27 October, 2020

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Cameron Under Fire Over Decision To Attend Sri Lanka Summit

Human rights groups react with disgust to David Cameron’s decision to attend the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka this November, Channel 4 Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Miller reports.

The Prime Minister’s decision comes amid growing alarm over Sri Lanka’s dismal and worsening human rights record and fears that permitting Colombo to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will enable the regime to whitewash allegations of war crimes.

Cameron

The United Nations says at least 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed by Sri Lankan government forces in the final stages of the civil war which ended four years ago amid evidence of war crimes. Continued and persistent human rights abuse has been widely documented since then by the increasingly authoritarian regime.

The Sri Lankan government has consistently denied its involvement in war crimes and has dismissed as “fiction” allegations of continued human rights abuse.

The announcement of the British government’s decision to attend CHOGM coincides with the detention without charge of a prominent Muslim activist.

The Director of the leading Tamil advocacy group said it demonstrated a willingness to “collaborate with evil”, echoing comments last week from the Canadian Foreign Minister who said that allowing Colombo to host CHOGM would be “accommodating evil”. Canada’s Prime Minister has announced that he will be boycotting the summit.

‘Tough message’

But a Downing Street spokesman told Channel 4 News that Mr Cameron would be deliverying “a very tough message to the Sri Lankan government that it needs to make concrete progress on human rights, reconciliation and political settlement”. He said that the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary had jointly decided that this could be better achieved by Mr Cameron’s attending the summit than by boycotting it.

Jan Jananayagam, who heads Tamils Against Genocide, told Channel 4 News: “I am disappointed as a British citizen and I am embarrassed for Britain that David Cameron is unable to muster a fraction of Canada’s leadership on this. I think we will will look back to regret this as an historic error. It is a sort of death knell for the Commonwealth.”

Suren Surendiran of the Global Tamil Forum said: “British Tamils are disgusted that our Prime Minister would even contemplate being in the company of the Rajapaksa family, members of which are being accused of being war criminals.”

The Director of the London-based Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, Fred Carver, said: “David Cameron has shown that he is not interested in the Commonwealth being a community of shared values; what possible meaning can being in the Commonwealth have if it is headed by [Sri Lankan President] Mahinda Rajapaska?”

In the six weeks since the Queen signed the new Commonwealth Charter promoting the 54-member organisation’s “shared values” – which include democracy, human rights, good governance and freedom of expression – there have been calls to move the venue of the summit from Sri Lanka.

In March, two former foreign secretaries – one Labour, one Conservative – told Channel 4 News they thought it would be “grotesque” for the Queen to be required to attend the meeting in a country many of whose leaders remain tainted by uninvestigated war crimes allegations and which is accused of persistent human rights abuse, including the disappearance, torture and murder of government critics.

Last month, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association passed a unanimous resolution calling for Sri Lanka’s suspension from the Commonwealth altogether, following the unconstitutional impeachment of the Chief Justice in January. The CLA President, Mark Stephens, told Channel 4 News that permitting Sri Lanka to host the summit “rewarded miscreant behaviour”.

Last week, however, a Commonwealth ministerial steering committee confirmed that the CHOGM would be going ahead in Colombo. The Commonwealth Secretary Geneneral Kamalesh Sharma said in a news conference he was fully persuaded that Sri Lanka was sincere in subscribing to and following Commonwealth values.

This means that Sri Lanka will not only host the summit but will assume the chairmanship of the Commonwealth for the following two years.

The Canadian Foreign Minister, who attended the steering committee, responded by saying that he was “appalled”. Canada’s Commonwealth envoy, Senator Hugh Segal, who had just returned from a fact-finding tour of Sri Lanka, said that in his view the human rights situation was “getting worse and not better”.

Canada is alone among Commonwealth member states to say that its head of government will not be attending. Canada’s decision was backed by Yasmin Sooka, who was asked by the UN Secretary General to investigate allegations of war crimes. She told Australia’s Channel 9 last week: “Sri Lanka is quite frankly descending into a state where the rule of law no longer holds sway.”

The Downing Street spokesman told Channel 4 News: “We are a strong supporter of the Commonwealth and we believe it can continue to be a force for good in the world, promoting values such as freedom, democracy and human rights.

“Our position is that we can use the visit to see the situation in Sri lanka. When world leaders go, the world’s media goes too and it shines a light on the country and what is happening there.”

