Geneva, Muslims and mainstream local media By Latheef Farook


Hundreds of articles have been written in all three languages during the past few months analysing from every possible angle the United States sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution against Sri Lanka on alleged human rights violations during the final days of the government’s war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam-LTTE.  

However there was hardly an article dealing with the role played by Muslim countries in supporting Sri

Lanka. Most of these countries are actually American allies. This happened last year too when the resolution calling on Sri Lanka to investigate alleged human rights violations was passed by 24 votes to 15 with 8 abstentions. 

This year as well, of the 13 countries that supported Sri Lanka, seven were Muslim nations. The media both print and electronic recorded the Muslim countries’ support only in passing. Some print media    stated that 13 countries supported Sri Lanka and this included Pakistan. They failed to appreciate Muslim countries’ support with the prominence it deserves in view of the island’s difficult situation in Geneva.  

The print media fared no better. They too published numerous articles discussing from different facets the negative vote of India, but failed to highlight Muslim countries’ support to Sri Lanka. Perhaps this may be due to the inherent mindset of taking the island’s Muslims and the Muslim countries for granted.   

This   has been a common practice in the local media for decades. 

For example Muslim countries, traditionally good friends of Sri Lanka had stood by the island throughout the 30 year ethnic carnage. The West, led by the US, protected and promoted the LTTE while even Buddhist countries hardly came to Sri Lanka rescue. Throughout the war, especially during its peak   in   2009, Muslim countries such as Iran, Libya and oil rich Gulf countries assisted Sri Lanka in more ways than onesl vote unhrc .Pakistan even took part in crushing the LTTE. President Mahinda Rajapaksa   spoke about Pakistan’s crucial rule in this war. 

However this crucial role has never been appreciated by the mainstream media. 

In yet another example around a million Sri Lankans, most of them Sinhalese, are working, earning and leading quite a happy life in the oil rich Gulf countries while taking care of their loved ones back home. These employment opportunities, besides brightening their economic prospects, also brought the people of the Gulf region and Sri Lanka closer to the benefit of the island. 

These workers remit annually around US $ 6 billion which helps sustain the island’s tottering economy .However rarely an article appears in the mainstream media highlighting the positive side of these workers’ presence in the Gulf region. Of course, as it always happens in any society, there have been unfortunate cases when some come across various problems. 

This was not something unexpected especially in a region where only five decades ago the people, cut away from modern civilization struggled hard to eke out a living in the extreme weather conditions under medieval style tribal nomadic life, blessed suddenly with unprecedented wealth. 

The media screams and screeches whenever a Sri Lankan is ill treated by an Arab. They go all out to paint a distorted picture of the entire Gulf population as the Western media has been doing. They then demonize the entire people in the region as cruel and barbarous. 

This overall mindset of the media is even extended to international scene, especially the Middle East which was turned into a killing field ever since the Zionist Jewish state of Israel was planted in Palestine in 1948 after evicting the Palestinians- the sons and daughters of Palestine- into refugee camps where they languish for more than eight decades ignored by the world. 

Rarely does an article appear in the mainstream media highlighting the plight of the Palestinians and the daily routine Israeli crimes against an occupied people! This has been the tradition of the local media for decades. 

The late Prime Minister Mrs. Srimavo Bandaranaike’s fiercely independent policy of supporting the Palestinians had its own impact in the mainstream media which started highlighting the plight of the Palestinians.     

This policy, though not practiced at present, continued until   Israel, expelled time and again by the island, sneaked into the country in the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s military victory over the LTTE in May 2009. 

Capturing the media by any means has been one of the prime targets of Zionists to fool the people by hiding their crimes and demonizing the Palestinians, Arabs and now Islam and Muslims worldwide.                                                     

They didn’t waste their time in Sri Lanka. It’s believed they have penetrated sections of the media quite successfully and   started    promoting Israel. In the rush of things the Palestinian were abandoned even though it’s well established that they are indeed victims of neo colonialism run by a an apartheid called Zionism . 

At first the Israelis entered the local media through their mouth pieces in the West such as Daily Telegraph and Washington Post and the Daily Mail of the UK reproducing distorted articles in favour of Israel aimed at removing the stigma attached to Israel as an international pariah. 

Today’s situation is such that it is almost impossible to get an article highlighting the daily Israeli crimes on Palestinians or the sufferings of the Palestinians into most mainstream media in all three languages. 

Sri Lankan media in general depends on western news agencies for foreign news. These are mostly owned by Jewish companies with a Zionist bent of mind. Some of them have diversified into the media from the weapons industries and other war mongering business establishments. They use the media to mislead their consumers to suit their political and military agenda. 

Under such circumstance readers in Sri Lanka were not given information on the proper developments in the Middle East. As a result the United States led European and Israel invasion and destruction of Muslim countries in the Middle East and massacre of millions of people there since the collapse of the West almost went, and still go, virtually unreported.

Often the misguided journalists and people alike tend to think that any article highlighting the American atrocities in the Muslim countries during the past two decades is regarded as anti American.  They fear that such articles would antagonize the Americans   who could be of use in times of crisis to flee the country. 

About a month ago an article  on the rising  hate Muslim campaign unleashed  by the Sinhala extremists such as Jathika Hela Urumaya,Bodu Bala Sena and Sinhala Ravaya was  to all Sunday English papers .It was an article from the country’s point of and not from Muslim  point of view. No paper published it. Instead one Sunday English paper published two articles, each half a page, on Israel giving the impression that Sri Lanka is an extension of Israel. 

Similarly no Sunday paper published a write  up on a  book  titled “ America’s New World Order” EXPORTING WARS which focuses and comments on the atrocities that the American led European invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya Yemen and Somalia apart from  killing more than two million Muslims. No paper published this review either due to the fear of antagonizing the United States and being identified as unfriendly to US. 

navi pllayAs we all know Sinhala extremists have unleashed a vicious and dangerous ethno fascist violent campaign against the island’s Muslims especially during the past few months. Throughout this period the Sinhala language, both print and electronic media, gave wide publicity to these fascists   open call for Sinhalese to rise against Muslims.   In fact Sinhala media almost became the mouth piece of BBS and other racist organizations .It entertain no Muslim point of view and continue to incite   Sinhalese against Muslims not realizing the inherent danger involved to all communities. 

This is not something new. This happened in 1968 August when late Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake introduced the white paper on   district council. The now defunct independent group of companies unleashed a fierce anti Tamil campaign inciting the Sinhalese against Tamils. What had subsequently is common knowledge. 

Not learning any lesson from the past the local media is promoting the racist elements against Muslims .It will not be long before country face the consequences of the current wave of racist outbursts. 

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භූමදානයේ අවධානම පිළිබද කිසිදු සාක්ෂියක් නෑ හිටපු ප්‍රධාන වසංගත රෝග විද්‍යඥ

Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe, Consultant Epidimiologist.Former director of epidemiology,Epid.unit Colombo.Member of the NPP. Chamuditha Samarawickrama®

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