By JS Tissainayagam –
British Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will attend the Commonwealth Summit in Colombo to engage with host nation Sri Lanka. However, while loudly encouraging Commonwealth leaders to engage by attending the Summit, Sri Lanka has in the recent past brushed aside international engagement it perceives as threatening and accommodated only that which boosts its legitimacy at home and image abroad.
Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the civil war that ended in May 2009 with the defeat of the rebel LTTE. The rebels too are accused of similar crimes. Sri Lanka denies the accusation and says even if they were true, a domestic inquiry would suffice. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillai, among others, believes Sri Lanka cannot be trusted with a domestic inquiry.
Using engagement as a shield against his critics who urge him to boycott this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Cameron told the BBC: “I will tell [Rajapakse] that if Sri Lanka doesn’t deliver on an independent investigation, the world will need to ensure an international investigation is carried out instead.”
Sidney / November 13, 2013
The time has come for a comprehensive, measured and results-based EVALUATION of the Commonwealth of Nations’ performance in the past 2 decades.
No organization is above MONITORING, EVALUATION and results measurement. Given the track record of this outfit that would be better termed the “Common Poverty of Nations” a TRANSPARENT EVALUATION of the organization and its RESULTS is required. It is time to hold Kamlesh Sharma and the Common Poverty of Nations ACCOUNTABLE to the common citizens and peoples they claim to benefit.
If it is proved as it no doubt will be, that this British Colonial old boys club for third world Dictators really promotes the “Common Poverty of Nations” and inequality and leaves a massive CARBON FOOTPRINT with NO measurable benefits to the peoples of these countries with regard to promoting EQUITABLE growth, development and democracy this WHITE ELEPHANT British Colonial Outfit should be SHUT DOWN.
All Sri Lankans know that the CHOGM circus to celebrate Prince Charles 65th Birthday party in his post-colony, for which the Rajapakse military dictatorship has purchased fleets of Mercedes Benz cars and super luxury buses with massive kick backs will further beggar and indebt this already highly indebted country. The CHOGM circus will also boost the Rajapakse DEEP STATE and military dictatorship with its FACADE OF DEMOCRACY and further damage democracy and the Rule of Law in Sri Lanka.
It is also clear to Sri Lankans that the Common Poverty of Nations is the more appropriate name for the Commonwealth Circus – a British Colonial relic. At this time in Sri Lanka it is clear that the Commonwealth is not just irrelevant and obsolete, it is positively DANGEROUS to the PUBLIC GOOD in the Global South. DEMOCRACY, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND RULE OF LAW which it claims to be its “core values” are constantly and consistently violated and undermined by this British colonial outfit’s support for third world dictators.
The Common Poverty of Nations is an organization that promotes MILITARIZATION covertly, while boosting Asian and African Military Dictators (like Mahinda Rajapakse whose regime is accused of war crimes), to whom Britain sells arms and intelligence technologies during CHOGM Business Forums, while preaching human rights and rule of law!
2. The fact is, all the SPIN generated at the Common Poverty of Nations (CHOGM) will not fool foreign investors – as indicated by the miniscule FDI figures for Sri Lanka. Foreign investors look for good governance, honest regulators and regulatory institutions and economic stability to invest in the REAL ECONOMY that produces real as opposed to fictional growth. Foreign investors except for Casino Kings are not even looking at Sri Lanka because the CORRUPT and UNEDUCATED Rajapakese brothers are a bunch of looters of public and private wealth.
Safa / November 13, 2013
Hope David Cameron will keep to his British word of honour. There will be no credible investigation during the tenure of Chairman Rajapakse, that is for sure, let alone an International Investigation. Hasn’t the International Community learnt anything about Rajapakse over the last several years?
Sam / November 13, 2013
I concur. That will NEVER happen on his watch. If we had to be sending a Tory PM over this week I actually wish it was Thatcher. At least she had Balls and could have put the fear of god into the man (although she’d probably just find him as charming as she did Pinochet)! Well, maybe, I don’t think Rajapaksa has the capacity for charm he’s a stone cold psychopath!
Dr.Rajasingham Narendran / November 13, 2013
Please read the following news report by Shamindra Ferdinando in the island today (http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=91998), conveying the message that the Canadian delegates placed flowers in memory of dead LTTE cadres in the Elephant Pass memorial. There are no LTTE war memorials anywhere in the north, including the Elephant Pass. The war memorial in Elephant Pass is the one erected by the Sri Lankan army for their soldiers who died during the war.
This type of subliminal and mischievous messages embedded in the people’s mind are the cause of the intractable problem in Sri Lanka. It does not spare even the delegates to the CHOGM, who are this nation’s guests of honour.
The airport and Anuradhapura protests against Chanel-4 journalists covering the CHOGM could not have taken place without State backing.
There is is no engagement, but there is plenty of PR failure. A nation of largely decent and honourable people are being presented to the world as utter hypocrite, slimy and violent.
Dev / November 13, 2013
I was shocked as you are reading this but then again today’s media in SL leaves much to be desired !
This should not surprise anyone, remember N Pillay’s statements during her visit was twisted and turned into something else!
Sam / November 13, 2013
That’s not subliminal mischief that’s just LYING!!!! It’s common knowledge that all the LTTE memorials were desecrated and then bulldozed years ago.
Fathima Fukushima / November 14, 2013
There are no such thing in Elephant Pass. The war memorial is in Mulaitivu where the victorious battle was won.
The elephant pass one is for Tamil terrorists and their terrorist families died in war and tsunami.
