31 October, 2020

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Opposing The CHOGM In Sri Lanka: Canada Acting As A Base For The TGTE

By Lakshman I.Keerthisinghe –

Lakshman Keerthisinghe

Complacency is the enemy of study. We cannot really learn anything until we rid ourselves of complacency. -Mao Tse Tung Quotations 1893-1976

It was recently reported in the media that the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird had said that the Commonwealth was failing its greatest test by letting Sri Lanka host the November summit, instead of pressuring it to improve its post-civil war record and protect its Tamil minority.“We’re tremendously concerned about the deteriorating and authoritative trend of the government in Sri Lanka,” Baird told a parliamentary committee. The federal government has suggested Canada may not attend the summit. Baird’s spokesman, Rick Roth, stated that: “Our government has spoken loudly and clearly on the issue of human rights in Sri Lanka, including our concerns on the lack of accountability for the serious allegations of war crimes, lack of reconciliation with the Tamil community, and with the events that have taken place since the end of the civil war.” (Source: Montreal Gazette)

It was also reported that in a statement, Chitranganee Wagiswara, Sri Lanka’s high Commissioner to Canada, said it was “appalling and unprecedented for certain quarters to express views” opposing a decision by the Commonwealth Heads of State a few years ago about who would host the 2013 Commonwealth summit. The High Commissioner accused the Canadian government of strengthening “evil forces” through its threat to boycott an upcoming Commonwealth summit in Colombo. Sri Lanka needed support after facing “separatist terrorism for nearly three decades,” and ongoing post-conflict challenges. The High Commissioner also stated that “Notably certain separatist elements within the diaspora including in Canada, still continue to relentlessly disseminate anti-Sri Lanka propaganda and lobby political leaders and other decision makers.’ The High Commissioner further stated that: “Hostile criticism and unfair targeting of Sri Lanka by Canada only serves to further strengthen the evil forces working against Sri Lanka and does not contribute in any manner to the ongoing rebuilding and reconciliation process in the multicultural society of the country.” and  added that Sri Lanka was looking to all members of the Commonwealth to “uphold principles of objectivity, understanding, mutual respect and the equality of sovereign states.”While the High Commissioner’s response is laudable whether making such a response alone is sufficient to counter the views of the present Canadian regime remains a question. Strong lobbying by the Sri Lankan government in a follow up effort is essential in the given scenario in Canada. More diplomatic efforts should be made to convince the Canadian Government that the false adverse propaganda disseminated by the diaspora media machinery regarding purported human rights abuses etc are baseless and have not been proven. It is also relevant to inquire from the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird about Canada’s stand on the human rights abuses taking place in Guantanamo Bay (as recently admitted by the US President Barak Obama),Abu Gharib and other prison camps run by the USA and the on going violations caused by the deadly drone attacks of the US on innocent civilians. These heinous on going human rights abuses are so great so as to make such abuses  unable to be compared with the purported abuses alleged to have taken place during the civil war in Sri Lanka many years ago.

On 14th April 2006, it was reported in the World Socialist Web Site that Canada banned the LTTE under its Anti Terrorist Legislation. Thenceforth, anyone who knowingly provided financial support to the LTTE could be jailed for up to 10 years, while persons who fundraise or otherwise “facilitate” the work of the LTTE faced 14 years’ imprisonment. That the government intended to use these provisions to imprison and deport LTTE supporters was underscored by Public Security Minister Stockwell Day’s announcement that the government has established an anti-LTTE “snitch-line.” Day urged members of Canada’s large Sri Lankan Tamil exile/immigrant community to denounce LTTE activists to state authorities using a special, dedicated telephone line. In justifying the ban, Day claimed that LTTE activists have used threats of violence to coerce Canadian Tamils into making financial contributions. But such threats are already illegal under Canadian criminal law.

