10122018Mon
Last update:Mon, 12 Nov 2018

Intervention by H.E. Sarrath Kongahage, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Germany and Switzerland, at the panel discussion and screening of the Channel 4 documentary ‘Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' organised by ‘Society for Threatened Peoples' and Palmyrah Project

At the very outset I would like to state that it does not gives me a great pleasure at this moment of time as having had to bear with a decision of the organizers of this gathering to completely ignore my request to screen a documentary produce by Government of Sri Lanka back to back in answer to the Channel 4 documentary which rebut graphically all allegations contained therein. Within the limited time allocated to me, I am unable to counter all the allegations contained in this Channel 04 documentary which I consider a blatant canard. Instead I would hereby table my entire analysis with regard to this documentary made by the so-called proxy of the LTTE diaspora unfortunately called “The Channel 04” which is hell-bent on promoting not human rights in Sri Lanka but on the contrary desperately attempting to reverse the Reconciliation and reintegration process now successfully taking shape, back in Sri Lanka. I shall now table my analysis for your considered perusal countering scene by scene and frame by frame the fictitious and diabolical lies contained in the said documentary.

Honorable members of the panel, Mr. Mohan Peiris – President Counsel and former Attorney-General of Sri Lanka, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

At the very outset I would like to state that it does not gives me a great pleasure at this moment of time as having had to bear with a decision of the organizers of this gathering to completely ignore my request to screen a documentary produce by Government of Sri Lanka back to back in answer to the Channel 4 Documentary which rebut graphically all allegations contained therein. Within the limited time allocated to me, I am unable to counter all the allegations contained in this Channel 04 documentary which I consider a blatant canard. Instead I would hereby table my entire analysis with regard to this documentary made by the so-called proxy of the LTTE diaspora unfortunately called “The Channel 04” which is hell-bent on promoting not human rights in Sri Lanka but on the contrary desperately attempting to reverse the Reconciliation and reintegration process now successfully taking shape, back in Sri Lanka. I shall now table my analysis for your considered perusal countering scene by scene and frame by frame the fictitious and diabolical lies contained in the said documentary.

Specifically I must mention here that this fictitious documentary failed to win a prestigious media award held in London in May this year called “One World” media award for its failure to impress the authenticity of its story. In support of that position I would along with my statement enclose an article which appeared in Sunday Times in Sri Lanka on the 18 th of September, 2011 which is a very respected newspaper in our region and written by a well known and a senior journalist Nevil de Silva. This I mark as attachment “A” (See ATTACHMENT A1, ATTACHMENT A2) to my statement. However the award it has supposed to have won, I consider is an award in the nature of a home and home affairs which is conferred not by an independent body but coming from a very dependent body. The all its characters and players directly or indirectly link to one of the most ruthless organizations which was ban by 27 EU countries, USA, Canada and India from the year 2006 upto today.

The Channel 04 depicts some statement s attributed to one Mr. “Gordon Weiss” who had some other things to say at other places and different things to say at different times. I am not going to dwell too much on this details but I am attaching all those comments complimentary of Sri Lankan forces by the said Gordon Weiss as Attachment “B” with my statement. This will clearly show the biased attitude on the part of the producers to have deliberately ignore the complimentary comments of the Sri Lankan Forces and some critical views of the activities of the LTTE stated by the said Gordon Weiss. This attachment No. B also contained some valuable comments by an organization which is accepted among Tamils World over as a body having an independent views as against those biased ones namely “University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna)” which are self-explanatory.

I am also annexing an another article which appeared in the Sunday Times, UK which roundly criticized “Channel 04” for its shoddy journalism which was written by A A Gill who is unlikely to be an ally of the Government of Sri Lanka mark as Annexure “C” for your considered perusal.

Ladies and Gentlemen, One again I am placing before you another article exposing the total hypocrisy of the authors of this documentary written by Dr. Stuart Reiss from the Department of Surgery, William Harvey Hospital of Kent, UK marked as Annexure “D” to my statement tabled here which is also self-explanatory on the nature of the contradiction of “Channel 04” and “Gordon Weiss”.

I also wish to mark another article written by a well known Bengali journalist Kanchen Gupta, relating to one of his experiences in Berlin which has not dwelled anything in relation to Channel 04 but the danger created by LTTE ideologies and its illegal activities in entire Europe finally culminating in a situation where the European citizen have to bear with its consequence. I marked this article of Gupta as Annexure “E”.

Upon receiving invitation from the Society for Threatened People and Palmyrah on 25 th July 2011, we insisted them on a right of reply by the Government of Sri Lanka therein, to permit for a screening of “Lies Agreed Upon” back to back with the Channel 04 video. Unfortunately, our request have been rejected and thereby the Society for Threatened People and Palmyrah has violated our right of reply as well as your guaranteed access to information and dispassionate discussion at this venue. Therefore I am compel to distribute the counter documentary titled “Lies Agreed Upon” produced by the Government of Sri Lanka among those gathered here in the city of Bern in Swiss along with a Detailed Document complied by the Government of Sri Lanka on the Humanitarian Operations carried out by it during the period between 2006 – 2009 which is titled “Factual Analysis of Humanitarian Operation” which I consider is very important reading for those people who are unbias and wants to get a balance view of the Sri Lankan experience.