Tamil Nadu yesterday BULLDOZED a Tamil civilian’s war memorial.
SL should do same.
Thondamanaru / November 13, 2013
“This type of subliminal and mischievous messages embedded in the people’s mind are the cause of the intractable problem in Sri Lanka. It does not spare even the delegates to the CHOGM, who are this nation’s guests of honour.”
ARE THE CANADIANS REAL GUESTS OF HONOUR?
“subliminal and mischievous” – this is what is practiced by the West to perfection..Then, what is good for the Goose is good for the Gander.
“The airport and Anuradhapura protests against Chanel-4 journalists “
So…. U call them journalists…. To the majority, they humbuging vultures making money at the expense of SL carcases……
DO YOU HAVE IDEA HOW MUCH ANOMOSITY BOILD IN THE MINDS OF MAJORITY SRI LANKANS AGAINST THESE CHANNEL 4 JOURNALISTS? They must be happy they have survived instead of getting chopped at the Airport the moment they stepped into Sri Lanka.
We experienced once the anger of the people which blew up through the actions of a Naval Rating at the guard of honour given to Late Rajiv Ghandi by JRJ………
What engagement today? It is whose Mistress you are in the World and not whose prostitute.
Does Israel care of engagement ?
This is a different world in a time proscribed terrorists are supported by first world leaders just for their vote.
Engagement, Appeasement are non existent words in the Dictionary.
Vibhushana / November 13, 2013
There is no reason for Cameron to suspect Mahinda Rajapakse.
In order to inquire into the accusations of serious abuses, he had removed the CJ and appointed a very impartial, fearless freedom fighter MP in the office of the CJ.
This man surely posses a very high degree of integrity and commitment to protect the fundamental rights of the fellow citizens. Please give this man a chance, let him show what he is capable of doing the protection for the fellow citizens.
M.Sivananthan / November 13, 2013
Tissanayagam better ask Cameron and others to initiate a “war crime” inquiry in Iraq before they bark at Sri Lanka which had destroyed the notorious terrorist LTTE who enjoyed UK and other Western support directly and indirectly!
Now the number of widows exceeded more than half million in Iraq.
Fathima Fukushima / November 14, 2013
Commonwealth has NO mandate for war crimes investigation!
Don’t tell me Cameron has a problem with Sharma. He does not!
Tamils lost again.
Piranha / November 14, 2013
The actions of the regime in orchestrating the demonstration to prevent the Ch 4 news team’s visit to the northern province has amply demonstrated the intent of the regime to hide the grievances of the Tamils. The foreign delegations attending CHOGM have had clear evidence of the regime’s suppression of independent journalism by means of intimidation and thuggery.
Spring Koha / November 14, 2013
I fear there will be tears before bedtime.
Keheliya has gone on record confirming that the invitations to those attending CHOGM was to participate in the set agenda. Mr Cameron (or anyone else for that matter) has not been invited to ‘take up HR matters’ with MR or the GOSL. So, that’s done and sorted, everyone can get down to enjoying the dancing girls, the jumbo prawns, the ‘discussions’ and the cocktails.
Dr Narendran is right; the pictures of Sri Lankans going out into the world are of shifty, oily, obtuse and hypocritical with a penchant of violence.
No wonder we get looked at askance when we produce our passports at immigration.
Mohantha De Silva / November 14, 2013
The efforts by the nationalistic “The Island” and pro-Sinhalese Sri Lankan media to hold British government and the British media covering CHOGM, for the events taking place back in UK presently in relation to media freedom there are sickening and shameful.
Cameron government had asked “The Guardian” to destroy leaked secret NSA documents on the grounds that Britain would face a “serious threat to national security” if they reached the “wrong hands”.
In August 2013 the London Metropolitan Police detained Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda at London’s Heathrow Airport under the Terrorism Act 2000, while he was traveling home from Berlin, allegedly carrying work in progress relating to classified U.S. government documents to Greenwald in Brazil. He was detained by the Metropolitan police for nine hours last Sunday as he was passing through Heathrow on his way to Brazil.
Greenwald became widely known after The Guardian published the first of a series of reports detailing United States and British mass surveillance programmes, based on classified documents disclosed by Edward Snowden. Miranda clearly did not dispute that he had no legal right to possess the files or the documents. The question was whether he handed them back to the government or whether they were destroyed. He chose the latter option.
He knew perfectly well that if he has in his possession documents which were originally stolen he is on pretty dodgy ground.
The actions of Cameron government when it comes to NSA revelations and detention of Miranda must be vigorously defended by the liberal minded Sri Lankan NGO,few courageous independent juornalists in Sri Lanka and exiled journalists such as JST, human rights activists, UNP,NSSP,USP,SEP and TNA hierarchy.
It is certainly not good enough urging Cameron while in Sri Lanka “to go beyond using clever terms like ‘engagement’ that actually do little”.
Agnos / November 14, 2013
Shamindra Ferdinando’s job at The Island has always been to be a conduit for such lies from Gotabhaya and Co. But the bigger question is what goes on in the minds of the newspaper’s editors and publishers when they knowingly allow such lies to be printed. When people in responsible positions have no conscience or shame, what hope is there for the country?
JimSofty / November 14, 2013
Tissanayagam played double game and He helped LTTE to continue their Killing and destruction.
Now talk BS.
SoftyFloppy / November 14, 2013
Dead on Jimster, He is a LTTE supporter, lucky we people still exist in Lanka to protect this country from evil political terrorist attacking our beloved President..