But since the decimation of the LTTE, the present Canadian Government has permitted Canada to be used as a base for the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) which is a purported government in exile among the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora which aims to keep alive the idea of Tamil Eelam, a state which TGTE aspires to create in the north and east provinces of Sri Lanka The Sri Lankan Government very correctly views this as a “ploy to perpetuate terrorism.” For its part, the TGTE has maintained that it is a democratic organization, and intends to use soft power and not military power to its end. The exact words found in TGTE constitution are: “Whereas the TGTE has guided us towards a democratic system of government, in order to establish an independent state of Tamil Eelam based on the principles of peace, non-violence, tolerance, pluralism, transparency and accountability”. Formed following the defeat of the LTTE and the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War, the TGTE is based internationally, including in Canada, the UK, Norway and the USA. Its Prime Minister is Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, the former international legal advisor to the LTTE. Global elections were amongst Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora communities in May 2010 to elect members to the first Transnational Constituent Assembly of Tamil Eelam, the first step towards the formation of the PTGTE]

It is time that the Government of Sri Lanka adopted a strong stand and lodged an official protest against Canada and other western nations for permitting terrorist organizations under the guise of democratic associations organizing and regrouping to pose a threat to the sovereignty of our Nation. The politicians in Canada and other western countries are lured by the franchise of the diaspora who fund the political campaigns of such politicians in order to assist such persons to secure office. Once in office such politicians facilitate the activities of such pro-LTTE organizations. Under International Law no country may assist terrorist organizations to de-stabilize sovereign nations. The stance adopted by the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in opposing the decision to hold the CHOGM in Colombo is a reflection of the extent to which such organizations are able to influence the decisions of the present regime in Canada.

In conclusion as quoted at the outset of this piece as that great Chinese leader Mao Tse Tung stated the Sri Lankan Government can not be complacent about organizations such as the TGTE increasing their influence on the western nations but it is advisable that meaningful steps are taken by our foreign service to counter such unwarranted interference by foreign nations under the influence of such organizations, in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka.

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    “The High Commissioner also stated that “Notably certain separatist elements within the diaspora including in Canada, still continue to relentlessly disseminate anti-Sri Lanka propaganda and lobby political leaders and other decision makers.”

    If she truly believes this then she should know that she either not doing her job or she is not qualified for the job.

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      Sri Lanka’s silent Civil Society must start a campaign to oppose CHOGM’s support to the Rajapakse regime which is effectively a military dictatorship.
      Ever since CHOGM in Lanka was confirmed with India’s help the regime has been planning to strip the provincial councils of land and police powers.
      Rajapakse effectively bribed India and Britain in exchange for CHOGM to boost his dictatorship at home through another Tamasha:

      1. Britain got the million dollar Roll Royce engine deal for Camaron’s support for CHOGM. Sri Lanka cannot afford the cost of Rolls ROyce plane engines or the Commonwealth Circus. The country is in massive debt ant those funds would be better spend on up grading the public bus and train transport system.

      2. India was promised the Northern PC election and the Sampur power plant to control the Trinco Harbour which is desperately wanted to balance China in Hambantota.

      Democracy in Lanka is the victim of global geopolitics and the Rajapassa strategy of Divide and RULE. The UNP, JVP and other opposition groups, trade unions and civil society organizations should launch a massive opposition campaign against the Commonwealth of Clowns circus being held in Colombo and the massive waste of funds to host an 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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    After the pogrom of July 83, large numbers of Tamils fled the country and now constitute the diaspora. They continue to work against the cause of their exodus and will probably continue to do so in their countries of adoption.

    The events of 83 and 2009 need to be reconciled and settled between the Sinhalese and Tamils. There is no overwhelming victory of one party over the other. The Tamils have survived. The boundaries of the conflict have shifted from the North to the international diplomatic arena.

    Most importantly justice must be done in the case of those killed, missing or abducted unjustly. Justice must be done to those displaced. They must be rehabiltated and allowed to return to their homes. Some measure of devolution must be allowed for people to live freely and develop their areas. As long as these issues are not addressed there is no way that the Tamil diaspora will rest easy. They will take up the issues by all available means. We cannot expect otherwise.

