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Last modified on: 6/24/2011 10:12:32 AM INGO attempt to mislead UN gathering foiled

LANKA'S AMBASSADORS CLARIFY FACT FROM FICTION:

INGO attempt to mislead UN gathering foiled

Sri Lankan diplomats yesterday( June 22), foiled an attempt by International Non Governmental Organizations to mislead a gathering at UN Church Centre by screening the documentary titled 'Sri Lanka's Killing Fields'.

They convinced the gathering of the inconsistencies and the biased narration of the documentary.The screening of this documentary at UN Church Centre was sponsored by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group who claimed that the documentary reinforces the findings of the Controversial Darusman Report. Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN Dr. Palitha Kohona and Deputy Permanent Representative Major General Shavendra Silva proved that the Channel 4 video fiasco is a well-planned ploy to tarnish a country which succeeded in eradicating a deadly terrorist organization which held thousands of innocent civilian hostage.

Major General
Shavendra Silva

Dr. Palitha
Kohona
 

Though Ambassador Major General Shavendra Silva accompanied Ambassador Kohona to the screening, he was not invited by Amnesty International. Perhaps due to the fact that the Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Silva, is the only person who witnessed firsthand what transpired during the final stages of the conflict.

The documentary "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields" was screened at the UN Church Centre yesterday. The event was sponsored by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and The International Crisis Group, who claimed that the documentary reinforces the findings of the Darusman Report.

During the opening statements, Amnesty International stated that the documentary presented "very strong evidence of war crimes" and that there was a "consistent pattern of human rights violations within the Sri Lankan forces." Human Rights Watch also alleges that this documentary proves that war crimes were committed and that "the Sri Lanka government cannot be relied upon for justice". The purpose of this screening, they claimed was to urge the international community to conduct independent investigations.

All of the above accusations as well as the credibility of the Channel 4 documentary was scrutinized by Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. Palitha Kohona and Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Major General Shavendra Silva, who were given the opportunity to respond to the documentary. Though Ambassador Major General Shavenrda Silva accompanied Ambassador Dr. Kohona to the screening, he was not extended an invitation by Amnesty International. Perhaps due to the fact that the Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Silva, is the only person who witnessed firsthand what transpired during the final stages of the conflict.

The inconsistencies as well as the biased narration of the documentary were immediately brought to the audience's attention by the Ambassador Shavendra Silva. Proclamations which were known to be blatant lies as well as the true identities of the individuals in which the movie revolves around were pointed out by Ambassador Silva. Video evidence to support these explanations was unfortunately not permitted to be displayed by Amnesty International.

Ambassador Major General Shavendra Silva informed the audience, that one visual shown in the documentary, displaying an aerial bombing to a specific target in the jungle area, but the Channel 4 uses that particular clip fighter jets purposly bombing a civilian gathering but it was two separate locations but the narrator tried to portray that the casualties occurred owing to the bombing, which the audience accepted.

General Silva informed the audience during this clip, the filmmaker uses two eyewitnesses namely Vany Kumar and Dr. Shanmugaraj. Vany Kumar she had three different aliases in different locations. Namely, Damilvany Kumar, Vany Kumar, Damilvany Gananakumar. The Channel 4 programme says she had been in Sri Lanka only for six months but Ambassador Silva highlighted her stay in Sri Lanka, what her family in the UK has informed through the guardian.co.uk in an interview and proved to the audience that she was infact an LTTE activist and her credibility in the documentary.

Ambassador General Silva also shed light on several statements made by Dr. Shanmugaraja who admits to have given false information to the International Media due to LTTE pressure.

The filmmaker Cullum McRae seemed devastated when Ambassador Silva pointed out the false translation depicted during the clip where civilians are in a trench was also brought to light. The civilians in the trench are shown shouting at the cameraman for recording this and the false translation provided for the Tamil being spoken, is clear evidence that this was infact staged.

Finally, the filmmaker in a desperate attempt to save his image in front of the audience informs that Ambassador Silva would have appeared in front of the LLRC which he had not done. At this moment Ambassador Silva, informs the audience again how untrue the facts and the allegations made by the filmmaker without knowing the correct information where Major General Silva has appeared twice in front of the LLRC to present testimonies. The Filmmaker and the NGO were rendered speechless with the abundance of facts being thrown at their faces. The attendees informed that it was a failure on the part of the NGO to try to present false information.

The audience virtually had no questions during the discussion period following the outstanding counter presentations by Ambassador Dr. Kohona and Ambassador Major General Silva who clarified fact from fiction of this "documentary". The screening which intended to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka was remarkably countered, where even the filmmaker himself, Callum McRae seemed to concede to the points made by the two senior diplomats.

Courtesy: Daily News

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