Monday, July 31, 2006

bbc's dumeetha luthra does it again

biased reporting of bbc reporter dumeetha luthra continues. her latest report on the sri lankan military operation to free the water that is being held hostage by ltte terrorists is entitled "sri lanka advances against tamils". in other words she is equating terrorists with tamils.

she reported extremely exaggerated figures about the number of people displaced, when after months of restraint governments started limited operations against selected ltte positions after the terrorist tried to kill army commander in april. this was noted and widely criticized at the time. almost all her reports contain biased statements as a matter of course. one such was pointed out here.

some bias in reporting by western media is understandable and can be excused as i wrote earlier. however when they deal with sri lanka specifically they should be more careful if they want to retain any credibility.

or are we going to see bbc headlines like 'israel bombs muslims/lebanese/arabs', instead of 'isreal bombs the hezbollah strongholds', or 'tamils blow up bus', instead of 'suspected tiger rebels blow up bus', in the future ?

ps
if you want to let bbc know that this kind of reporting is unacceptable, you can do so using the online form available here. i have.

update
report's title has been changed to 'sri Lanka ground offensive begins' now . see here for google news search results for old title which links to the same story(url) . i also have screen capture of cache copy of this if anyone needs more proof that the title was changed.

update 2
now the whole story has been changed completely. and title has changed yet again to 'sri lanka offensive intensifies' and dumeetha luthra's name which appeared at the top has disappeared. there is no acknowledgment of any changes.

original story (
that appeared on the same url) :

Sri Lanka advances against Tamils
By Dumeetha Luthra
BBC News, Colombo

Sri Lankan soldiers near Trincomalee.Troops have moved forward to capture the land
Sri Lankan forces have launched a ground offensive against the Tamil Tiger rebels to free a canal.

The advancement follows four days of air strikes, and comes after Finland and Denmark said they would withdraw their ceasefire monitors in the state.

The government said the offensive aims to free the waterway, which they say the rebels have blocked, in the north-eastern district of Trincomalee.

It is the first such advance since a ceasefire was signed in 2002.

The government has called the offensive a humanitarian intervention to open the sluice gates.

Over-stretched mission

Thousands of farmers around the Mavilaru waterway in Trincomalee have been affected by the blockade.

The area stands along the ill-defined border between rebel-held and government-controlled territory.

This latest skirmish comes as the international ceasefire monitoring mission faces severe problems.

Denmark and Finland are pulling out because the Tigers refuse to provide safety guarantees for individual monitors from EU countries.

The rebels say those observers can no longer be neutral because the EU has listed the Tigers as a terrorist organisation.

The withdrawal will reduce an already over-stretched mission by a third.

17 comments:

childof25 said...

Have they changed the title? Cos it reads "Sri Lanka ground offensive begins"?

Keshi said...

She must be a pro-LTTE. Then it's obvious she doesnt see the SL Army can do good too.

Keshi.

Voice_in_Colombo said...

The propeganda mechanism of tigers is very strong compared to that of GOSL. They have cleverly crawled into all these international media, to report biased news items. They were very succesfully sneaked into the local media as well, when Wasantha Raja was appointed chairman of Rupavahini. Today, there's a huge possibility that pro-LTTE people are hidden inside some of local TV & press media institutions. When I see some local TV news channels, and read some sunday papers, I wonder are they exceeding the limits of BBC and western media.

ravana said...

I have to agree with you on this one. Have you considered the possibility that perhaps the news editors publish the story with any title they see fit, or any phrasing they prefer, rather than consulting the news reporter on site for every change?

I can't see how any rational on-site reporter would be so ignorant as to title a piece on the present battle "Sri Lanka Advances Against Tamils." It's got to be an editing room thing.

The Benevolent Dictator said...

