A death of a child, no doubt is a reason to mourn. The disturbing image of a bullet-ridden body of a boy and the pictures of him, said to have been taken a few hours before he had fallen dead; the latest pictures extracted from the controversial Channel 4 video “No Fire Zone” to be released has caused much pain to many.
In this document a picture of a 12-year-old boy with bullet holes in his chest can be seen and the director claims that the boy is Balachandran Prabhakaran, the youngest son of LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam too responding to the allegations had stated to the media that the photographs had no ‘credibility ‘ and said the photos in the documentary are “morphed” and ‘diabolical’ and deemed that it seems to be motivated for a particular purpose of influencing the debate in the Human Right’s council in the Sri Lanka situation. He added the documentary was the propaganda of LTTE backers and that the Sri Lankan military did not kill Prabhakaran’s 12-year-old son. “Prabhakaran’s son could have been killed in crossfire while he was in a little bunker.
Whilst this is not an attempt to justify the purported death of the of the boy shown in the video, but to remind Channel 4 that thousands of Sri Lankan children, who perished even before they blossomed into their teens, are waiting for justice from Channel 4 to air similar videos of their stories which also need to be heard.
Two badly damaged buses lay between Vellamullivaikkal and Wadduvakkal, in which forcibly conscripted children: wounded and injured were gunned down by the LTTE in May, 2009, to prevent them being witnesses to the plight the LTTE forced them to be as child soldiers, a grim reminder of the of the brutality the LTTE forced on the children in their final battle before their fall.
Though the spotlight is forced on this 12-year-old boy, how many boys and girls of his age were killed on the orders of Prabhakaran. Did he and his LTTE leaders not send a schoolgirl to blow herself to prevent civilians fleeing from LTTE control? There may be numerous such incidents where the LTTE used the innocent children to commit murder and killing for them.
Has Channel 4 marketed ‘Balachandran’ at the behest of others who wish to achieve their ulterior motives, or aroused by pro-LTTE fronts in order to attack the Government at the UN Human Rights Sessions.
Unfortunately, Channel 4 has missed out on this sadness and the plight and the stories of the sons and daughters of Sirisena or Murugesu or Hakeem, who as ordinary civilians had many dreams for their children. Are they less important? Perhaps those innocent children are not marketable like Prabhakaran’s son?
Human Rights activists will now clamour for action against their allegation in the video, but their silence and duplicity will also be questioned over the many incidents where innocent Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim children were butchered to death. Ironically the question that begets an answer is where was the conscience of these so called independent media when Sri Lanka was under the throes of a war for 30 years.