Category Archives: news fabrication

The LLRC Sittings in Pictures

The recent presentation in Thuppahi of a specific proposal from the LLRC on national anthems as well as the issues raised by Thuppahi on the topic of DISAPPEARANCES prompt me to present a number of images from the sittings conducted by this peripatic body of personnel together with a brief officla report. the images have been helpfully provided by Kithsiri De Silva an old Aloysian class-mate who was an officer servicing the work of this august body.  I am also tacking on an official report on the LLRC plus one dissenting note about its lopsided composition from Harshadeva Amarathunga. Michael Roberts

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HRW in Syria and Sri Lanka: Moral Fervour generating Political Blindness and Partisanship

Michael Roberts,  courtesy of Colombo Telegraph where the title is different and reads as “The Political Bankruptcy of the Western Human Rights Lobby: Their Stance in Syria & Sri Lanka in Juxtaposition.” I anticipate lively blog-comments therein –with the usual quota of disparaging ‘assassinations’.  Highlighted emphasis in RED in the version below is my work.

 A friend in Adelaide recently directed me towards an article in a prestigious world media outlet by Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. In this essay entitled “What Trump Should Do in Syria,” Roth contends that Donald Trump needs to pursue “a much tougher approach toward Moscow than he so far envisions” because the Syrian President Bashar Al Assad has been “targeting and indiscriminately firing upon civilians and civilian infrastructure in opposition-held areas” with Russian backing. In his reading the enormous civilian death-toll is the product of the regime’s deliberate strategy, Besides generating an outflow of refugees, he says that the consequence will also produce an escalation of Islamist extremism. 

As an outsider with a limited knowledge of the extremely complex Syrian and Middle-Eastern ground situation, what strikes me about Roth’s declamation is its one-sidedness and its simplifications. It slides over the impact of US and NATO bombing runs. It implies that the extremism of ISIS, Al Qaida and other forces who are challenging the Syrian dictator is an outcome of the latter’s policies and says little about (a) the Sunni-Shia rivalries that are one aspect of the complex politics in Syria and the Middle East and (b) the repercussions flowing from the American dethronement of Saddam via invasion.

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Leonard Woolf as An Accidental Civil Servant in Ceylon

addendum:Joe Kovacs in Literary Traveller,  23 June 2005, …. http://www.literarytraveler.com/articles/leonard_woolf_ceylon/ where the title runs The Accidental British Servant: Leonard Woolf in Ceylon”

When I joined the Peace Corps and went to Sri Lanka in 1997, I took a leave of absence from a graduate program in English literature at Fordham University. I was unhappy with academia as an aspiring creative writer; I wanted to make literature, not analyze it. I had no idea how international development work in Asia could help, but at least it would provide a long-overdue vacation from education. I’d never left the United States before, and after an exhausting trip west from New York through San Francisco, Tokyo and Bangkok, the third flight of my trans-global journey arrived in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo at two in the morning. I spent the rest of those benighted, pre-dawn hours in a retreat center in the jungle, trying to sleep. But the dense heat drenched me in sweat, even as I lay still in bed, the uncompromising mattress made my back sore and a swooping blue mosquito net left me entombed. Had I just made a mistake? From the jungle outside came a sudden high-pitched screech, convincing me that I’d come to a land of monsters. llw-222 lw-11

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A ‘Parachute History’ of the Sri Lankan War and the Island’s Circumstances Today

Robert Draper, courtesy of the National Geographic, November Issue, where the title runs thus: “Can Sri Lanka Hold On to Its Fragile Peace?” …with photographs by Ami Vitale … …. …. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/11/sri-lanka-tamil-peace-civil-war/… with the title here being the Editor’s imposition – see Note below.

The photograph the young woman holds is barely the size of a postage stamp. But it is the only one of her husband she could find here in her parents’ house. They had not approved of her marriage, given that he was just a fisherman from the coastal town of Mannar, while her family has lived in Jaffna, the capital of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, for generations. But as the photo attests, her husband, a Tamil like herself—is broad-faced and confident. Staring at the tiny image of the man who went missing a decade ago, her mahogany eyes brighten as she loses herself in memories.

draper-11 A military color guard lowers the national flag on Galle Face Green, a popular park in Colombo. The country’s largest city shows few signs of the strife that divided the Sinhalese and Tamils for 26 years.