Courtesy Channel4

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Latest comments

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    What Bullshit. Cameron should know that the Rajapakse SAMAGAMA can hide things from the world press and The Commonwealth attendees . They will put a good show , wine and dine and give gifts to the Members and have a good holiday . These meeting in realty achieve nothing . GOSL IGNORED THE UN REPORT AND THE GENEVA REPORT . Only the people of SL can bring about the Necessary changes NOT CAMERON NOR THE WORLD PRESS . What have the organizations like UNESCO,THE ILO , WHO , WORLD BANK, IMF , ADBANK , FAO ETC DONE TO ERADICATE WORLD POVERTY AND CHILD LABOR WORLD HUNGER ETC; YES ALL OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS MEET ANUALY IN SOME HOST COUNTRY AND WINE AND DINE AND PRODUCE VOLUMINOUS REPORTS AND THE PROBLEMS CARRY ON AND IN FACT HAVE BECOME WORSE . ITS ALL ABOUT GOOD WINING AND DINING AND EXCHANGE OF GOODWILL GIFTS . Ah , ah , ah ………who knows what “karma” has for them in the life here after !!!! .

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      All

      Hope this PM Cameron will bring all the wealth and treasures that British robbed from Sri Lanka over the 200 odd years so that he could hand over to poor Sri Lankans but not to the current rulers of SL.

      Aslo Cameron should know SL is not a colony of UK empire any more. People in SL have been suffering almost 100 years because of UK’s devide and rule methodology that they introduced to all colonies. Look at all counties in South east Asia where all civil unrest are experiencing.

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      The scandal is that the UNP opposition and Ranil WIckramasinghe, the other dictator in particular, rather than educating the Lankan tax payer on the massive waste of funds on this irrelevant British colonial organization, keeps talking about the Commonwealth as if it is god’s gift to the world – invoking irrelevant Latimar House rules to support Rajapassa’s illegal impeachment of the Chief Justice.

      The old or white Commonwealth nations (Canada, Aussi, New Zealand are laughing while the new Commonwealth’s Asian and African dictators embrace the Commonwealth of Clowns.
      The Commonwealth of clowns is a white elephant organization – an irrelevant colonial vestige that has morphed into a platform for third world military dictators like Rajapassa. Handing it to him is Britain’s exit strategy to close down an irrelevant white elephant.

      Rajapassa has meanwhile embraced another white elephant like the Hambantota airport and sea port!

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        The JVP and other opposition groups, trade unions and civil society organization should launch a massive opposition campaign against the Commonwealth of Clowns circus being held in Colombo and the massive waste of funds to host and irrelevant organization by the Rajapassa dictatorship – in front of the British and Indian High COmmissions and at the CHOGM venue..
        Let us prepare for the Lanka Spring to gutter the CHOGM in Rajapassa ville!

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        Have no illusions.

        UNP is working in tandem with Rajapassa behind the scene.

        It is a crime against Sri Lanka.

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      Brits are being Brits! Why is everyone so worked up about this?

      Brits have no problem mingling with Arab dictators? Far worse than Rajapassa. Why not Rajapassa too?

      If it is in their so called “strategic interest” to do so.

      I am only worried about Sri Lankan tax payers’ funds being lavished on this kind of Junkets. As if it is Rajapassa Clan’s Dad’s money. LOL.

      Otherwise you are welcome Mr. Cameron. Enjoy the paradise Island!

  • 0
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    If there is any truth in “karma” and reincarnation, all these Rajapakses should reborn as low caste Tamil women and Muslim women in a remote village

    • 0
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      Very intelligent response!

    • 0
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      Yes I agree and street dogs.

    • 0
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      I FULLY AGREE. JR AND LTTE LEADER PRABHAKARAN HAVE ALREADY BEEN REBORN THAT WAY. HAHAHA!

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    The murder of Khurram Sheik and the lack of progress in the judicial inquiry is a typical example of Rajapakse impunity and nepotism. Can David Cameron deliver a strong message and get the wheels of Justice moving? Or does he choose to deliver his strong message whilst enjoying the hospitality of a rogue regime over a cuppa tea.

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      David Cameron is a bachcha. He will mature someday. Probably someone has suggested him to visit the CW summit perhaps assured Rajapaksa bribe gifts as usual. Why not a a Blue Sapphire Necklace for his wife, an Elephant for David Himself.
      Dont know what Kamalesh Sharma got? Can CT investigate please?

