Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Headlines you will not see

My post about child soldiers yesterday was partially out of frustration with BBC for their reporting style of Sri Lankan civil war.I'm Sinhalese who believe that Tamil minority have been wronged in the past and the way out is only through negotiations.I firmly believe that Tigers are terrosists and should be defeated but we have take into consideration the ground realities.I witnessed how the moderates had to get in line on get killed during '87-'90 era in the south. I sympathasize with the remaining Tamil moderates who try not to antagonize LTTE in the north .This post is not about LTTE ,GOSL or Karuna.It's about the actual "Third Party" in the Sri Lankan conflict ,international media.

BBC has changed the headline substantially from yesterday.(check the google cache for news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/south_asia/6144200.stm "S Lanka 'recruits child fighters'")
Sri Lankan government forces are recruiting child soldiers to fight against the Tamil Tiger rebels, the United Nations has said.
A senior UN official said the troops had been rounding up children to fight with the renegade Karuna rebel group.
(emphasis mine)
Let's assume you are a ordinary person who checks the international news of the day.What is your first impression?
Now it has been watered down(Sri Lanka youth 'seized to fight' ).
"Elements in the Sri Lankan military are helping a breakaway rebel faction to abduct children as soldiers to fight Tamil Tiger rebels, the UN has said"(emphasis is mine)

The damage is already done .Who gives a ---- about a third world country where this headline could make life miserable for a lot of people for a long period of time?

Let's apply the same standards for another conflict ,Iraq.We can take the headline today . Since Iraqi army ,which is mainly shia ,is recriuted and trained by USA and UK(as occupiers since it is their ultimate responsibility as well ) ,I took the liberty of writing the news for the BBC guys(and gals specialy Dumeetha Luthra,Frances Harrison) !

Headline : US government is training Iraqi kidnappers
US government forces are training Iraqi kidnappers to fight against militants , the United Nations has said.
Iraqi military and Police which is recruited ,trained and armed by US and UK is fighting a increasingly brutal war, today kidnapped 150 civilians.
About 20 of the abductees were released on Tuesday evening, while Iraqi officials suggested some 40 to 50 hostages remained in captivity.
However, figures varied substantially. Initial estimates suggested that more than 100 people had been seized, but that was later revised down.
A spokesman at the education ministry said about 70 people worked in the building, but there was no way of knowing who was in the building at the time.
The attackers,initaily trained and armed by US , stormed the education ministry's research department, locked women in a room and took the men away.
Correspondents say many Iraqis believe mass kidnappings like this latest incident are committed by members of the Shia Muslim-dominated security forces, or take place with their collusion. The security forces are trained and armed by US and UK security forces .
Such kidnappings are often for ransom, but many victims are subsequently found dead.

D.B.S.Jeyaraj does a fair round up I think.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Child Soldiers

The leading news in BBC website has been a UN report on Sri Lanka (1 hrs+).
But Allan Rock, a special adviser to the UN representative for children and armed conflict, said government forces had forcibly rounded up young Tamil children to fight with Col Karuna's group.
"We encountered both direct and indirect evidence of... complicity and participation," he said of the government security services

Who is Allen Rock?Is he this guy?
Allan Rock, PC, BA , LL.B (born August 30, 1947) is a lawyer and former Canadian politician and diplomat. He was Canada's ambassador to the United Nations (2004-2006) and had previously served in the Cabinet of Jean Chrétien, most notably as Justice Minister (1993-1997) and Health Minister (1997-2002).
"In his role as Minister of Justice, Rock was heavily involved in bringing about the Canadian gun registry. This program was plagued by massive cost overruns, and is rumoured to be one of the reasons for the failure of Rock's abortive leadership bid. However Rock's tenure as a federal cabinet minister was in general characterized by controversy ranging from the handling of compensation for victims of tainted blood donations to actions of his department in the Airbus affair (which ended in a public apology and $2,000,000 settlement to Brian Mulroney)."

Looks like Tigers are getting a "little help from their friends " in Canadian Liberal Party.

"Mr Rock said the fact that Sri Lankan troops were complicit in the recruitment of child soldiers meant that Tamil Tiger rebels would continue to do so, as it corroded the rule of law."
(Whoaha that's why they have been recruiting child solders all along! )