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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2961

UNESCO's Matsuura bombarded with protests for backing Tamil Tiger terrorists

Colombo, 07 December, ( Following the strong protest lodged by the Sri Lankan Amabssador, Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswsara, the Director General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, has agreed to review the statement in which he criticised the bombing of the Voice of Tigers (VoT) by the Sri Lankan Air Force, said Ravinath Ariyasinha, Foreign Ministry Spokesman in an interview with Asian Tribune.

Ambassador Wagiswara had demanded a retraction from Matsuura.when she had a face-to-face meeting yesterday.

In the meantime, the office of Director General of UNESCO, has been bombarded with protests from Sri Lankans angered by his gaffe on glorifying Tamil Tigers terrorism. He was accused of repeating the identical allegation made by pro-Tiger NGOs in Colombo of killing civilians when the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed the Voice of Tigers (VoT) -- a key communication centre.

Ranjith Soysa, spokesperson for the Melbourne-based Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights, told the Asian Tribune that the name of Director General should be changed into "Mut-suura" for making a blunder of such huge proportions. He argued that Matsuura should not prostitute his position and bring disrepute to UNESCO.

"Obviously, Matsura is ignorant of the basic facts," said Soysa...”Only agents of Tamil Tiger terrorists glorifying terrorism could have been at VoT since Tiger installations are guarded heavily. If they are journalists they should uphold international law which forbids glorifying terrorism. Accordingly, they had no business to be a part of VoT. Journalists have no right to be above the law."

He added: "Pro-Tiger NGOs like the Centre for Policy Alternative,(CPA) too has come out crying for the Tigers Once again has put its foot in the mouth when it accused the Governemnet of Sri Lanka of killing journalists. Playing their usual partisan role CPA has deliberately ignored the consequences of "civilians/journalists" occupying a terrorist communication centre in a war zone. If they were "journalists" they were taking a calculated risk like any other journalist in a war zone. The Government of Sri Lanka did not bomb VoT to suppress the freedom of speech. It bombed VoT like the way NATO bombed tens of communication centres in Serbia. If it is right for NATO to bomb radio stations in other parts of the world, why is it wrong for Government of Sri Lanka to follow their example?" asked Mr. Soysa. .

Matsuura's blunder has also brought the role UN under the scrutiny of Sri Lankan media. UN as a whole has come under fire for playing a questionable role in Sri Lanka. It is seen increasingly as a misguided missile shooting in the direction.

- Asian Tribune -

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