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    ”Complacency is the enemy of study”.
    What about BIAS ?? Or Poor sight/insight ???

    Canada is not the only entity that asked CHOGM to be shifted out of Sri Lanka:

    ‘’CMAG should recommend the organization shift the venue of its November 2013 Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) from Sri Lanka unless the government makes prompt, measurable, and meaningful progress on human rights’’ – Sri Lanka: Commonwealth Should Relocate November Meeting, Human Rights Watch, 23 April 2013, http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/04/24/sri-lanka-commonwealth-should-relocate-november-meeting

    ”Call upon the Members of the Commonwealth, through the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to place Sri Lanka on the agenda of its next meeting on 26 April 2013 and suspend it from the Councils of the Commonwealth for serious and persistent violations of the Commonwealth fundamental values, RESOLUTION ON THE RULE OF LAW AND JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE IN SRI LANKA, 17 April 2013, http://cmja.org/downloads/news/srilankaresolutionfinal.pdf

    ‘’ The Law Society of England and Wales today added its voice to those calling for the suspension of Sri Lanka from the Councils of the Commonwealth, following reports of serious breaches of the rule of law and judicial independence’’ – Law Society supports CLA call for suspension of Sri Lanka from Commonwealth, 17 April 2013, http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/press-releases/law-society-supports-cla-call-for-suspension-of-sri-lanka-from-commonwealth/

    ‘’THE Law Society of South Africa on Tuesday came out in support of a resolution by Commonwealth lawyers calling for the suspension of Sri Lanka, which is due to host the 54-nation body’s next summit meeting, in November’’ – Lawyers back Sri Lanka suspension, 24 April 2013, http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/law/2013/04/24/lawyers-back-sri-lanka-suspension

    ‘’Malcolm Fraser, the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia has endorsed the petition: ‘’…. They can do this by following the Canadian Prime Minister’s example and announcing that if the summit goes ahead in Sri Lanka, without an improvement in the human rights situation there, then they will not attend. ….’’ – 22nd Prime Minister Of Aussie Wants Julia To Reconsider CHOGM 2013 In Sri Lanka, 14 April 2013, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/22nd-prime-minister-of-aussie-wants-julia-to-reconsider-chogm-2013-in-sri-lanka/

    ‘’The clarity Sir Ronald Sanders has provided serves as a striking rod on the purpose for its future existence. His immensely enriching response has come out at a time when the movement is at crossroads degenerated by the forces of undemocratic countries outside the movement and the willful forces against the principles of the movement, within’’ – Interview: Sri Lanka Has Not Only Crossed The Line, But Trying To Set A Precedent – Sir Ronald, 10 April 2013, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/interview-sri-lanka-has-not-only-crossed-the-line-but-trying-to-set-a-precedent-sir-ronald/

    ‘’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” – Commonwealth struggles for unity amid Sri Lanka HR concerns, Frances Harrison, 15 March 2013, http://asiancorrespondent.com/102156/commonwealth-sri-lanka-human-rights/

    ‘’ Perhaps emboldened by getting away with murder – the army’s slaughter of 40,000 Tamil civilians in 2008 and 2009 – Rajapaksa’s government has now moved to destroy a pillar of the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary. It has sacked Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake for daring to make a decision that it finds inconvenient’’ – How Britain can avert a human rights disaster, Geoffrey Robertson, 14 March 2013,
    http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/world-affairs/2013/03/how-britain-can-avert-human-rights-disaster

    ‘’ An important clause in the Charter reads: “We are committed to equality and respect for the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights including the right to development, for all without discrimination on any grounds as the foundations of peaceful, just and stable societies”. Unless the Sri Lanka government demonstrates that it upholds that commitment through actions that have been urged upon it by the UN, many Commonwealth Governments, and a myriad number of international legal and judicial organisations, it is not qualified to host the CHOGM. Attendance by other Heads of Government would sully the Commonwealth by validating the Rajapaksa government.’’ – The Commonwealth Charter, Human Rights and Sri Lanka, Sir Ronald Sanders, 14 March 2013, http://www.huntingtonnews.net/57528