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    Everyone to SL is welcome. I think the strategy is good to see the real situation in SL which is extremely better than what the GTF tries to show the world.His visit along with the leaders of the world will certainly enhance the image of SL when compared with the dark days we all have had with the Tamil Tiger terrorists who are no more.

    They will never ever have any more chances in SL.

    Of course we Sri Lankans will not be frighted with the tough message of the British PM. He will have to enforce the tough message on all those including the GTF and others who are living on board times and not for long.

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      @ Jeyam

      Are you a cohort of this rogue regime.

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        Isnt Cohort a decent word for an asslicker and sidekick of a criminal regime supporter. Whoever support this regime must be labelled at traitors and enemy of the state.

    • 0
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      “Of course we Sri Lankans will not be frighted with the tough message of the British PM.”

      Mugabe Loves You.

  • 0
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    HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISM IS A GOOD BUSINESS. IN AMERICA PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS GET PAID TRAINING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS MARKETING. IT’S A LUCRATIVE BUSINESS.

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    We can note that Jonathan Miller, the author of this article, is still as slipshod as ever with his facts concerning the end of the war in Sri Lanka. The UN didn’t say that “at least 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed by Sri Lankan government forces in the final stages of the civil war”. Officially the UN put the number of civilan deaths (note: not differentaited by ethnicity) at 6,500 between mid-January and mid-January 2009, after which they were no longer able to keep accurate records. The Durasman Report produced for the UN Secretary General concluded “a number of credible sources have estimated that there could have been as many as 40,000 civilian deaths.” Note that we are never told who these credible sources are.

    Channel 4 are doing themselves no favour by disseminating such false information which anyone can easily check for themselves against the relevent documents which are readily available on the internet. If you want to accuse somone of something, Channel 4, you have to get your facts right, but you’ve fallen flat on your face with this one. Are British taxpayers aware that they are paying for such slipshod and biased propaganda instaed of news?.

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      aI aI aI Aiyo!

  • 0
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    So true disgusting fellow

  • 0
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    It is David Cameron’s Rolls Royce (bribed) diplomacy. Hell with the Commonwealth Values,Human Right,War Crimes and reconciliations.

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    Perhaps the UK Government is slowly beginning to realize what kind of people make up the ‘human rights’ and ‘media’ businesses? Or that Tamil votes won’t decide elections?

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    “Cameron Under Fire” by LTTE proxies/ LTTE Diaspora Terrorists & HR guys on LTTE payroll who were in deep slumber for 30 years when mass killer V.Prabha & his killer gang went berserk killing over 50,000 innocent Fresh born babies/children /women / men in Sri Lanka,exploding 378 suicide kits out of some 400 in whole world, bombing Kattankudi Muslim Mosque , Buddhist Temples, priests etc.

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    We know it’s a wine and dine function to give more power for the president of our country.We have imported Rolls-Royce for the vvips and to drive comfortably with young helpers.Come and enjoy the Sri-Lankan,hospitality.

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      Who will own the Imported Rolls Royces once the CHOGM Conference is Over????

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    It’s typical of Channel 4 to say that “the United Nations says at least 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed by Sri Lankan government forces in the final stages of the civil war”. The UN said no such thing. It was the report of a panel of ‘experts’ appointed by the UN Secretary General which suggested this figure. The panel was NOT a UN appointed panel. And the figure is not substantiated.

    How interesting to see references to “evil” come up again – with the Canadian Foreign Minister who said that allowing Colombo to host CHOGM would be “accommodating evil”. Remember George W Bush and his ‘axis of evil’ – another colourful but misleading phrase to describe something that just was not there. How self righteous they sound. Talking of shared Commonwealth values, what about some courtesy and good manners and decent language when referring to other countries in the group?

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    Human Rights !!! in to the dustbim…
    Except for that Bull Dog faced growling FM of Canada Baird, rest of the Western leaders of the Commonwelth will be there.

    If there were any serious HR violations, how could they ever visit Sri Lanka? There again, there could be many a slip between the cup and the lip………..
    For now let those HR bashers earn some money at the expense of the Diaspora.

