Balachandran on Sale ?
Another Market Gimmick by Channel 4
A death of a child, no doubt is a reason to mourn.
The disturbing image of a bullet-ridden body of a boy and the
pictures of him, said to have been taken a few hours before he had
fallen dead; the latest pictures extracted from the controversial
Channel 4 video "No Fire Zone" to be released has caused much pain
In this document a picture of a 12-year-old boy
with bullet holes in his chest can be seen and the director claims
that the boy is Balachandran Prabhakaran, the youngest son of LTTE
leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. The director is Callum Macrae, a
former reporter at Channel 4, now turned director. It is to be noted
that the some of this pictures were largely circulated in the
internet and most of them have appeared in the previous Channel 4
For many, who have viewed Channel 4's previous
videos, this is heart-rending as a body of a teenage boy is shown.
It is good to highlight the killing of a child in a video, but
hasn't 'Channel 4' have a 'reputation' of releasing fictitious
videos?. What are the motives ? What are its interests ? who funds
them ? Why at this time? are the questions that begets an answer.
Indian Union External Affairs Minister Salman
Khurshid had said he had seen the pictures and the report on the
alleged coldblooded killing of LTTE chief V. Prabakaran's minor son
by the Sri Lankan Army but could not vouch for their authenticity.
Mr. Khurshid was asked about the government's response to the op-ed
in The Hindu's Tuesday edition based on a British documentary
featuring the pictures of the killing of Prabakaran's 12-year-old
son, Balachandran. Sri Lanka has dismissed the report as "lies,
half-truths and numerous forms of speculation" and suggested such
reports make a comeback around this time of the year when Sri
Lanka's human rights situation comes up for appraisal before a
United Nation's committee.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam
too responding to the allegations had stated to the media that the
photographs had no 'credibility ' and said the photos in the
documentary are "morphed" and 'diabolical' and deemed that it seems
to be motivated for a particular purpose of influencing the debate
in the Human Right's council in the Sri Lanka situation. He added
the documentary was the propaganda of LTTE backers and that the Sri
Lankan military did not kill Prabhakaran's 12-year-old son. "Prabhakaran's
son could have been killed in crossfire while he was in a little
the Channel 4 team well and truly missed incidents where thousands
children including new-born babies were killed in cold blood? The
video clearly shows that the so-called investigators of Channel 4
have not done their homework and pretend they were not aware of the
ground realities in the North working to a hidden agenda. The
history of the ruthless LTTE is full of such gruesome killings where
children, despite their ethnicity were chopped, smashed and bombed.
Whilst this is not an attempt to justify the
purported death of the of the boy shown in the video, but to remind
Channel 4 that thousands of Sri Lankan children, who perished even
into their teens, are waiting for justice from Channel 4 to air
similar videos of their stories which also need to be heard.
The LTTE massacre of innocent Sinhala villagers to
ethnically cleanse the North
commenced way back in 1984, with the attack on the two farming
villages of Kent and Dollar Farms in Mullaitivu.
LTTE terrorists made a killing field of these two
villages and armed LTTE terrorists chopped, gunned down and
decimated the village killing 33 villagers, majority of whom were
women and children at these two farms.
It the LTTE's second attack on the Sinhala village
- Kent Farm, they killed 29 civilians, including women and children.
On August 3, 1990, the LTTE killed over 147 Muslim
men and boys of a crowd of over 300 worshippers who were prostrating
for 'Isha' prayers in the Meer Jumma, Husseinia, Majid-Jul-Noor and
Fowzie Mosques in Kattankudi, a Muslim town 140 miles east of
Colombo, in Batticaloa where they continuously fired at the
worshippers for over 15 minutes.
In June 15, 2006 the LTTE killed 64 innocent
civilians including 15 children in twin claymore mine bus attack on
a fully packed bus consisting of the sick enroute to the
Aranthalawa Massacre on June 2, 1987, where 33 Buddhist Monks: 30 of
them young novice monks below 15 years, were gunned down and is
considered one of the most gruesome and
barbaric killings committed by the LTTE. The monks were on a
pilgrimage to a temple in the South when the terrorists stopped and
ordered the driver to divert the bus into the nearby Aranthalawa
jungle. Thereafter the LTTE cadres went on a rampage, attacking the
monks with machetes and swords in a macabre and gory manner.
The Anuradhapura massacre in 1985 was the largest
massacre; first the LTTE cadres opened fire indiscriminately with
automatic weapons killing and wounding many civilians who were
waiting for public transport. Thereafter LTTE cadres drove to the
Sacred Sri Maha Bodhi Shrine venerated by Buddhist and gunned down
nuns, monks and civilians as they prayed inside the Buddhist shrine.
Whilst withdrawing, the LTTE strike force entered
the national park of Wilpattu killed another 18 Sinhalese in the
forest reserve, and at day's end 146 innocent Sinhalese men, women
and children in Anuradhapura ended being massacred by the LTTE
LTTE terrorists stormed into village at around
7.30 pm and killed nine Sinhalese including a
one-and-a-half-year-old infant and a 11-year-old boy on April 12
2009 just prior to the Sinhalese new year.
In " Ruthless" - a video released by the
Government eye-witness provide accounts of atrocities committed by
the ruthless LTTE which indeed are crimes against humanity.
The two badly damaged buses lay between
Vellamullivaikkal and Wadduvakkal, in which forcibly conscripted
children: wounded and injured were gunned down by the LTTE in May,
2009, to prevent them being witnesses to the plight the LTTE forced
them to be as child soldiers, a grim reminder of the of the
brutality the LTTE forced on the children in their final battle
before their fall.
