Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home  >Tamils - a Trans State Nation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam  > Indictment against Sri Lanka > Censorship, Disinformation & Murder of Journalists  > Reuters & Reality  - Tamils must believe in themselves first

Censorship, Disinformation & Murder of Journalists

Reuters & Reality
- Tamils must believe in themselves first

USA, 19 July 2000

"Unsavoury regimes these days hire the best talent available to spruce up their international image... The PR technique is simple enough: minimise the human rights abuses, talk about it as a 'complex' two sided story, play up efforts at reform, speak of all the positive 'modernisation' that is going on and - most of all - the crucial economic stake 'we' all have in (the country's) markets... If possible, it is best to put these words in the mouth of some apparently 'neutral' group of 'concerned citizens', or a lofty institute with academic credentials."  (Richard Swift, New Internationalist, in Mind Games, July 1999)

"Persuasion by its definition is subtle. The best PR ends up looking like news. You never know when a PR agency is being effective; you will just find your views slowly shifting.." (a PR Executive, quoted in New Internationalist, July 1999)

A number of news items from Reuters and other agencies are regularly posted in the Tamil Circle (and elsewhere). The purpose, apparently, is to conveniently present the predominantly Sinhala point of view under the cover of  rational reporting by a foreign news agency.

In reading these reports, it is important to bear in mind that the reports are written by Sinhala reporters employed by the respective agencies. Their reports are often in stark contrast to the news coverage appearing in the local news papers in Colombo, as the former presents a rosy but distorted picture of events in Sri Lanka.

Names of Sinhala Reporters in Foreign News Agencies

Here is a list of Sinhala reporters who feed the news for the agencies from Colombo.

Reuters Rohan Gunasekera
Reuters Mohan Samarasinghe
Reuters Prithi Kadagoda
Agency France Amal Jayasinghe
Inter Press Reports Manik de Silva
South China Morning Post Gaston De Rosayro

The ethnicity of Gaston De Rosayro is undetermined at this time. He is probably  a Sinhalese of Portuguese origin.

News Analysis

An analysis of the news items of foreign agencies, over a period of several months, leads to the following conclusion on the motive of  the Sinhala reporters behind these news agencies.

bullet present Sri Lanka as an investor friendly country at every opportunity by selectively highlighting foreign investments
bullet convey a distorted picture of LTTE and its gains
bullet above all, give the world an exaggerated image of Chandrika as a  peace maker and a false picture of the degree of autonomy being offered

Reuters Reality Check

Here is a news item for comparison.

A paragraph from a front page article on the Island Newspaper of June 6, 1996 entitled - Stiff Resistance from UNP, DUNLF and Others - was as follows.

-- Subjects such as foreign affairs, defense, finance, postal services, railways, national harbour, airports, national development, national planning and customs could be retained by the central government while the other subjects be given to the regions. --

Compare this news with a paragraph from Reuters news of June 18, 1996 written by Rohan Gunasekera.

-- The (peace) plan offers to devolve extensive power to Tamils in the north and east to meet their demands for autonomy and woo them away from the Tiger struggle for a separate state. ---

Judge for yourself

The former was written to massage the Sinhala ego and the latter to appease the world community. The truth is hardly spoken or written in these news reports. Today, foreign agencies of all kinds suffer from a credibility crisis. Tamils must believe in themselves, first!


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