Sinhala  Tamil    Seperate    
Governtment of Sri Lanka

This is the first section of an analysis of the manner in which the Darusman Report has been misrepresented in sensationalistic journalism. It is heartening that many journalists have acknowledged their mistake when it was pointed out, and refrained from repeating it. Indeed one outlet seems to have read more carefully on its own, without being prompted, the BBC for instance noting that they 'didn't use the phrase after May 24 just before the distinction was pointed out'. The whole analysis may be found at






Media and advocacy groups make mistakes. It’s true. The reason for the errors can vary from simple human error, time constraints resulting in insufficient research to subtle manipulation of facts and wording to push an agenda.

Once a mistake has been pointed out, most reputable organisations will publish an acknowledgement along with the correction. Less reputable organisations may ignore the error or correct the error without any acknowledgement. How organisations deal with errors are a great indicator of the quality of the publication.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed an advisory panel (Darusman, Ratner, Sooka) to report on the final stages of Sri Lanka’s separatist war. The Darusman report was published in April and human rights advocacy groups, including Amnesty International, International Crisis Group and Human Rights Watch, initiated a controversial media campaign accusing Sri Lanka of war crimes.

The Darusman Report, totalling nearly 200 pages, is not going to be read by the general public. The general public will rely on media and advocacy groups to summarise the significant points contained in the report. Unfortunately, errors can be introduced in this process resulting in readers being misinformed.

The full analysis



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