Balachandran’s death and the unmourned killings

20 March 2012 08:11 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The islanders have never been known for holding grudges or instigating unrest. Had we wanted to aggravate situations by exhibiting visuals of those who were killed and wounded brutally by the LTTE, the army and the Information Department archives would be in possession of a better collection of such material. Yet, those who walked down the hard path of war would rather lick their wounds in seclusion than let the remnants of a gruesome past pour salt into the cankers.
Yet, this is a picture very much alien to the western media and their respective governments who are often not within the immediacy of such conflict environments; thus, they would not understand the significance of encouraging peace instead of antagonizing communities against each other. Hence, it was another lame attempt by the Channel-4’s to give Prabhakaran’s youngest son a funeral attended and commiserated by the international community, the LTTE sympathizers and the Pro-Tiger sects of the Diaspora.
True enough; a death of a child in an armed combat is synonymous with tragedy. However, the unnecessary emphasis the video lays on Balachandran would give one the wrong impression that he was the only child casualty in the thirty-year-old war, when in reality, there was an endless line of children who ceased to be identified with their names and instead became numbers in war reports and casualty lists. They deserve fully a portion of sympathy Balachandran seems to be enjoying all alone, for they too died in the war, perhaps more defenceless and more brutally than the way Balachandran met his end.
In fact, it was a lapse on the part of Channel-4’s journalistic ethics when they hung onto Balachandran’s body, forgetting all the other children who were killed in cold blood. Perhaps, they were not sufficiently funded to cover the other side of the story.
Every time a bomb went off, at least one child was destined to be a victim of it. The Nugegoda bomb blast in 2007 brought death to many school children who were on their way home after tuition classes. Seven students of D.S. Senanayake Vidyalaya along with their baseball coach died in a bomb explosion at the Fort Railway Station. Many novice monks were the victims of the Aranthalawa Massacre; though, dressed in yellow robes, they were still children. Such were the brutalities of the LTTE that not only orphaned children but also snatched away kids from their parents.
The LTTE’s history of conscripting children as frontline soldiers had come under severe criticism. The terror outfit opted to brainwash parents to sacrifice their children failing, which they resorted to abduct and recruit them forcibly. It goes without saying that these children were deprived of their right to protection, education, and be with their families. The cowardice of the LTTE hierarchy was such that they sent children armed with suicide bombs to the battlefronts. Has Channel-4 ever found material worth documenting in these tragedies is a question worth pursuing. In fact it is for the same sadists that Channel-4 wastes their airtime and resources, risking its credibility and principles in the process.
The most conspicuous factor Channel-4 has overlooked is that it is not only Prabhakaran’s child who died in the conflict, but also the children of so many parents. Just because he was the son of Prabhakaran does not place him on a pedestal higher than those of other minor victims nor does he deserve an international mourning, when his counterparts had to be buried wrapped in rags and sometimes with their body parts missing.
The question as to who would account for the deaths of these children, needs to be answered. Just because such atrocities were committed by a terror outfit does not grant them any immunity nor does it make such brutalities non-criminal acts. Channel-4, despite its highly sensationalized reports, leaves many loopholes through which a viewer gets to catch a glimpse of their shameful duplicities.
Having said that, one cannot help but think that had Balachandran not been Prabhakaran’s son, there is a possibility of him being still alive; in fact, his overall non-existence would have meant that, many of those who had to die are still walking on this earth.
And Channel-4, taking ahead the vanities of a hidden paw, that is not so hidden, still thinks its journalism is award winning!
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