20 October, 2020

Blog

Sri Lanka And The Commonwealth: ‘Britain Must Take A Stand’ – Tamils For Labour

David Cameron should be clear about the progress Sri Lanka needed to make before confirming his attendance at CHOGM, says UK based Tamils for Labour.

Issuing a statement today Tamils for Labour urges all parliamentarians and Labour members to call for the boycott of CHOGM and to continue to prevail upon the British Government and all members of the Commonwealth the need to ensure accountability, justice, reconciliation and lasting peace in Sri Lanka.

We publish below the statement in full;

“I am deeply concerned that Sri Lanka, despite the opportunity provided by the end of the war to construct a new vibrant, all-embracing state, is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction.”

David Cameron

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has given a damning critique of the ground realities in Sri Lanka.

Speaking at the end of her visit to the country in August, she expressed her grave concerns regarding the “curtailment or denial of personal freedoms and human rights […] persistent impunity and the failure of the rule of law.”

The human rights of all people on the island are under threat. Tamils are treated as second class citizens, with Tamil areas militarised. Attacks on Muslim individuals, businesses, and cultural practices are on the increase. Unarmed Sinhalese protestors, campaigning against the contamination of a local water supply, were shot dead by Government forces in the town of Weliweriya last month. Not even high office can protect you – Sri Lankaʼs Chief Justice was illegally impeached and removed from her position in January for having the audacity to question the actions of President Rajapaksaʼs regime.

Four and a half years on from the end of the brutal armed conflict, what hope is there for justice, reconciliation and sustainable peace?

In such circumstances, how can Sri Lanka be the host of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November? The British Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary should not attend. Human rights and challenging the culture of impunity must take precedence over trade considerations. The statement made by Ms Pillay demonstrates that the Sri Lankan Government is abusing the rights of its people. Sri Lankaʼs wilful violation of its international obligations can be seen in its failure to uphold many of the core principles enshrined within the new Commonwealth Charter. It is astonishing to think that a Government accused of complicity in war crimes and the perpetration of on-going human rights abuses will, as host of CHOGM, take over the Chair of the Commonwealth for two years, with the right to sit on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group – a body mandated to deal with serious and persistent violations of the Commonwealthʼs fundamental political values.

As Douglas Alexander rightly stated earlier this year, David Cameron should be clear about the progress Sri Lanka needed to make before confirming his attendance at CHOGM. After all, the Canadian Prime Minister has stated that he wonʼt attend without significant and substantial signs of human rights improvement.

However, no definable benchmarks have been laid down by this Government and the consequences threatened by Nick Clegg if Sri Lanka ignored its international commitments in the lead up to CHOGM have failed to materialise.

In 2009, it was a Labour Government which successfully campaigned to defer CHOGM in Sri Lanka, so as to act as an incentive to improve the human rights and political situation. This weak and rudderless foreign policy of the current British Government can only encourage President Rajapaksa.

His regimeʼs actions must be repudiated, however holding such a prestigious event in Sri Lanka would amount to an endorsement. CHOGM 2013 is a watershed moment for the Commonwealth and the credibility of British foreign policy. Given that the Labour Party is the only party with a principled and consistent position on Sri Lanka, Tamils for Labour urges all parliamentarians and Labour members to call for the boycott of CHOGM and to continue to prevail upon the British Government and all members of the Commonwealth the need to ensure accountability, justice, reconciliation and lasting peace in Sri Lanka.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    O SON OF BEING!
    Seek a martyr’s death in My path, content with My pleasure and thankful for that which I ordain, that thou mayest repose with Me beneath the canopy of majesty behind the tabernacle of glory.-Baha’u’llah http://craigscott.ndp.ca/canada-must-push-for-strong-resolution-on-sri-lanka-at-un-human-rights-council-ottawa

  • 0
    0

    Tamils for Labour, Tamils for Obama and Tamils for this man and that woman won’t help promote your Eelam project any longer. Sooner you separatist and racist diaspora Tamils understand it as KP says the better for ordinary Tamils who live here among us in Sri Lanka.

    • 0
      0

      What about Tamils for Buddha?

    • 0
      0

      Tamils for Mahinda Rajapakse will enjoy the freedom in srilanka

  • 0
    0

    There is also a news item in Lankasri (Tamil) that some officers from the Sri Lanka Army went to Britain in civil and assaulted the owner of a Store. If this story is true, I do not find any reason why Britain cannot ignore the Commonwealth conference in Sri Lanka. This is not the way to punish a Tamil in British soil.

    • 0
      0

      LOL! Maybe they took offence at Apu selling multipack cans separately :D

  • 0
    0

    self immolation should be taken up as a large scale project of the Tamiz for separate state

    • 0
      0

      Abhaya,
      You maybe right.
      The buddhist monks of Tibet are setting an example.
      Will you entreat the saffron robed monks of the Dharmadwipa also to do likewise – to protest the human rights violations of the military state called Sri Lanka?

  • 0
    0

    “Govt must allow the Diasporians to come back” is one of the demands in Vellala Wiggi’s Manifesto

    “Tamils for Consrvatives” probably had input in to this item in the Manifesto..

    43 of the 49 CEOs in big multinationals in CMB are Indians,

    How many Vellalas would have been among these with their own companies or as CEOs if British Tiger Rev Emmanuel didn’t chase away the President in 2010.

    Pehaps Rev Emmanuel is the chief organiser of this “Tamils for Labour.”

  • 0
    0

    Tamils For Labour OR Labour for Tamil Votes??????

    At the last general elections the Tamils kicked in the teeth of Labour David Milliband YET the Labour is shamelessly going behind the Tamils.

    Next, it will be Labour is for the ISLAMISTS.

    Shameless white politicians of Brittain.

  • 0
    0

    “Tamils for Mahinda Rajapakse will enjoy the freedom in srilanka”
    -Kris

    Especially the likes of the killers Douglas Devananda, Karuna, Pillayan,
    Daya Master, KP et al will enjoy unlimited freedom under Rajapaksa/Goata regime.

  • 0
    0

    Is CHOGM to promote authoritarian government system among it members. The way Britain, Australia and India promote Sri Lanka even after United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights statement.Is a shame for any head of state who talk about democracy.

    • 0
      0

      An authoritarian gov won’t be conducting election in a former war zone 4years after the end of the war. And that too giving mandate to a proxy of the terrorists that gov had to wage war againstagainst

  • 0
    0

    Is this election is just an image building campaign for CHOGM and after CHOGM is MR regime plan to continue their practice under authoritarian ruling????????

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.