after yesterday's terrorist suicide bomb targeting innocents, certain foreign correspondents (from afp and reuters specifically) took it upon themselves to make a totally unfounded judgment about terrorist's targeting criteria. they said that ltte has not targeted civilians in recent years ( even they cannot deny earlier horrors of pussies) limiting themselves to military targets. they went on to say that this targeting may be a retaliation for military operations.
have they forgotten kebitigollewa bus massacre that killed at least 67 people including 15 children on 15 June 2006 (link contains photos and is not for the faint of heart). this was before mavil aru so before any major military operation by gosl. have they forgotten the killings of innocent farmers that happen regularly (last one on 26 november 3 days ago in mahavilachchiya e-village)
of course this kind of biased pro terrorist reporting is nothing new. as i and others have pointed out, racists like simon gardner of reuters and bbc' sri lankan section regularly and repeatedly engage in this sort of reporting. in addition to such white washing of terrorists, such reporters engage in several other forms of biased journalism when it comes sri lanka; racist equation of tamils with terrorists, unquestioning acceptance of ltte's false claim to be representative of tamils, wrong identification of gosl as "sinhalese" (when it fact all the major democratic minority parties are in it), and repetition of absurd white van conspiracy theories of terrorists among others.
so what are we, as ordinary sri lankans opposed terrorism, to do to counter them ?
well for a start, speak out when you see such reports, write about them, and openly condemn them. write to the editors or administrators of mainstream news outsets (be they newspapers, tv stations, or websites) that publish this kind of reporting. most have feedback options, use them. just state the facts and why the report is inaccurate, simply. don't worry too much about english. be authentic.
such write backs matter because generally people who run mainstream news organizations and websites want to preserve their reputations and credibility. as people who have worked in news organizations will know pro israeli organizations and individuals (rightly) send letters by the dozens when there is even a hint of an inaccuracy in reports about israel in any newspaper anywhere in world. we cannot match that, but we can start. in any case reports about sri lanka are comparatively rare, so any letter you write will ultimately help induce people who write and publish, to think twice and check facts in the long term.
blog reactions to terrorist bombing
bloggers have reacted in various ways; some merely acted as reporters, a lot expressed shock and horror, some have been sober and solid in their analysis, others (like cerno) have made valid points about our psychological non reaction to bombs (though it must be stated that most ppl i know were genuinely concerned and hardly indifferent, even though or because of, like me, most have experienced bombs at first hand).
most "interesting " have been the reaction of peacenik bloggers (btw it is great that blogosphere that only two years ago consisted almost exclusively of peaceniks, a tiny minority of sri lankan public at large, now increasingly accommodate other bloggers. at this rate, as i predicted, we would eventually have a blogosphere that will genuinely represent sri lanka).
anyway the peacenik bloggers were "oh so horrified", and after blaming mahinda buffalo, chithanaya, militray, and even the public ( but never the terrorist pussies who according to them will "love peace" if given the opportunity - really !) want us to appease terrorist so that we get "peace". they as usual forget to mention that such a course will involve giving up principles of democracy, human rights, justice, and freedom. similarly they forget millions who will have to suffer a living death under ltte if there was such an appeasement. to peacniks those people (or anyone outside their colombo/foreign cocoons for that matter) are not human.
i was tempted to challenge them in their own blogs but unfortunately am busy at the moment. however as soon as i get some free time i will write a post going through a selection of their posts in detail and examining their confused logic and attitudes.