Sri Lanka Army appeals to public to distinguish facts from fiction | Daily News
Mullivaikkal incident:

Sri Lanka Army appeals to public to distinguish facts from fiction

The Sri Lanka Army and its Military Police on being informed of an alleged attack by soldiers on freelance journalist Vishwalingam Vishwachandran of Mullaittivu initiated a comprehensive investigation within hours of the said incident including 682 Brigade troops who were on duty at this specific location on November 27 following instructions given by Army Commander General Shavendra Silva.

Various social media platforms, largely with vested interests, along with some print media in the country published unverified, exaggerated and factually incorrect accounts of the incident, in which the soldier in question had queried from the ‘aggrieved’ journalist as to why he was filming the location with troops on duty including the Mullivaikkal name board on the roadside.

As the soldier began reaching the journalist, he had begun withdrawing backwards while filming, and suddenly struck against his own motorcycle that was parked a few metres away from the name board. Then he fell over at the same place where there was a barbed wire fence of a land and found his hands ‘bruised’.

Within seconds of his accident, the carefully-orchestrated and maliciously planned plot came to light as several groups who had apparently been awaiting his mobile phone message arrived at the scene with video cameras and mobile phones, asking the injured man to lie on the ground and pose for visuals for the stage-managed filming, purporting that he had been ‘brutally’ attacked and injured by Army personnel at the location while filming the roadside name board.

They also promptly informed the Mullaittivu Police Station and managed to get the man in question admitted to the Mullaittivu District Hospital for treatment that morning (27).

On prima facie evidence, the Police took the three soldiers on duty at the location into custody and bailed them afterwards pending further investigations. In the meantime, the Medico-Legal Examination Report of the Mullaittivu District Hospital, issued on Sunday (28), hours before the hospital discharge of the journalist, confirmed that he had been treated only for ‘abrasion’ and ‘contusion’ during his hospital stay, quite contrary to the alleged “barbaric attack with a palm stick wrapped in barbed wire” which concocted stories went viral on social media, calling for international investigations.

It is also pertinent to mention here that those ‘so-called journalists’, some of who have already sought asylum in greener pastures, particularly in the aftermath of the culmination of the humanitarian operation in 2009, are well poised to tarnish the image of the Security Forces in the North and East since gestures of healthy reconciliation and sound goodwill between the people and the Security Forces in the past couple of years have grown in a positive manner without being duped by opportunistic and communal-minded elements whose agendas are meant to appease their overseas and local critics of the Security Forces.

The Army while reiterating its genuine and full commitment to the best interests of all Sri Lankans whom it serves, be it in the North or elsewhere, earnestly appeals all rational-minded and peace loving people, not to be misled by such planted incidents and malicious attempts, and instead, join hands together to usher a new era of reconciliation and development.

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