By J. S. Tissainayagam –
In the run up to the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka there is burgeoning media attention on the human rights abuses and suspected war crimes the host nation has tried to conceal. Many hope the attention will keep Sri Lanka accountable and also facilitate progress on human rights and good governance. While media scrutiny during the Summit is indeed important, if the regime in Colombo is to be made accountable for its crimes it is vital that the vigilance continues.
Jurists have pronounced Sri Lanka has violated principles that the 54-member group of former British colonies hold sacrosanct by undermining human rights and the rule of law. This means the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo will ring a death knell for the organisation’s legitimacy. Further, Sri Lanka, by assuming leadership of the body for the next two years, will legitimise violent and authoritarian principles of governance in the Commonwealth.