In a twist of timing, the 50-minute documentary aired yesterday while most of London's residents were deep in slumber. However, Sri Lankan social media superstars were wide awake and on the case.
Viewers were left wondering about the substance behind the Channel 4 documentary on Easter Sunday Massacre of 2019. It seems that even divine intervention wouldn't have salvaged its feeble content and mistimed release.
Except for one investigator, Nishantha Silva, the documentary fell short of expectations. Nishantha, a careful officer from the Police Department, displayed sound dedication into his profession. However, it is important to understand that he, like others who worked alongside him in Sri Lanka, carries a burden of political animosity stemming from personal and institutional challenges. These issues are unrelated to any crimes that occurred in Sri Lanka.
However, the rest of the contributors appeared to lack depth and authenticity. Maulana, in particular, conveyed a message through his body language and scripted dialogue that mirrored recent local media reports. Is there any evidence to the contrary?
It appears that this individual is earnestly pursuing political asylum, now exploiting the plight of Catholics who tragically lost their lives in the brutal terrorist attacks. So, what does this so-called investigative documentary by UK-based Channel 4 truly offer? It seems to be a repetition of the heart-wrenching stories of survivors and victims' families.
The narration seems to be colored by personal biases, particularly when it comes to Frederica Jansz, a journalist whose personal animosity towards the Rajapaksa family, especially Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is evident. Her past disagreements with him, even over wedding expenses involving imports roses from Schengen countries during her tenure as an editor, are well-documented. While her grudge is understandable, it should not overshadow her lack of expertise in defense matters or Islamic fundamentalism, topics she wisely avoids discussing.
However, a concern lies with the famous human rights defender who consistently seeks personal gain and publicity. Sri Lanka is now expected to rally around such self-proclaimed human rights champions, not only concerning human rights but also national security. Meanwhile, the Cardinal's reticence towards this TV channel's documentary speaks volumes, casting doubt on the credibility of its content.
At the conclusion of the documentary, only three simple yet very old questions were posed:
- Did the senior intelligence official meet, covertly, with Islamic extremists before they committed the biggest terrorist attack in Sri Lankan history?
- Did military intelligence mislead the police in their attempts apprehend the terrorist group?
- Did Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government sabotage investigations into the bombings?
Is this the extent of your investigative efforts? The simple answer to these questions remains the same: NO. Please provide data if not. One could easily find answers to these queries with a simple Google search or by watching the complete video footage of Zahran Hashim and his fellow suicide bombers, all recorded within the same apartment complex where Azad Maulana conveniently owns a brand-new flat, presumably with cash. Could this not serve as a lead for a more comprehensive follow-up investigation, aptly titled 'Dispatching the Blowers'?
Is there any tangible evidence to support the claims of this 'Blower without Whistle’, a single photograph, a phone call record, or a corroborating witness to validate his assertions? It's plausible he might assert, 'Due to life threats, I've erased all evidence but stored it all in my exceptional brain. Please, believe my account; I'm the new saint among sinners,' imploring others to anoint him as a 'Whistleblower.'
We understand that he may blow the horn on many occasions, but where is the whistle? If such individuals are deemed whistleblowers, what should we call the likes of Daniel Ellsberg, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden? Are we not demeaning these individuals who exposed truth for the greater good when we entertain the narratives of fraudsters seeking personal gain? If tomorrow he were to claim that the 2005 London 7/7 attacks were orchestrated by an MI6 officer with Maulana's assistance, would Channel 4 embark on a similar investigative journalistic endeavor or recommend that the authorities consider psychiatric evaluation for this individual?
In the end, Channel 4's documentary appears to be nothing more than a vessel for so-called ‘investigative journalism,’ carrying a cargo of long-standing animosity against the Rajapaksa family. That is indeed a political question, but our nation's challenges in the face of Islamic fundamentalism are far more substantial than that. What you have done is an old refrain, something the people of this country have already responded to. Yet, Channel 4 persists, clinging to the tree branches like monkeys. It appears they've even become entangled in the web of Azad Maulana, the 'Blower without Whistles,' yet a documented fraudster. The bottom line is that Maulana or any other self-proclaimed whistleblowers lost nothing, but Channel 4 lost its credibility without any surprise!
by a Special Correspondent