Lanka defence ministry rubbishes UK channel's program on Tamil rights abuses

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 15, 2012 12:50 hrs

The Ministry of Defence in Sri Lanka has rubbished British television network Channel 4's allegations that the armed forces and the government allegedly committed human rights atrocities against the Tamil population of the island-nation at the height of the civil war against the extremist LTTE.

In a statement, the ministry described the channel's commentary on the situation in post-civil war Sri Lanka as "another disgusting piece of journalism aimed at tarnishing Sri Lanka's reputation. We deny outright the wild allegations contained therein."

It further said that the television programme was "yet another example of western media arrogance in dealing with or claiming to report on the emergent and developing world."

It warned: "Sri Lanka may be in focus at the moment, but it will be another developing world country in the not too distant future."

"The programme represents nothing more than the self-indulgent and deeply-flawed focus of self-selecting, middle-class white elite. This white, western elite is represented by British journalists, British politicians, British international bureaucrats, Canadian and American Human Rights activists - all of whom were commenting on the internal affairs of a sovereign state," it said.

It added that this "western self-indulgence - interventionism as it were by media - clearly endangers peace and reconciliation within post-war Sri Lanka."

It inevitably fans the flames of the very extremism that was defeated at the end of the civil war. This sort of external media campaigning will encourage intransigence within those political forces historically identified with LTTE extremism - intransigence which will postpone a final political settlement within Sri Lanka.

The consistent telecasts have had no objectives other than to name and shame Sri Lanka with unsubstantiated materials quite contrary to the ethics of journalism and international norms. The commercialization behind the telecast is possibly the only motivating factor that drives Channel 4 towards this scurrilous campaign against Sri Lanka. (ANI)

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