Emphasizing Infamy In Authorizing Rebel Leader's Address And Transmitting It To The Nation And The World Could Be Misconstrued As An Endorsement!

World Council Of Sinhala Peers for LankaWeb

With most of the local media reporting rather excitedly that the Presidential takeover of State Media and National Television has resulted in an historic broadcast of rebel leader Pirapaharan's 'Maveerar ("Heroes') Day' address there seems to be a sense of circumspect insecurity surrounding the circumstances under which this event has been authorised and broadcast live to the Nation and the World leaving many wondering what the objectives were of what appeared to be a very circumspect decision by the President at a time when one would have expected the least amount of positive publicity to be given to someone as infamous as Pirapaharan who in reality should be considered Sri Lanka's public enemy No. 1 and certainly no hero in the eyes of the Sinhala Nation!

After all if there is any publicity needed to be given about someone as evil and murderous as Pirapaharan it should be related to his criminality similar to the lines of America's Most Wanted' perhaps, which is broadcast nationally in the USA on a weekly basis with the sole intention of tracking down criminals and bringing them to justice which does not seem to have been the objective behind this particular broadcast.

There seems to be a trend of thought permeating amongst the more discerning both nationally and globally that this then has been a rather confused attempt to out do the UNF and synonymously elicit a response from the LTTE which in the long term might pay dividends towards National Peace but also a move which could easily backfire as to its intentions if interpreted as positive publicity given by the President towards the rebel leader by those who adulate him and regard him as a deliverer where there is an ironical twist to the move as it has been sanctioned by a President on behalf of a terrorist who almost succeded in assassinating her!

There is a gathering wave of incredulity and curiosity within Sri Lanka particularly at a time when there might be a snap election in the offing indicating that such publicity purportedly given by President Kumaratunga to the likes of a criminal as notorious as Velupillai Pirapaharan whose mood has displayed great insincerity and pretense while also incorporating veiled threats in his address towards secession and ultimatums towards accommodating their demands may not necessarily have its desired effect on the Nation nor augur well towards the ultimate victory at the Polls and the timing hopefully not adverse towards her successes and one which may be pounced upon by the UNF Administration to their advantage which of late has not had too much room to manouvre as a result of their own bunglings relative to the Peace Process.

There appears to be a degree of confusion however about the credibilities of the President's direct involvement in the decision which was the natural assumption after her takeover of the Ministries in charge of the State Media and Broadcasting as the allegations of her consent were refuted by the President's Office as inaccurate and relative veracities yet to be established.

If however this is a Presidential mood change from her normal hostile stance towards the LTTE to one of greater moderation and tolerance, and if measured carefully and analysed as a tactical ploy towards mellowing the LTTE, what stands out as the greatest concerns for Sri Lanka would be the disparity between the negative fallout from the Nation expressing concerns about such a move and the positive fallout from LTTE camps towards LTTE opinion that the President has had a change of heart towards them and demand greater conciliations which would permit propaganda at a much higher level to be consequently broadcast through the State Media with greater intensity which in turn is bound to be scoffed at by the Wickremasinghe Administration which has not done too badly in this area themselves! In short it would seem as though whoever authorised and sanctioned the Broadcast has probaly failed to grasp the reality that publicity to the LTTE at any level would only favour their image in the eyes of those who champion them and to permit it at the highest level i.e. Rupavahini should have been a NO! NO! unless there was a message conveyed synonymously that it was to depict the insincerities and transparencies of the LTTE which has not been evident at first glance !

At the end of it all the assumption by the more discerning within the Nation would be that this then is a first attempt at legitimizing the LTTE rather than condemning them for their crimes against humanity and that the authorities behind it have made a grave Faux Pas!

In the meantime under the auspices of the LTTE, sadly the attrocites continue of shootings of innocent civilians, abductions of children and youth, extortions and attempted arms shipments from the region of Thailand as recently reported and the rest of the attrocities which have now become known as hallmarks of the LTTE while the politicians continue to pander to their needs whether inadvertently or not!

An excerpt fro the Asian Tribune quoting the Sunday Times has said that quote "It has been learned very reliably that at the outset the programme line-up in question included introducing a variety of political programmes to discuss the negative impact of the LTTE proposals. Also a separate set of programmes were asked to be produced to criticise LTTE activities. They had included documentaries on the North-East situation, the implications to the armed forces serving in the area. Also a special programme was scheduled to be produced to include the Navy which had earlier come under fire from the Government Media.
An interview with Naval eastern area commander Wasantha Karannagoda had also been on the production line. The production team of the Rupavahini programme "Finger Print" had been asked to produce segments on the murder of Dehiwala OIC allegedly by an LTTE cadre and also on the storming of the Army Safe House at Aturugiriya Millennium City complex.
But after a few days, rather strangely the whole process had been halted. Orders were sent by President's spokesperson Harim Peiris to Mr. Ekanayake, directing him to launch a campaign to support the proposed arrangements to reach consensus on National issues between the President and the government. Besides the uplink facility provided to the LTTE for the first time, The Sunday Times has learnt that there has been an about-turn in the State media policy towards the LTTE. This was at the instance of President Kumaratunga who first adopted a hostile stance against the LTTE and later in a change of mind moderated herself considerably." end quote.

It was only last week that The Sunday Times reported President Kumaratunga as having given directions to all State Media Institutions to refrain from criticising the LTTE. The report drew a response from Janadasa Peiris, Director General (Media) in the President's Office. He claimed the report was not true.

Defending the move to provide an uplink facility to broadcast the LTTE programmes, Rupavahini Chairman Harim Peiris is quoted as having said: "In the past we were criticising LTTE's illegal activities such as procuring arms, killing oppnents and extorting money. But now there is a review of the LTTE activities" evoking much speculation about who exactly the WE being refered to are!

The natural assumption of responsibilities thereby point in the direction of the the Status Quo behind the State Media and Broadcasting in what appears to be a grave error of judgement which must be recognized and remedial action taken in the best interests of Sri Lanka which can ill afford to carry banners for the LTTE under any circumstance as the risk involved towards swaying the minds of the Nations proscribing them much too great and easily be made manifest by deproscription through this one single move which may have dire repercussions of a regrettable nature whilst also appearing to be a double standard!

In short! it is an indication of emphasis on infamy by authorizing the LTTE Leader's address to a Nation and the World which could easily be misconstrued as an endorsement by the wrong sources and set off a diastrous chain reaction which could adversely affect Sri Lanka!



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