The Sunday Leader

Diaspora Link To Channel 4 Revealed

By Faraz Shauketaly

Stuart Cosgrove and Shirani Sabaratnam

The Sunday Leader has unearthed startling evidence showing that the LTTE-leaning Diaspora in Britain have made in-roads to the highest levels within the British Channel 4 TV network.
Sri Lankan born Shirani Sabaratnam originally from Jaffna and Vaddukoddai is married to Channel 4 TV’s Director of Diversity, the well-known British journalist Stuart Cosgrove. Stuart Cosgrove’s responsibilities at Channel 4 is without doubt a major one: he oversees Channel 4’s strategy to have innovation and to have creative diversity. He also is in charge of managing strategy and development of new companies, within the general ambit of Channel 4’s operations with the ultimate aim of establishing Channel 4 as the “most creatively diverse media organisation in Europe”.
Vaddukoddai is famous for the so-called “Vaddukoddai Resolution” when the TULF in 1976 first called for the separation of the North  and the East in order that Tamil aspirations could be better dealt with.
In 2010 Stuart Cosgrove participated in an unusual referendum: amongst the Tamil people of the world who voted for the creation of “Eelam” – a motherland for the Tamil community in the North  and the East of Sri Lanka.  Sometime thereafter, Stuart Cosgrove wrote about that election, “Maryhill (in Scotland) was chosen as a polling station in a global referendum organised by expatriate Tamils in their tense stand-off with Sri Lanka, a country that has resisted their independence.” He added, the “referendum is a fascinating story of democracy withheld, with more plotlines than a political thriller and enough constitutional twists to send Scotland’s political intelligentsia into paroxysms of near-erotic delight.” Cosgrove also said, “My interest went beyond the observational. I was there to cast my vote. My wife, Shirani Sabaratnam, is a native Tamil speaker from Jaffna, on the northern peninsula of Sri Lanka. She still holds Sri Lankan citizenship and, as a “qualifying spouse”, I am allowed to participate in the poll. So, strange as it seems, the stubby pencil of democracy was rightfully mine. As I handed over my identity papers, I was acutely aware of the paradox. Voting Yes/Yes in the 1997 Scottish referendum on devolution seemed natural; voting in a referendum on Tamil independence was an unexpected experience.”
Cosgrove was able to vote at the referendum  because under the so-called rules of the Tamil Diaspora, he was a “qualifying spouse” through his marriage to Shirani Sabaratnam. Stuart Cosgrove waxed eloquent about the Tamil Diaspora’s battle with Sri Lanka’s government, “Tamils have for decades fought a relentless battle with successive Sri Lankan governments, demanding greater civil rights. With well-organised communities in Toronto, London and Paris, the Tamils are the undisputed world champions of diaspora politics.”
Sabaratnam and Cosgrove live in South London and are perhaps the best known husband and wife media combination in Britain – they make a formidable team: Sabaratnam is the Commissioning Editor at UKTV and Cosgrove had similar responsibilities at Channel 4 for a while. Neither Sabaratnam nor Cosgrove had any direct input on the production of the films broadcast on Channel 4 about Sri Lanka. Both have made visits back to Sri Lanka – the fact that Cosgrove was permitted to enter Sri Lanka in spite of his professional job at Channel 4 – and in an interview published locally Sabaratnam indicated that there were plans to make a film in Sri Lanka. Whether it was a film about Sri Lanka was not immediately clear. Her plans for a film in Sri Lanka on the surface would be of immense benefit in terms of tourism, international positive exposure and for the film industry in Sri Lanka. However, the current revelations that Sabaratnam is very much an activist with the Eelam-seeking Diaspora in Britain, will serve only to sully those intentions. Additionally industry sources in Britain have indicated that following up on the made-for-TV films, a full-screen film is also being considered for release next year.
Many questions have been raised as to how it is that in spite of the world’s hot trouble spots like in Zimbabwe, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Tibet, Iraq and Afghanistan, Channel 4 have yet to make a film based on their coverage of events in those countries and continues to have an abiding interest in the Diaspora’s battles with Sri Lanka. Many in Sri Lanka complained that Channel 4 had not given coverage to the atrocities committed by the LTTE which also included killings of civilians and children. Zimbabwe in particular is of interest as it was the Channel 4 reporting that brought the world news of the ‘land grab’ from white farmers.
We attempted to contact both Sabaratnam and Cosgrove for a comment, but both were not reachable at the time of going to press.

57 Comments for “Diaspora Link To Channel 4 Revealed”

  1. Rattapakse

    What a joke!!!

    What you say may be possible in Colombo but in London they will send him home.

    No Chance!!!

    • Rattapakse, you need to read a lot. your knowledge is minimal. It is pretty sad.

