"Inaccuracy in reporting damaging humanitarian delivery" - LTTE

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 January 2005, 13:27 GMT]
The LTTE issued an urgent appeal to the National and International Media to scrupulously verify ground information before reporting, and to avoid bias and inaccuracy in filing stories on post-Tsunami disaster situation in the North-East and the humanitarian delivery to the displaced, on Tuesday.

Full text of the LTTE Press Release:

This is an urgent appeal to the National and International Media in the context of the post-Tsunami disaster situation in the North-East and the humanitarian delivery to the displaced. We observe inaccuracies in reports that tend to mislead the people on matters that are purely humanitarian. Any bias and inaccuracy in reporting tend to irreparably damage the collective efforts that are underway in humanitarian delivery and hence this appeal to exercise caution and responsibility that the situation demands.

It is true that media attention at the initial stage was focussed on locations closer to Colombo, where most of the media personnel are based. It is understandable. Now that focus has also turned to affected parts of the North-East, especially the areas that are administered by the LTTE by both National and International media, it is shocking to find inaccuracies in some reporting. Reports such as “Tiger rebels torch welfare centre in the north” “Aid from the south is prevented by the LTTE”, “Russian doctors denied access to LTTE areas” etc are unfortunate. Verification from appropriate sources, for instance, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) or the relevant party would have clarified matters relating to the truth or otherwise, rather than depending on sources that have ulterior motives.

We consider it appropriate therefore to clarify certain issues that would facilitate the media on reporting matters relating to humanitarian delivery.

We welcome any individuals or organisations, irrespective of origin, to visit the devastated areas, see for themselves the devastation, meet the displaced in the welfare centres and verify the mechanism structured at the District level to ensure all relief is registered for accountability and transparency. The District level structure, inclusive of the Government Agent, INGO’s, NGO’s and civil society representatives has proven to be an effective mechanism. The efficacy of this mechanism has been the subject of commendation by visiting INGO’s, Heads of UN agencies and the like. Anybody can have unfettered access and it is not true that relief convoys are returned by the LTTE. Neither is tax imposed on humanitarian relief consignments.

Any enquiries related to matters of humanitarian concern may be made from the LTTE Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi.

 

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