14 November, 2019

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Tyrants And The Queen: She Is Out Of Touch With The Humanitarian Values

By Uvindu Kurukulasuriya –

Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

The Queen has come under criticism for inviting tyrants to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. Last week it was about Middle Eastern monarchs. Swazilanders and Bahrainians joined human rights campaigners in a protest on Friday 18, May outside Buckingham Palace against the invitations to royal dictators from around the world to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee dinner.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has condemned the Queen’s decision to invite “dictator monarchs” to her Diamond Jubilee celebrations this. She will host the royal autocrats for lunch at Windsor Castle and for dinner at Buckingham Palace.
“It is outrageous that the Queen has invited royal tyrants to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. She should not host the monarchs of countries such as Brunei, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Swaziland and United Arab Emirates. All of them preside over regimes that abuse human rights,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights campaign group, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“Inviting blood-stained despots brings shame to our monarchy and tarnishes the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It is a kick in the teeth to pro-democracy campaigners and political prisoners in these totalitarian royal regimes. The invitations should be withdrawn immediately, as a mark of respect for those who have been murdered, arrested, jailed and tortured,” he added.
This week a protest was launched against inviting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “The celebrations will be long, grand and varied, and one of the flagship events will be a private luncheon in London on the 6th of June with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary … and a war criminal…The President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, a man against whom the UN have found credible allegations of responsibility for the murder of civilians, and who leads a government that oversaw the disappearance of 32 people this March alone, will join the Queen and other heads of state at the taxpayer-funded meal. Make sure this doesn’t happen,” the Campaign Director UK based ‘Sri Lanka Campaign’ said.
Giving an interview to this writer he said, “The Queen, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and President Rajapaksa would be in attendance as would other commonwealth heads of state – but we haven’t been told who. Indeed they have made very little information available about this lunch and we have had to find things out the hard way.”
“We also don’t know exactly how much the lunch itself will cost. We have been told that the Jubilee celebrations will cost a total of around £12 million to the taxpayer and potentially about £1.3 billion to the economy in total – mostly as a result of the extra holidays. However these figures don’t include the costs of security, policing and logistical arrangements. For Mahinda’s visit this will be covered by the British at a direct cost to the British taxpayer and could be the biggest direct cost.”
The situation is further complicated by the fact that the Queen, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and President Rajapaksa will all be at this lunch as guests of the Secretary General of the Commonwealth and so it is likely that the Commonwealth Secretariat will pay a share – perhaps most or all – of the non policing costs. This is taxpayers’ money too of course – the money of taxpayers in all Commonwealth nations. The Commonwealth Secretariat has a budget of £15 million but doesn’t specify how much they spend on hospitality. All this money comes from Commonwealth nations (i.e. taxpayers) based upon their ability to pay. For example, that the UK will bear 31percent of the cost, Sri Lanka 1 percent and India 4 percent.
“So we know it’s a very expensive lunch with lots of security costs which is being funded by the taxpayer but we don’t know how much it will cost and whether it is the UK taxpayer or all Commonwealth taxpayers – and they are not making that information available,” he said.
Peter Tatchell said, “Buckingham Palace’s refusal to confirm the guest list is arrogant and anti-democratic. As the Head of State of a democratic nation, the Queen should be transparent and accountable to the public. This secrecy and evasion is the enemy of democracy. The vast majority of the British people would not want the Queen to wine and dine these vile dictators.”
“I should also add that while we did mention the fact that it is a taxpayer funded lunch and we didn’t think that was an appropriate use of funds (either UK funds or Commonwealth funds) we have other, ethical objections to the lunch as well,” added the Campaign Director ‘Sri Lanka Campaign’. Edward Mortimer, the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Campaign, who is a former speechwriter to Kofi Annan said, “In the light of the credible allegations of war crimes against the Sri Lankan President, and the brutality of his regime towards minorities, human rights defenders, and independent journalists, we would urge the Queen not to break bread with him.” “Many in the international community have been working hard to bring the Sri Lankan Government back towards respect for human rights and the rule of law. At this moment it is absolutely vital that we keep the pressure on; this is not the moment for treating the President of Sri Lanka to pomp and pageantry,” he added.
It is clear that the Human Rights community in UK is going to use this opportunity to protest against world leaders presiding over a variety of human rights abuses such as war crimes, detention without trial, torture, the denial of free speech, restrictions on press freedom, discrimination against women, oppression of minority faiths, homophobic persecution, ill-treatment of guest workers and the violent suppression of peaceful protests. “The invitations are a shocking misjudgement. They show the Queen is out of touch with the humanitarian values of most British people. She’s putting royalty before human rights,” said Peter Tatchell. The Sri Lanka Campaign is of the opinion that the Royal household is very sensitive to negative publicity around the jubilee. The British Royal Family has recently introduced ways for you to give them people’s opinions. The Sri Lanka Campaign wants people to use these channels such as Queen’s Twitter @British Monarchy, Facebook, ‘The British Monarchy’ and other websites to tell them that the Queen should not be celebrating her jubilee in the company of war criminals.
“There is a good chance that this will be successful but, even if he does come, it is important that we register our strong objection. At least President Mahinda will not be able to portray his visit as a public relations triumph,” the Campaign said
uvindu@journalist.com

