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Bruce Haigh’s story too close to Tamil Tiger propaganda to be believed

May 25, 2011

Bruce Haigh’s story too close to Tamil Tiger propaganda to be believed


War is ugly from every angle. None of us need to be reminded of that. Yet it seems that when a war is finally and decisively concluded there are some who wish to moan for the good old days of fighting. They won’t say it directly mind you. Yet they do make it extremely clear that they wish they were still in the fight. I never would accuse such people of suffering from mindless bloodlust but rather a form of relevancy deficiency. So rather than accept that they have to move on, they dream up new ways to keep the ideals and objectives of the losing side alive. It is a dream that is destined to morph into little more than controversial static that our respected media thrives upon. Finally there is a desperate attempt link a diminishing controversy static noise with a more relevant controversy as if one is evidence of the other.


This is how I see Bruce Haigh’s opinion piece called Too close for comfort“. Not only were his facts questionable but they read like a charge sheet drawn up by the terrorist organization the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). The LTTE was a pseudo-Marxist terrorist organization that had a desired goal of creating a mono-ethnic state in Sri Lanka and ethnically cleansed every territory they held. Not only were Sinhalese in danger but so too were Muslims including the 80,000 who were given just 2 days notice to or they would be shot on site. It is remarkable that Bruce is now flinging spurious accusations at Sri Lanka as he remains mute about the terrorist organization it defeated. What is even more remarkable is the complete lack of any independent evidence to back up his charges.


One such example is the smearing of Admiral Samarsinghe as a war criminal by linking his name to an incident that took place in February this year. It is curious that Bruce chose this particular story since it never even mentions Admiral Samarsinghe’s name once. Not even in passing. So what is the connection other than guilt by association, or worse by mere innuendo? Or is this just a petty vendetta against the man who destroyed the fleet of LTTE floating weapons warehouses that where anchored off the east coast of Sri Lanka? In essence Admiral Samarsinghe’s action starved the LTTE of its weapons and ammunition and could be credited with precipitating the end of the conflict. Labelling the good Admiral as a war criminal has been a tactic used by the LTTE for some time. We cannot underestimate the level to which a terrorist organization will sink in flinging false accusations. Making vexatious and false legal claims it just one of its many tactics.


Another fantasy that Bruce Haigh has been guilty of propagating is that 40,000 Tamils civilians were killed in the last months of the Sri Lankan Civil War. There is no direct source that has even come close to this estimation. This figure has been touted around the internet for the last year or so with the claim that it is verified by the UN. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the only one former official for UN called Gordon Weiss has publically made this accusation. After making several controversial claims at the climax of the civil war Mr Weiss was removed from his post as spokes person for the UN in Sri Lanka. More realistic figures of 6,000+ deaths were used by the UN and ICRC soon after the war. To date the UN has refused to endorse, let alone discuss, Gordon’s statements.


The recent report written by the UN called REPORT OF SECRETARY GENERAL’S PANEL ON ACCOUNTABILITY IN SRI LANKA openly admits that it has no accurate figures of the numbers killed in the final stages of the war.

Para 132. reads, “There is no authoritative figure for civilian deaths…”

In Para 134. The report states that “it is estimated that 7,721 killed and 18,479 injured from August 2008 to 13 May 2009, after which it became too difficult to count…”

It is not until Para 137. that the figure of up to 40,000 is even considered under the caveat that it “cannot be ruled out”.

Yet the report never refers to which sources gave them this figure. By the same standard the possibility that the report was using numbers dreamed up by the LTTE propagandists likewise “cannot be ruled out”. This is because the UN report is using a mixture of hearsay, wild assumptions and blind guess work to reach an elastic figure somewhere between 7,700 and 40,000. Did the authors of this report understand the difference between 7k and 40k? Heaven forbid that any would suggest that this part of their report is so unprofessionally compiled that it reads like inflammatory fiction.


