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Colombo: Channel 4 film ‘fake’, made for LTTE supporters

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 June 2011 14:09 No Comment]

Sri Lanka denounced a hard hitting Channel 4 documentary aired Tuesday on war crimes committed by both sides during the final months of the armed conflict in 2009 as propaganda by Tami Tiger supporters. Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the film was a ‘fake’ and that LTTE supporters had paid Channel 4 to make it. The External Affairs ministry echoed the charge, saying the film came from “a sinister motive driven by a political agenda against Sri Lanka” and had been made “at the behest of certain parties with vested interests”, for an objective that “caters only to the interests of separatist forces living outside Sri Lanka.”

“Once again some pro-LTTE elements have used the Channel 4 news agency after giving money to them (Channel 4) in order to tarnish the image of both the Sri Lankan government as well as the army,” Secretary Gotabaya said.

Gotabaya, who is amongst top officials who have command responsibility for war crimes, as is his brother, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said the Sri Lankan army always behaved professionally, giving utmost priority to safeguard the lives of innocent civilians.

The allegation against the army is clearly intended to tarnish the image of the army internationally, he said.

The External Affairs ministry, echoed the charge in an official statement carried in local press reports.

“This [film] is an exercise which is carried out by a small section of international media at the behest of certain parties with vested interests and it caters only to the interests of separatist forces living outside Sri Lanka,” the ministry said.

“[T]he final objective … is to push Sri Lanka back to war, by way of lacerating the wounds that the country is attempting to heal,” the ministry added.

“Channel 4’s gross simplification of sensitive matters, on face value, insinuates only a sinister motive driven by a political agenda against Sri Lanka,” it said.

The ministry also said “Government of Sri Lanka is concerned about the distress the images in the ‘Channel 4’ film, aired without any guarantee of their authenticity, might have caused to the viewers, particularly to those belonging to different communities in Sri Lanka”

The official statement repeated comments Wednesday by a government representative, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinghe, who told Al-Jazeera (English) that international calls for war crimes investigations in Sri Lanka were part of a “separatist, terrorist agenda.”

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