    ‘’ The next Commonwealth heads of government meeting in November is scheduled for Sri Lanka where an abusive government has committed multiple outrages. If that meeting is not moved elsewhere, the Commonwealth will abandon its enlightened commitments. …. If the Commonwealth holds its heads of government meeting in Sri Lanka, the island’s leaders will coordinate the work of Commonwealth agencies for the next two years — including those that concern themselves with human rights and democracy’’ – A message to Colombo, James Manor, 7 March 2013, http://www.indianexpress.com/news/a-message-to-colombo/1084072/0

    ”Let us as a nation stand up for the Latimer House Principles which were adopted here in Nigeria in 2003 and unequivocally condemn the actions of the government of Sri Lanka” – Why Nigeria should boycott CHOGM? Boma Ozobia, President, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, 5 March 2013
    http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/why-nigeria-must-boycott-chogm-meet-in-sri-lanka/141301/#.UTdkDzNeafs.twitter

    ”Relocate, should the government fail to make these changes, the November 2013 heads of government meeting away from Colombo, or downgrade representation to ministerial level” – Sri Lanka’s Authoritarian Turn: The Need for International Action, International Crisis Group, 20 February 2013, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/sri-lanka/243-sri-lankas-authoritarian-turn-the-need-for-international-action.aspx

    ‘’ In the present climate, allowing Sri Lanka to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November 2013 would raise serious questions about the Commonwealth’s commitment to democracy, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law’’ – Open letter: Sri Lanka should not host the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, International Commission of Jurists, 12 February 2013, http://www.icj.org/open-letter-sri-lanka-should-not-host-the-2013-commonwealth-heads-of-government-meeting/

    ‘’The Commonwealth should shift the venue of its November 2013 Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) from Sri Lanka unless its government makes prompt, measurable, and meaningful progress on human rights,’’ – Sri Lanka: Move Commonwealth Summit, 6 February 2013, http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/02/06/sri-lanka-move-commonwealth-summit

    ‘’ It is time for the Commonwealth of Nations to suspend Sri Lanka from its councils. In doing so, the Commonwealth would restore confidence in its 2.1 billion people that it is not a hypocritical association that claims to stand for values, including democracy, human rights and the rule of law but fails to act to discipline governments that violate these values’’ – Save the Commonwealth Brand: Tell Sri Lanka ‘Enough’, Sir Ronald Sanders, 17 January 2013, http://www.huntingtonnews.net/53873

    ‘’The Secretary General of the Commonwealth should take urgent action to request the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to evaluate the present situation in Sri Lanka and report if the actions of the Sri Lankan Government are in keeping with its declared commitment to the Harare Principles of Democracy and the Rule of Law’’ – Secretary General Of The Commonwealth Should Take Urgent Action, Mangala Samaraweera MP, Former Foreign Minister, 8 December 2012,
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/secretary-general-of-the-commonwealth-should-take-urgent-action/
    ”Harper had initially made the threat in September last year to boycott the meeting and one year on the Canadian government feels that there is still no progress on the human rights issue on the ground” – Canada Renews CHOGM Threat, 1 December 2012, http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/12/01/canada-renews-c-h-o-g-m-threat/

    ‘’To the Secretariat and Member States of the Commonwealth: Insist that the Sri Lankan government take the actions listed in recommendation 14 above, and agree that in the event it fails to do so, the October 2013 Commonwealth heads of government meeting will be moved from Colombo to an alternative location” – Sri Lanka: Tamil Politics and the Quest for a Political Solution, International Crisis Group, 20 November 2012, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/sri-lanka/239-sri-lanka-tamil-politics-and-the-quest-for-a-political-solution.aspx