Don't bother guys... it's useless. Those days we used to get experienced bastards like George Arney. Now all we get is fresh-out-of-journalism school types like Dumeethra. To be honest, I don't think she's biased. She's just plain stupid and has adopted the post-colonial guilt trip that BBC has which makes them support underdogs the world over. If you ever have the chance to watch her being interviwed live on BBC News when Lakshman Kadirgamar was killed, please do. That was unbelievable!

sittingnut said...

childof25 :
thanks letting me know they have changed the title.

keshi:
she either biased or naive and depend too much on pro ltte sources.

voice_in_colombo:
propaganda itself is not wrong. ppl have right to say what they want .
only ppl at large should be made aware that it is propaganda not unbiased news.

ravana :
that this is a editing room thing is a possibility.
but most of this kind of thing happen with this reporter. other reports in bbc are sometimes quite impartial. i think she is at fault on balance.
anyway story appear under her name she should be held responsible.

the benevolent dictator:
it is possible that she is naive and depend too much ltte pro-sources, due to, as you say, 'post-colonial guilt trip'.
bt she should be held responsible for things appearing under her name.

ravana said...

Benevolent Dictator: Dumeetha Luthra is not inexperienced. She's been in Chechnya, Afghanistan, and Palestine, if I remember right. Also, she's not straight out of school. She looks like she's in here early thirties.

Mr. Evil said...

Hmmmm... she seems like a lozer.. should be taken out immediately..

Anonymous said...

This is the complaint I lodged at the BBC site (with the URL u gave) and the reply they provided. NOTE the reply is on top.




Ms Luthra had nothing to do with the headline. The headlines get
written in London, not Sri Lanka. We agree with you that it was a bad
headline originally, that is why we changed it. But it has nothing to do
with Ms Luthra in whose impartiality we are fully confident.

Best wishes,

BBC News website.

-----Original Message-----
From: zumfil@yahoo.com [mailto:zumfil@yahoo.com]
Sent: 31 July 2006 20:18
To: NewsOnline Complaints
Subject: Feedback [NewsWatch]


From: Zum Fil
Email address: zumfil@yahoo.com
Country: Sri Lanka

COMMENTS: Dumeetha Luthra's report was titled ""Sri Lanka Advances
Against Tamils".(It is changed now) By this she has equated Tamils with
the LTTE, since the SL Army had actually advanced against the LTTE that
was holding back the Water Supply to around 15,000 families.

This is just another instance of the biased reporting of Luthra. I
request that you remove this reporter from SL.
Zum Fil, Sri Lanka

URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5229248.stm

sittingnut said...

ravana
thanks for the details
even the experienced can be biased or naive it seems

mr. evil:
not sure about taking out, but these should be exposed

anon at 8/03/2006 1:04 am
thanks for the information.
they did not reply to my complaint which i made in my real name before this post was posted.
i don't think they can get away with this that easily, esp. given their history. if anything their response to you spreads the blame inside bbc
and as i said she had her name on the original report.

Anonymous said...

BBC reporter seem to be reporting in way promoting terrorism according to her personal agenda, despite official stand of the British Administration banning such organisations. She is not a very good example in the global efforts to control terrorism all over the world in a uniform and a universal manner.

sittingnut said...

anon at 8/17/2006 7:42 pm
ppl free to believe what they want and express their beliefs .
but they should be open about it esp. when it comes to reporters. they should not pretend to be impartial when they are not.

Anonymous said...

weldone SLA !!!!

Anonymous said...

F--- Dumeetha Luthra. Congratulations on the achievements by the SL army and air force. Next time this bitch does it again she should be beheaded just like in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I 100% agreed with you. We all know Western media has their hidden agendas and they always shamelessly deviate from the realitty. But I think SL goverment should effectvely react against this much of biased reporters before the situation get more worsen.

Birendra Illeperuma

The Killer of Ravana said...

don't abuse the word libertarian.

just because ltte are anti-libertarian it doesn't mean MOST of singhalese politics is too.

please, verify the word libertarian again and think about current government and its anti-personal freedom attitude.

sittingnut said...

the killer of ravana:
quote one thing i said that is against libertarian principles? before you try to educate me, may be you should read the blog first