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Perspectives

December 10, 2008
Government wages information war in Sri Lanka

A sign shows the territory claimed by the Tamil Tigers in red.

Recent polls show that the Sri Lankan public largely supports the government’s fight against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Since the Sri Lankan government withdrew from a 2002 cease-fire agreement with the Tamil Tigers in January, heavy fighting in Sri Lanka has been more deadly than that in Afghanistan.

The LTTE rebel group has long fought for an independent state for Sri Lanka’s Tamil ethnic minority, and has a stronghold in the north.

The government has restricted access to the conflict zones for journalists and aid workers.

Brian Calvert is a freelance writer currently based in Southeast Asia covering military and security affairs. He writes at World Politics Review writes about the information war between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers — a battle that has even moved to YouTube.

Sri Lanka’s Information War

In the silent, low-res imagery of the closed-circuit video footage that rapidly spread across YouTube, the young Tamil woman appears unafraid, even poised. Wrapped in a crisp sari, hair in a tight bun, she waits across the desk from the political secretary of a Sri Lankan minister. But something, almost imperceptible in the footage, goes wrong. So as a dozen people go about their business behind her, the woman rises from her chair, tugs at her bra and explodes, her torso vaporized in a C4 blast that kills her and the secretary, instantly raising the Sri Lankan death toll by two.

The November 2007 attack video was not posted by the apparent attackers, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, but by the Sri Lankan government’s Ministry of Defense, whose 25-year war with the insurgents has been marked by many losses on the information front. The launch of a viral video on YouTube, however, demonstrated a more sophisticated effort to control what is called the “information environment,” an effort to “publicize insurgent violence and use of terror to discredit the insurgency,” a tenet of the U.S. Army-Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual.

The information war, fought through images and language, is over narrative. The Tamil Tigers want to be seen as liberators; the government wants to paint them as terrorists. In this struggle, over the past few years, the government has gained the upper hand.

To read more, see the original post.

The views expressed by contributing bloggers do not reflect the views of Worldfocus or its partners.

Photo courtesy of flickr user munir under a Creative Commons license.

Comments

2 comments

#2

If you’re a SriLankan Tamil living outside of the country, most definetly you will feel betrayed and disheartened. Most of the SriLankan Tamils living outside of their country (probably about 80 to 90 percent)were the once who fled their country for the fear of their lives against and distrust of the their fellow SriLankans.
If Tamils have conducted themselves properly through all this, surely there would have been a greater international support for Tamils.
Now Tamils are in a cross road.
What solution does the Tamil have, now that Sri Lankan have launched an attack on LTTE? Nothing.
It is imminent of course that Sri Lankans definetly are going to immobilize LTTE along with killing thousands of innocent Tamils.
When all said and done, and the dust settles down, are the Tamils still want to fight for a seperate state?
Or can the Tamils, living out side Sri Lanka, maybe able to retreat and help start building the Tamils living in Sri Lanka through education and better life?
According to Sri Lankan Statistics, there are only 7 percent of Tamils left living in Sri Lanka presently, as to 20 percent twenty years ago.
That means there are atleast another 7 percent Tamils are living out side of Sri Lanka.
Tamils have much better leverage. They can help build the Tamils in Sri Lanka in education and in betterment, and stop depending on the hand out from Sri Lankans who probably only be spending all the foreign aid for themselves.
Sri Lankan Tamils have tried to solve this problem through LTTE – as you’ll know TERROR + TERROR = TERROR – but it didn’t work.
Don’t look to international community for support for seperate state, because LTTE never a freedom fighters, they killed their own; and even if they do get the seperate state, they still will continue do the same. The LTTE is no different from Sri Lankan Government in killing people who do not agree with them.
I thank WORLDFOCUS on their unbias coverage.

#1

The video of the alleged LTTE attack is actually a FAKE VIDEO. I can’t believe that people fall for this sort of cr@p!

by the way, it is very clear in that video clip, that it was staged. Ask anyone who works on Film Production.

http://www.TamilsAgainstGenocide.org

Tamils living outside Sri Lanka know the truth. They know what is really happening because they have relatives who have been killed and injured in the North-East area of Sri Lanka. Many in the Tamil Diaspora have been victims of Sri Lankan State terror / Army atrocities.

ALL OF THESE SRI LANKAN STATE ATROCITIES HAVE BEEN DOCUMENTED WITH FULL EVIDENCE WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATIONS. You can check with them yourselves. Or check the reports published on Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the Red Cross.

Please don’t become a mouthpiece of the Sri Lankan govt. Please report the TRUTH. or atleast publish the reports from Tamil Journalists, Politicians and Medical Staff.

The Sinhala people are NOT SUFFERING!

The Tamil people ARE SUFFERING!!!!

– Tamils are living in fear in Sri Lanka. They have a miserable life.

– Tamils are afraid of the Sri Lankan Police & Army.

– Tamils are living in fear of Sinhala Thugs, Criminals: ex-Sinhala Army Soldiers who deserted SL Army, Drug Dealers and other criminals.

– Tamils are living in fear of Kidnappers. Most are kidnapped at random by Sri Lankan Intelligency Agency (Secret Police) and tortured for information on LTTE.

– How many innocent Tamils languish in Prisons today???

– How many innocent Tamils have been brutally TORTURED?

– How many poor innocent Tamil girls have been RAPED???

IT IS A DISGRACE THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD, KNOWING THAT THIS HAPPENING KEEP SILENT. IT IS WRONG!!!

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