Thursday, April 23, 2009

Foreign Journalists where have you been all this time

Once again we have been reminded in Sri Lanka of the world of sound bites. The sudden intensity with which the world media have closed in on the last stages of the LTTE is an indication of the short-lived nature of much of journalism, which is in a business to sell or draw an audience in the case of TV. Their intentions therefore are more about sensationalism as opposed to genuine concern for the news they are reporting.

I have read countless articles in the international press via my internet connection and I have responded with comments, highly critical of the stance taken and the obvious missteps they keep making with no apologies for their lack of judgment or errors. However surprise surprise none of that got published, in preference to hardly intelligible comments that get published, possibly reflecting that poor journalism would be caught by my comments and not those they prefer to publish.

Added to all this, the international community who should have been more supportive of Sri Lanka in its three decade long struggle against terror, are even at this late stage not comprehending the importance of an end to the conflict over protecting the turf of their surrogate such at the ICRC or Medicine sans Frontiers or WFP, HRW you get the drift.. Requests to delay the inevitable or God forbid go for another ceasefire being called for from countries, which would act no different if faced by the same circumstances, seem almost laughable if it was not serious.

Today the LTTE along with 10,000 civilians are holed up in about 6 sq km of a country of 65,000 sq km. It is tantamount to a hostage taking by a band of bandits, that has to be dealt with in the same manner, and not as group representing the legitimate aspirations of a people. International calls for them to surrender should be directed at the Diaspora who are still not willing to accept the reality, and by their actions are oblivious to the humanitarian issue, and instead are trying to protect the rights of criminals.

The battle is over bar the last gasp and international energies should be focused in helping the authorities handle the humanitarian issue of transporting feeding and clothing 150,000 people and ensuring they have basic rights and assist as quickly as possible to get them settled in areas of their choice with minimum disturbance by speeding the infrastructure, but that then is not newsworthy is it and no journalist would wish to cover that!!

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