Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Lankanosphere And The Killing Fields

I'm a helpful sort of bloke so I thought you might find it useful if I wrote a little post with links to several of the other posts that I've read about the Killing Fields documentary.

By now I think it's safe to say you'd have to be a total arse if you weren't aware of the documentary, or perhaps a regular run of the mill person who has little or no interest in Sri Lanka. Because, believe it or not, to those people, Sri Lanka isn't that important. Unless they're worried about having to cancel their holiday.

I present this round up to you on a platter, but it's a platter that is in no particular order and by no means definitive. It's just a platter of dishes that caught my attention, some of which I like, some I dislike and some that make me wonder how on earth someone so stupid even figured out how to write and work a keyboard.

First on the platter is the Blogfather, Indi, with this post. It's not the longest or most detailed of analyses, but at the time of writing our author says himself that he hasn't watched all of it, that he has to rush off to do a poo or something, so there's little room for us to moan about the briefness of it.

He does however, kick off with some sentences that indicate his view as being different to mine.

"So far I find it biased and framed completely wrong". Well strictly speaking of course I can't disagree with that, if that's how he sees it, what I meant was that I feel differently.

"Channel 4 frames......and the war ending as a horrible thing". Well that wasn't my view after watching it either.

"They set it up like Eelam was a good thing". Again, I didn't get that from the programme.

The thing about Indi's post is that it's got over a hundred comments. I'd love to write a post that gets that sort of interest. These days I'm lucky if a post of mine even gets a hundred reads and I'd do serious things to be able to write one that kicks of an argument between other fellows that I don't even have to get involved in. What is it about these chaps?

Secondly on our platter is the legendary David Blacker with this well composed piece. Strictly speaking it's not actually about the Killing Fields but it's a close relative, a cousin brother I reckon. Entitled "Why does the Darusman Panel Ignore Evidence of War Crimes?" though the title changes depending on where you read it, it's a quality piece of work in which our legend explains why, in his opinion, there is actually no bona fide evidence of war crimes having been committed by the GoSL.

Some would argue with our DB, but his logic and evidence, including photos with writing and arrows (in red as well!) and his quotations from international law books that I probably don't have in my library ensure that he's presented us with a pretty watertight case. There's a bit of an argument brewing in the comment section as well, though my money's firmly on the legend in the fight stakes.

The thing about our DB is that, although I find myself often disagreeing with his opinion, I respect his knowledge and I know that he comes at these things with a level of expertise that many just don't have.

Representing an entirely different perspective is the ever eloquent and frank Scrumpulicious with this little postette. I like this sentence in particular and wonder if there's anyone, whichever side you may be on, whatever your view, who disagrees with it.

"Let's face it - the end of the civil war in SL was a bloody one. I mean wars usually are. And the defeat of the LTTE signifies hope and peace for the beautiful island but it was at a big cost to the civilians that were caught in the no fire safety zone."

For me, the Scrumps' last paragraph puts things in a nutshell. Check it out.

Gehan, he of Darkside Daily fame, wrote, or rather didn't write this post called "Killing Fields: Why Are We Not Talking About it?" I say "didn't write" because, well have a look and you'll see what I mean. But he finished with a sentence that looks to be a cynical one, yet I'm not so sure. It's worth a glance. He makes some intelligent and wise points, though would probably be a bit pissed of that I, of all people, have called them intelligent.

The blog called Libertad, written by someone called Purpleboxers publishes a post belonging firmly in the "this documentary is a fake made by the western imperialist wankers and biased foreign media" group of thinking. (with thanks to my anonymous friend). It takes all sorts I suppose.

In my virtual travels I stumbled upon this piece, by a fellow called Raashid Riza. He reminds us of the attrocities committed by the LTTE against the Sinhalese and Muslim people and concludes with what seems to me to be a popular mindset; that things like the Killing Fields "will only keep the embers of this conflict burning" with the insinuation that that is a bad thing. For what it's worth I think he's right about the embers burning, but I think, to continue the metaphor, that sometimes you have to put the fire out but also figure out what caused it to stop another one.

Groundviews, in its customarily fearless way, gives us a round up of narrative around the world wide web. You might not be able to read it if you're in Sri Lanka, but I'm sure you can find way around that obstacle if you really want to.

Those are the ones that caught my eye. As I said there are some I like, some I dislike, some I agree wholeheartedly with and some I think are a load of piffle. I hope it gives you an idea of the plethora of opinions shooting around the Lankanosphere.

It certainly seems as if the Killing Fields has kicked off a new round of debate and that the vast majority of the writers think the end of the long and bloody conflict is a wholly good thing.

Everyone seems to be extracting their own question from it and my one is this; Yes, it's fantastic that the conflict is over, but at what price?


Gehan said...

agreed, the documentary seems to have kicked up a bit of a (minor) storm on the internet but little else elsewhere, which was disturbing. as for my post and the last line: definitely cynical, but perhaps it depends on the reader's views too.

. said...

i could'nt agree with you more on your last and final statement there. ( slightly off track here, but i must say, i found my self kind of on the depressed side for several days upon viewing tkf's...like i did'nt really have the right to be too happy anymore...if its true, then it is a truth that made me terribly uncomfortable, in spite of the fact that i had nothing to do with it.)

Scrumps said...

I am touched by your kind words - thank you.