Monday, April 12, 2010

Sri Lanka: What right does U.S. media have to pass judgment on Sri Lanka? (opinion piece)

By:Rosie Stembo

Source: Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law & Order - Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

A misguided attack by the American forces on a mistaken target. Another apology by an American commander for the misdeed; the buck stops passing at this point except of a promise of an inquiry and a report that never corrects the error. It is habitual and is often not revealed for convenience. It is only when the media reaches the story the apology is tendered.

The Americans have a reputation of striking wrong targets notwithstanding the sophisticated equipment at their disposal. The NATO forces during the Serbian war hit a passing train with passengers on it and reached the zenith of their excellence in target practice when they bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

Why is the American media vociferous in condemning Sri Lanka on the alleged bombs that fell on an unknown unidentified premises which was alleged to be a hastily constructed battlefield temporary hospital of the LTTE; so silent when Americans target kill and maim civilians on a regular basis on an mistaken belief? Did not the marines deliberately target the hospital in Faluja in Iraq to destablise the enemy forces. Where are you, spokesman for the State Department, after raising all those queries on the events of the Elam war?

Why these double standards in the name of humanitarian business? The American human rights activists are vocal when other countries are targeted but dumb and patriotic when their own forces are the wrongdoers. What validity does your free media carry when the double standards are so transparent?

Did US Forces ever provide food and medicine for those living under the control of the enemy? Did US Forces provide education, maintain roads and provide other infrastructural benefits to the population under the enemy? On the contrary you destablise the population living with you by sending them to strategic villages as you did in Viet Nam? Ours was a humanitarian exercise and not a war against a common enemy.

Giving the civil population every benefit to sustain a semblance of normalcy of life in areas under LTTE control, Sri Lankan forces caused minimum or zero damage by being extra considerate to the unarmed residents. The best test of it is the results of the recently concluded election where the Tamils of the north participated in the first free and fair election in 24 years. They voted comprehensively for two main parties in the south that represents the majority Sinhalese against the pleas of the Tamil Diaspora. This is the most impressive expression that the Forces did not treat the local population inhumanely. Mullativu the heartland of the LTTE shared its quota of MPs with the Sinhala south. Would they have ever voted if the government forces treated them shabbily?

Let the Americans place a dummy candidate of their own in Iraq or Afghanistan at an election and watch how the people will vote?

Every day drone aircrafts target civilians in search for terrorists and kill and maim them. For convenience they are passed off as dead terrorists till an investigative journalists discovers to the contrary and followed with a curt apology. What right do they have to pass judgment on us with their dismal track record? It is a case of people being brain washed to keep to the agenda of the foreign interventionists.

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