THE DOUBLE STANDARDS
One Kathiravel Thayapararaja was said to have been tortured and killed by the Sri Lankan Security forces on 13th September 2009. The first to publicize the ‘death’ was a pro-LTTE website ‘Vanni Tech Director Thayaparan was killed by Sinhala Nazis’(24 September 2009), then on 13th December 2009 University Teachers for Human Rights – Jaffna (UTHR-J) went a step further to say that Thayapararaja was arrested in Sept 2009, tortured at a security camp in Avissawella, shot on 13thSept 2009 and died in Kalubowila hospital on 15th September 2009. Then in February 2010 Australian Government Refugee Review Tribunal said Thayapararaja was abducted in September 2009, tortured and killed by state agents.Thayapararaja became a name used to ridicule the Armed Forces and Intelligence until the ‘dead’ man was arrested by the Indian police on 5 May 2014. The same media hype surrounds the ‘missing dead’ Ekneligoda and we can only wonder whether the outcome is likely to be the same. However, the security forces were never exonerated. They are yet to receive a public apology or compensation for the torment they had to suffer being accused of killing a person, with reports galore being sent round the world until Thayapararaja was arrested in India and the world came to know he was neither ‘missing’ or ‘dead’ but had been in ‘hiding’ all along. Are we seeing a repetition?
Kathiravel Thayapararaja & Uthayakala
News headlines as a result of spreading lies
Thayapararajah reappeared from the ‘dead’, from being ‘extra-judicially executed’ from being ‘shot & injured’ while the entire period from 2009 to 2014 local and foreign media went to town claiming Sri Lanka security had tortured and killing him. His name is even on UN/UNHRC reports and quoted by these officials against the Sri Lankan government as well. After the man emerged from the dead, that too by accident having being caught by the Indian police, none of those who made false allegations so much as apologized or made corrections to their statements and reports. For 5 years these lies were spreading all over the world. We can also wonder if under the UNHRC ‘witness protection’ charade there are people who claimed Thayapararaja was abducted and they were witness. We will never know or at least we will have to wait 20 years to know!
If the Indian police had not caught Thayapararajah the whole world would have continued to believe the Sri Lankan security forces had killed him.
You can now wonder how many others have been made ‘missing’ or been ‘killed’ by international reports.
Ekneligoda was reported missing from 24 January 2010. In February 2016, Daily Mirror News Editor Sandun Jayasekera says “I have been serving as a journalist for 30 years now. As far as I know, this person being mentioned has never written any item of news or hosted a tv program or even attended a press conference. The question I have is how Prageeth Ekneligoda became a journalist”. No one has even challenged the Daily Mirror Editors’ statement to provide evidence that Ekneligoda was a journalist. So we have two issues at hand, is he a journalist and the open question of whether the case is another Thayapararajah story.
If Thayapararaja is one example we need to wonder whether ‘journalist’ Ekneligoda whom no one in the journalistic fraternity can vouch has written articles or appeared at any press conferences is in fact missing or has been made ‘missing’.
Shenali D Waduge