The Sri Lanka inspectors` Association (SLIA) has urged the media to be wary of letting the LTTE gain legitimacy from the coverage of the illegal detention of three policemen in Kilinochchi pending a kangaroo trial. SLIA President Inspector Dale Gunaratne has frowned on some of the wrong terms loosely used by the media such as arrest, police, courts, remand, etc., in relation to the LTTE. He has hit the nail on the head! It is mostly the media attention and the attendant recognition that the LTTE seeks by holding the three policemen.
It is ironical that those human rights activists who pit themselves against the police and the judiciary of the legitimate state and even go to the extent of publicly criticizing some of the Supreme Court Judgments, has turned a blind eye to the kangaroo courts of the LTTE and their illegal operations. If what the LTTE is doing is right, then by the same token what Veerappan, the brigand was doing in India was also right. A partially blind Veerappan met violent death at the hands of the Indian law enforcement officers, but the LTTE leaders are going places despite their sordid operations.
Every terror group manipulates the media. The LTTE is also quite adept at doing so. After all, journalism in itself is a process of manipulating others and being manipulated. But for the penchant of the media for sensationalism, most terror attacks the world has suffered would not have been so effective a tool for terrorists to instill fear into the minds of the peace loving people and frighten them into submission. When bin Laden attacked the Twin Towers, Pentagon and other targets, it was not the debilitation of the US that he had in mind ? he was not so naive as to strive for the impossible ? instead he needed the world to know what he was capable of and to send his message of terror across the globe. He became a household word in no time thanks to the worldwide publicity his dastardly terror attacks received from the global media. The same goes for all other terror outfits. Unfortunately, there is no way for the media to avoid being manipulated by the terrorists. How can terror attacks be allowed to go unreported? The public has a right to know and the media has to respect that right irrespective of consequences, as it is argued.
What is wrong with the coverage of terrorism, we believe, is not so much publicity that accrues to it but the glaring bias that a section of the media has for terror groups and their tendency to sanitise their violence, which is mistaken for the reaction of the underdog. The BBC documentary featuring Black Tigers is a case in point. The vast majority of members of the Fourth Estate sans any hidden agenda also fall for the wiles of terrorists, out of ignorance.
The terms that the SLIA frowns on, too, stem from biases and the ignorance. How biased a section of the Sri Lankan media towards the LTTE was manifestly evident at the media conference the LTTE leader held in Kilinochchi in 2002. Some `media persons` went to the extent of applauding Prabhakaran in so shameless a manner, making a mockery of the Sri Lankan media in the process. The bias of others is not so manifest and the way they subcontract for the LTTE is very subtle. In a way, they are singing for their supper, propagating as they do myths and lies to bolster the LTTE`s claim of statehood. They operate in tandem with the pro-terror NGO`s which throw money around.
If the ultimate goal of the LTTE is the creation of a democratic society as claimed, then it shouldn`t have rushed to the rescue of the paedophile; instead, it should have `arrested` and handed him over to the National Child Protection Authority. The fact that the outfit `arrested` not him but the policemen who were pursuing him points to the kind of state the LTTE wants to create ? a haven for criminals. Today, all the vehicles robbed in the South end up in the LTTE-controlled areas and guns and drugs reach Colombo through those areas.
Those who are helping the LTTE with its separatist propaganda wittingly or unwittingly are aiding and abetting its terror and making a contribution to its campaign to create a criminals paradise in Sri Lanka. That`s for sure!