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Latest comments

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    austerity measures are for ordinary people like you and me. Not for the big time benefit scroungers. Wasting billions of ££££ of tax payers money down the drain is ok for them. Its not their hard earned money.They don’t care about billions of £££ being wasted. We know what this “royalty” was like years ago. Does anyone know the total number of Native Americans were killed as a result of the arrival of the white men? Does anyone know how many Indians, Africans and other people around the world were killed by the white men representing the “Royalty”. Million times more than what Rajapakshe did. We are not naive to expect her not to shake the blood drenched hands of Rajapakshe. Devils deal with devils. Birds of the same feather flock together.

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      Agree!

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    Very informative article Uvindu. The courage of your conviction to publish what is only available in selected circles is commendable. Of course you will be criticized by Singhala Buddhist racist-chauvinist for informing the world of the dirty secrets of War Criminals.
    Out of over 100 guest, there is only one war criminal!
    Wow, Sri Lanka and the Rajapakse’s share such a dubious distinction.
    Already, there was a big protest today at 10 Downing Street, the PM’s residence against the invitation to the alleged war criminal from Sri Lanka. Of all the world leaders Rajapakse receives most of the media and other attention for the wrong reasons. It is a shame and a disgrace, that the Rajapakses bring such a disgrace as not only a nation of war criminals, but the country is marooned with bribery, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, and family bandism.
    This complain is not from the Tamils but the Singhala leaders like Ranil and now General (former) Sarath Fonseka and other leftist.
    There is more news to come in the coming days regarding the arrival of the alleged war criminal in Britain. It may even eclipse his last visit to Oxford and London, as there is 100 times more national and international coverage because of the Royal celebration.

    There is no doubt, that Rajapakse has already “shat” at the Royal function, even before his arrival on British soil, embarrassing the Queen and the country.

    I sincerely hope he turns up, so that the whole world including the Royal Family witnesses the spectacle of Sri Lanka’s embarrassing and humiliating moments in Commonwealth history. This would also damage the chances of Sri Lanka hosting the Commonwealth Games in Hambantota in 2018 as Canada, Australia and New Zealand have already announced their reservations.

    Even when he turns up, Rajapakse will be hiding himself in complete secrecy, unlike the other heads of state. Already, it has become the British Security Services biggest headache and “Pain in the Ass”, since they are already stretched to provide security to other dictators and heads of state.

    The Sri Lankan Airlines aircraft would be on standby all the time for a hasty take off (Retreat) even after midnight like the last visit.

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      Donald J Gnanakone, Can’t sleep and it’s been three years now? Well, there’s nothing anybody could do about that. Yes the war criminal paid for his crimes at the Nanthikadal three yaers ago. It’s not that criminal but the president of Sri lanka who will be attending the function, so no need to worry. Ranil will not acuse the president nor will Fonseka. If Fonseka utters some cheap wormish tosh, only he will be in trouble. He knows it best, he has paid a heavy price for his first gob. So don’t be too excited.
      Anyway, what a pile of trash this article is! UN found credible evidence against Sri Lankan government?? The writer must be daydreaming. The UN panel never visited Sri Lanka, but had made their mind up about the conclusions even before they began the fake enquiry on behalf of the UNSG.

