A postscript to
journalistic quackery à la Channel 4
was bound to happen. Channel 4 has suffered a
serious case of egg-on-the-face, but it was almost
inevitable. Channel 4 was motivated in the first
instance by bitterness at having one of its
correspondents deported for gross violation of
expected professional ethics. Channel 4 has a
considerable track record in dodgy and shoddy
journalism. Channel 4 seems to have been intoxicated
by the shrill self-righteous statements issued by
British parliamentarians shamelessly pandering to
the LTTE lobby hoping to secure electoral victory.
Channel 4 seems to have been outraged by the fact
that all chances of preferred outcome materialising
were buried on the shores of the Nandikadal Lagoon.
‘Revenge’ was called for. Revenge was sought.
And, as usually happens when delusion, hatred and
greed inspire rather than deter, Channel 4 tripped.
Over its own vomit, did I hear someone say?
A few days ago, in New York, there was a screening
of the much advertised ‘documentary’ about what
Channel 4 (and other interested parties including
rabid chauvinistic elements among Sri Lankan Tamils
overseas) want the world to believe happened in the
last stages of the historic operation that rid Sri
Lanka of the terrorist menace (interrupted by
stoppages for snacks and chit-chat we are told).
Major General Shavendra Silva who led the 58
Division at the time the 30 year war came to an end
and now Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative
to the UN, New York, in a matter of a few minutes
stripped Channel 4 of all vestiges of respectability
This does not mean, of course, that Channel 4 will
confess to media quackery, apologise profusely to
all Sri Lankans, all viewers and especially to the
Tamil people living in other parts of the world for
preying on their fears, insecurities, communal pride
and grief. It does not mean that Channel 4 will fold
up operations or even stamp ‘Chapter Closed’ on the
door of its malice-ridden operations pertaining to
Sri Lanka. It does not mean that this will be the
last such effort on the part of terrorist-backers
such as the Global Tamil Forum and the British Tamil
Forum nor their partners in crime in the British
Parliament, the European Union, the US State
Department, certain UN agencies, etc.
Neither will see our local NGO racketeers who
have been colluding with them shut up; it’s their
livelihood to vilify things Sri Lankan and bat for
forces that are determined to divide the country.
For all their bleeding-heart bawls about human
rights violations, these ruffians have with full
knowledge advocated strategies that make for
blood-letting. They will do so in the future too, I
am sure. It’s a profitable business, we know. The
intellectually dishonest will continue to pander to
Eelam interests. Guaranteed.
We do not live in a world where social and
political processes necessarily move towards the
consecration of truth and justice. Tyranny wins,
nine times out of ten. The end of tyranny is only
comic relief for world history has shown that
tyrannies are not necessarily succeeded by
democracies, nor tyrants by the benevolent, but
rather other tyrannies and tyrants respectively.
Channel 4 with all the resources available could
only come up with a movie. A cheap one at that.
Sure, there was clever use of the age-old misleading
and misrepresenting trick, juxtaposition, and the
use of music to wrap the lie in tragic flavours.
There was the expected deliberate misnaming of
terrorists as artists and journalists. The
characters were, as expected, developed with careful
non-mention of key and extremely relevant facts
about who they are and what they’ve done. Care was
taken not to compromise the purported ‘independence’
and ‘respectability’ of those employed to vilify the
Government of Sri Lanka.
Greed, hatred and delusion did their usual work.
They produced a sloppiness that the frills of music,
lie-narration and doctored imagery just could not
hide. As was the case with the report submitted by
the panel appointed by Ban Ki-moon to advise him on
Sri Lanka, over-enthusiasm was the undoing of the
Channel 4 movie.
‘Killing fields’ was supposed to buttress efforts
by various forces to get the UN to authorise an
‘independent’ investigation into the ‘last days’ of
the war (i.e., when the LTTE was wiped out, and not,
as should be the case, the time period that makes
sense, February 22, 2002 to May 19, 2009). Some want
the truth. Some want confirmation by hook or crook
of a cooked up story. Some want closure. Some want
to use threat and intervention to extract regime
change from the political chaos they believe these
moves would generate. Some want to make Mahinda
Rajapaksa submit to the Chelvanayakam Option (A
little now, more later) by fixing Eelam-boundaries
via the 13th Amendment, thereby legitimising Eelam
mythology. Most know and most pretend they don’t
know that these malicious moves will only give life
to communal disharmony and postpone reconciliation,
even resulting in a fresh round of blood-letting.
Channel 4 need not worry. Darusman won’t lose any
sleep and neither will Navi Pillai, Louise Arbour,
Manfred Novak, David Miliband, Susan Rice, Hillary
Clinton, Bernard Kouchner, Robert Blake, Peter
Hayes, Patricia Butenis, etc. Gordon Weiss might
move to another exotic location where he can play
‘Conqueror and Subjugated’ and maybe write another
book or two.
We must expect the above from these ‘ladies’ and
‘gentlemen’, ladies and gentlemen. They are not fast
asleep. They are not deaf or blind. They were not
born with twisted tongues. They are pretending, most
of them. Therefore, it will take a lot to wake them,
make them hear and see, and make them speak the
They don’t own Sri Lanka and they will not either.
There are people who can say ‘I am Sri Lankan’ and
‘Sri Lanka is mine’, not because those words come
easy but the civilisation, heritage, culture, ways
of being and becoming and the philosophies that
nourished all this runs in their veins and make
their sinews. They and not the above mentioned
individuals won the war for us, made this land free.
They alone will protect this earth in which the
ashes of their ancestors are buried. They will be
stopped, tripped, hurt and humiliated no doubt.
That’s in the short-term. History is long, ladies
There will be tyrannies, no doubt. Still, no
tyranny is so efficient that it can obliterate a
civilisation. That takes multiple and consecutive
tyrannies over many centuries. We went through such
a period. It lasted 500 years. We survived. A poorly
made film by a set of crooks, who are at best
journalistic quacks, just won’t do it. Sorry.
Malinda Seneviratne is a freelance writer who can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org