Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lies, Lies and damn Lies

I wonder how gullible people can be when they read news stories! When the reporter or paper is considered reliable, people are more apt to believe this. However some of these very same and so called, unblemished papers continue to report lies, as they know no better. There is also a saying that is times of war truth is the first casualty. In this case in the last days of the Sri Lankan battle for control of all the land area, all parties continue with the lies.

It is now incontrovertible, as we have seen video footage that out of a total landmass of about 60,000 sq km that is Sri Lanka, as of now, January 29, 2009 at 5pm, only 200sq km is under terrorist control. It is assumed that it took a little longer to clear this area up due to the heavy rains that have hampered the defense forces in their advance, however they are still confident that come February 4th 2009, all this area will also be liberated from the terrorist clutches.

The government of SL, the security forces, the UN, the LTTE terrorists, all maintain that there are 250,000 civilians trapped in this small area. I am sorry but it is practically impossible for so many people to be trapped in this area. If they really were there would be a far greater outcry than is currently seen. It would make the population density greater than a Colombo suburb in this rural area. Why don’t people just use their common sense? The whole purpose of the blog is to get people to think, “kalpanakaranna”.

I would guess that the civilian population trapped in this war zone is between, 25-50 thousand. In the same vein I would guess the number of terrorists at about a thousand. They in turn are surrounded on all sides by about 40,000 combat soldiers on land with another 15,000 support troops to keep them supplied, and a Navy patrolling the seas preventing any escapees from the sea.

It is shameful for the UN to use this exaggerated figure, as I believe its staff, are incompetent, not having basic common sense, or like to make the issue sound grave as to get attention to themselves as being important when in fact they are nothing more than leaches on an innocent displaced person. The army on the other hand gains by sounding high and mighty when only mice remain to be caught. The LTTE terrorist wants to publicize the humanitarian problem as graver, so world attention can be spotlighted on them as being under siege, and the government can proclaim that despite this large number they have been able to supply or get more humanitarian aid. In reality they siphon off for their personal henchmen a large proportion of this. This is all very sad at its lowest and disgusting at its highest.

In writing this I have wondered whether it is of any use to even read or watch news as anything more than entertainment, as even tales of war are sadly fabrications of the truth. It is in this light that people are misled, opinions formed, decisions made and people act, which is just farcical.

The newsmakers manipulate news for their own ends and the journalists especially those in Sri Lanka are servile, subservient and slavish and silly to write this in their publications or news items. In Sri Lanka, where journalists, especially independent ones are persecuted, it is best for them to educate their readership to help them be skeptical. This healthy skepticism will then allow them to come to their own conclusion once they are able to sift through the news in an intelligent way rather than believe blindly.

This whole blog, I repeat this ad nauseam that, is aimed at getting people to get out of the world of rote learning, believing what is spoon fed, and go into the world of deducing from the facts laid out before you, what is the likely truth in each instance. This is much like in a court of law where both sides present the case and the jury decides what is likely to be more believable based on the facts presented.

We should not be frightened to think to deduce and conclude. That in itself should empower us to be separated, men from the boys. I have said it before and I repeat, that often what is not said in the news is more important than what is said, and we don’t know what we are missing, therefore the completeness of the message is also in doubt. It goes without saying that the extreme skepticism, leads to cynicism and then even the realm of manufactured news becomes fair game, in news media becoming another form of entertainment game, of true or false for each news item.

Let me conclude in this particularly Sri Lankan directed thinking man’s blog, that I sincerely hope that my good intention of writing really important subject matter, rarely covered in the media be it in Sinhala or English will encourage the reader to be more cautious with the content, being aware of the agenda if one can of the messenger, and then forming one’s own opinion.

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