Digital art by Soosay
I think the general killing and horror depicted in Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields did happen. I do think it needs to be faced and accounted for. I think what Channel 4 broadcast, however, was mostly sensationalist, and largely biased. I don’t really trust their specifics, or their interpretation. I don’t think it was especially good journalism. This is what A.A. Gill at the Sunday Times (UK) seemed to think. It’s a very interesting review.
Snow’s commentary was intemperate and partisan, and it was all held together by assumptions. Channel 4 News has drifted from providing news broadcasts into being an outlet for nodding spokespeople and assorted NGOs and environmental pressure groups, or anyone who can provide interesting or sensational film. It follows the old American news adage, “If it bleeds, it leads”.
What was depressing about this particularly bloody special was not just that it had precious little context or considered thought, but that the people who will suffer most from it are not governments or soldiers, but the victims of this brutal war, who deserve a more measured professionalism and due diligence, and who deserve better than this compilation of gore, topped and tailed by a man in a comedy tie. (mirrored on sinhale.wordpress.com)
Anyways, I link this not to crow like nothing ever happened. It really really did. I just don’t think this was it, and I don’t think it happened as Channel 4 said it did. The same old sides are either hyped up about this doc like ‘I told you so’ or denying it completely. It’s not productive. It’s more like a bad flashback, not to the war, but to the delusions around it.