    ‘’We conclude that continuing evidence of serious human rights abuses in Sri Lanka shows that the Commonwealth’s decision to hold the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo was wrong. We are impressed by the clear and forthright stance taken by the Canadian Prime Minister, who has said he would attend the Meeting only if human rights were improved. The UK Prime Minister should publicly state his unwillingness to attend the meeting unless he receives convincing and independently-verified evidence of substantial and sustainable improvements in human and political rights in Sri Lanka. …. Sir Malcolm Rifkind was among those who expressed concern at the actions of a number of countries that had opposed the idea of a Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights. He said that Sri Lanka was “the obvious case in point’’ – UK Foreign Affairs Committee: The role and future of the Commonwealth, 15 November 2012,
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmfaff/114/11407.htm

    ‘’We urge the Commonwealth Secretariat to require that Sri Lanka must demonstrate the ‘spirit of democracy’ with practical steps to tackle patent gaps in human rights, democracy and governance which have repeatedly attracted international concern’’ – *Open Letter (*From Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Law Centre, Civicus, Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, Forum-Asia and UNAUK) to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, 21 September 2012, http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/pressrelease/OpenLettertotheCommonwealthSecretaryGeneral_21_09_2012.pdf

    ‘’The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2013 is currently scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka. That is dangerously ill advised. The government of that country has committed a succession of gross abuses against the humane values which lie at the heart of the Commonwealth’s mission ‘’ – Sri Lanka: Human rights violations and CHOGM2013: To Sustain the Commonwealth Commitment to Human Dignity: Reconsider the Award of the 2013 CHOGM to Sri Lanka, Professor James Manor, I nstitute of Commonwealth Studies, October 2011, http://www.commonwealthadvisorybureau.org/uploads/media/Opinion_Oct11_James.pdf

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    Separatism is not terrorism, but arises out of oppression.
    Certainly oppression is state terrorism.
    Is this article a ploy to perpetuate state terrorism?

    Over the last 65yrs, Tamils have been changing their ploy to eke out some fairness from us. Soon there won’t be any ploy on their part as they are vanishing geographically, socially, culturally, economically and politically.

    How can anybody wishing to be separate from an oppressor be a “ploy to perpetuate terrorism” ? What sort of sense is that?

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    Canada is not the only entity calling for CHOGM to be shifted out of Sri Lanka:

    ‘’CMAG should recommend the organization shift the venue of its November 2013 Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) from Sri Lanka unless the government makes prompt, measurable, and meaningful progress on human rights’’ – Sri Lanka: Commonwealth Should Relocate November Meeting, Human Rights Watch, 23 April 2013,

    ”Call upon the Members of the Commonwealth, through the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to place Sri Lanka on the agenda of its next meeting on 26 April 2013 and suspend it from the Councils of the Commonwealth for serious and persistent violations of the Commonwealth fundamental values, RESOLUTION ON THE RULE OF LAW AND JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE IN SRI LANKA, 17 April 2013,

    ‘’ The Law Society of England and Wales today added its voice to those calling for the suspension of Sri Lanka from the Councils of the Commonwealth, following reports of serious breaches of the rule of law and judicial independence’’ – Law Society supports CLA call for suspension of Sri Lanka from Commonwealth, 17 April 2013,

    ‘’THE Law Society of South Africa on Tuesday came out in support of a resolution by Commonwealth lawyers calling for the suspension of Sri Lanka, which is due to host the 54-nation body’s next summit meeting, in November’’ – Lawyers back Sri Lanka suspension, 24 April 2013,

    ‘’Malcolm Fraser, the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia has endorsed the petition: ‘’…. They can do this by following the Canadian Prime Minister’s example and announcing that if the summit goes ahead in Sri Lanka, without an improvement in the human rights situation there, then they will not attend. ….’’ – 22nd Prime Minister Of Aussie Wants Julia To Reconsider CHOGM 2013 In Sri Lanka, 14 April 2013,

