Commonwealth Struggles For Unity Amid Sri Lanka HR Concerns

Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,Opinion |
 

By Frances Harrison -

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Frances Harrison

Canada’s special envoy for the Commonwealth Hugh Segal is on his way to Sri Lanka as pressure mounts to relocate the Commonwealth’s heads of government meeting being held in Colombo later this year because of concerns over deteriorating human rights.  Canada’s Prime Minister has said he has no plan to attend the meeting if it’s held in Sri Lanka. Britain says it has yet to decide, though a parliamentary foreign affairs select committee recommended the Prime Minister stay away and there are unconfirmed reports that the Queen, who heads the Commonwealth, will not attend.

Sri Lanka stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the end of the civil war in 2009, killing between 40,000 to 70,000 of its own citizens, according to the United Nations. In the four years since the fighting stopped the President and his family have concentrated power and resources in their hands, refused to offer even the most modest political solution to Tamils, outraged the international community by the way they impeached the country’s Chief Justice and presided over disappearances, torture and rape in custody as well as increasing attacks on Muslims. The international community has struggled to find signs of post-war progress – only able to point to the construction of new roads.

Canada leads a group within the 54-nation block, which negotiated much needed reforms and believes Sri Lanka is a test case for them and the new charter championed by the Queen. “The risk is people will conclude the new formulation of values and enforcement actually don’t mean anything at all,” says Senator Segal, who will meet both Tamils in the former war zone and the President during his fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka.

Holding the Commonwealth’s main gathering in Colombo rubber stamps the Rajapaksa regime, endorsing its extreme Sinhala chauvinist agenda and whitewashing war crimes. As the host, Sri Lanka will  head the 54-nation body for two years and automatically sit on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, which is tasked with taking action on thorny issues like democracy and rule of law. Observers say if Sri Lanka were not hosting the Heads of Government meeting this November it would have already been referred to the Ministerial Action group for discussion. Concern over the logistics of relocating or postponing the event – rather than core values – has obscured the issue. For Canada’s special envoy, “the notion of pretending as if nothing is going on in Sri Lanka that justifies a CMAG meeting is untenable”.

The Ministerial Action Group meets on April 26 but it’s still not clear if it will even discuss Sri Lanka, let alone ask for its temporary suspension. The Commonwealth Secretary General can raise an issue – or a consensus of members can do so. About 15 Commonwealth countries are said to support a Canadian bid to have Sri Lanka put on the meeting’s agenda; more may join once a US sponsored resolution passes at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva a week from now.  Under new procedures any Commonwealth nation can ask for Sri Lanka to be discussed – not just those sitting on the Ministerial Action Group.

But the Commonwealth likes to operate by consensus and it’s paralysed by division on the issue of Sri Lanka. Some argue the emphasis on human rights is a preoccupation of Western nations – the old white commonwealth. Others say Sri Lanka is a watershed moment for the organisation’s relevance and commitment to democratic values. The Commonwealth’s Secretary General is one of those who believes in engagement with Sri Lanka; he was seen in public at a recent official dinner in London warmly embracing the Sri Lankan Ambassador which raised some eyebrows.

For months there has been discussion about what might happen to the November meeting. Some say there are precedents for relocating commonwealth meetings but that’s rapidly getting late for such a large-scale event with a host of side meetings. There’s a suggestion that the event could be scaled down considerably and held in Delhi. Postponement is another option being discussed.

What’s at stake is the reputation of the Commonwealth – a diverse group of nations united by shared values. Soon it will be led by a country that committed war crimes on a scale that the UN says, “represented a grave assault on the entire regime of international law”.

*This article is first appeared in Asia Correspondent

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36 Responses to Commonwealth Struggles For Unity Amid Sri Lanka HR Concerns

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    Hello again Frances, First of all. CHOGM should never ever be held in the UK either. There are massive unresolved War Crimes committed by UK around the world. There are several prominent War Criminals roaming free in the UK. Tony Blair is the prime example. Please note Canada’s PM never boycots anything in Israel. Canada even voted against Palestinian statehood at the UN. Canada’s position has nothing to do with HR. but, everything to do with elections in Toronto area and LTTE rump votes. UN says, “UK’s ileagal war in Iraq based on a pack of trans-atlantic lies represented a grave assault on the entire regime of international law”. Take good care of your Glass House, the UK.

