Controversy Over Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Record Overshadows Commonwealth Summit

Questions over Sri Lanka's human rights record take center stage at the British Commonwealth summit in Colombo

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Leaders of countries from the British Commonwealth, an association of countries that were once part of the former British Empire, met in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Friday for the start of the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting amid controversy over Sri Lanka’s human rights record.

In 2009 Sri Lanka’s civil war of nearly three decades between the mainly ethnic Singhalese south and Tamil rebels in the north came to an end. According to a 2011 report from the United Nations, commissioned by a panel of experts appointed by the Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, some 40,000 civilians may have been killed during the final months of the conflict as the military forces crushed the Tamil rebels. It added that there was credible evidence suggesting both sides of the conflict had committed actions that in some cases could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has rejected the criticism of his government’s actions during the war.

Other leaders, however, including the prime ministers of Canada, India and Mauritius have said they cannot take part in the meeting in protest over Sri Lanka’s human rights record, which includes ongoing allegations of abuse of opposition politicians and journalists, reports the BBC.

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday visited the north of the country, home to mainly Sri Lankan Tamils, noting in a tweet that he is the first leader of a country to visit the area since Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948. He was met by hundreds of Tamil protesters who allege that their relatives were murdered by the state during the war, reports Sky News.

[BBC]

[Sky News]

5 comments
kon-tiki
kon-tiki

i do not understand all are talking about Sree Lankan human rights violation. You got to understand they were fighting a group LTTE whoose supremo Prabakaran had kidnapped, inducted 100s of child soldiers. Killed and maimed 1000s of civilians and his political opponents. Above all in my recent visit to India, I happened to go to a hill resort place called Kodaicanal in Tamil Nadu. I was shocked to find a huge poster of Prabahkarn hailed as a war hero right in the town square. I am not sure why Canada did not go for this Summit. The Tamils in Canada are mostly misusing Canadian liberties. Imagine if the war had continued even today. How many more would have died and continued to die. I am glad Sree Lanka put an end to this. 

gandalf.the.shining.white
gandalf.the.shining.white

Islam - the greatest threat to human rights - and they are bleating, as they always do, as slaughtered lambs. The victims of atrocities. The most observant of the Geneva convention, the most upright of humanists, who can do no wrong. And they always, always, always, blame the 'other side' for starting the atrocities.

Now, hang on a minute, bear with me, I'll just dig out my old history books. Now, well, what have i got here! A quote from Sir Winston Churchill, someone who may have some first hand knowledge - he got a bloody nose in Gallipoli, as I seem to remember - but certainly knew something of  a supremacist, totalitarian cult - Nazism.

'Islam is as dangerous in a man, as rabies in a dog'  Sir  Winston Churchill,PM of Great Britain !940 - 1945. Gawd, that's not very PC is it?  But then he lost over 20,000 men, a bit of an embarrassment, in Gallipoli, and yes that was the Ottoman  (Islamic ) state. ( I'm no historian, but I think he lost that one.)

'Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities' - Voltaire  - and he should know -because he made batteries as well ( not the lithium ones)

But my favourite, because he has such a sweet, gentle smile is :-

An Indonesian cleric, Abu Bakar Bashir recently put it, "If the West wants to have peace, then they have to accept Islamic rule."

I like the curries, but Islamic rule ( Sharia Law) - that's too hot for me........... 

( by the way - the Ottoman empire went on to commit genocide of between 600,000 thousand to possibly 1.2 million Armenians in 1923, after the second world war.), which some consider as the 'blueprint' for Hitlers extermination of the Jews.

While we're on the subject ( of the Holy Book of extermination) the Koran.......

'So long as there is this book, there will be no peace in the world'   William Ewart Gladstone (1809 - 1898), 4 times Prime Minister of Great Britain

But then - I am joost a Spanish Waiter , Mr Faulty, my pet  is Siberian Hamster. ...No, you Spanish waiter, that is a RAT. Mr Faulty, ees Siberian hamster, I ccall heem after you - I ccall heem 'BASIL'.  Mr Basil Faulty goes RED in the FACE, and pokes Manuel in the eye.  'Its a bloody RAT'.

Friends
Friends

Srilankan government acted as a death squad. I experienced it personally. The present President of that country deserves the maximum punishment under the international law. Tamil lives had no value during the period; Tamils were treated worse than animals and slaves. World wake up!

iamtheshitehawk2
iamtheshitehawk2

@kon-tiki  Idiot! It is the Sri Lankan government who are 100% to blame, they invaded from other countries and have subjugated the native peoples (the Tamils) and have continued their genocide to this day. You believe their propaganda about the natives just as muslims believe their propaganda about Jews, it stems from ignorance and brainwashing!