War analysis by Tiger-hugging Economist a total farce

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

(April 29, Los Angeles, Sri Lanka Guardian) War analysis by Tiger-hugging Economist is a total farce. The April 18-25 issue treats the conflict in Sri Lanka with scant respect for factual accuracy. It has the gall to state that “even moderate Tamils, their ranks severely thinned by LTTE assassins, say they will be worse off without Mr. Prabhakaran as their champion. The London weekly’s assessment is an irreparable blemish on its capacity to be impartial. This is a glitch even bigger than the BBC’s pro-Tiger rant.

The Economist even injects a racist tone to the whole article when discussing the LTTE and their demise. Sri Lankan army commander is called an “avowed Sinhala chauvinist,” while Minister Douglas Devananda is reportedly” loathed by the people in Jaffna”. Defence Secretary is painted as a war monger for stating that the “government had no choice but to use extraordinary tactics against a monstrous foe.” The Economist did not state when Commander Fonseka took vows to be a chauvinist or how loathing of Devananda was divined by the Economist. Subjectivism has ruined all semblances of journalistic norms in the Economist’s article.

The Economist is prejudiced beyond belief. It is racially motivated to debunk what the government had been doing to get rid of the vicious terrorists plaguing Sri Lanka for three decades. The invitation to fight terror was first pontificated by the US-UK axis of Bush and Blair soon after the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers in New York. The Economists is even unaware that Sri Lanka took that seriously and won the anti-terror war deemed unwinnable by Gordon Brown and his ilk.

Like the BBC trying its best to distort the situation in Sri Lanka (read “Pig flu makes Tigers eat grass by Dusty Ratnetunge today in the Guardian). The London weekly digest seemed bent on shattering all accepted norms of journalism.

The article in the Economists is a pathetic display of partisanship. These are few of the many howlers concocted by the Economist. “Tigers may be reduced to 1,000 hardened fighters, plus a few thousand” according to recently impressed refugees. The accurate number of LTTE cadres left is less than half the number given by the Economist.

The situation is an “increasingly anachronistic blot on a hopeful country.” It is in fact, a dawn of hope after a dark period. That assessment by the Economist was true when the Tigers were controlling a third of the country and going on a killing spree chopping innocent civilians. Tigers are now getting crushed.

The Economist states that “impending declaration of victory will be largely derided. The army has shown a cruel disregard for Tamil civilians crowding the battlefield.” This is completely untrue. Armed forces have taken all precautions to treat civilians with great care. Sri Lankan armed forces have proved to be disciplined and beyond reproach.

The Economist has alluded that the Sri Lankan government had plans to keep the liberated Tamil civilians in bondage. It stated that “government’s original plan, to keep this population penned up for a year or more, was outrageous.” This is a figment of imagination by the Economist.

The weekly also implied that Sri Lanka was seeking new friends when referring to the assistance received by Sri Lanka from Pakistan. India and Pakistan had been friendly with Sri Lanka as members of the British Commonwealth from its inception. The Economist is distorting history.

While throwing in a few innocuous lines like “Nor should Mr. Prabhakaran and his crew be mourned, and Tigers are “A well-organized and vicious terrorist group, expert in brainwashing and suicide-blasting” the Economist unjustifiably debunked the heroic fight waged by the Sri Lankans.

The Economist is dismayed that Sri Lanka got assistance from Iran. It stated “Iran, which has been providing 70% of its oil supply on tick; and Libya, from which it expects a soft loan.” That has nothing to with the war.

While giving the impression of neutrality with the headline historic chance to make peace, the Economists denigrates itself into the level of a scurrilous rag-bag of a weekly instead of a prestigious publication embodying the scared norms of journalism.

It taunts President Rajapaksa thus “Crowned with laurels, he is expected to hold parliamentary and presidential elections within a year, and win thumping majorities” This is what the Prime Minister of England is now trying to do ignoring the atrocious illegalities of the Tiger multitudes storming Parliament square. The Economist has very little or nothing to say about the ruthless vandalism of the Tigers in beheading the Nehru statue recently or the vandalism against the Indian and Sri Lankan embassies. Shame! The Economist had to scoop to this level.
-Sri Lanka Guardian
Sybil said...

Economist's only objective is to safeguard the economic interests of the so-called 'Developed Countries' and how to make them richer at the expense of poorer countries and their people. It is in their interest to keep the Tigers continuing with their agenda - it will destabilise not only Sri Lanka but also India - good for exploitation good for dominance good for control of power. What more can one expect from a magazine like Economist?