On BBC's Francis Harrison's report " Up close with the Tamil Tigers"- Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 17:27 GMT :

Having read Francis Harrison's report titled "up close with the Tamil Tigers", my long standing notion that the BBC holds a particular sympathy towards the terrorists Tamil Tigers, was cemented as a reality. The report adopts a tone of glorification of these barbaric terrorists, characteristic of the reporting of the BBC on this issue, noting how the movement has become a "conventional army" and its " equality of the sexes" in a somewhat complimentary tone. However "conventional" the BBC considers the Tamil Tigers, or the status given to their women, the fact remains that the LTTE is and has always been a brutal terrorists organization that has committed ethnic cleansing by hacking to death the sinhala villagers on the borders, indiscriminate bombings of civilian targets such as, trains, buses, and political gatherings or simply any populated place, and commercial targets such as, the airport (during which the lives of several Britons were endangered) ,banks and world trade centers, not to mention the Oil refinery and the Taliban style attack on the sacred Temple of the Tooth, in a relentless campaign to paralyze Srilanka's economy and demoralize its people.

Would the BBC adopt a similar complimentary tone in reporting the IRA or the Al- Quaeda? Or is the LTTE different, more humane or better than the IRA, fighting for a more just cause? It is absolutely astonishing to me as to how the BBC has managed to maintain its loyalty to the Tigers, even after one of its own reporters was shot in the neck by a Tamil Tiger during his coverage of the LTTE's siege of the national petroleum refinery, and especially in a time as this, as the entire world is fighting a "war on international terrorism". Does the LTTE have to launch an attack on a western target to attain credibility as a fully fledged "Terrorist Organization" from the BBC and warrant neutral reporting, even as they have been proscribed as just that by the US, Canada, Australia, India and even your own British government? After all this whole mess of an ethnic conflict that the people in Sri lanka have had to bear for decades was a direct result of the polarization of the Sri lankan Tamil minority against the majority Sinhalese by the British Colonialists.

The people of Sri Lanka, including the Tamils who cohabit with the Sinhalese outside the conflict areas are the real victims of this war. Not the Tamil Tigers. What the BBC has to understand is that the LTTE does not represent the aspirations of the common Tamil in Sri Lanka who could not care less about an independent country for them in the north and the east. The LTTE is just an uncompromising, radical element representing a miniscule portion of the Tamil population of Sri Lanka, and has committed atrocities on their own population. It has killed 10,000 Tamils since 1983, and also the former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the former Sri Lankan pres

Gayan Kodikara


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