LTTE hook up with Euro sat Propaganda broadcasts to SAARC region Though illegal, Govt. to play deaf and blind

  • 3 Aug 2005 19:14:41 GMT

    It is now generally accepted that the conduct of modern warfare is not only about troops, weapons, generals and battlefields - it is also about perceptions. The manner in which a war is perceived by states and their populations today can have a strategic impact on its conduct. Real time images of a battlefield, flashed round the world can shape strategic decisions about the war and the mindset of one`s strategic allies.

    For many years, the role of media as an indispensable component of modern war making has been conceptualized and discussed in military journals and symposia as the `CNN effect`. Analyses in LTTE journals and the tenor and content of discussions that Pirapaharan has had with some foreign media consultants in recent years clearly indicate that the Tigers have been making an extensive study of the `CNN effect`.

    The result is the National Television of Thamil Eelam (NTT). It is not my intention here to relate in spine tingling detail the succulent secrets of how the Tigers set up the satellite channel in the Vanni. All I want to do here is to describe briefly the kind of thinking that appears to have gone into the making of the NTT.

    The LTTE`s satellite TV has introduced a new strategic dimension to Sri Lanka`s ethnic divide. The Tigers never had the ability in the past to give their side of the story in real time. Press releases from London and news broadcasts painstakingly monitored and translated from the Voice of Tigers in Vavuniya were always late or missed the issue at hand.

    Now the LTTE has the ability to transmit moving images, which are the most effective way to get their message across. The NTT would be the new strategic dimension in another Eelam War.

    Therefore an overview of ` CNN effect` as a `strategic enabler in modern military discourse` would set the stage for understanding what the LTTE has got in store for our generals who got used to thinking of war only in terms of more weapons, more troops and more foreign assistance.

    The following excerpt from an article in the US War College Journal Parameters about the CNN Effect gives an idea of the issues it has raised among military thinkers.

    `The process by which war-fighters assemble information, analyze it, make decisions, and direct their units has challenged commanders since the beginning of warfare. Starting with the Vietnam War,they faced a new challenge-commanding their units before a television camera. Today, commanders at all levels can count on operating `24/7` (twenty four hours a day and seven days a week) on a global stage before a live camera that never blinks. This changed environment has a profound effect on how strategic leaders make their decisions and how war-fighters direct their commands`.

    `The impact of this kind of media coverage has been dubbed ?the CNN effect,? referring to the widely available round-the-clock broadcasts of the Cable News Network. The term was born in controversy. In 1992 President Bush`s decision to place troops in Somalia after viewing media coverage of starving refugees was sharply questioned. Were American interests really at stake? Was CNN deciding where the military goes next?

    `Less than a year later, President Clinton`s decision to withdraw US troops after scenes were televised of a dead American serviceman being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu seemed to confirm the power of CNN. Today, with the proliferation of 24/7 news networks, the impact of CNN alone may have diminished,but the collective presence of round-the-clock news coverage has continued to grow. In this article, the term ?the CNN effect? represents the collective impact of all real-time news coverage-indeed, that is what the term has come to mean generally. The advent of real-time news coverage has led to immediate public awareness and scrutiny of strategic decisions and military operations as they unfold. Is this a net gain or loss for strategic leaders and war-fighters?` (The CNN Effect: Strategic Enabler or Operational Risk? -by Margret H. Belknap, Parameters, Autumn 2002)

    Former US Defence Secretary James Schlesinger has argued that in the post-Cold War era the United States has come to make foreign policy in response to`impulse and image.` `In this age image means television, and policies seem increasingly subject, especially in democracies, to the images flickering across the television screen`, he said.

    A commonly-cited example is the Clinton administration`s response to the mortar attack on a Sarajevo market in February 1994 that killed sixty-eight people.

    However, there are people who say that the CNN effect is no longer an issue. James Hoge, Jr., editor of Foreign Affairs, for example, argues that while a CNN effect of some sort may have once existed immediately following the end of the Cold War, it no longer does,or at least not to the same extent.