    • david

      so you want us to believe london is ‘THE PLACE” where the democracy is there 100%?? are you ‘rattapakse or ukatapakse??

  2. Gotta the hero

    what difference does that make? they are reporting the facts as they happened. so how is this material?

  3. Tyrone Fernandopulle

    Why that woman had to be a LTTE just because she is a Tamil?

    The whole message is bassed on a falty ground.

    Gett some real stories, will you?


    • Muru

      She is a LTTE supporter not because she is a Tamil but because she travelled to Scotland to vote in that LTTE sponsored so called election.

      No normal Tamils in UK bothered to vote in that fracas only the die hard LTTE supporters.

  4. Sam

    If you a Tamil and condemn the Govt. action, you are branded as LTTE.
    If you are a Tamil and married to some who highlights the genocide by Govt., you are a LTTE. If the Govt. keep on following this logic to make every one fool, then they are digging a big hole for themselves.
    Stll the Govt. is creating a wide gap between Tamils and Sinhalese. Now the powerful world leaders have given their verdict. Let’s work on the resolution and provide an acceptable solution for Tamils .

    • Chinaman

      Tamils have to adjust and live with Sinhalese , not the Sinhalese have to adjust to Tamils. As long as Tamil diaspora work against the government, innocent tamils in Sri Lanka will suffer. Tamils have to realize that you have to work with the Sri Lankan government to get any kind of freedom or rights.

    • nathan

      when the powerful country ruled the Ceylon they gave tamils top education,top jobs more or less everything top.when
      they left ,why did thy left you Ampoo?I mean noting. they knew you tamils not civilized enough to self govern

      • Gotta the hero

        Hey Nathan-
        Yeah Tamils are not civilised to govern but look at the rulers today, ex-convicts, underworld thugs, Rapists, murderers, ex-paramilitaries, the bloody list goes on are found in the government as what? Ministers. They all are found to be sitting by a computer, the bloody rascals do not even know what that machine does. Don’t use your donkey brain to write garbage!!!!!!!!

        • jaliya

          Hey Gotta are you holding Gotta to UK or Tamils against Sri Lanka. True the government is run by a bunch of thugs! But they defeated LTTE! and UNP!

    • david

      yes. so called powerful leaders have given their verdict to libya, sudan, iraq etc. too. mr o ms sam, come out from your fancy world and talk the truth. where is genocide in sri lanka except ltte terrorists chased thousands of muslims from their homes in north n east some years ago?

  5. Dorothy

    After over 60 years of Independence and funding a huge Free education State school system and aided private school system we have failed miserably to instill in people a one nation concept which is found in countries like USA or most European Contries . Thus we have a huge diaspora population who seem to betray the country for publicity and power .They even visit the country and enjoy the hospitality of those who held the fort for 30 years and sacrificed many in the face of Terrorist Activies . This visit gives underlying credibility to their story .This war I must tell this Cosgrove and Sabaratnam duo had no fronts but killed many who dared to venture out of the comfort zone of their homes to go shopping or to schools and or may be defend the country .Any story that bash the SriLankan Goverment is accepted as credible jounalism while any fact put out by patriotic organizations of any is propaganda to the western world . This is a no win situation .Lets do the right thing because the nation benefits not those who are outside .That alone is a huge task in the face of the modern economic adaptations which only give value to bank balances .

    • Hari

      The way the government and some politicians are behaving now after the war is just absurd and immature. It seems like gvnmt is digging it’s own grave by their behaviour and actions. All their actions only add more credibility to diaspora ha hoo.
      I personally was very happy when LTTE was defeated for the country and it’s people, and ofcourse had a high regards for this government. But they are slowly losing ground and credibility by their shamefull behaviour.

      • Nimal

        You are harii(correct) in what you said.

      • shehan

        like you and many other right thinking citizens were delighted when the war ended; “Sanity” we thought has come to stay, but so very unfortunately we find the “MADNESS” is continuieng, Why cant the intelligent masses rally around to do the correct thing by overthrowing this mad administration; We all know elections is not the answer ( they were all rigged); I hope we will see sanity prevailing in the near future, The LLRC IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS SANITY BUT CAN MAD ADMINISTRATORS DO THE RIGHT THING.

  6. Sunday Leader ; What are you doing???
    C4 is non binding, independent station.

  7. lakan

    How can some one be so stupid. Just because you are married to some one, you are not going to take the side of the spouse. It does not even happen in my family. Do you think a professional would do it. Our stupid notions such as this has got our country to where we are today. Let us be honest to ourselves first.

