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I am writing in response to an article by Amarnath Amarasingham about Post-War Sri Lanka, which seems to have been motivated by an interview I gave on Al-Jazeera. Amarasingham, a doctoral candidate at Wilfred Laurier University, declares that his response to queries as to why he had not weighed in on the recent Channel 4 documentary, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields,’ is that he had not gotten over his ‘moment of sheer speechlessness’. Then, as though to make it clear that this was just a figure of speech(lessness), he changed tack to say that there was nothing left to say, given the horrors of what the ‘documentary’ had portrayed, culminating in what he tellingly describes as ‘cameras stalking the hollow cries of a mother clutching the tiny body of her bleeding child’.

A doctoral candidate would be intelligent enough to realize that these stalking cameras indicated, not just footage taken by innocent fellow victims as Channel 4 pretended, but rather skilful filming by propagandists such as that which was highlighted in a recent case in Canada. Astonishingly, after reference to a fictional movie portraying an attack on Sri Lankan army forces. The movie also showed LTTE fighters training and engaging in hand-to-hand combat’, the lawyer for a migrant who was judged to have contributed to terrorist activity by his participation in this movie argued that the movie could have been entertainment, or even a spoof.’ Doubtless a doctoral candidate at the level of Mr Amarasingham would find it difficult to ignore this indication of the breadth of LTTE propaganda efforts, given that he is supposed to be working on ‘Sri Lankan Tamil activism in Canada’. But I presume that, instead of revealing information about whether his research included study of entertainment or spoof films of LTTE fighters training and engaging in hand-to-hand combat, he will seek  refuge again in his philosophic claim that ‘No, there was nothing to be said.’

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Rajiva Wijesinha

July 2011
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