STORY BY CHAMINDI WIJESINGHE
On Oct. 13, Metrojet Flight 9268 was on its way from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg.
Then, approximately 23 minutes into the flight, the plane dropped off the radar without any distress call.
CNN reported that “a U.S. military satellite detected a midair heat flash from the Russian airliner before the plane crashed… (suggesting) a catastrophic in-flight event – including possibly a bomb.”
A statement given by U.S. Director of Intelligence James Clapper at a Washington News conference voiced the thoughts of British and US officials: “ (Terrorism) is unlikely, but I wouldn’t rule it out. We don’t have any direct evidence of its involvement yet.”
However, Russia boldly dismissed any theories about what caused the crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula as “speculation.”
Ireland and the United Kingdom momentarily suspended flights to Sharm-el-Sheikh while other countries more lenient, advised extreme caution. Amidst all the confusion, panic, possible diplomatic row and power play happening among the angered, stranded passengers, political and aviation authorities of different countries, the bodies of the 244 killed have been flown into Russia.
Responding to such a crisis is sensitive. When information is hidden or tweaked before it reaches the public as plane crashes, especially those that are not due to technical issues can hurt a country’s economy, security and diplomatic relations. Following every devastating tragedy, there is more international unrest. Thousands of people are waiting for the truth, whether they be impatiently sitting behind laptops or waiting to hear in person what really happened. It seems the information is being held behind government’s closed doors.
The monstrously inflated wrong prioritization and the clash between what leaders are trying to defend and protect make it hard for the citizen to sync with them. Moreover, when your own government shows emotions just for the cameras, it angers more than the terrorists who murdered your family. An “I am right, you are wrong” attitude between officials is not going to give the victims’ successors closure. They don’t want to hear about the past. They need to know about what’s next. Offering money (some twisted family members do take advantage of that) is not going to bring back the dead or alleviate the pain.
The 244 passengers — 24 of whom were children, the youngest a toddler of 10 months — were innocent.
If passengers disappeared midair, having done nothing wrong, the least they are entitled to is a sincere apology—a sincere moment where politics take a back seat to the essence of being human.
Moreover, to find solid evidence and take action, the closed doors should open to an honest representation so that we don’t jump to conclusions and aggravate the matter. The public can understand that full transparency might lead to favor those involved in the possible terrorist attack by the Islamist State branch, but it should have trust in its leaders to know that international cooperation is happening.
It took four resource-abundant allies to end WWII. Shouldn’t history be a lesson?