Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 922

French TV Report about Ethnic Cleansing by Government in Colombo, A Canard: Embassy in Paris Protests

Paris, 28 February, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lankan Embassy in France has strongly objected to France 24, an English TV channel distorting the situation in Sri Lankan when they broadcast a the special report "Sri Lanka:Tamil Mothers Waiting for Their Sons,".

Asian Tribune published news of this Special report yesterday. The Embassy stated that the special report was one-sided, factually inaccurate and exaggerated. The Embassy has insisted that if the Special Report is to be telecast once again on February 29, 2008, the Sri Lankan Ambassador in France be allowed to have a slot in that programme to clarify the position.

The Embassy stated that Mr Mano Ganesan, Member of Parliament who accuses the Government of ‘ethnic cleansing’ is not in ‘exile for security reasons’ as alleged in the special report. He is living in Sri Lanka and the Government has provided him with 18 police personnel for his protection. He lives in Colombo. Ethnic cleansing is a complete canard.

Mr Ganesan's charges that the government evicted Colombo Tamils and taken them to their villages by buses. The facts are that of the 200,000 Tamil population of Colombo, only 379 persons were taken to temporary centres for displaced persons for 2 days and all of them were taken back to Colombo after two days and all of them live in Colombo. The Embassy reiterated that the allegation that hundreds have been abducted or disappeared is an absolute canard. After his return from India last month, Mr Ganesan has complained about 6 disappearances and all the six persons have been traced and they are alive and safe.

The Embassy repudiated all the major points in the Special report as follows: The allegation that people have been detained for ‘5 or 6 years’ is totally false and not a single person has been detained for such a long period. Such sweeping statements should not be reported without verification.

There is no truth whatsoever about the absurd charge of ’ethnic cleansing’ and in Colombo city population comprises of 35 percent Tamils who live safely. The road checks and security measures are strictly to curb terrorist activities and the checking of people and vehicles has not been restricted to one community. These checking and security measures are essential in any country faced with terrorist threats.

The narrator says the ceasefire is in tatters and blames the government. He ignores the fact that the LTTE has violated the ceasefire agreement by over 7000 times, which has been documented by the Scandinavian ceasefire monitors.

The report also failed to tell the audience that the alleged killer of Mr Maheswaran, who was shot dead in a Hindu temple was arrested on the spot and the investigations have revealed that he was a member of the Tamil Tigers.

The situation in Sri Lanka is very complex brought about primarily by the Tamil Tigers who have, for more than two decades resorted to terrorism. The Tamil civilians living in France have also fallen victims to their terrorist tactics which are well known to the French Foreign Office and the Police.

The programme has not followed the usual journalistic ethics of seeking clarifications or explanations from the government on any of the dozens of allegations levelled against the government in this special report.

According to Minister Counsellor Sugeeswara Senadhira of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris, the Embassy has brought the following points to the notice of France 24 regarding the Special Report: Sri Lanka: Tamil Mothers Waiting for Their Sons

1. The report portrays a one-sided view of the situation in Sri Lanka.

2. The English Service of the France 24 is a news channel which is generally seen as a reputed news channel which has gain grounds during the short period it has been on the air. It is, therefore with much regret that I send this letter to point out many factual inaccuracies and exaggerations in the report and some of the interviews have been edited to give an out of context and twisted meaning. Hence, the Government of Sri Lanka wishes to clarify the actual position with regard to some unfair allegations made in the report.

3. Mr Mano Ganesan, Member of Parliament who accuses the Government of ‘ethnic cleansing’ is not in ‘exile for security reasons’ as alleged in the special report. He is living in Sri Lanka and the Government has provided him with 8 police personnel and back-up vehicles for his protection. He lives in Colombo.

4. Mr Ganesan charges that the government has evicted Colombo Tamils and taken them to their villages by buses. Of the 200,000 Tamil population of Colombo, only 379 persons were taken to temporary centres for displaced persons for 2 days and all of them were taken back to Colombo after two days and all of them live in Colombo.

5. The allegation that hundreds have been abducted or disappeared is an absolute canard. After his return from India last month, Mr Ganesan has complained about 6 disappearances and all the six persons have been traced and they are alive and safe.

The allegation that people have been detained for ‘5 or 6 years’ is totally false and not a single person has been detained for such a long period. Such sweeping statements should not be reported without verification.

6. There is no truth whatsoever about the absurd charge of ’ethnic cleansing’ and in Colombo city population comprises of 35 percent Tamils who live safely. The road checks and security measures are strictly to curb terrorist activities and the checking of people and vehicles has not been restricted to one community. These checking and security measures are essential in any country faced with terrorist threats.

7. The narrator says the ceasefire is in tatters and blames the government. He ignores the fact that the LTTE has violated the ceasefire agreement by over 7000 times, which has been documented by the Scandinavian ceasefire monitors.

8. The report also failed to tell the audience that the alleged killer of Mr Maheswaran, who was shot dead in a Hindu temple was arrested on the spot and the investigations have revealed that he was a member of the Tamil Tigers.

9. The situation in Sri Lanka is very complex brought about primarily by the Tamil Tigers who have, for more than two decades resorted to terrorism. The Tamil civilians living in France have also fallen victims to their terrorist tactics which are well known to the French Foreign Office and the Police.

10. The programme has not followed the usual journalistic ethics of seeking clarifications or explanations from the government on any of the dozens of allegations levelled against the government in this special report.

11. As the Special Report is to be telecast once again on February 29, 2008 the Sri Lanka Ambassador in France would appreciate to have a slot in your programme to clarify the position before the controversial Special Report is telecast for the second time.

An urgent response in this regard will be much appreciated.

- Asian Tribune -

Share this


.