose the calculated refusal to present a clear picture of the war in SriLanka. Questioning what transpired in the last days of war in Sri Lanka in abstraction and isola-tion does not present a clear picture of the war in Sri Lanka and is destructive to the national unity.This must come under the close scrutiny of those who advocate and promote democracy.Simply because the majority of the Sri Lankan armed forces consist of Sinhalese, the Sinhalesepeople should not have to shoulder the burden for atrocities committed by the government forces.Similarly, the Tamil people shouldn’t take the responsibility or be blamed for the crimes committedby the LTTE. But, as Sri Lankans we must have the strength and courage to condemn any formof war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by either side. It cannot be denied that allSinhala, Tamil, Muslim and other communities have made their cultural contribution in the makingof modern Sri Lankan society. Therefore, as a civilized society representing all these values, weshould have the courage to safeguard each and every member of it from these atrocities. Withoutheeding national or any other differences, any challenge that come to us on humanity, justice or democracy we as civilized Sri Lankans shouldn’t allow our conscience to be questioned. Thatwould give an added advantage to national and international political adversaries. It is not merely a coincidence that an all powerful and influential media institution like the ABCoverlooks the invasions, atrocities, war crimes and crimes against humanity prevailing even todayin many parts of the globe. It could not be merely a coincidence to overlook these events, under the futile pretext of finding weapons of mass destruction, the death and destruction it brought tohundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens of Iraq, together with Australian armed forces for morethan a decade, the devastative impact of continuing war on ordinary civilians in Afghanistan, thecrimes against humanity committed by the Israel armed forces against ordinary Palestinianpeople during the last decades with the total blessing and approval of the United States of America. If one assumes that the programme’s intention is to give prominence to the incidents of ordinary Sri Lankan people, how on the earth the ABC happened to overlook the massive humantragedy that occurred during 1988 – 1989 when President Ranasinghe Premadasa governmentsuppress the uprising in Sri Lanka deploying equally barbaric measure?