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        Rubert Bavderkoon:
        #1. Do you expect anyone to believe that really is your name?
        #2. How much does Bell Pottinger pay you for your efforts?
        #3. People can’t afford to feed their families in Sri Lanka and public funds are spent on the likes of you for the govt.’s “dirty tricks campaign?”
        SHAME!!!

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    war-criminal should not be attending after his never ending spew about ‘imperialism’

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    Here is the British High Commissioner’s video on Sri Lanka’s military strength in the Northern Province. This clearly demonstrates that the BHC in SL is monitoring the military occupation, repression, suppression, and oppression of the North, and the HR Violations, and humanitarian laws.

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/british-hc-to-sri-lanka-comments-on-hr-situation-in-sri-lanka/

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      Ha ha, have you not read the rest of the news? He will be going home soon. Did you know what happened to the British HC under Premadasa? That guy (in 1988) saw stuffing of ballot boxes by Premadasa’s people at a polling station and he showed his displeasure on that when he went back to Colombo, but the next day he was dispatched to London.lol.

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    I’m not surprised. The Queen’s behaviour is quite in line with the British political establishment’s world-outlook. One cannot expect anything else from her.

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    I seriously question the likelihood that Mrs Windsor has any humanitarian values worth considering. The institution that she so jealously upholds –refusing to retire in case her son Charles might behave in some way, in her eyes, to devalue the monarchy– is itself, together with the British establishment an anachronism which has been on life-support for at least the last half century.

    The British public is no longer very supportive of the monarchy. Most of them see the royal family as parasites living off the bounty provided them by the state. People grumble but, as with everything else, they put up with this antiquated museum-piece.

    When she visited Ceylon in the early ‘fifties the story goes that some wag at a garden-party called Mrs Windsor a c**t. He probably wasn’t so far from the truth. What does she or her family care about apart from fleecing the state of her annual benefits and keeping the feudal institution she represents alive long after its expiry date?

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    Mr.Kurukulasuriya! Your reference to ‘THE QUEEN’ even unintentionally speaks for itself…..your loyalities are very apparent.

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    It is a ‘Rogues Party’ hence the secrecy of the invitee’s list. The British colonised these countries then and lived of the peasants. Now they still continue to live off us, using the corrupt to govern in return for these Servile Leaders to enjoy the crumbs.

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    Royal family members in Britain are no strangers to violence. Many of them have taken part in all sorts of “orgies of violence” organized by USA-UK axis. A lot of them are blood stained in The Falklands, Iraq, Afganistan and Libya etc. They love hunting. Killing animals is much fun for members of the Windsor family.

    Brits better not invite Tony Blair (blood stained in Iraq) or David Cameron (blood stained in Libya either. Both are complicit in torture(Enhanced interrogation/water boarding) and abductions(extra-ordinary rendition/kidnapping).

    This is no defence of the dismal human rights record of the MR regime in Sri Lanka.

    If MR has any self respect, he should stay away from UK out of free will. MR was humiliated along with Sri Lanka by the cunning LTTE rump in the UK. Brits stood by and did nothing to accommodate Sri Lanka’s elected President during his last attempt to deliver a lecture at Oxford, UK. However, Saudi dictator was given a grand welcome on streets of London by the so called English Royal family. So much for human rights.

    Sri Lankans as a people deserve more respect. Do not dine free with this family at poor British tax payers expense.

    By the way, most people who scream for MR’s head are die hard backers of LTTE terror in Sri Lanka. They could not care less for human rights. They just want a round about way to their Ealam dream in Sri Lanka. Extreme, violent, Tamil ethno-nationalism is their cause. Do not be deceived.

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    Great stuff, keep it up!

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    60 Years of an Out of Touch Head of State and the Unfair Distribution
    of Wealth in the British State is Nothing to Celebrate

    The Redistribution of Wealth from Rich to Poor is More Worth
    Celebrating

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    If you remove attendees to this party according to their human rights records there will be no one left to attend the party including the host and there will be no party. Better stop making hollow media circus.

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