News Features  


Misleading viewers with Channel 4 fiction
By Malin Abeyatunge
Amidst hundreds of oral and written protests by the Sri Lankan community in Australia, it’s appalling that the ABC telecast the fiction film clip titled ‘Sri Lanka’s killing fields’ borrowed from an unethical broadcaster from UK- Channel 4. Even though the Channel 4 is a public TV funded by the Tax payers, Channel 4 is alleged to be in the edge of bankruptcy and telecasting this clip would have bought them out of the RED presumably by LTTE funding.

The clip which was broadcast by the ABC is controversial and contentious for the following reasons:

• This is not a documentary but compilation of images, clips borrowed from LTTE propaganda machine Tamil Net and many other Tamil websites and the AI who coughs for LTTE dollars;
• Many of the images and footages shown are fake and unsubstantiated and manufactured to suit the financiers, producers and the Directors and the telecasters;
1. The main witness Vani Kumar appears to be very innocent but was a militant operating from UK under LTTE front ‘Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO)’ and having links with the LTTE. She arrived in Sri Lanka in 2008 at the request of Castro (former head of the LTTE Foreign Division) and has undergone military training. Hence her depiction of events cannot be treated as impartial;
2. According to her narration, how can she conclusively say the shelling came from Sri Lankan forces? According to her narration, the viewers get the impression that GoSL was not fighting a war with LTTE but with ordinary civilians and zero retaliation from LTTE sides. In other words, the most brutal terrorist outfit had gone into sleep whilst SL forces were attacking them;
• The controversial footage where the narrator claims that SL soldiers killing LTTE prisoners is totally a FAKE. The original of the footage which is now in public domain the killers speak in Tamil but the manufactured one which Channel 4 and ABC telecast, the killers speak in Sinhalese. How come?
• Channel 4 now endorsed by ABC by telecasting it says the photos were taken by mobile cameras. But technical and digital experts who analysed say that it had come from video filming and those experts challenge the Forensic expert who endorsed it as authenticated to Channel 4;
• There are many distorted information in the narration like;

1. Before Killinochhi was captured, it was not the Government who herded them to Mullaithivu but the LTTE to used them as labourers and human shields;
2. Narrator mentions that war was unequal? What do you expect when you are fighting a conventional war with the most brutal terrorist outfit that possesses military power in land, sea and air and also suicide bombers?
3. The narrator continued to use the 3 member Panel Report as a UN report. This is completely wrong. This was a report called by UNSG by appointing three outsiders for the UNSG to get some feed back of the conflict during the last phase of the war. There is no UN Security Council or the UN Human Rights Council approval to call this “a UN Report” and latest being that UNSG has conveniently suspended further proceeding.

4. There is a bearded Tamil old man in front of the UN gate says “they are at our throat” Now he doesn’t say who ‘They’ are whether he meant the LTTE or the Government forces. But the narrator attempts to hoodwink the viewers that the old man meant was Government forces;
If we analyse the whole clip, there are many technical, digital, narrative flaws which are exhaustive and what I mentioned above is only a few of those. Lastly ABC is a public corporation funded by the Australian Tax payers and ABC should be more responsible airing unauthenticated fake videos and clips to mislead the viewers.