    Ben Hurling
    March 15, 2013 at 8:56 am
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      In Sri Lanka media you’ll get news about Sri Lanka. If you go to UK media you’ll get news about UK – people are free to condemn the UK government and you have plenty of it there.

      eureka
      March 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm
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      Ben Hurling “Canada’s position has nothing to do with HR. but, everything to do with elections in Toronto area and LTTE rump votes.” You are absolutely right. Canada’s principled foreign policy is long gone. Especially under the present conservative Harper government Canada’s foreign relations is based on crass opportunism. Last year when the UN criticized Canada on the Quebec issue and the way Canada treats its aboriginal people, Harper and his foreign minister had no qualms attacking the UN and threatening to pull out of the UN system. Harper’s inconsistent stand on democracy and human rights depending on economic and power calculations exposes him as a shameless hypocrite. Harper’s conservative party is also determined to make inroads into the ethnic vote bank which has always been a preserve of the Liberal Party. His party has a strategy of studying the politics of various new immigrant communities in Canada and fashioning its foreign policy towards the respective countries based on the dominant voices within these communities regardless of principles. That is why though his government banned the LTTE due to international pressure, it is now working closely with the LTTE political wheeler dealers like the Canadian Tamil Congress and other unsavoury characters in order to get the Tamil ethnic vote. GOSL’s success in wiping out the LTTE militarily has also helped Canada and other western countries with large Tamil diaspora to court the LTTE rump without embarrassment. Now they are able to join the LTTE rump in Sri Lanka bashing without being accused of supporting terrorism. Harper is sending young Canadians to die in Afghanistan to fight terrorism while supporting the LTTE terrorist remnants in his own country. Harper is also well known to cower before powerful countries like the US and China and sound belligerent towards small, weaker countries in order to raise Canada’s profile as a soft power. All these factors have – fortunately for Canada and other western powers, but unfortunately for us – converged in the case of Sri Lanka at the moment. That is why Sri Lanka is being touted as a “test case” and this is a “watershed moment.”

      Ajay
      March 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm
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      The Commonwealth of Clowns has no earthly purpose being an irrelevant colonial remnant that is now a PLATFORM FOR DICTATORS from Asia and Africa, and should be SHUT DOWN. Sri Lankan people have wasted billions on various Commonwealth Circuses – Last year’s parliamentary group meeting in Colombo and previously the Hambantota Commonwelath Games bid – to boost Mahinda Rajapakse the Lankan military dictator’s EGO.

      Dodo
      March 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm
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      Ben Hurling “Please note Canada’s PM never boycots anything in Israel. Canada even voted against Palestinian statehood at the UN.” When did you become a champion of Palestinian cause? It is not fashionable to support Palestinian cause anymore. Are you becoming a Palestinian supporting Islamic terrorist? “There are massive unresolved War Crimes committed by UK around the world.” Such as……. “There are several prominent War Criminals roaming free in the UK. Tony Blair is the prime example.” Any other names???? Do you know who did drop two atomic bombs on Japan? Why didn’t the West drop Atomic Bombs on Germany? Is it non racist policy of allied forces towards a racist Nazi regime or not in my back yard sort of selfish policy which prevented US to bomb Japan and not Germany? So what are we going to do about US, UK, France, for their share of war crimes all over the globe? If you are willing to take on all these countries I will give you my full moral support and will be right behind you. When do we start?

      Native Vedda
      March 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm
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        Vedda I have always stood by Palestinians. It is not OK to steal land from defenceless, impoverished Pals. Only to hand it over to wealthy Jews from Europe and North America the very next day. Canada supports Israel’s opression of Palestine. While preaching to Sri Lanka. I think Canada’s neo-con PM Harper is in a BS competition with our very own “PM Rudra of TGTE”.

        Ben Hurling
        March 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm
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    Just because no allegation was brought against UK or charges framed at any Global Forum, does it mean that S.Lanka can go unrecognized for it is doing as a Member of the CW, with culpable evidence…..?

    punchinilame
    March 15, 2013 at 9:50 am
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      Punchinilame, there are people who can read and write comments in these columns but have no rationale in their opinion, as they believe if others can commit Human Rights Violations, there is nothing wrong in Sri Lanka doing the same. They believe two wrongs can make a right. Besides these are the very same people who shout blue murder claiming the LTTE had violated Human Rights, while their masters got VP’s support to elect MR as President, then got the LTTE to bury their heavy artilery and closed the Mawillaru anicut to draw the Forces for a staged War and retreated conceding all the land area held by the LTTE including their stronghold Kilinochchi without a battle and cornered them in an open area for them to surrender. Here, instead of taking them as prisnors the whole lot were massacred. Now with mounting irrefutable evidence the whole world is seeking Justice for the Crimes committed by the MR govt and the apologists believe by denying and accusing others will absolve their masters. What a bunch of idiots!

      gamini
      March 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm
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      Commonwealth has taken action on South Africa, Pakistan, Fiji, ….. Now people are talking about the HR violations in Sri Lanka. It may escape any sanctions because of its geopolitically strategic location as it has been getting away with political, economic, social, cultural and environmental oppression for 65 yrs. Its geography is in favour of the oppressor and in utter disfavour of the oppressed. As an island with natural harbours in major sea trade lane is a blessing to the oppressor. The oppressed could not flee the island across a watery border in large numbers in the 50s and 60s which could have happened across terrestrial borders and we may have seen an end to the ethnic conflict. Now there is no chance – Tamils are all now pushed inland and the coastal areas are either army, navy, tourist,

      eureka
      March 15, 2013 at 2:04 pm
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    Even as we get closer to voting time in Geneva, there is an accelerated campaign on the part of the mercenary sections of civil society lobby groups to focus on an issue they think will give them maximum traction in the effort to de-legitimize the Sri Lankan regime, and by extension, the nation. That’s the issue of wartime disappearances. The NGOs are in full ballast, issuing statements and Action Plans and producing long winded tracts for newspaper consumption on the subject. There is absolutely no argument that kith and kin of disappeared persons want to know about what happened to their loved ones, notwithstanding the passage of time. But, when the Jehan Pereras who never spoke for over 23 years about the mass graves in this part of the country, speak now about the Matale mass grave and say we have to go as far back as 1989 to find out whose remains these are, people can feel the bluff a million miles away. The sudden desire among the Sri Lankan NGO proxies for the LLTE-rump, to find out about who went missing – dating back to 1989 — has nothing to do with the humane task of seeking closure on the issue of disappearances, which is something that the near and dear of the departed may legitimately yearn for. But it has everything to do with the politically motivated goal of wielding the disappearances issue against the government as the delegations get ready to vote in Geneva on the resolution concerning Sri Lanka. Else, why does Jehan Perera who never shed a tear or wrote one word on behalf of the disappeared Sinhalese now talk about the Matale mass graves? Precisely because people such as ourselves ‘called out’ the Pereras and Paikiasothys with regard to their ‘un-peopling’ of the Sinhalese, in never expressing any sympathy or concern for the Sinhala majority that lost their loved ones in the war on the LTTE, and prior to that, the two JVP uprisings. Suddenly, in the face of protests by certain groups of persons of Sinhala ethnicity to Ms. Navi Pillay to call off the hypocrisy of bringing up human rights issues with regard to one ethnic group exclusively, the Tiger-rump LTTE lobbyists here have woken up to the fact that when there is no elementary fairness in their campaigns, they have lost all credibility. Besides the fact that Jehan and Co.’s concerns are far too little and far too late, because the people have a clearer idea of their bluff now that their tears for the Sinhalese come abruptly and 24 years too late, there is also the usual hilarious overreaching on their part, and the odious comparisons they make. For example, there is a call to take a cue from Colombia regarding disappearances! Colombia was a country in which the paramilitary FARC and the AUC ran riot and the drug cartels got themselves involved in the most mind numbing violence. The disappearances alone – leaving aside documented deaths — numbered over 100,000, and Sri Lanka’s numbers are fractional in comparison. The violence was so stunningly extreme in nature that those with a weak stomach shouldn’t read beyond this point. Tongues and testicles of victims were cut off, particularly by AUC gang members. They routinely played soccer with the heads of decapitated victims. The country’s voluble President however was able to strike some kind of a deal and get the terrorists to surrender because he was close to the Americans and were gradually giving the terrorists and the drug-runners up for trial in the United States. Rather than face that fate, they traded their freedom for light sentences. That was Colombia whose violence was so much greater in magnitude in comparison to Sri Lanka that we are comparing chalk and cheese here – apples and oranges, really. Sri Lanka’s dead and disappeared were those that died during conventional war essentially, and during the last phase of the fighting in which Prabhakaran massed his human shields. There are other disappeared, but there is little doubt that the disappearances of twenty or more years ago will be cases that go unsolved. In that backdrop Navi Pillay’s cry now echoed by the NGOs about the limited numbers that went missing in Sri Lanka’s last conflict begins to look very much like what it’s intended to be – a vicious political campaign, and not much else.

    Thangadurai Sivakumaran
    March 15, 2013 at 10:05 am
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      First and foremost have courage to post comments, not under a Tamil name as your narative is that of a rabid, chauvinist Snhalese COWARD. Further you seem to be thouroughly disturbed, when Jehan Perera seek an investigation for the mass killings in Matale as now it has transpired that Gota was in Command to suppress the JVP at Matale during that period. Then again Gota is the prime suspect for the massacre of the LTTE surrenderees numbering over Forty thousand. I believe both instances should be investigated fully as otherwise we are at the mercy of a megalomaniac.

      gamini
      March 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm
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      T S Aka King Is Naked AKA, Fox In a Sheep’clothing. {Thangadurai Sivakumaran]. WHERE DID YOU FIND THIS NAME?. Thangamana pearai. Eppai, Engai, Yaarum Kuduthadai? ANY SUICIDE BOMBER GAVE OR DID YOU FIND An Identity Card From Nandhi Kadaal Grave Site. DID you meet K P, Pillaiyan and Karuna, even though they are real killers, I do not think that, They Also not advise this type of thing to lament. because your birth is a Pariah type, and only money is god for a your type of gangsters and your bosses. that best of you can spread your handkerchief in front of fort railway station and beg

      JULAAMPITYE AMARAYA
      March 16, 2013 at 1:36 pm
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      Well said mate. Look you even managed to hit a couple of our regular LTTE monkeys where it hurts :-)

      Siva Sankaran Sarma
      March 17, 2013 at 6:51 am
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    No amount of external pressure will stop a government intent on using any available means to entrench itself in power forever. Certainly not with the sheep voting for the corrupt politicos just because they keep waving the flag. There should be ground change and I don’t see the chauvinist attitudes changing anytime soon.

    Prithvi
    March 15, 2013 at 11:24 am
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    Sending Hugh Segal is going to be a huge publicity coup to the MR Government as they will be able to make maximum mileage of LTTE apologists in town. If there was no pro LTTE lobby group in Canada there will be no special envoy sent to SL. This is going to make it more difficult for the opposition in SL to attack daily infringements of HR violations, as the Govt. will be able to diffuse the blame to those who seek to destabilize the country from outside, namely the LTTE Diaspora WHO HAVE NOT given up the dream of Eelam. I am amazed as to how shamefacedly cynical the Canadians are in only representing their interests, and not human rights violation in general. No threats from a politically impotent commonwealth is going to move this insane regime from its self anointed pomposity. It is only us on the ground fighting with no diaspora or INGO or Pakiasothys and Jehan Pereras to help us fight injustice on a daily basis. Be it Police brutality, me it women being abused and the state institutions doing nothing about it, be it foreigners being killed by Govt. politicians and the state looking the other way, or us being harassed because we oppose this kleptocracy. The international concerns over the alleged HR violations do not hold any traction within Sri Lanka, and so if we are to topple this regime, it cannot be done by Diaspora or any foreign power but from normal decent citizens from within. We get no help by these bleeding heart Canadians or the writer of this article who is a journalist with no feelings for what it is like for all Sri Lankans who oppose this regime. There are more Sinhala people who oppose this regime and they fight this battle alone. The tamils manage to get asylum and support from the likes of Canada. We do with no support, moral, financial or tacit. So think again, your strategies are the wrong ones. It kills innocents by your very behavior, and it is best to keep out of meddling when you don’t know how it is really like to live in SL opposing a sordid, bankrupt fearless administration that does not care a hoot what anyone thinks as they are firmly in control of all organs of power. Take race out of the problem and you may begin to think clearly. There are more Sinhala mothers grieving for lost children of unknown fate than Tamil mothers, in Sri Lanka just please think about that for just a minute and help where it is most needed, not just to appease your conscience or that of those who live in relative safety and security elsewhere.

    Patta Pal
    March 15, 2013 at 11:39 am
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      All the mouths outside the shores of Sri Lanka will shut up if Sri Lanka , as a member of various international organisations, abide by their principles. If Sri Lanka doesn’t abide by principles of organisations whose membership it holds, it must forego the membership. Then nobody will ask Sri lanka questions. Please have some reason and logic.

      eureka
      March 15, 2013 at 8:42 pm
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      Just because the Sinhala Voter is sitting on the fence vis-a-vis MR super power, do you expect the diaspora to keep silent in relation to their community? They will grow more forceful with every move of the Regime, which is working on a hidden agenda with a fixed time-goal.

      punchinilame
      March 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm
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        Punchinilame, The Diaspora may be related to us, but are they really part of our community here in Sri Lanka? Even the family relationships are becoming weaker with the passage of time. Almost all the visiting Diaspora I have met, are now aliens to our communities here. They are even aliens to the flies, insects and and other household reptiles that we take for granted and are part of our lives! It amuses me on one hand and angers me on the other when I see the Diaspora who left this country as adults jumping from their seats on seeing an ant! Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran
        March 16, 2013 at 7:02 am
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    Now that Jew-baiting and black-hating is no longer acceptable in the West, there’s a new sport called Sri Lanka-bashing using lies and rabble-rousing hysteria (“killing between 40,000 to 70,000 of its own citizens, according to the United Nations”). Fascinating to see a former BBC and Amnesty International employee putting herself at the head of the lynch-mob.

    Candidly
    March 15, 2013 at 11:52 am
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    The UNHRC resolution will be used to benefit the sagging political support, by giving it a jingoistic appeal. Any apparent threats from the Commonwealth will also be treated as such. Just let them come to SL, and then give them a taste of things to come, by just not coming to the conference table! Now wouldn’t that be a statement? Meet on Galle Face Green and let Mahinda be the only one at the Venue waiting for his guests. I would like to see the look on his face. He will never be able to show his face in public anywhere. Well CHOGM you guys just don’t know what it takes to send a message. Harper one for you to ponder on.

    Patta Pal
    March 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm
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      Patta Pal, do you seriously believe such a strategy will shame MR? This bugger has a skin thicker than of the crocks found at bentara river.

      gamini
      March 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm
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        Shaming him in front of his own people, waiting and waiting for the convoys to arrive for him to greet them and no one turning up is the only way. Unless of course you have a better suggestion. After all I am open to opinions. I just believe the Diaspora is just feeding his ego and is counterproductive and are considered to be traitors within the Country.

        Patta Pal
        March 16, 2013 at 4:37 am
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          “Shaming him in front of his own people,” patt a pal , shaming him in front of his own people ? he was humiliated before the whole world not once but twice , first it was Oxford debacle , then the Jubilee ceremony in London , he is a man without any shame or guilt , MR will transform any bad situation in to a political circus and dare call the victory for the nation . case in point , Oxford debacle , he was virtually deported from London , contrary to the embarrassing , humiliating experience he encountered at hands the British officials , MR arrived at katunayake , pretending the winning of the Noble prize for peace or some thing amidst the cheering clowns with garlands. “waiting and waiting for the convoys to arrive for him to greet them and no one turning up is the only way “ if CHOGM were to go ahead , probable absentees would be the Queen , David Cameron, Stephan Harper , Julia Gillard (not sure JG will be the PM) and John Key , all the other 3 rd world countries dictators would flock to Colombo with their better halves and extended family members for the free ride , MR will chair the meeting with the African dictators and other despots pretending every thing as usual as any other CHOGM.

          srilal
          March 18, 2013 at 9:39 am
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    When we a party to treaties and convenants, values and principles, then we either honour them or opt out. We cannot pretend that the impeachment motion was legit when it was condemned roundly both in the country and internationally. Enough warning was given, yet the regime blindly persisted. This brought the focus of the international community on the justice system in Sri Lanka. Coupled with this was the case of Khurram Sheik, a british national, murdered in Tangalle by a regime thug and politician. No proper action. Recently his brother and MP visited to ascertain for themselves. They were hardly satisfied. Then we have all these killings and abduction of journalist, opposition activists etc. Not a pretty record. What more can you expect. What goes, comes around.

    Safa
    March 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm
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      You are correct on all points, but what do you want the international community to do? Make it more difficult for the internal opposition to oppose and bring him down or just invade. I am fighting within without arms, I find all that is happening is that the MR ego is being fed by the IC and Diaspora, making my task that much harder. International community can engage or dump. In the end the innocent suffering Citizen, who has no track with the State, is the loser.

      Patta Pal
      March 16, 2013 at 4:44 am
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    i think , several times I have commented on CT on related articles that this evet will happen with full participation of all the countries with great fanfare. These so called internationals are part of the problem. THe regime is expert at baiting people, even the so called educated and HR concerned west. There is no great strategy involved – wine, dine, elephant trip.beach trip. That is so cheap. This has happened before. How much did websites like lankaenews/ CT profess that this will be boycotted? Which world are these peole living in. You dont have to be very bright to figure this out. If the queen does not come, its not because of HR issues. Reports claim she was not well for some weeks. Not only will everyone attend, they will comment on the “development’ in north adn east and say all kinds of nice and apologetic things too.

    Shan
    March 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm
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    Commonwealth is the only organization . where Canada and UK Govts can flex their muscles. Because the great majority of member countries are poor nations where unemployment, and poverty are rampant. These contries have some of the poorest people on earth. They have no devlopment and no plans either. Srilanka in contrast is powering ahead with mega infrastructure projects and macro econonmic development, benefiting the the great majority of rural poor who have been neglected and marginalised by the Colonials and their loyal proxies. Srilanka in fact has managed to get a middle income rating from the WB. And all this without any help from these old Colonianls. If they bribe and pressure the poor member countries to tow their line, the Commomwealth will be the loser.

    K.A Sumanasekera
    March 16, 2013 at 3:13 am
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      K.A Sumanasekera Since Sri Lanka has become an economic power house it is only appropriate it should lead the Commonwealth countries, kick the queen out of this club and MR should self appoint himself as the head of this talking shop and look after rest of the poor members. Will you advise him.

      Native Vedda
      March 16, 2013 at 10:32 am
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      KAS; HA HA you, K A S at it again with Santa Claus Bag, You have JARA PASSA Clan’s mega projects and macro economic development, so we are going to have gala time with your PRESIDENTE AND CLAN. because Sri Lanka becoming the 21st century billionaires country.???????? This TIme what is bringing from Japan for NEW YEAR to Sri Lankan, We Want Some more Experts like You, Central Bank Cabarala, Weeeeeera Wangsha, Kudu Mervin, De Facto Thief Justice to take all sri lankans from your so called, this middle rating to Paradise Rating with Loans From CHINA, IRAN,AND RUSSIA. What about Taliban. Better You Have Good Rapo with them too. But Remember,Colonials are the biggest markets for China, Russia also. I HEARD Ex Presi J R Suffered For Few Years And Died. As a well Known Detective Of sri lanka, the wander land, Frankly, Can you Tell Us from What type of Sickness he was suffering and died. And furthermore, Killer Pirapaharan,Saddam Hussein, Muamer Qaddafi boasted that people loved them most. ????????????

      JULAAMPITYE AMARAYA
      March 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm
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    Frances, LTTE cadres and fund raisers now posing as defenders of Human Rights are using millions of Dollars extracted from the Tamil community to bribe politicians, journalists and Human Rights activists to fight the cold war to achieve their dream of a homeland for Tamils. They are responsible for changing the official UN figure of deaths during the last phase of the civil war in Sri Lanka to the fancy figure of 40,000 to 70,000. I wonder what made you change from being a responsible BBC correspondent to what you are today.

    Truth
    March 16, 2013 at 9:43 am
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    Truth; This woman extented the figure to 100,000 in earlier. Now revert back to 70,000!! But expected figure as to date 200,000 !!! By the end of the year 300,000!!!!!!

    Sulary
    March 16, 2013 at 12:30 pm
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    The Commonwealth never had Unity. If it did, then they would not have permitted the Eelam war to drag on for 30+ years. With loads of Sheet said here, nobody cares for this vote. A superpower with trans-altantic lies who killed over a millionpeople in Iraq in an unfinished war bring a resolution against the GOSL who had finished the War. Rightly or wrongly, this resolution will be just another thingas SL is concerned. We go our way. It is the tongue in cheek contributors who are concerned. I say to them Move on and get a life.

    Dickie Bird
    March 16, 2013 at 3:09 pm
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    The countries making up stories about sri lanka the UK, US, EU, Canada, Australia, Norway what is their human rights record? The UK and Australia took part in the Iraq war which killed at least 300,000 civilians and some say a million iraqis have to date have lost their lives. The UN sanctions in the 1990s against iraq have killed half a million iraqi children. In Libya NATO dropped over 50,000 bombs over libya and at least 20,000 people have been killed in Libya. Afghanistan was bombed back to the stone ages and at least 30,000 civilians have died in Afghanistan.NATO have converted these countries to rubble. A once proud country iraq lies in ruins and iraqis due to their oil wealth who is supposed to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world today some of its children are living in rubbish dumps. So should countries such as the UK, Australia and Canada and Norway who contributed to such gross artocities and human rights violations especially in asian countries what right have they to tell asian countries about human rights? They have no right to push around asians. Asians we have our own dignity and these neo imperialist neo colonislist countries should leave asia and asians alone just for once. We have had enough of being harrassed and murdered. It should stop and asians should be left alone to resolve their own issues in peace. The UK, Canada, Australia after committing mass murder in iraq and afghanistan and libya does not belong in the commonwealth. Their neo colonialist neo imperialist policies have no place in the commonwealth. There is a two tier justice system in this world, one for the neo imperialists like the US.UK, EU, Canada Australia and the like (who does not have to face any justice for their gross atrocities committed) and yet another for poor small weak countries. I condemn this.

    monkey
    March 18, 2013 at 2:04 am
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    The problem over the next venue for commonwealth can be resolved once and for all. Ask Ranil Wickremesinghe to appoint a Committee. He is well known for appointing Committees after Committees. Thereafter, like the way he sold Sri Lanka by signing an MOU with his paymaster Norway, sign one with the Commonwealth Member countries. The problem is easily solved. Why go round and round talking about whether Colombo should or should not be the venue. They can even have it in Batalanda.

    Mahil Dole
    March 18, 2013 at 4:43 am
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    Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. A still better Sri Lankanised version is those who live in glass houses should not undress during day time. Mahil Dole, the one time intelligence officer was moved out from the State Intelligence Service not for nothing. At Police Headquarters he issued character certificates like selling stamps at a post office. That is until hell broke loose. Today he is living by his wits. He must be having a grouse against Ranil Wickremesinghe. Otherwise why should he target him all the time. Leave Ranil alone Mahil Dole. There were times when you came to Wickremesinghe for help. Whose feet did you not fall at and cry. What a shame!!!

    Pal Hora
    March 19, 2013 at 9:18 am
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    One former British colony….NEVER joined the Common”Wealth”…. the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA… today it has become the post powerfull – highly armed – technically advanced – richest nation….better off then “Great”Britain…. this is absolute proof that membership in Commonwealth is not necessary… Commonwealth is only to make “Great”Britain pretend to be a World Power…. Commonwealth is supposed to help each other …in a friendly grouping… Yet when an Sri Lankan applies for a Tourist Visa to a Commonwealth Nation…such as UK – Canada – Australia…he / she is basically humiliated…and most times a Visa is denied….while the application fee is retained… What are the benefits…Sri Lanka…gains by being in the Commonwealth…????

    Lankawick
    March 20, 2013 at 12:12 am
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