They’d fallen in love at a refugee camp in southern India in 1999, when she was 17. Both had escaped Sri Lanka’s wantonly vicious civil war, pitting the army, controlled by the majority Sinhalese, against Tamil rebels. She had fled Jaffna with her family, leaping over the corpses of neighbors as the military’s bombs plummeted from the sky. He had escaped Mannar after he saw an army officer shoot his youngest sister to death in their home. They had married under the withering glare of her mother. Continue reading

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Manipulative Distortions & Duplicity in ABC Programme on Nauru Detention Centres

Carolina Overington & Rosie Lewis, in The Australian, 19 October 2016,  where the title runs “ABC’s Four Corners slammed over old, selective Nauru footage.” Go to http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/broadcast/abcs-four-corners-slammed-over-old-selective-nauru-footage/news-story/f80ceeb432f4ec5907a10beff3697877 for Blog comments from Aussies and note the Caustic Summing up by The Editor, Thuppahi at the end of this post.

The ABC has endured excoriating criticism of its flagship current ­affairs program, Four Corners, after Monday’s episode about refugee children on Nauru was found to include old photographs of facilities no longer in use, and random footage of brawling adults, previously published on YouTube by a user known only as “NoRulz”. During intense questioning at Senate estimates yesterday, ABC editorial director Alan Sunderland admitted the ABC did not film the footage that went to air on Monday night, but said he was satisfied the vision was “appropriate” for a program devoted to the lives of refugee children on Nauru.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton last night accused the ABC of irresponsibility and said Four Corners had declined to use new photos and videos, offered by his office, of schools upgraded at a cost of $8.3 million. The Australian has established that the program included what appears to be random footage of a group of men on Nauru hitting each other with steel poles that can also be found on a YouTube channel run by NoRulz. On YouTube, the footage is in a video called “Who Let The Dogs Out”. It is one of a series of fight videos posted by NoRulz, who has also posted clips called “Nauru Shit Shit Fight” and “Batud the Deadly”.abc-11

The ABC used the footage to ­illustrate the Four Corners argument that Nauru is a violent ­society where refugees feel unsafe, because they have witnessed and been subjected to acts of violence. Continue reading

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The Geneva Juggernaut and the Yahapalanaya Complicity

gyou-11A Panel Discussion entitled “Geneva and You” was organized by the civil society group Sri Lanka Inc. on 29th September 2016 at the Sri Lanka Foundation institute. The event aimed to educate people about the US led UNHRC Resolution which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka by exploring the events surrounding the adoption of the resolution and its possible impacts on Sri Lanka as a whole. In this manner the aim was to stimulate discussions on the issues developing from this process.

The line-up of panelists expressed concerns about the nature of events surrounding its adoption and current setting. While all the panelists agreed on the negative aspects of the resolution, views differed on the overall reality behind its adoption and ultimate implementation. The event was chaired by Chamithri Rambukwella, former 2nd Secretary to the Permanent Mission to the UN in New York. The speakers and panelists were Natasha Gooneratne Maurice, Fr. Vimal Tirimanne, Chris Dharmakirti, Dr Palitha Kohona and Dr. Dayan Jaytilleka.

gyou-11-rambukwellaChamithri Rambukwella opens the panel  gyou-11-audienceA segment of the audience

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Groundviews on Disappearances and the OMP

MISSING -GV 22

Raisa Wickrematunga: “Searching for Answers: The Road to the OMP,” 30 August 2016, https://groundviews.org/2016/08/30/searching-for-answers-the-road-to-the-omp/

Bhavani Fonseka: “The Office on Missing Persons: A New Chapter or Another Empty Promise?” 18 August 2016, https://groundviews.org/2016/08/18/the-office-on-missing-persons-a-new-chapter-or-another-empty-promise/

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