I would also like to mention here that I have here with me another booklet explaining rehabilitation and reconciliation process taking place in Sri Lanka which will also be distributed along with the other documents for your learned consideration.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Panel,

A major Sri Lankan Tamil Political Party namely “The TNA” which is an assortment of several political parties representing Sri Lankan Tamils which was one time the mouthpiece of the LTTE, at the moment having round table negotiations with the Government of Sri Lanka. Interestingly supported Sarrath Fonseka then a General at the last presidential Election held in 2010 who was the Commander of the Army in 2009 May, who led the forces on ground. This was a well known fact and also according to a recent revelation of a “Wikileaks” cable. So if there were massacres by the Armed Forces killing so many civilians as alleged by the Channel 04, would this situation have ever being a possibility and after all the election to elect a President for the country took place 8 months after the defeat of the LTTE. So the TNA wanted the immediate Commander of the Army as the Democratically elected President of Sri Lanka. This act of TNA alone is enough to negate the general allegation of genocide brought against the Sri Lankan forces.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is nothing but a futile exercise in damaging the image of my country, its President and the Government and at large the heroic forces that defeated one of the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world and the only country that is supposed to have done, so far in our modern history. The same forces that Channel 04 accused to have violated human rights were invited by non other than the US Government according to the recent Wikileaks to assist the US forces in Afghanistan which request was turned down by the Government of Sri Lanka for different reasons. It is noteworthy to mention that the same Sri Lankan forces are now assisting UN peace keeping in many part of the world under the United Nations Recruitment Programme along with the Army of many developed countries.

Most of the Tamils in Sri Lanka wanted the then Commander of the Army to be the President of Sri Lanka in 2010 as against a democratically elected MP who was a Minister, a Leader of the Opposition, a Prime Minister and President for 5 years and having 40 long years experiences in democratic politics in Sri Lanka who is non other than H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapakse who defeated his opponent by a massive margin of 1.8 Million votes. He is the one who gave the unwavering political leadership to defeat of this 30 years protected war which took the lives of almost 100,000 people including a President of the country, its Opposition Leader and Presidential Candidate and an attempted murder of another President, former Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the largest tamil political party TULF, two Foreign Ministers, large number of Cabinet Ministers and non Cabinet Ministers and many members of Parliament. This list included large number of Buddhist clergies, Sinhalese, tamils, muslims who were totally innocent of any crime towards humanity. In fact name of Sri Lanka is in my opinion should go to the Guines Book of record having had to sacrifice so many democratically elected leaders and representatives which is unparalleled in the histories of any modern war which was committed by the LTTE which any other terrorist organization was unable to achieve so far.

This whole situation took a different turn when the LTTE finally took the life of the Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi in which event the realization was dawn upon the Indian political leaders about their absolute mistake of appeasing the LTTE which has to be banned in India in 1991 which stands up to today.

The LTTE is no more a fighting force in Sri Lanka today as they have gone for good and never to surge again. The every election held in Sri Lanka, the present Government has won everyone after the other which shows the overwhelming approval of the people, they have for the defeat of the LTTE which terrorized them more than three decades. The Government of the day have more than 5/6 majority in Parliament and having won 99% of the Local Council Election held in October, 2011.

Sri Lankan people are not different to American people, when it comes to the demise of Prabhakaran or Osama Bin Larden where both nations have the same feelings of relief having won individual and common freedom from death at the hands of brutal terrorists. Sri Lankans have witness a 9/11 long before the USA experience it, having our multistoried Central Bank building razed to the ground with hundred of its employees. Our only international airport was completely bombed and so many passenger airlines were destroyed. There were massacres of large number of Buddhist monks including 37 young Bhikkus. 100 of muslim devotees were killed inside a mosque and the entire muslim community who were living in the Province of North of Sri Lanka was completely cleansed. The Railway Stations were bombed, Bus Stands were bombed and so many but to name a few. The entire railway lines to the Northern Province Jaffa was bombed twice and thanks to the assistance given by the Indian Government, now it is been rebuilt. The story of the A 9 road is also the same. When the Tsunami hit Sri Lanka in 2004, the Government of Sri Lanka with the help of the international community did its utmost to rehabilitate not only the South where the majority Sinhala and Tamils lives but even the East and the North equally resurrected without any division of race.

To the credit of our forces it should be stated that both Prabhakaran's parents captured by the Armed Forces treated as ordinary people that would deem appreciation from everybody and finally sent overseas and when died allowed to be buried in the place of their birth. The wife of the leader of the Sea Tigers still in the custody of the Sri Lankan Government along with the wife of Tamil Chelvam who was the Political Head and are safely protected after the surrender. We never took Prabhakaran unarmed into custody and later killed like how the US Forces killed unarmed Osama Bill Larden after capture. Prabhakaran would have got killed in the battle like any other LTTE leader. But like the Channel 04 fiction, some still believe that he is still among those living somewhere in this planet waiting to appear which is almost like waiting for Godot.

Same as the Channel 4 video, there was another video fiction came on Australian ABC Channel which was countered in no uncertain terms within a miraculous space of time which exposed the characters of the said documentary same as Channel 4 which was also a total fabrication.

Those who appeared in the ABC documentary was also exposed without any doubt whatsoever in there complicity with the LTTE, being very hardcore members posing as innocent civilians. Few DVD copies titled “Australian Based LTTE Network Exposed” are available for distribution and can be obtained after the end of these deliberations and Ladies and Gentlemen to those who are interested to know the truth of all this fictions.

Finally, I also would like to introduce another documentary which was released to the public titled “Freedom Speaks” which in my opinion is very important with regard to the conflict which we encountered for so long. I must finally say it provide an in depth account of agony in the North and East of Sri Lanka for so many decades under the guise of a movement for liberation. This documentary exposes through so many child soldier who were conscripted by the LTTE to slave in the name of freedom and a mythical separate state.