    ‘’The clarity Sir Ronald Sanders has provided serves as a striking rod on the purpose for its future existence. His immensely enriching response has come out at a time when the movement is at crossroads degenerated by the forces of undemocratic countries outside the movement and the willful forces against the principles of the movement, within’’ – Interview: Sri Lanka Has Not Only Crossed The Line, But Trying To Set A Precedent – Sir Ronald, 10 April 2013,

    ‘’ Perhaps emboldened by getting away with murder – the army’s slaughter of 40,000 Tamil civilians in 2008 and 2009 – Rajapaksa’s government has now moved to destroy a pillar of the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary. It has sacked Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake for daring to make a decision that it finds inconvenient’’ – How Britain can avert a human rights disaster, Geoffrey Robertson, 14 March 2013,

    ‘’ An important clause in the Charter reads: “We are committed to equality and respect for the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights including the right to development, for all without discrimination on any grounds as the foundations of peaceful, just and stable societies”. Unless the Sri Lanka government demonstrates that it upholds that commitment through actions that have been urged upon it by the UN, many Commonwealth Governments, and a myriad number of international legal and judicial organisations, it is not qualified to host the CHOGM. Attendance by other Heads of Government would sully the Commonwealth by validating the Rajapaksa government.’’ – The Commonwealth Charter, Human Rights and Sri Lanka, Sir Ronald Sanders, 14 March 2013,

    ‘’ The next Commonwealth heads of government meeting in November is scheduled for Sri Lanka where an abusive government has committed multiple outrages. If that meeting is not moved elsewhere, the Commonwealth will abandon its enlightened commitments. …. If the Commonwealth holds its heads of government meeting in Sri Lanka, the island’s leaders will coordinate the work of Commonwealth agencies for the next two years — including those that concern themselves with human rights and democracy’’ – A message to Colombo, James Manor, 7 March 2013,

    ”Let us as a nation stand up for the Latimer House Principles which were adopted here in Nigeria in 2003 and unequivocally condemn the actions of the government of Sri Lanka” – Why Nigeria should boycott CHOGM? Boma Ozobia, President, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, 5 March 2013

    ”Relocate, should the government fail to make these changes, the November 2013 heads of government meeting away from Colombo, or downgrade representation to ministerial level” – Sri Lanka’s Authoritarian Turn: The Need for International Action, International Crisis Group, 20 February 2013,

    ‘’ In the present climate, allowing Sri Lanka to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November 2013 would raise serious questions about the Commonwealth’s commitment to democracy, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law’’ – Open letter: Sri Lanka should not host the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, International Commission of Jurists, 12 February 2013,

    ‘’The Commonwealth should shift the venue of its November 2013 Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) from Sri Lanka unless its government makes prompt, measurable, and meaningful progress on human rights,’’ – Sri Lanka: Move Commonwealth Summit, 6 February 2013,

    ‘’ It is time for the Commonwealth of Nations to suspend Sri Lanka from its councils. In doing so, the Commonwealth would restore confidence in its 2.1 billion people that it is not a hypocritical association that claims to stand for values, including democracy, human rights and the rule of law but fails to act to discipline governments that violate these values’’ – Save the Commonwealth Brand: Tell Sri Lanka ‘Enough’, Sir Ronald Sanders, 17 January 2013,

    ‘’The Secretary General of the Commonwealth should take urgent action to request the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to evaluate the present situation in Sri Lanka and report if the actions of the Sri Lankan Government are in keeping with its declared commitment to the Harare Principles of Democracy and the Rule of Law’’ – Secretary General Of The Commonwealth Should Take Urgent Action, Mangala Samaraweera MP, Former Foreign Minister, 8 December 2012,

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    Only Canada? What about the others:

    ”Harper had initially made the threat in September last year to boycott the meeting and one year on the Canadian government feels that there is still no progress on the human rights issue on the ground” – Canada Renews CHOGM Threat, 1 December 2012,