An eye witness states "The LTTE brought a bus full
of wounded boys, girls and elders who had been forcibly thrown into
battlefronts. Two days before the LTTE's annihilation in the waters
of the Nandikadal Lagoon, the LTTE leader instructed his
subordinates to destroy their battle casualties, who had been
ill-trained and conscripted to fight the advancing military might.
Ruthless LTTE cadres loaded disabled and wounded cadres into a bus
from the makeshift hospital and exploded the buses, not leaving a
Three victims of child conscription narrate the
incident of forced abduction from a Catholic church where they
sought refuge. "fearing my abduction, my father sent me to the
church and he said the LTTE would not abduct children from the
church. But I was there only a day, the LTTE stormed the place and
abducted the children. Girls and boys ran hither and thither inside
the church while the LTTE started shooting us. The LTTE left only
one door open and they pulled out the children - one by one. A woman
was shot at as she was obstructing the LTTE from taking her child
Vignesh "I hid myself and later heard that the
LTTE had taken all the children away. When I went to the church
later, I only saw women crying and cursing the LTTE for abducting
Bala was another child who was snatched away by
the LTTE while he was at the church along with many other children.
"The LTTE took me to Mullivaikkal to fight".
is now the responsibility for Channel 4 which brought up the issue
of a death of the 12-year-old boy: as a responsible media - to
produce a video to show the gruesome killings of thousands of
innocent children who too are 'Balachandran's' for whom they seem
not cry nor shed tears. Are they children of a lesser God?
How can Channel 4, which boasts of engaging in
responsible journalism, miss the heinous crimes committed by the
LTTE? What excuse could Channel- 4 give for those innocent Sinhala,
Tamil and Muslim children who were executed by the LTTE for over
Are they aware of the anger and hatreds of
Northern civilians, who fought against the forced conscription of
their innocent children, by the LTTE and its leadership? Did not the
LTTE leaders hide their children from the public as civilians
protested against them for safeguarding their children while the
LTTE leaders ordering to conscripted other innocent children to
fight their cause?
Is not one such child protected with care,
Balachandran - Prabhakaran's son. This is evident even in the
Channel 4 documentary where it is shown that the boy was killed with
five of the LTTE bodyguards.
Not only civilians even LTTE cadres vehemently
criticised the LTTE leaders as their siblings were conscripted
during the final months of the end battle.
"Many families in my village lost their small
children", said the ex-LTTE cadre Raju "they assaulted and killed
one LTTE policeman who helped civilians, whom they kept as hostages
to flee the government controlled areas.civilians whose lives were
reduced to zero came to Government controlled areas and cursed
Prabhakaran and his family for destroying their lives".
Channel 4 and the pro-LTTE fronts are still trying
to give a fresh breathe of life to the defunct LTTE. Did not the
Security Forces save the family members of their leaders - Soosai
and Thamilselvan and other prominent LTTE.
What could preclude civilians and ordinary LTTE
cadres venting their anger against and even killing the family of
the LTTE leader, who destroyed their future with bloodletting for
over 30 long years?
the spotlight is forced on this 12-year-old boy, how many boys and
girls of his age were killed on the orders of Prabhakaran. Did he
and his LTTE leaders not send a schoolgirl blow herself to prevent
civilians fleeing from LTTE control? There may be numerous such
incidents where the LTTE used the innocent children to commit murder
and killing for them.
How ethical is it for Channel 4 to allege the
killing of Balachandran on government forces who indulged in a
humanitarian operation in rescuing over 300,000 Tamils from the
terror of the LTTE? Is it not because of the LTTE's intransigence
that the civilians had to undergo such trauma and hardship till they
were rescued by the armed forces, did they listen to the voice and
pleas of the international community?
the soldiers intended to kill family members of the LTTE hierarchy,
why did they
bring the wife and children of Sea Tiger leader Soosai and leader of
its Political Wing S.P. Thamilselvan safely to Colombo and then the
Government has even taken steps to secure their future. How has
Channel 4 slipped up on this positive story in their videos?
It is strange as to how Channel 4 identified the
boy in the picture as Prabhakaran's son and came into a conclusion
that he was killed by the Security Forces.
Has Channel 4 marketed 'Balachandran' at the
behest of others who wish to achieve their ulterior motives, or
aroused by pro-LTTE fronts in order to attack the Government at the
UN Human Rights Sessions.
Unfortunately, Channel 4 has missed out on this
sadness and the plight and the stories of the sons and
daughters of Sirisena or Murugesu or Hakeem, who as ordinary
civilians had many dreams for their children. Are they less
important? Perhaps thosee innocent children are not marketable like
An innocent child, whose killers yet unknown, is
on 'sale' once again in Channel 4's latest endeavour 'No War Zone -
the killing fields of Sri Lanka'. The Channel 4 team waits
enthusiastically vulture like each year till the UNHRC sessions to
release such controversial video to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka.
Human Rights activists will now clamour for action
against their allegation in the video, but their silence and
duplicity will also be questioned over the many incidents where
innocent Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim children were butchered to death.
Ironically the question that begets an answer is where was the
conscience of these so called independent media when Sri Lanka was
under the throes of a war for 30 years.
Now they have suddenly developed a conscience to a
few incidents they say happened during the final stages of the war
and developed an amnesia to the suffering the civilians underwent
over 2 decades due to the tyranny of a despot. The conscience of the
so called free media awakens every year only at a given time, and
which only tends to open a healing wound. Do they wish for
reconcilation? Or is it that they wish to assist the LTTE
sympathisers to achieve their goals in a devious manner which they
failed to achieve to militarily? Anyway some organisations will
market even a dead horse to survive.
By: W M Rajakaruna