By Latheef Farook –
Sri Lanka’s mainstream media, once known for its independent views on international affairs, has now become blind follower of United States led European war mongers’ pro Israeli media.
There was a time when numerous enlightened writers expressed their views highlighting their independent views on international affairs and super power crimes against third world countries. However during the past decade or so this trend has changed and the local media, by and large, have become US led war monger’s bulletins when it comes to covering international affairs.
As a result readers were deprived of the opportunity to know the truth about developments especially US, UK, European and Israeli wars raping and ravaging Muslim countries worldwide since the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1989.
In doing so they not only do injustice to the victims of war but also help hide the atrocities of war mongers and their evil agendas against humanity perhaps for reasons better known to them.
For example the recent visit to Sri Lanka of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a war criminal, on the invitation of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on a two week holiday. While in the island Blair was also honoured when he was requested to deliver Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Centre and a reception with President Maithripala Sirisena.
Certain section of the local media gave wide publicity to his lecture at Lakshman Kadirgamar Centre and meeting with President Sirisena.
However the media was completely silent on his crime against humanity. Is it due to ignorance or indifferent?
Iraq has been very friendly country to Sri Lanka. It has helped the island on many occasions. I remember once when late President R Premadasa asked the Iraqi Ambassador in Sri Lanka Abdo Ali Daeri whether Iraq could help tide over the crisis of oil shortage, Iraq National Oil Company ordered six shipments of oil loaded at Basra Port to the island.
More than anything else Iraqis are human beings who have not even dreamt of harming anyone in US.UK, Europe or Israel. It is also an ancient country where many great ancient civilisations such as Mesopotamia, Sumer, Akkad, Mesopotamian, Babylonian and Assyria flourished between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers for more than 7,000 years.
Tony Blair joining hands with former US President George Bush Jr declared war on Iraq stating Iraq possess weapons of mass destruction though United Nations weapons inspectors repeatedly said there was no such weapons of destruction.
Selling lies and deception both Bush and Blair bombed Iraq with the most destructive weapons turning this almost modern country where people enjoyed all modern comforts into a wasteland. They indiscriminately killed around two million Iraqis, raped and tortured hundreds of thousands besides pushing 5.9 million Iraqis into refugees where they languish in appalling condition for more than ten years.
However the mainstream local media failed to mention a word about this crime against humanity. Isn’t this intellectual fraud to please war criminals?
This has been the pattern for long in the local media.
For example under various pretexts hoodwinking the world, US,UK, Europe and Israel invaded or interfered and destroyed many Muslims countries during the past two and half decades. This range from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, now Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Bosnia, Kosovo and several other countries under the guise of fighting War on Terrorism which in fact is “ MADE IN US AND ISRAEL”
In almost all these invasions victims’ sufferings and the atrocities committed by US and its allies were never highlighted. In fact ignored.
As we all know that Middle East has been one of the most peaceful places in the planet until Israel was planted by European imperial powers in the robbed Palestinian lands. Palestinians who lost everything due to western conspiracy continue remain in refugee camps where Israel periodically invade and massacre them with impunity. Since 1930s Israel has committed more than 65 massacres of Palestinians and now turned the entire Middle East into a killing field.
Unfortunately these Israeli crimes were never highlighted in the local media in its proper context. Instead the local media, perhaps increasingly is coming under Israeli influence, never fails to publish articles often distorting facts in favour of Israel on Israeli Palestinian issue.
In February 2013 I published a book entitled “America’s New World Order-EXPORTING WARS”. The book provides a clear picture of the international scene and the US led European forces which turned the Middle East into a killing field to suit the evil agenda of western corporate conglomerates worldwide.
It has comments from Sir Paul Craig Roberts, late US President Ronald Reagan’s assistant treasury secretary, Nobel Laureate Tawakkul Karman, Clair Short, Secretary of State for International Development in War Criminal Tony Blair’s government until her resignation in 2003 over British involvement in the Iraqi invasion, Stephen Lendman, Chicago based Research Associate of the Centre for Research on globalisation,. Chandra Muzaffar, Malaysian social activist and Ram Punyani, Indian writer and activist working for communal harmony and peace.
I gave copies of this book to almost all English language news with a write up .Except one which carried few paras, no paper published. One editor was frank enough to tell that he didn’t want to write anything negative about US.
On the other hand Muslim countries have been traditionally and historically some of the best friends of Sri Lanka. In times of crisis they were the first to rush to island’s rescue in all international forums- this range from during JVP uprising in 1971 to LTTE’s defeat in May 2009.
Around a million Sri Lankans are employed in Middle East remitting around seven billion dollar annually. Besides there are numerous other benefits to the island. Do the media highlight these positive sides? Instead the mainstream media has been indifferent.
This is the shameful state of the so called journalists and media in the island.
In the local scene too the local media in general promotes racist elements against the Muslim community and pitting Sinhalese against Muslims.
In June 2014 organised violent attacks on Aluthgama, Dharga town and Beruwala Muslims made the local media a laughing stock. This was a disaster for the local mainstream media which made an all out effort to cover up this carnage. However people were kept informed of the barbarity with minute by minute comments by several sources including mobile phones, sms, face book and twitters.
In one of the most shameful developments in the history of the island’s mainstream media, wide publicity was given to news and views of politicians and others who tried to hide the crime and put the blame on the victims.
However, foreign media covered the carnage with all the details exposing local media’s hostility towards Muslims and hypocrisy.
It is not an easy task for Muslim point of view to find some space in the local media which built up racist elements such as BBS and JHU to the detriment of the country.
The mainstream media suffers from some kind of anti Muslim hysteria though the Muslims in the country have been the most peaceful of the three communities and Muslim countries in the world remain the best friends of the island in the world.