  8. Ilankai Thamizhan

    So it is a crime producing a film on Sri Lankan atrocities without producing on on countries of your concern. Is it a crime? Oh! you have an identity crisis Faraz. I am yet to see you come out strongly against the monstrous crimes committed against Thamizh people by the Rajapakse army. How about something on the atrocities committed by the Ampara, Batticaloa Muslims against unarmed Thamizh civilians long before LTTE became a force. You have selective amnesia?

  9. Leslie

    This is another cooked up story.

  10. Nagesh

    It dies not matter who is married to whom, the truth is human rights violations were committed by the SL government and now this will be investigated. Channel 4, took up the case and now as they say the rest is history.

  11. Eddy

    It will well for the GOSL to read this article and make sure this PAIR never set foot on SL soil ever again!! This women’s citizenship too should be struck-off!! UN resolution or no resolution, these maggots/traitors should never be allowed to see their Mother land again!!

  12. Chris dharmakirti

    Excerpts from an article written by Stuart Cosgrove, a channel four executive in a LTTE website:

    My wife, Shirani Sabaratnam, is a native Tamil speaker from Jaffna, on the northern peninsula of Sri Lanka. She still holds Sri Lankan citizenship .

    Tamils have for decades fought a relentless battle with successive Sri Lankan governments, demanding greater civil rights. With well-organised communities in Toronto, London and Paris, the Tamils are the undisputed world champions of diaspora politics.

    My wife’s journey is part of the ragged jigsaw of the Tamil experience. She was born in Jaffna, raised in the nearby village of Vaddukoddai, and moved via Colombo to England. Her home village is now a Bannockburn of sorts, and a landmark in her people’s history. In 1976, Tamils triumphantly secured their biggest victory in modern electoral history. Every political party and all registered voters supported the so-called Vaddukoddai Resolution, a mandate for Tamil independence.

    “I aspire for the formation of the independent and sovereign state of Tamil Eelam … on the basis that the Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka make a distinct nation, have a traditional homeland and have the right to self-determination”.

  13. valentine

    Ok so what’s the caption of your article? Channel 4 didn’t capture & air brutalities done by LTTE or stories of genocides in other countries not unearthed?
    We forgot the fact the most disturbing videos were recorded by the SL govt soldiers themselves. If not thru Channel 4, it would have been aired by Niburu 5. It ain’t ‘one way out’.
    At the end, Channel 4 is a telecasting company not a Judicial committee. For sure they’d have a strong leverage on their coverage and that’s what they do to grasp attention.

    • Valentine, never knew that soldiers wore slippers. the so called soldiers were wearing slippers while taking these photo’

  14. Piranha

    This man thinks that the UK is like Sri Lanka. In the UK even the Prime Minister can’t influence the programme content of TV channels.

    This is no scoop or even journalism but simply mud slinging. Doesn’t work with intelligent people. Tell it to Wimal Weerawansa and he will fast until death again if the couple don’t divorce. Ha ha ha…

  15. simmon

    Whether the channel 4 has connection with the diasspora or vaddukodai but they won the forensic documentary award and if any thing they telecasted is untrue why not any one taking channel4 not taken to the court. Either the SL govt or any great patriots can take them to court and find out whether they are right or wrong.

  16. SAM

    Its not about the Sri Lankan Gov you fools, its the real facts.. dont spit on your own head by making third grade commets like this just becase its free to post. This is the whole problem here from 1970 onwards both SLFP and UNP (now JVP) use the LTTE problem to be in power , with out wiping out them from the planet earth.

  17. so what? where is evidence of foul play?

  18. raj

    it doesn;t matter who is behind. the matter is if the allegations in the channel 4 were disproved by facing an idependent inquirey. when the answer is no, there are people who would believe what they saw in the C4

  19. Rohith

    here’s something for all those so called Diaspora, if you want to live in Sri Lanka, then be a sri lanka n and act like a sri lankan, if you “still’ want to demand for Elam, go elsewhere, because, it’s never going to happen, Demographically, 74% Sinhalese, 11% Tamils and other part makes of Muslims etc, etc,.

    the story is true, this white guy has no clue, but to listen to that raciest wife of his, or otherwise, he will end up in the dog house or you know what I mean.

    it’s no secret that CH 4 and other NGO’S heavily depend of Diaspora money, so go figure it out folks!!!!!!!!!

    • Rowdy Peter

      At the last count the Tamil number even less than the Muslims so we can tell them to fly their kites at Hype park or where ever. They are not the largest majority anymore so why should they have a say in anything?

