Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Journalistic Double Standards

After having typed in my previous blog entry on Journalistic Ethics or lack thereof, I had a heated debate with a journalist about some of the fact I referred to in that and Journalistic Double Standards in general. We agreed to disagree on some aspects and at least he was able to appreciate my point of view, though his point is one used throughout journalists in Sri Lanka today.

While I may hold a contrarian  view and therefore never make it up to any level of Journalism in the Paradise Isle, I nevertheless believe in our Journalists using the same level of double standards they accuse the "West" of having. The moment there is a crisis involving the West they are quick to pounce, saying we told you so, they are worse than what they accuse us of, why pick on poor SL when they do far worse things and are not held accountable.

Recently they were citing drone attacks in Pakistan, Taliban victor spoils by  UK soldiers, Fires in London, collapse of the US as examples, to which I said of course we are at least aware internationally of what is going on, though I dare say there is a lot we may not know either, that has not been reported!

For what it is worth, SL are signatories to various conventions, though mercifully for our own sake we are not signatories to the ICC just like the US and therefore cannot be prosecuted by them. Either way I do not believe we keep to our responsibilities to the HRC. While faced with numerous accusations from overseas about violations carried out during the course of the bitter and bloody war, we should never have got to that stage, if we had done the relevant investigations internally of what really happened as it is no secret as to who is responsible and gave the orders, but alas the guilty find solace in refuting and passing the buck the on to the elusive Diaspora, who have nothing to do with our internal affairs.

More to the point, since time immemorial and particularly during the British times, every Police station engaged in whipping the accused until confessions were obtained as the OIC would say unless they got a taste of my medicine they will not confess. Sadly despite the rule book given to today's OIC who knows full well what is and is not permitted, thrashing until a confession is obtained is common accepted and encouraged!!!

No one appears to see anything wrong in it and so by the good graces of the powers these Human Rights Violations as specified in the agreements we have signed are carried out daily with impunity and not a word is even talked about. Why?

Until I can see a condemnation of this by the authorities and an acknowledgment at least of its existence, there is no use going further and making sanctimonious statements about the behavior of others. I think we should start in this one aspect that can change in a spin of the dice and does not require years of training.

There is something called Fundamental Rights, but try exercising them, and only then do you see the difficulty in gathering convincing evidence, due to a conspiracy to protect by clamming up when faced with the music.

In all honesty we should not get into the game of looking outside our shores for other people's transgressions as excuses for ours. We should instead clean our house and let others face their own Waterloo without us pointing any ineffectual fingers at an issue we know nothing about and to which we should not fool ourselves by digging their dirt for them!

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