    ‘’To the Secretariat and Member States of the Commonwealth: Insist that the Sri Lankan government take the actions listed in recommendation 14 above, and agree that in the event it fails to do so, the October 2013 Commonwealth heads of government meeting will be moved from Colombo to an alternative location” – Sri Lanka: Tamil Politics and the Quest for a Political Solution, International Crisis Group, 20 November 2012,

    ‘’We conclude that continuing evidence of serious human rights abuses in Sri Lanka shows that the Commonwealth’s decision to hold the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo was wrong. We are impressed by the clear and forthright stance taken by the Canadian Prime Minister, who has said he would attend the Meeting only if human rights were improved. The UK Prime Minister should publicly state his unwillingness to attend the meeting unless he receives convincing and independently-verified evidence of substantial and sustainable improvements in human and political rights in Sri Lanka. …. Sir Malcolm Rifkind was among those who expressed concern at the actions of a number of countries that had opposed the idea of a Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights. He said that Sri Lanka was “the obvious case in point’’ – UK Foreign Affairs Committee: The role and future of the Commonwealth, 15 November 2012,

    ‘’We urge the Commonwealth Secretariat to require that Sri Lanka must demonstrate the ‘spirit of democracy’ with practical steps to tackle patent gaps in human rights, democracy and governance which have repeatedly attracted international concern’’ – *Open Letter (*From Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Law Centre, Civicus, Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, Forum-Asia and UNAUK) to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, 21 September 2012

    ‘’The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2013 is currently scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka. That is dangerously ill advised. The government of that country has committed a succession of gross abuses against the humane values which lie at the heart of the Commonwealth’s mission ‘’ – Sri Lanka: Human rights violations and CHOGM2013: To Sustain the Commonwealth Commitment to Human Dignity: Reconsider the Award of the 2013 CHOGM to Sri Lanka, Professor James Manor, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, October 2011,

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    The north and east are traditional homeland of the tamils not the sinhalese so let it be divided as it was in the begining when the sinhalese were in their national costume the amude.

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      Back when Sinhalese were in amude the so called ‘Eelam’ Tamils hadn’t yet been rounded up from Tamil Nadu and transported to Sri Lanka to do coolie work.

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    Why do most people think that the call for moving CHOGM from Sri Lanka is due to diaspora pressure? The main reason for the pressure is due to the fact that rule of law is not followed in Sri Lanka. I have also noted that the President, Ministers, Politicians, Diplomats, civilians and above all civil servants who are political appointees who think they are it, always come up with the statement “we have done so much of development work since the war so why put pressure on Sri Lanka”. Well, the whole world will accept that impressive development work has been done after the war (we do not yet know what the negative fiscal impact it would bring at this point of time), but the voices against the regime is there only because there is no democracy, rule of law or equal rights to all communities in Sri Lanka. It has nothing to do with diaspora or former LTTE or TGTE. It has everything to do with HUMAN RIGHTS. Development as stated by the state has nothing to do with Human Rights.

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    Canada is not CHOGM – Ignore them. CHOGM is an association of several dozens of countries largely composed of non-white colonies. It works on consensus and not on the dictates of an old white colony. Canada’s interests, both strategically and economically are with the US. She should allow Quebec to integrate with France, and join the US as a state in the Federation. That is her place.

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    Lakshman,

    Canada is facing a similar problem within be cause Quebec Province is trying to separate from Canada. It is funny that Canadian government is using the Tamils, who have been fighting for autonomy in Sri Lanka, to prevent Quebec becoming an autonomous region.

    On the other hand where is this wealth which is supposed to be common to all nations in the commonwealth? Let those who want to boycott to do so.Canada will definitely change their stance when boat people start arriving in Canada. At present the economies of the west are shrinking and when they were flourishing all those countries welcomed boat people with open hands because they wanted more and more blue collar workers (shhh… not slaves).

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