    One of the potential effects of global, real-time media is the shortening of response time for decision making. Decisions are made in haste, sometimes dangerously so. Policymakers `decry the absence of quiet time to deliberate choices, reach private agreements, and mold the public`s understanding.`

    `Instantaneous reporting of events,` remarks State Department Spokesperson Nicholas Burns, `often demands instant analysis by governments . . . In our day, as events unfold half a world away, it is not unusual for CNN State Department correspondent Steve Hurst to ask me for a reaction before we`ve had a chance to receive a more detailed report from our embassy and consider carefully our options.`

    It has been argued quite plausibly that the CNN effect has been used selectively by the US to create favourble diplomatic conditions for intervening in countries in which it has strategic interests.

    For example in 1993, when approximately 50,000 people were killed in political fighting between Hutus and Tutsis in Burundi, American broadcast television networks ignored the story. When regional leaders met in Dar es Salam in April 1994 in an attempt to reach a regional peace accord, only CNN mentioned the meeting. Afghanistan and the Sudan have more people at risk than Bosnia, but together they received only 12 percent of the total media coverage devoted to Bosnia alone.

    Tajikistan, with one million people at risk, has a little over one percent of the media coverage devoted to Bosnia alone. Put another way, of all news stories between January 1995 and May 1996 concerning the thirteen worst humanitarian crises in the world-affecting nearly 30 million people, nearly halfwere devoted to the plight of the 3.7 million people of Bosnia.

    Basically the CNN effect created the politically favourable international climate for the US to set up its largest military base in Eastern Europe. But ofcourse very few have seen images of vast Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo that sits a stride several vital pipeline routes.

    The CNN effect is also useful in achieving strategic and tactical deterrence. `Global media are often important and valuable assets to the US military, particularly when time is short and conditions are critical. Admiral Kendell Pease, Chief of Information for the United States Navy, has called global media in such circumstances a `force multiplier.` After showing a CNN video clip of carrier-based U.S. fighter-bombers taking off on a practice bombing run against an implied Iraqi target during Desert Shield, Pease explained that the Navy had arranged for a CNN crew to be aboard the carrier to film the `hardware in use` and to `send a message to Saddam Hussein.`

    The US expected that the images would deter the Iraqis, dent their morale. The US Navy realized and counted on the fact that the Iraqis monitored CNN.

    `The same thing is going on now,` said Admiral Pease in Taiwan. Prior to Taiwan`s March 1996 elections,which China opposed and threatened to stop with military force if necessary, the Clinton administration sent two aircraft carrier groups to the seas off Taiwan. Television crews accompanying the US Navy ships sent pictures of the American defenders to the Chinese and the rest of the world.

    By using media as a `force multiplier` in conjunction with deterrent force, U.S. policy makers are, ineffect, attempting to create a `CNN effect` in the policymaking of a potential or actual adversary.`Global, real-time media should not be regarded solely as an impediment or obstacle to policy makers. It may just as well be an asset`, says a perceptive study of the subject (Clarifying the CNN Effect: An Examination of Media Effects According to Type of Military Intervention by Steven Livingston - Harvard University Public Policy Papers 1997)

    I hope this provides a brief theoretical background for understanding the future of the `NTT Effect` in Sri Lank`s evolving strategic equation.

    thanks 4 reading..

  • 3 Aug 2005 19:47:41 GMT

    Ranil and even CBK may be very happy that LTTE received the transmission systems after signing the CFA thru Nordics Embassy.

    It will go in history that Ranil and CBK are equally resposible for this development which would not have achieved withoput the CFA thru Norwagions the worst Terrorist outfit.THESE TWO NAMES WILL GO ON RECORDS AS THE BIGGEST TRAITORS!

  • 3 Aug 2005 20:10:47 GMT

    Being a legitimate government the state authorities are turning a blind eye on terror activities that are taking place under their noses.

    My question is will they turn a blind eye if any other propaganda group wants to link up with some international broadcasters.

    Rule of law should be equally served to traitors and terrorist who are trying to create a bloodbath in our motherland.

