On Air, BBC answers to a London Call for Aunty Beeb. Her Randy Niece is Channel 4.Both live off portions of state licensing revenues while Aunty is the recipient of government grants; Aunty and Niece have to street walk to collect funds to survive – sources being predominantly fat cat corporations. Diaspora are lavish on pleasing the media. The young lass is an easier and cheaper prey to solicit than the aged relative. They live on the pride of a self proclaimed holy trinity of -objectivity, impartiality and balance- in a reality show, cause for mirth! It’s like a call to a nun in a convent and hear a bar girl at a pub, speak.
Editor of Daily Mirror Piers Morgan published photographs of Iraqi prisoners being abused by British soldiers. The military labelled them as fakes and editor was sacked instantly by the proprietor on a demand by their American shareholders. In stepped, BBC in News Night (BBC2 May 14,2004), where Melanie Phillips called editor’s conduct “treachery against the interest of the country and a lie which puts our troops in such an appalling light is unforgivable”. BBC 2 (14.May 2004) reported “It’s time the ego of one editor is measured against the life of a soldier”.
In House of Lords the question was asked “what action including criminal charges, does the government anticipate will be taken against the editor?” The scene is reminiscent of Sri Lanka. BBC/Channel 4 finds us guilty on material provided by hostile parties without placing the charge before the accused. Not so, in a case where their men are in uniform -they are summarily exonerated. Brits stand up for the cross of St.George in the ‘cotton fields’ of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya where civilians are slaughtered like lambs by flying objects.
Later it was established that the photographs were indeed fabricated. With those reminiscences, why did the UK Minister Alistair Burt (“shocked by horrific scenes”-soothing balm on Diaspora voters) mindful of the issues raised by experts on the authenticity of the video clips in Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, rush to judgment? Sri Lankan press barons do not treat their editorial material as disposable syringes or our tongue loose Ministers do not insult friendly commonwealth countries – certainly not until a fact is proved. If a newspaper office here, did the same, editors guilds around the globe would have raised cain.
Red Cross reported from Iraq (Guardian May14,2004)”Following the arrest, men were made to kneel, face and hand against the ground, as if in a prayer position. The soldiers stamped on the back of the necks of those raising head”. Later (Media Lens, 19 May 2004) they were moved to the office of the secret police of Saddam Hussein and were severely beaten resulting in deaths. Is Channel 4 short of footage to produce a documentary on exploits where US and UK soldiers kill civilians as a daily routine in their playing fields of war? Probably to them it is ‘just cricket’ played according to the rules of the MCC. Is that the ‘neutral’ and ‘dispassionate’ reporting, which they boast of?
Esteemed British medical journal Lancet on research by Colombia University, New York (2003) reported 100000 more Iraqi civilians died due to the invasion:84 percent of deaths were the acts of the Coalition Forces, 95 per cent of which were due to air artillery attacks. Mostly, they were women and children.
Channel 4 in a patriotic module questioned Lancet‘s 100000 civilian deaths in Channel 4 News (October 29,2004) “without bodies can we trust the body count?… Given the worsening security situation it’ll be a long time before we have an accurate picture for civilian losses, if ever….Definition of a civilian is not clear” is diametrically opposite the stand on Sri Lanka’s alleged 40000 civilian deaths projected by them. Forked tongues do wag.
On the Iraq body check by Lancet, Channel 4 science reporter Tom Clarke defended the British Government by declaring “But the study’s main weakness, and the one highlighted by Downing Street in dismissing today’s figures, is that it multiplies a small sample across the whole of Iraq.A country at war, where people are aggrieved and displaced from their homes, makes household based surveys far less accurate” Fancy that, on 40000 civilian deaths in Sri Lanka, Channel 4 proclaims it without any basis, a pure hallucination number provided by the Diaspora and their foreign press legion , reflected in the Darusman Report. Where is the standard set for Iraq…”without bodies can we trust the body count”?. Interpretation is your pleasure and prerogative.
New Statesman (November 15,2004) reviewed Channel 4 body count to comment: “The BBC framed the report in terms of the government’s ‘doubts‘ and Channel 4 delivered a hatchet job, based on Downing Street briefing”. Indeed, their master’s voice on her majesty’s service.
NATO Forces in Serbia bombed 33 hospitals,344 schools,144 major industrial plants in addition to churches,mosques, hotels, museums, libraries, theatres,farms including a passing passenger train and the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 78 days of continuous bombing.(www.lancet.com). Civilian deaths are irrelevant and military targets are immaterial, where NATO Forces operate. The death of the first US soldier in Afghanistan, Nathan Campbell received more media space than the aggregate deaths of all civilians. Concerns of the West can be measured by the reading shown on a foot-ruler beside the news print. If a single American dies it is front page news; if scores of Afghan civilians die due to cluster bombs-it is not worth a mention.
Government sources quote, Channel 4 has published 30 reports on Sri Lanka’s war against terrorism in addition to 4 video clips predominantly highlighting atrocities allegedly committed by the Security Forces.In its 27 year existence Channel 4 has failed to give similar prominence to any of the long list of war crimes committed by the LTTE though deemed a terrorist organization by 33 countries. Asking why is as benign as begging Transparency International to do an audit?
Did they ever report that all 595 child combatants were handed back to their parents after rehabilitation and of the 11598 LTTE senior combatants that surrendered 6130 are back home after being reconditioned to enter the mainstream of the society? More facts in favour are downstream. Naturally, hostility prevails after three of Channel 4 journalists were deported, found fixing a falsely concocted documentary film on the situation in Sri Lanka in April 2009.
In Fallujah in Iraq in 2004, US troops attacked its main hospital,shot the medical staff and patients, hit travelling ambulances, prevented the safe passage of emergency blood and medical supplies.Doctors narrated the killing of women and children carrying white flags. BBC reported none of it (John Pilger in his foreword to “Guardians of Power”) that made critics call BBC….B)ush and B(lair) Corporation. Security Forces engaged in the world’s largest hostage rescue operation on the banks of the Nandikadal lagoon were accused of attacking unmarked temporary LTTE medical centers and Aunty Beeb rushed to call for an international inquiry. NATO’s 33 bombed hospitals in Serbia seemed to have faded into BBC’s disturbed Alzheimer mindset.
The list is too long on BBC/Channel 4 misdemeanor, one writing is insufficient.
Are we on the brink of making a blunder too long by giving space to the LLRC -the all purpose vehicle- to report in mid November after the Human Rights Council gathers in mid September with the guillotine in hand to commit us to inquiry? Though respected, it’s another over 60 elders club, inclined towards slumber time. A speedy interim report recommending a detailed domestic mechanism must be placed before the Government and implemented forthwith. LLRC has to cure the Government’s lack of intellectual gravy; more interested in collecting flysmile bonus points doing their homework. Sri Lankans both at home and abroad do more to improve the image for the love of the country than our embassy staff.
At war, fight was against the LTTE; on war crimes we are pitted against the might that supported the LTTE silently from the sidelines.