CHANNEL FOUR’S CIRCUS TOUR -2
"He that is without sin, cast the first stone” –Verse 7:53-8:11, Gospel of John
This is the final instalment of my previous article entitled “Channel 4’s Circus Tour ". (http://www.bazeerlanka.com/2013/11/channel-fours-circus-tour-1.html) Since writing the first part of this article in July 2011, I have avidly followed Channel 4 circus troupe till it finally landed in Sri Lanka on the pretext of saving the Tamils of the North and the East from the clutches of Sri Lanka's President.
With the diplomatic credential awarded to the British Prime minister, Channel 4’s anchor-man; Jon Snow snuck into Jaffna, with David Cameron, overlooking the purpose and role of his visit as a guest at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013.
Upon arrival in the North, Cameron was endowed with godly reverence, not dissimilar to that of Pirabakaran or Lord Muruga (Hindu God of war and victory), in the hope that he would bring the Tamils a solution to their problems by his “divine intervention” .It seems that the Tamils, have found a replacement, to fill the god-shaped void of Pirabakaran, in the form of his Western masters who once fostered terrorists as liberators.
Jon Snow has also gone beyond the call of duty as a journalist, since embarking on media onslaught against the Sri Lankan government. His recent visit to Jaffna, where he mingled with the weeping Tamils, has made him more worthy than their own political leaders, in resurfacing British imperialism and calling for neo-colonialist intervention.
David Cameron, who insisted on Channel 4’s media troupe accompanying him, stealthily smuggled Jon Snow into the region of his interest, where they both played well, the role of much anticipated messiahs to the gallery of onlookers.
Despite the presence of several media personnel in the UK being actively involved in the media on-slaught on Sri Lanka, the barrage of anti-Sri Lankan government propaganda was brought to the limelight by Channel 4’s troupe; Foreign Affairs Correspondent; Jonathan Miller, News presenter; Jon Snow and programme director; Calum Macrae.
Channel 4’s Foreign Affairs Correspondent; Jonathan Miller, has also embarked on levelling allegations of war crimes against the President of Sri Lanka since the airing of Chanel’s 4 documentary titled “Sri Lanka’s Killing Field”. Since then his career has veered from media personnel to political activist. Overnight he became a patron of the Tamil cause in the Western Media sphere of influence and an active member in Human Rights forums. But, his presentation was flawed, as he was uncertain about the number of civilian deaths but took journalistic caution in enumerating the number of deaths in the war.
Despite being an investigate documentary, he made allegations without producing evidence, such as the death toll exceeding 40,000 and that most of them had been civilians in line with UN’s panel assessment. He did not elucidate figures on how many of the 40,000 deaths had been LTTE members. So much for investigate journalism.
Amongst, Channel 4’s troupe, Calum Macrae is worthy of credit, as he has produced a few documentaries highlighting various human rights issues elsewhere, but his efforts are only half-hearted when attempting to highlight what lies at his front door, in the form of British former Prime Minister; Tony Blair and former American President; George Bush and their war on Iraq and their alleged war crimes of this century.
It cannot be denied, that Calum Macrae did shed light on Iraq and the unlawful killings of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers during the occupation of Iraq, but his documentaries on misappropriation of a development fund in Iraq and British soldiers’ abuses in Iraq were subject to the scrutiny of his motives, and they exposed some aspect of the Iraqi occupation by the coalition forces.
Calum Macrae’s documentary entitled “Iraq’s Mission Billions (2006)”highlighted the Coalition's alleged misuse of billions of Iraqi fund during the Iraq War. This documentary exposed the failure of British and American coalition forces in its trusteeship of handling more than 20 billion dollars belonging to Iraqi people that was entrusted to them by the UNO.
His documentary showed corruption and misappropriation of funds and shed light on the misappropriation of Iraqi assets but was not recognised for its merit but filed swiftly amongst the film archives. This was also the case with his documentary “*On Whose Orders* “(2008), a Panorama series investigation the allegations of unlawful killings in Iraq by British troops. This faced vigorous rebuttal from the Chief of British military that was in charge of occupied Iraq.
