In addressing the serious issues raised by some of the Western media reportage of the events unfolding during the last phase of Eelam War IV and several seemingly deliberate obfuscations, I recently sent a short set of questions to some Indian journalists who were in Sri Lanka then and also to a few Sri Lankan reporters/cameramen who had been taken to the war front – guided here by an official list available. I have only received responses from a few, but it is enough to set the reflections rolling.
Journalists in plane en route to war front, circa 27 January —Pic by Kanchan Prasad
These responses throw light on the difficulties faced by journalists in reporting the war and I see them as important appendages to an analytical review that I have already penned in draft form (in progress). Those studying Eelam War IV should pay heed to these recollections, while also visiting the Al Jazeera You-Tube presentations provided by Tony Birtley & David Chater and marveling at the capacities revealed by Sergei de Silva Ranasinghe in deciphering the ups-and-downs of the SL Army progress from distant shores far better than Birtley or those in Colombo who visited the front on conducted tours on some occasions. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, doctoring evidence, Eelam, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, mass conscription, military strategy, news fabrication, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, war reportage, world events & processes
In my Flickr Web sites … Michael Roberts
Filed under accountability, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, mass conscription, military strategy, modernity & modernization, photography, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, the imaginary and the real, trauma, truth as casualty of war, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, zealotry
Neville Ladduwahetty, courtesy of The Island, 8/9th March 2016, where the title is “Addressing Accountability“ … with the highlighting and illustrative images being my editorial impositions. Michael Roberts
The current debate in the country is whether there should or should not be any foreign “participation” in the accountability processes and if there is to be foreign “participation”, to what degree it should be. The uncertainty as to the final outcome of the debate has caused the Security Forces to be understandably apprehensive. However, what needs to be appreciated is that accountability is only one facet of the entire reconciliation process.
Issues such as the closure on missing persons, reparations, reconstruction and rehabilitation have a far greater impact on reconciliation than accountability. This is particularly so because the focus on accountability would primarily be on the period from January to May 2009, since the strategies adopted by the Security Forces in the conduct of the separatist Armed Conflict prior to this period were acknowledged by the US in a cable that stated: “The Government has gained considerable credit until this point for conducting a disciplined military campaign” (Cable to the US State Department by the US Embassy, WikiLeaks, 27 January, 2009).
Filed under accountability, governance, historical interpretation, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, mass conscription, military strategy, news fabrication, Paranagama Report, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, propaganda, reconciliation, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, vengeance, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes