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FeaturesNewsFake, made for LTTE money: Gota

Fake, made for LTTE money: Gota

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16 June 2011 /  By Duminda Balasuriya
While rejecting the contents of the video aired on the British Channel 4 news channel, Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said they have received information that a fake video had been created by Channel 4 news after obtaining money from pro-LTTE elements.

“Once again some pro-LTTE elements have used the Channel 4 news agency after giving money to them (Channel 4) in order to tarnish the image of both the Sri Lankan government as well as the army,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.

He also said that during the war, the army was always committed to save the lives of innocent civilians and never harmed their lives.

According to Mr. Rajapaksa, the lives of civilians as well as the families of the LTTE leaders, such as widows of LTTE Sea Tiger Leader Soosai and the LTTE Political Chief Thamilchelvan, who were stranded, were protected by the armed forces during and after the war.

“As examples, the army is still giving protection to the families of Soosai and Thamilchelvan, who were top level LTTE leaders and also carefully protected the mother and father of slain LTTE leader Prabhakaran, until their death” Mr. Rajapaksa said.

Mr. Rajapaksa also added that the army always behaved professionally giving utmost priority to safeguard the lives of innocent civilians and the allegation against the army is clearly to tarnish the image of the army internationally.

DM quote
While rejecting the contents of the video aired on the British Channel 4 news channel, Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said they have received information that a fake video had been created by Channel 4 news after obtaining money from pro-LTTE elements.

Govt. to review Ch-4 video

By Dianne Silva

The Government will review the documentary titled “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” aired by Britain’s Channel 4 on Tuesday night.

“We will take a close look at this documentary carefully and have our own forensic experts and foreign experts to look at the footage and respond accordingly,” government spokesman and Media Minister Kheliya Rambukwella told Daily Mirror yesterday.

He said it was premature to comment on the contents of the video or how the government would respond.

“We will take a close look at this documentary carefully and have our own forensic experts and foreign experts to look at the footage and respond accordingly,” government spokesman and Media Minister Kheliya Rambukwella told Daily Mirror yesterday.

He said it was premature to comment on the contents of the video or how the government would respond
The minister said a similar video was telecasted by channel 4 in 2009 and these were proved to be false.

“We had forensic experts to check it out at the time and video footage was proved to be fabricated.

Therefore the authenticity of this documentary and footage is also in doubt,” he said and added that in six months time further fabricated information could be presented and the government would have to keep responding to these allegations as well. The documentary is described as being “a powerful case for bringing those responsible to justice.” The minister responded to this statement as being “one single agenda that is working for its own ends. All this will be revisited and then the government will respond to it accordingly.”

Meanwhile the Media Centre for National Security maintained that it had already proved the video to have been manipulated. “We have maintained that these images are false and have been collected over a period of one year and three months to tarnish the Sri Lankan image,” MCNS Director General Lakshman Hulugalle said.

He said the documentary, even if viewed by locals, would not diminish the morale or image of the military because within the country it was a forgone-conclusion that the footage was manipulated. However he admitted that the video would hurt Sri Lanka’s international image. “It is definitely going to look bad for Sri Lanka internationally. Yet it has been internationally recognized that the Sri Lankan forces are one of the most disciplined forces in the world, especially during the humanitarian operation,” Mr. Hulugalle said.

He said the Sri Lankan High Commission in Britain was handling the matter and the Sri Lankan government was addressing the issue through its diplomatic channels.

The External Affairs Ministry confirmed it had received a communiqué from the British Foreign Office calling on Sri Lanka to address the allegations presented in the documentary.

“There was and official release by the British Foreign Office addressed to the External Affairs Ministry calling for a ‘credible, thorough and independent investigation’ into these allegations. But it does not call for an international enquiry,” highly placed sources at the External Affairs Ministry told the Daily Mirror.

Within the documentary former United Nations spokesmen Gordon Weiss claimed that UN personnel were removed from rebel held areas in September 2008 so as to remove “independent witnesses to what was coming”.
DM

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