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ABC “4 CORNERS” DOCUMENTARY ON SRI LANKA AND ITS RELEVANCE AND MOTIVES

ABC “4 CORNERS” DOCUMENTARY ON SRI LANKA AND ITS RELEVANCE AND MOTIVES

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Published by Chamille Zue
ABC “4 CORNERS” DOCUMENTARY ON SRI LANKA AND ITS RELEVANCE AND MOTIVES
ABC “4 CORNERS” DOCUMENTARY ON SRI LANKA AND ITS RELEVANCE AND MOTIVES

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Published by: Chamille Zue on Aug 10, 2011
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05/12/2014

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Secretar
 
y, Campaign for Democracy in Sri Lanka – Aust
 
ralia,P.O B
 
ox 2240 Fountain Gate Vic- 3805 Email: info@democracy
 
lanka.c
 
om
 
Recently there was a television programme aired on the ABC covering the end of the Sri Lankancivil war in 2009, which made very strong criticisms of alleged war crimes and crimes againsthumanity committed by the government forces. The programme instigated controversy amongpeople in Australia of Sri Lankan origin. Even Sri Lankan people who are not polarized by anypolitical affiliation were disturbed as a result of this programme whilst the responsible broadcaster ABC seems to be not concerned about that. It seems that the ABC’s said democratic and trans-parent media tradition refrains from being accountable towards the Sri Lankan community. Thebroadcaster displayed a lack of integrity by not emphasizing that their intention wasn’t to createan uneasy environment for Sri Lankans amongst other communities and instigating nationalistsentiments. In a civilized society it is a sacred right of everyone to expose any atrocities, by thegovernment or non-government forces which commit war crimes or human right violations. Suchevents must not be used in any circumstances for opportunist political gains as that will lead tothe most sensitive fundamental problems becoming obscured and unnecessary obstaclesencountered.If one shows a genuine interest in the civil war that was waged for thirty years as a direct result of the national question of Sri Lanka, they could not avoid seeing that the most affected people areforced to live in conditions of the primitive stages of human civilization. The programme has over-looked the tragedy in the war-affected areas of North and East where it conflicts with their sup-posed humanitarian objectives. As a responsible media organization which is funded by taxpay-ers’ money it is unacceptable to give prominence only to provocative side of events rather thanhelp finding the root cause of the human tragedy embedded in the same issue. A civilized society must condemn war as a destructive process whether it is launched in Iraq,Afghanistan or Palestine. The total destruction war causes to human lives and property, and theresulting social and cultural devastation, will lead to society being reduced to the primitive stagesof mankind. The three decades’ civil war in Sri Lanka was barbaric to the deepest meaning; hencethe responsibility of democratic society and its institutions is to expose the barbarism of this war with the aim of encouraging people to condemn it. The main objective should be to relay a con-cise and complete message to the society and reveal its destruction with the aim of strengtheningthe society to eradicate the root causes, without using language which deepens national, ethnicand religious divisions. It is fair for democratic and intelligent people to be cautious of its motivesbecause this programme hasn’t focused on that constructive aspect and also has neglected thenegative impact of instigating ethnic and religious sentiments.
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ABC “4 CORNERS” DOCUMENTARY ONSRI LANKA AND ITS RELEVANCE AND MOTIVES
 
Secretar
 
y, Campaign for Democracy in Sri Lanka – Aust
 
ralia,P.O B
 
ox 2240 Fountain Gate Vic- 3805 Email: info@democracy
 
lanka.c
 
om
 
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?
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Secretar
 
y, Campaign for Democracy in Sri Lanka – Aust
 
ralia,P.O B
 
ox 2240 Fountain Gate Vic- 3805 Email: info@democracy
 
lanka.c
 
om
 
So we must not take this programme either as being aired out of sympathy towards Tamil peopleor as anti-Sinhala, but neither is it an attempt conducive to national reconciliation in Sri Lanka.Therefore the imperative responsibility of the democracy-loving Sri Lankans is not to embracecommunalism or to become victims of petty nationalist sentiments instigated by these kinds of programmes. We have to be courageous to choose a sustainable path to national reconciliation.A firm and founding belief of our organisation is that the path to development of the people of SriLanka is national unity. Also we believe that any attempt to discuss the national question of SriLanka should be directed towards national harmony. Hence we believe that it is our sacred dutyto expose and defeat any interference which attempts to stimulate a divisive mentality in SriLankan people.The democracy in Sri Lanka today is a challenge that we must struggle incessantly to achievethrough national unity. By now the Mahinda Rajapaksha family-led army-police clique is pavingthe way to eliminate completely the fundamental values of democracy. An independent judiciary,independent elections, independent media, a non-politicised armed forces and police, non-politicised government service, all have become a dream under the rule of this gang. Democracyis denied not only to people in the North and East but to the entire nation while workers, students,teachers, and clergy who are fighting for their democratic rights are suppressed, including mediainstitutions being set alight and journalists murdered or "disappeared". Mahinda Rajapaksha, whowon the controversial presidential election in 2010, imprisoned his opponent Sarath Fonsekawhom at the said election was able to gain a considerable number of votes even from the peopleof the North and the East. Rajapakse did that without any justification by using his utterly politi-cized judiciary and army gang. Alongside General Sarath Fonseka, a considerable number of military officers who served in the war lawfully with discipline have been imprisoned while anumber of officers still in the service have been gagged.Humanity, justice and democracy-loving people in Sri Lankan society have been under enormouspressure from the three decades-long barbaric war. This protracted war was a result of a logicaltragedy of the national question created and worsened by the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim politicalleadership who have ruled the country up to now, representing parliament and also the divide andrule policy implemented by the British masters, and pressure from the present world and regionalpowers. Even today the Rajapakse rule is unable to solve the problems worsened by the nationalquestion through principles of equality and democracy. In particular a family-led army-police statein Sri Lanka has been created. Military rule in the North has been established and the communal-ist stick used to brainwash people of the South to reinforce Rajapakse's political power base. Thefamily-led army-police rule does not have any scruple to keep old LTTE leaders in bed with themwho were in the forefront of war crimes. The “patriotic” Defence Secretary Gotabhaya, one of thebrothers of the Rajapaksha gang, have no scruples offering official status to the wealthy newLTTE leadership, whilst arrogantly refusing to give a register of helpless young Tamil detainees tothe parliament.
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