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    Welcome British Prime Minister Rt Hon David Cameron, to Ceylon, the Resplendent Island, Sri Lanka,you left with the racist time bombs.

    You are making history, De Ja Vu.

    You are the the 21st Century British Chamberlain. The new appeaser.
    We all know it is about your self interest. We know you, Britain have no principles. We know you went with the WMD to go along with the liar and War Crimes of Bush. We know you have ignored the war crimes in Iraq. We know you are right now aiding and abetting the crimes in Syria. We know, ……

    It is true, compared to all these crimes, the “Crimes” in Sri Lanka are very minor, so minuscule, that it does not warrant you not attending. They are much smaller than in Kashmir, and you are bot boycotting India.

    However, you need to take a stand and speak out. This is because, when Britain left, Ceylon was left with a slow fuse time bomb, that burned for 60 years, 30 years in Sinhala Buddhist racism, and 30 years in Tamil Separatism & Racism and Sinhala Buddhist State sponsored Racist and War that dragged India, your other fiasco, into the British Ceylon India “Commonwealth? Soup.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neville_Chamberlain

    Arthur Neville Chamberlain FRS[1] (18 March 1869 – 9 November 1940), usually known as Neville Chamberlain, was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany.

  • 0
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    After all drama’s from NGO, Amnesty, BTF, Suren surendran, sunila abesekara, poddla jayantha, W Karunarthna, Canadian’ PM, All LTTE supporters, Nimalka Fernando They ALL FAILED , RAJA and THE GANG WON

  • 0
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    Now channel 4 can make another film about David Cammeron has supported the SL to kill tamils , this will be very popular, all the LTTE rump organisation GTF,TAG and A1 will fund the film

    • 0
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      “another film about David Cammeron has supported the SL to kill tamils”
      When the British Media does not broadcast cMorons involvement in Libya how do you expect that to happen?

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    PM Cameron is having enough shit to worry about on his own turf, instead of preaching to our bad boys in Sunny Srilanka.

    One of his Conservative mates and a Deputy Speaker as I understand is going to face rape chrages soon.

    And they are not the usual type of Rape that the British lovers both local and residing overseas accused our small time Pradeshiya politicians in Mattala allegedly committed.

    Rape is a horrible crime and should be condemned regardless of who or where it is committed.

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      K.A.Sumana,

      As usual with your comments, in attempting to defend the regime, here you divert the topic and talk about rape.

      Haven’t you read local media reports of the RAPEs by the SL armed forces in the North, after the war.

      Did you not see the report in the international media on the Rapes by the SL soldiers sent fo UN peacekeeping in Haiti?
      Shame on you.

  • 0
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    Is it cameron or the RR engines that are on fire ???
    Brittain is bankrupt in debt up to their eye-balls no better than Sri Lanka.

    NGO, Amnesty, HRW, AHRC, BTF, Suren surendran, sunila abesekara, poddla jayantha, W Karunarthna, Canadian’ Bull Dog Faced FM, All Diasspora, Nimalka Fernando, GTF … this F and that F… finally Raja gang has short circuited them all.

    Money spent by the above goons could have enabled the TGTE to purchase planes with RR engines.

    Demo Crazy……….

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    Bukinham Palace confirm the Charles visit to CHOGM , now what Chanel 4, A1, Canada’s Harper is going to say we ask Queen to stay at home because SL human right situation is bad

    • 0
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      kris, yes we have to protect the Queen of Sri Lanka. Women are not safe in Sri Lanka.

  • 0
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    PERHAPS THE TRADE DEALS OF ARMS SUPPLY DURING THE LTTE WAR AND THE MOST
    RECENT ROLLS ROYCE ENGINE SUPPLY CONTRACT FOR SRILANKAN AIR LINES, ARE
    MORE ENTICING. HENCE, IT IS, A KEEP THE OLD COLONY HAPPY {INCLUDING SELF], NEVER MIND, HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS DURING THE LAST 60 YEARS AND
    MORE TRADE IS IN THE PIPELINE TOO, WITH TRADE EXHIBITIONS ARRANGED, AFTER
    CHOGM MEETING,TO FOLLOW. WHY THIS HYPOCRACY MR PRIME MINISTER,WHILE THE OLD COLONY, IS BEING RULED OR IS IT,RUINED] IN THE NAME OF DEMOCRACY. LET THE DEVAS PROVIDE AN ANSWER….

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