    • Lanka Liar

      To live like a Sri Lankan we should tell lie after lie. Kidnap in white van. Tie people to trees and get him to write a letter that he begged us to be tied. Periodically murder innocent. Loot property . Only a true Sri Lankan can qualify for all this

  20. Sharish Mendi

    Amusing….and so the videos of people being shot and bombed are a staged event in a studio in London…kindly provided by Channel 4….a tamil link is terrorism..and a sinhalese link (DBS, Mahindapala, Gunaratnam) is truth ? The creator sees everything and will judge…but a US police officer made a salient observation…the wheels of justice turn slow..BUT THEY DO and me are not going to stop it…Prabakaran got his justice for using child soldiers..he has paid…and he now rests….but everyone else also has to get their on earth or in the hereinafter….live your lives with fear of what you DO !!!

  21. Sonia

    So what is wrong with this !!!!

  22. Bruz

    What a stupid ‘revelation’ story. Mr Cosgrove is not a Sri Lankan politician to lie or Channel 4 is not ITN of Sri Lanka.
    Ms. Sabaratnam is after all a Tamil from Sri Lankan North & she knows what really happened there and she has all the right to reveal whatever in a free & democratic country like UK , without fear of white vans. Just branding or name calling like Tamil tigers,white tigers or Sinhala tigers won’t make them “traitors” . Only those name callers become the laughing stock of the world. What a pity !

  23. jaliya

    Channel 4. like France one and Al-Jazeera is a terrorist channel funded by British government to discredit other nations. One should ask what happened to Adele Balasingham the British agent who trained LTTE to carry out suicide attacks!

  24. Rowdy Peter

    This is going to rank as one of the best stries I have seen in any Sri Lanka newspaper. This woman was given features space in the Sunday Observer a state newspaper. I wonder how the Editor of that newspaper will feel now. He has let the Government down. Furthermore how did all of these people come in and go out with material that was fraudulently obtained. Were there no controls at the Emigrations desks or will we find that the Tamils have more people under their thumb that the Government is not able to seed out? This is three strikes but who then is out? No-one I can see. The bungling will cost the Taxpayer money because the next time a 200 member group will have to go to bale us out before another UN kangaroo court. This is where “the new evidence” came from and we can see in Channel 4 that Milliband is going to make himself the Santa Jorge of the Roman Catholic Tamils!

  25. rottenpakse

    Pol Buruwas in the Rajapakse Govt turn and twist things according to their level of education. They cannot understand anything except how to ROB the Country.
    People should chase these vultures out of the country. If you need a peaceful country just kick these bloody dogs out. Rajapakses are nothing but a CURSE to the entire human society. GET OUT and leave us in Peace!

  26. sangeetha

    So what? Was not what they reported the truth? This link does not discredit the video.

  27. VICTOR


  28. Just because that Tamil lady has a husband working for channel 4 ?


  30. dagobert

    Those abducted and trained sent to the front to fight the GOSL & establish eelam who are long dead must be rolling in their graves.

    After the rout of the ltte these folks yet ride the ltte for their comforts and existence.

    VULTURES !!!!!!!! leave behind nothing.

  31. dagobert

    Rohith…….. You have tripped on your arithmetic.

    % of Tamils in Sri Lanka in the North & East is 2%…….. Eslewhere in the country is 4% …………….

    Tamils are a minority of the minorities today.

  32. Lionie

    The LTTE still run miles ahead of Sri Lanka outside Sri Lankan soil – that is a fact. The millions of dollars they raise from all sorts of fraudulent activities are now not spent on weapons – they are spent on Western media, NGOs and politicians. These combined forces are like “weapons of mass destruction” for the LTTE rump to destroy Sri Lanka. Thanks for the revealing this link of Eelamist Tamils (LTTE) to the British media. Britain should be in SHAME!!!

  33. Shiva

    Tamils of Eelam orgin are senior Ministers in Singapore. Does it mean that they support the Eelam Tamils without any conscience?

    Tamils are professionals including Nuclear Scientists, Ananda Krishnan is one of the richest men in South Asia and acadamics in the Western nations who has political links too. Does this mean that someone can pull a string without any basis for discreminations and human rights abuses?

    Be sensible!

  34. Yours truly Sri Lankan

    We sinhalese are biased…because they are tamils…curse on us

  35. Suresh Silva

    Author is a muslim, Does this author represent a terrorist group in Sri Lanka.
    Definitely not. Is this author trying increase the mistrust between tamils and sinhaleese? This person should be banned.

    Your article is the worst article I have ever read. Even Mr Rajapaksha will get irritated.

  36. Lanka Liar

    So many media condemned the murder of Lasantha all over the world. Did somebody from Lasantah family married all those journo. Address the facts Sunday leader. You should lead the country out of this culture instead you are gradually becoming one. Sunday leader had condemned Sri Lanka many times are you funded by LTTE. It is the SLTE that you shpuld be worried about LTTE is gone but still rules Sri Lanka it looks like.

  37. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the first lead since early Tuesday, right??

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