  • 3 Aug 2005 20:13:39 GMT

    There is no point geting so emmotional about ltte`s capability to broadcast their saying with the real immages.

    speacially the sinhala mass should not complain about this development because they are getting the tamils revenue for nothing and the tamils are just sitting and watching the money from their pockets siliping away from them and struggling to feed their toddlers.

    now immagin mr. jeyaraja,s family what they been through to get their baby back.(baby number 83 of the tsunami surviver)

    after their home and their belongings swept away with the tsunami,the couples were forced to pay the court fees just to claim their baby.

    i understand the court procedures but asking to pay for those is some thing unbearable.

    but if this happen to a sinhala family it would have been a different story.

    so please dont get too carried away with the anti-ltte emmotions and look forward and learn to accept the fact that the ltte is the rep of tamil mass in the north and east.

    at the same time the sri lankan army have killed more than

    65000 tamil people,so what you have to put up is a little fraction of those atrocities.


    take care of your self and each other.

    thank you.

  • 3 Aug 2005 20:43:45 GMT

    The GOSL has once again shown its inability to punish `law breakers`.

    The wanni tigers are not above the law of the Republic of Sri Lanka.

    So why is CBK`s government incapable in knocking down the illegal satellite tv broadcasts of the wanni butchers ?

    Any other `responsible` government in the world would have already wiped out these clandestine (illegal) radio & tv stations as soon as they were detected by the Telecommunication Regulation Commission`s signal detectors...

    Is CBK kneeling down again in front of Avathaar or is she supporting him? Or, is she giving in to the demands of the terrorist in-laws ???

    As most western countries have branded these `baby fryers` as a terrorist organization, it`s their duty to `black out` terrorist propaganda broadcasts which incite to global terrorism...



  • 3 Aug 2005 21:43:22 GMT

    Hi Tigress,

    Are you actually living in a jungle? Who told you that Jayarajah had to pay ?court charges?. Anyone with a common sense know that if someone won the case he doesn?t want to pay court charges. Did you mean lawyer?s fee? Do you know that a Sinhala lawyer handled Mr Jayarajah?s case for free?

    PL don?t talk about things you don?t know. Don?t try to spread hatred any more. PLEASE.

  • 3 Aug 2005 22:51:06 GMT


    Non, the Tigress is not with the wanni butchers, but is living comfortably in a foreign country.

    So, she does not know what is happening in SRI LANKA!!

  • 3 Aug 2005 22:56:23 GMT

    I also thought Mr. Jeyarajah`s case was handled by a lawyer free of charge. Of course if someone wins a court case there is no court charges! That is a well known phenomenon!!

    May be Tigress was misinformed.

  • 3 Aug 2005 22:59:28 GMT

    Our government does not take such action against to them because of P-TOM and CFA from ranil LTTE can play along but not for the government in future they will play in the colombo same like in Jaffna but government will keep the mouth shut because of CFA - P-TOM & island wide freedom is- than P-TOM or CFA.

  • 3 Aug 2005 23:08:14 GMT


    It seems you have already started election campaign in favor of Mahinda. I agree that Ranil is responsible for legitimating LTTE since during his government LTTE acquired most of the communication and related equipments as a result of CFA agreement. But, remember CBK was the president at that time and she didn?t do anything to stop sending unopened 40 foot containers to LTTE directly though she has the power do so as an executive president. However, she worried about the lottery board.

    My question is why not Mahinda Rajapaksa as a reputed political member asked president, leader of the party to stop UNF unethical activities. Did Mahinda R. aware of UNF activities? Ok, let assume that he didn?t have enough power at that time to pressure president to stop UNF works.

    If we take the very recent matter, PTOM agreement was signed between government and LTTE. As a prime minister, did he aware about this? Answer is No. So, why he didn?t ask president about the P-TOM? As a prime minister does he have a back born to question president if anything going to affect the country?s security?

    When it?s come to power/politics both Ranil and Mahinda act same. During previous general election Ranil confirmed that he going to sign a CFA between LTTE and government to stop the war. But no body knew the content until it signed. However, Mahinda won?t speak much before election since he doesn?t wont to loose this opportunity. Once he became a president he will do the same to stay in power.

    PS: Personally I don?t support either Ranil or Mahinda.