Yet the figure of 40,000 has become the mantra of the day, quoted as if it was gospel truth rather than correctly categorized as hearsay from some unknown sources. It has become the salacious headline that has the both media outlets and the remnants the LTTE salivating with delight. The prior merely wants to sell a headline. The later wants to rebuild its ability to wage war. And there is nothing like the myth of massacres and genocide to fill the propaganda score sheet. All aided by a deeply flawed report that has undermined its own credibility and plays into the hands of a terrorist propaganda campaign.


This is also where Bruce Haigh may be acting as little more than one of the LTTE’s “useful idiots“. There is a real possibility that he is unwittingly being used by one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world to boost their deadly cause.


The biggest problem with touting around highly inflated casualties is obvious. Terrorist propaganda machines will always use the biggest figure they can find to justify their crimes. Already the LTTE front website Tamilnet has headlined that the Sri Lankan forces slaughtered 40,000 civilians. Worse, the large numbers are being used to justify obvious war crimes such as forced recruitment of child soldiers and suicide bombers. Even a quick scan of the LTTE front website Tamilnet shows how this is being used. A place where Bruce Haigh’s opinions are featured including this piece where we get this piece of terrorist apologetics, “Former members of the LTTE do not constitute a security threat in Australia, anymore than white Rhodesians who fought against Mugabe or members of the ANC who took up arms against apartheid.” The reality of having former terrorists residing in Australia does not appear to register in Bruce’s head at all.


We would like to think that the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War brought an end to the LTTE international wing. Sadly this is not the case. They may have been severely weaken and fragmented since the end of the war but there are still enough of them to pose a threat to nations where they reside. As recently as the 20th of May 2011 the newly elected LTTE’s Leader Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyawan was arrested in Norway for organizing millions in terrorist financing.


All of which should remind us that we are not dealing a bunch idealistic freedom fighters but a cold hearted real terrorist organization. Tread carefully Bruce because you are walking within reach of monsters.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. candydman permalink
    March 1, 2012 3:35 pm

    I’m not sure if you and readers spotted Bruce Haigh’s most explicit endorsement yet of terrorism of the LTTE variety. It occurs in a his blog on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘The Drum’ website on 28 February this year.

    The article is ostensubly a typical Haigh diatribe against Autralia’s own security services for relying in part on evidence from Sri Lanka for dealing with some alleged Tamil Tiger terrorists. Then, speaking about some 50 Tamil migrants whom Australia refuses to release from detention, he writes:

    “Let me speak on behalf of the [50] Sri Lankan Tamils found to be refugees, but still detained as a threat to security. These men were on the losing side in a civil war. They are soldiers of a military force which resorted to acts of terror in order to try and maximise their advantage. Nothing unusual in that, Australia would have done the same thing if the Japanese had gained a foothold [in Australia] in 1942.”

    This paragraph occurs about half way down his article and the last sentence has been removed from some other sites where the article has been re-produced. This is presumably because of its libel against the Australian people.

    So for Bruce Haigh there’s nothing unusual (and one presumes nothing reprehensible) for people to use suicide bombers, child soldiers, mass murder of civilians and religious worshippers, ethnic cleansing, holding of civilians as human shields, children as human bombs, deification of the ‘Great Leader’, etc in order to “maximise their advantage.”

    What worries me is not what goes on in this former diplomat’s sick head because that’s merely keyboard terrorism which he would never have the nerve to risk his own life implementing, but rather that that some other impressionable minds might think terrorism against civilians is OK if it “maximises” their advantage because the former diplomat Bruce Haigh has said so.

    Perhaps friends of democracy can take up this issue with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


    • March 1, 2012 7:41 pm

      Thanks for your reply

      I read Bruce’s essay in the ABC Drum site a few days and left a response. I even drew attention the the very passage you have quoted. But for some strange reason they never published it.

      I was tempted to respond here to Bruce’s latest rant but I do not thkink it is necessary. He comes across like the looney fringe pandering to then Latte Socialist set. That is a big turn off for most mainstream Australians. Unfortunately that appears to be the kind of writer that gets the biggest run on the Drum. Loud but ineffective activists.

      As for Bruce. It will only be a matter of time before he is questioned by a quality interviewer about his irrational quotes. I seriously doubt that he can justify comparing WW2 Australians with terrorists.



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