Colombo Telegraph

Channel 4 Receives CHOGM Accreditation Hours After Campaign On Twitter

Britain’s Channel 4 Television, persona non grata for the Sri Lankan Government since it aired the first documentary it claimed was evidence Colombo had committed war crimes in the final phase of the war against the LTTE, complains it took nearly nine weeks to receive accreditation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting next month.

Channel 4 Editor Ben De Pear tweeted that Channel 4 had suddenly received confirmation that its applications had been received one hour after reporters and editors at the broadcaster engaged Sri Lankan Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath.

Channel 4 Editor Ben De Pear/Photograph: Felix Clay for the Guardian

Herath tweeted yesterday that Media Accreditation for the summit in Colombo next month was nearly complete. October 25 was the deadline for applications from media seeking registration to cover the summit.

Channel 4’s Jonathan Miller tweeted that they had applied for accreditation in August 2013, but were yet to receive any notification. Last night, Miller tweeted that he had finally received confirmation that his application had been received. Addressing Herath on Twitter yesterday, Miller said: @charith9 #lka media accreditation for  #chogm  mostly done? Channel 4 News still waiting. What’s the problem?

Channel 4 Editor de Pear said Channel 4 was the first to apply for media accreditation for CHOGM in Sri Lanka but it was yet to receive accreditation even though every other broadcaster in Britain had obtained their official notice of summit accreditation.

One hour after Channel 4 began a campaign of sorts of Twitter, the Editor reported that ‘as if by magic’ they had received confirmation that their applications for accreditation had been received. A few hours ago, De Pear reported on Twitter that accreditation had finally been received, but the channel would now commence the wait to have its visas approved for attendance.

Accreditation remains pending for applicants Frances Harrison – journalist and author of Still Counting the Dead, recounting atrocities in the final phase of the war and Callum Macrae, director of the No Fire Zone, a third documentary on atrocities in the last days of the civil war. Macrae was also formerly with Channel 4.

Sri Lanka will retain the right to reject visa for any delegate or media personnel seeking entrance into the country for the summit. All CHOGM media accreditation was scrutinised intensely by the Military Intelligence Unit and not the immigration authorities, Colombo Telegraph learns.

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