Since the release of the ‘Cluster Bomb’ story by the Associated Press, the days following this event saw themushrooming of a series of articles, many appearing online, exploring/debating this phenomenon. Onearticle in particular, appearing on the Groundviews website, titled:
Cluster bombs in Sri Lanka: From denial todiscovery
, attempted to corroborate the Ravi Nessman/Associated Press story using pictorial evidence fromthe online website, TamilNet.
There have been a number of reports in web media in particular on the use of cluster bombs. Coincidentally,in a report published on 21 March 2012 on Tamilnet.com, which is blocked in Sri Lanka, it is reported that
“a container allegedly deployed by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) to carry cluster bomblets has been recovered recently by the de- miners of the humanitarian de-mining agency Halo Trust near a house at Thiruvaiuyaa’ru, 3 km east of Ki’linochchi town”
. APDF copy of the story, which also contains an image of the cluster bomb container, can be seen here.
In January 2009, the same website carried images of cluster bombs allegedly dropped by the Sri Lankan Airforce in Mullaitivu. A PDF copy of the story, along with images, can be seen here.
SANJANA HATTOTUWA, Groundviews
This analysis piece will demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that none of the images shown on the TamilNet website, or any of the ancillary pieces of evidence used by the website as alleged proof showing the use of Cluster Bombs by the SLAF, are in fact Cluster Bombs or effects caused by Cluster munitions.Furthermore, the use of such imagery by the Groundviews team as evidence to implicate the Sri Lankan Armed Forces for using Cluster Bombs represents a serious transgression on the part of an organisationthat claims to represent media impartiality in Sri Lanka. The issue pertains to the misleading use of pictorial evidence to misrepresent the truth about the use of Cluster Bombs by the Sri Lankan ArmedForces.
Timeline of TamilNet Cluster Bomb claims
On the 30
of November 2008, 3 days before 92 countries signed a treaty banning the use of ClusterMunitions in Oslo; the Pro-LTTE online news site, TamilNet.com, released the following article: