9 August, 2020

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Letter To African National Congress On Sri Lanka CHOGM

By Rev. S.J. Emmanuel

Rev. Dr S.J. Emmanuel

Cde. Mr Gwede Mantashe,

Secretary General,

African National Congress,

Luthuli House,

PO Box 61884 Marshalltown,2107,

Republic of South Africa.

24th October 2013

Dear Comrade,

I am writing, on behalf of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), to humbly ask whether South Africa would be willing to boycott the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka. As Secretary General of the ANC – an organisation that has done much to draw attention to the human rights violations on the island as well as the lack of accountability and reconciliation since the end of the armed conflict in 2009 – I would be most grateful if you were willing to raise this matter with senior figures in the South African Government, including the President.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime is accused of responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as the on-going perpetration of egregious human right violations. It is alarming that as host of the 2013 CHOGM, Sri Lanka will take over as Chair of the association for the next two years with the right to sit on bodies such as Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group. This would seriously undermine the credibility of the Commonwealth.

In 2009, Sri Lanka’s candidature for hosting CHOGM was deferred from 2011 to 2013 in protest at the military repression against the Tamil population and to act as an incentive to improve the human rights and political situation on the island. However, it is clear that since the end of the armed conflict, over four years ago, negligible progress has been made.

The Tamil majority, former conflict areas in Sri Lanka have been militarised. There has been no inclusive political settlement that addresses the underlying cause of the conflict – the discrimination and marginalisation of the Tamil people, which has been endemic since independence from Britain in 1948. The recent Northern Provincial Council elections on the island, which were won in a landslide by the Tamil National Alliance, were a repudiation of the Government’s policies in the region and were marred by widespread breaches of election laws.

Recent statements made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navi Pillay, have only reinforced the need to challenge the policies of the Government of Sri Lanka. Speaking following her visit to the island in August, Ms Pillay, noted that Sri Lanka “is heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction.” She expressed her serious concerns regarding the “curtailment or denial of personal freedoms and human rights […] persistent impunity and the failure of the rule of law.” The High Commissioner’s oral update on Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council, in September, was equally damning and raised alarm at “the recent surge in incitement of hatred and violence against religious minorities.”

In addition to the above, the illegal impeachment and dismissal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was a contravention of the Commonwealth’s Latimer House Principles. Sri Lanka should not have been allowed the right to hold this year’s CHOGM, and for the reasons stated above, Bishop Desmond Tutu has urged “the Commonwealth to seriously reconsider appointing Sri Lanka as its chair for 2013-15.”

However, Commonwealth Heads of Government can still send a powerful message by staying away from Colombo in November. This is why we support the position of the Prime Minister of Canada, Rt. Hon Mr Stephen Harper MP, who has decided to boycott the event given the clear evidence “that the Sri Lankan government has failed to uphold the Commonwealth’s core values.” We note from credible, international media sources that the Indian Prime Minister, Hon. Manmohan Singh MP, is also considering his attendance at the event and the UK Prime Minister, Rt. Hon David Cameron MP, is coming under increasing domestic pressure to follow Canada’s lead.

Given these important developments, we would warmly welcome South Africa taking similar action. The core values of the Commonwealth are being breached on a daily basis in Sri Lanka. GTF, and many others, wants the Commonwealth to reclaim its moral authority, which was most notably asserted in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and white rule in the former Rhodesia, by promoting and protecting the principles it holds most dear. The ANC’s heroic struggle against apartheid and South Africa’s prominent place in African, international and Commonwealth politics means the country has an important role to play in standing in support of justice, democracy, human rights and the rule of law and against the tyranny of the Rajapaksa regime.

Thank you for considering this request and I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely,

Rev. Dr S.J. Emmanuel

President
Global Tamil Forum

Cc – Hon. Cde Mr Ebrahim I. Ebrahim MP, Deputy Minister for International Relations and Cooperation
Hon. Cde Mr Kopeng Obed Bapela MP, Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation & ANC NEC Chair for International Relations

Cde. Ms Naomi Mosholi, ANC International Relations Manager
Hon. Cde Sisa Njikelana MP, Chair – Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    This mercenary masquerading as a priest is at it again!

    Emmanuel,for God’s sake shut up,and take a Retreat!

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      http://transcurrents.com/tc/2011/02/what_our_country_consequently.html
      Independence Day Message from the Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, Metropolitan’s Commissary and Vicar General of the Diocese of Colombo, 2 February 2011:
      ‘’…. The end of the war provided an excellent opportunity for healing the wounds of the past.
      …. We have failed to address the pressing crises of displacement and poverty, corruption and waste, good governance and national integration.
      …. The old order is either incapable of, or reluctant to replace unjust systems and discriminatory trends with a more just order for the good of all our people.
      What our country consequently needs is a new political will that will restore the sovereignty of the people and bring about true national integration. .…’’

      • 0
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        The ‘priest’ who promotes and demands apartheid in Sri Lanka appeals to a party that opposed and overcame apartheid in South Africa. Could anything else be funnier ?

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          ram

          What Apartheid are you talking about?

          There are a lot of people who oppose the present Apartheid in SriLanka:

          ‘’My own set of immediate demands as a citizen are as follows—roll back the Eighteenth Amendment; restore the Seventeenth Amendment and the Constitutional Council with improvements; guarantee judicial independence and independence of all oversight bodies; stop political interference in and politicization of public institutions; take strong measures to prevent discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, language and religion; let law enforcement (meaning the ordinary law–not exceptional laws) take its own course, do not provide protection to erring political favourites; respect and protect free expression, association and assembly– adopt a policy of ‘let a thousand flowers bloom’; adopt a zero tolerance policy on torture, abductions and involuntary disappearances; permit free and fair elections and respect the people’s will’’ – An Ideology of Reconciliation Cannot be Built Without Basic Ingredients of Democracy and Rule of Law, Dr. Deepika Udagama (Head, Department of Law, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka), 15 August 2012, http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/9627#more-9627

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          Yeah, what you say is!

    • 0
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      Super comment.That’s the truth!

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      Dear Rev. S.J. Emmanuel,

      “I am writing, on behalf of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), to humbly ask whether South Africa would be willing to boycott the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka’

      What are your goals?

      1. “As Secretary General of the ANC – an organisation that has done much to draw attention to the human rights violations on the island as well as the lack of accountability and reconciliation since the end of the armed conflict in 2009 ?

      So it is All About Tamils. The Muslims and many Sinhala who were expelled, killed and discriminated by LTTE is not no the Table.

      2. “However, Commonwealth Heads of Government can still send a powerful message by staying away from Colombo in November.”

      Poweful messages are jokes. Ask Neville Chamberlain, the British Lord who messed up Bosnia and the rump Yugoslavia, Saddam Hussein Kuwait and Osama Bin Laden. What was the message sent by Rajiv Gandhi, the Parippu drop.

      So you can ask India to repeat the parippu drop, or ask for the other alternative solutions.

      That was the solution Sri Lanka took to address the LTTE terrorism, culminating in 2009. You can ask your parippu buddies to repeat the parippu hodda.

  • 0
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    The mad monk never stops! Nice of him to refer to the Indian PM’s dilema to attend CHOGM or not. India considers the mad monk a security threat due terrorist activities and is barred from entering India. No matter what, CHOGM in Lanka will be a success.

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    P.S.
    For haven’s sake do not move the CHOGM to India. I’m banned from visiting the world’s Largest Democracy.

    http://tinyurl.com/nkwsmfo

  • 0
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    1.The Sri Lankan government brushed aside South Africa’s goodwill:
    ”The South African Government calls on the Sri Lankan Government to speedily implement the measures as recommended. … South Africa stands ready to share its experience and work with the people of Sri Lanka as they embark on this journey of building a truly reconciled and united people and nation” – http://www.dfa.gov.za/docs/2012/sri0130.html
    ”Deputy Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka was his second to that country in a space of eight months, demonstrating the importance and urgency that the South African government attaches to the Sri Lankan situation” – http://www.dfa.gov.za/docs/2012/sril0911.html

    2.On 8 April the parliament was told that the government would not concur with UNHRC resolutions. It had already appointed two PR companies in the US in February.

    3.LLRC website was hacked (by whom?) in late January/early February.

    4.LLRC was the only process that pertained to political issues of Tamils by this government(National Peace Council).

    5.The 65-yr ugly behaviour:
    ‘’Following the most recent resolution of the UN Human Rights Council the government has sent a delegation to South Africa, which is famous for its Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The unique feather of the South Africa TRC was its provision for legal amnesty, which would be appealing to government leaders who feel they are being hounded by international human rights groups. The problem is the government appears to be going to the second stage without passing the first stage’’ – http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2013/05/05/the-orphan-within-the-government-system/

  • 0
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    What better place than SriLanka for CHOGM2013

    • 0
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      Let’s wait and see the fun and games played there in Colombo.

      People will forget about the casinos and focus on the Commonwealth circus in town.

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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    I believe India and South Africa will attend CHOGM in Colombo.

    Why – because both India where Gandhi was born, and South Africa who used CHOGM to end apartheid, shamelessly stood up very strongly at the last CHOGM in Perth, and demanded that the next CHOGM should be held in Colombo. They have a wicked face.

    Both India and South Africa strongly objected the recommendations and conditions set by the Eminent Persons Group, including the appointment of a Human Rights Commissioner for Sri Lanka.

    If Indian PM attends or not, it will be good both ways for the Tamils.
    Good because it will be the end of Congress and there will be a new strong India and Tamil Nadu after the 2014 general elections, as a big brother, listen to me or a knock on the head attitude.

    It will also be good having a despot Mahinda as the Chair for two years to run loose, it will help internal questions within for funding and why and for what CHOGM is for, may also accelerate a people’s spring or a coup from within or from outside calling for change.
    Give him a chance, give him a rope and advice him not to hang himself, maybe it’s CHOGM’s motto.

    This will justify membership of Tamil Eelam.

    Sri Lanka’s China card, LTTE bogey and the stupidity and weakness of India will all soon dry up.

    Manicka Vasagar

  • 0
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    Keep on writing letters.What else to do since the demise of the Tamil tiger terrorists!

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      Yea the war is over but objective achieved . To get the South to destroy them self. They are doing it ahead of schedule. Help them if you can.

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    If many Tamils can self immolate on behalf of their Language, there is an big element of extremism…Pls dont use your religion to destroy Sri Lanka. Particularly Tamils. We Sinhalaese do not care westerners mediation in any form. If you think that you will be able to do insert pressure of westerners to formation of Tamil state, it is a dream. As you are already aware 60% of Tamils living with Sinhalese in other areas. Do you think, will Sinhalese allow them to live in other areas of the country, in any case of dreamed Tamil Ealam? Please self immolate, instead of arousing racism of Tamils…

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      You aren’t going to get a pure Sinhala Sri Lanka so get that dream out of your mind. Try as you might, there is going to remain a significant non Sinhala minority in Sri Lanka , and Tamil will be a major language.
      Also (for you Sinhala supremacists) don’t keep lying that you are sons of the soil since everyone knows your founders were invaders from Bengal who genocided the Veddah, the real aboriginal people of what is called Sri lanka.

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      All welcome in Tamil Elam Sinhalese Tamils Muslims every one. But they have to be civilized. Get civilized if you want to live in Tamil Elam. There are short programs available.

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    [Edited out]. You are disgrace a to the Catholic Church and her teachings.

    I keep forgetting. You are a Tamil first and then a Catholic.

    • 0
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      Yea a nice man not a kidnapper

    • 0
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      Very much like the BBS thugs, Sinhala first, Buddhist second (or perhaps fifth).

  • 0
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    I don’t agree with Rev Emmanuel. I feel that all foreign leaders should participate and ask serious questions about the corruption, human rights abuses, the disappearances, state sponsored murders, the assault on the judiciary, the illegal impeachment of the Chief justice, war crimes, crimes against humanity, etc., etc. perpetrated by the Rajapaksa reime.

    The Rajapaksa regime has been fooling the world for a long time and CHOGM is a golden opportunity for the world to hold the regime to account for its criminal behaviour towards its own citizens.

    My advice to Rev Emmanuel and the Tamil Nadu politicians is to instead of asking for a boycott to urge them to raise these issues at the meeting.

  • 0
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    Simply a Mad man looking for attention in his old age.

  • 0
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    This murderous guy will go [Edited out]for his crimes committed with LTTE for 30 years. This guy has never help the ground level tamils in need but further destroy curtousy of TGF…

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    Hey Ram, With a face of a skunk, you wear a robe and go around spreading his your and vile. Do you find it amusing to write to respectable organizations like the ANC. I certainly do not think so. But then again with LTTE funding you and the likes of you, with the dumb UK government allowing you to live in UK (the land of the lost), you can sing your hearts content to the tune of the LTTE losers so you can earn your keep. Must give you credit though for prostituting your robe for a living.

    As for the substance in your letter, which country in Africa respects an Asian when the Asians are so obnoxiously anti-African. Wonder how many Indians, Sri Lankans and especially Tamils married Africans or gave their daughters in marriage to African men. After all the people in the subcontinent and especially the Tamils compare the Africans to monkeys and to sub-humans.

    S J Emmanuel Shut The [Edited out]
    JP/USA

  • 0
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    This is a NUT CASE!

  • 0
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    He has a good case nut without a seed. A hollow one.Try get something and fill it up.

  • 0
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    Don’t these people have any self-respect crawling on their knees to South Africans, Canadians, Indians, Americans …. yuck

    • 0
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      Ask the same from Rajapassa. He has been crawling on his knees for support from the Chinese and other arab and african dictators for years.

  • 0
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    Quote “Simply a Mad man looking for attention in his old age”.

    Getting more mad since the retirement of his batchmate ex Pope Benedict.
    How many Martyrs did he create out of the suicide cadres, sacrificing them the poor innocent Tamil childrern of the North ????

    [Edited out]

  • 0
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    If Mahinda Rjapakse is one like Dutugemunu These Fcuking [Edited out] like Rev. Dr. S. J. emaanuel would be nothing.

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