Yet again, this documentary highlighted some cases to the British Judiciary regarding allegations of killings and torture of Iraqi’s by British forces in Iraq. Alas, it brought forth no result of desired impact of the unlawful occupation and the war crimes in Iraq but ultimately ended up in the archives again.
Unlike the above two documentaries Calum Macrae’s “ Sri Lanka's Killing Fields –On the war crimes , “Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished Follow up to Sri Lanka's Killing Fields “ and “ No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka “ (2013) .
Unlike his past documentaries on Iraq, his documentaries on Sri Lanka have conveyed his neo-colonial attitude, over the British former colonial country. With such attitudes, he has become more noticeable, as an unwitting spokesperson for the defeated LTTE rump, living in Western countries. Hence, Macrae has reached the pinnacle of his career as a journalist and this success, has made him stick more whole-heartedly to the Tamil’s cause as an arbitrator of war crimes.
Confession of Murder?
In an interview with William Hague on Channel 4, Jon Snow made an illogical comparison of Libya's Gadafi with Rajapaksa and remarked that “we eventually had to bomb him and kill him (With reference to Gadafi)”. William Hague did not deny such a confession by Jon Snow but insisted on engagement with Sri Lanka and expressed his belief in positive changes in the future towards reconciliation and an internal investigation on alleged war crimes prior to any international war crime inquiry being initiated.
Notwithstanding this sound conclusion, what Jon Snow said was a plain confession of a Killing. His remarks are reminiscent to be that of an executioner (of Gadafi) rather than that of a neutral journalist.
What decides war crimes?
When the war against the LTTE was at its worst in the North, thousands of Tamils gathered in front of the British parliament pleading the British government to intercept in stopping the war. However, the British government turned a blind eye and made little effort to stop the war and save the innocent civilians who were used as human shields by the LTTE. At the same time, the LTTE rump in the UK, expressed encouragement for the heroic people of the Vanni Homeland, in that they should not leave their motherland but fight along with the LTTE Till death and stick to their heroic principle of “do or die”.
This message was broadcast on the pro-LTTE Tamil radios in the UK and the British authorities who were good at snooping the UK citizens with the US money, did not understand what was going on behind their back. The LTTE rump in Britain and other western countries took to the streets to save their beloved fighters and suicide bombers and not the people who were in the clutches of the LTTE. Why hasn't the Channel 4 circus troupe pointed their fingers at the British MP’s for being accomplice in war crimes, or questioned the Tamils who prevented Tamil civilians leaving the war zones.
It seems, the inadvertent success of a documentary on a small third world country on its 30 year struggle to rid itself of terrorism has rallied greater support and momentum, than the far reaching demise of Western politics. Perhaps, in their renewed hope of false investigative journalism, the so-called media champions; Jon Snow, Calum Macrea and John Miller, should tackle the remaining unanswered questions regarding international politics;
1. Does Channel 4 have the guts to question Tony Blair, George Bush, David Cameron or Barack Obama and their unlawful war on terror, illegal occupation of Iraq on the pretext of a false claim of WMDs, the war in Afghanistan or the renditions of terror suspects?
2. Can the Channel 4 troupe question Obama with regards to his role in the execution of Osama, who was reported to be unarmed and bed ridden in Pakistan?
3. Can Channel 4 produce a documentary on the series of Drone attack killings on thousands of innocent civilians in Yemen and Pakistan? Or the detainment and torture of terror suspects for years in prisons both in the UK and abroad without charges, including Guantanamo Bay prisoners?
3. Will the Channel 4 troupe bring out the Chilcot Report, which Britain remains to keep unpublished so as to protect the alleged war crimes of Tony Blair and George Bush in Iraq?
Only time will tell, but in the wise words of Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa ' people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones'.