CAMERON VERY PROBABLY POLITICKING – Chris Nonis
British Prime Minister David Cameron may have highlighted alleged human rights issues in Sri Lanka because he had domestic collateral political considerations with an anticipated election in 2015, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Britain Dr. Chris Nonis said in an interview with the BBC on Thursday.
“The point is people are entitled to say whatever they wish. But the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), a gathering of 53 or 54 countries, the purpose was to discuss the theme of the Commonwealth. It was not there to raise bilateral issues. On the one hand I think it is good that David Cameron came despite a lot of criticism domestically”.
“But at the same time I understand why he raised those issues on a public platform because he has domestic collateral political considerations. He is in a coalition government with an election due in 2015. There is a significant diaspora in Britain and naturally (interviewer interrupts). Dr Nonis continues: I am afraid that this is the natural conclusion one would come to if one realizes that he has an election coming up in 2015”.
When questioned whether Sri Lanka had initiated a Census on Dead and Missing during war which started on Thursday due to pressure exerted in some quarters during the CHOGM, Dr.Nonis pointed out that the Census was part
of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) which released its report in 2011. “The detractors would like to say that. But the LLRC report was released in 2011. This census is one of its recommendations” Dr. Nonis pointed out.
About the LLRC recommendations Dr.Nonis said “before it (the report) was released many people were critical of it. But once it was released, people realized, it was very comprehensive and impartial, holistic and even critical of government. The President, not only released it, but released it in full”, he added.
When questioned whether people would have faith in a survey carried out by the Government Dr.Nonis replied “I think they have tremendous faith in it. It is independent, it is carried out by the Department of Census and Statistics. Even the last report which was carried out, the enumeration of vital events in 2011 in the North was done by the Department of Census and Statistics. The people they used or the enumerators actually were predominantly Tamil Teachers. They were entirely independent”. Describing further Dr.Nonis pointed out “The conflict was not between government and Tamil Tigers. The conflict was between Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, Burgher, Malay people of Sri Lanka and the terrorists. This is often misunderstood”.
(Courtesy: Daily News)
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Pretty bad, had I known of this interview before hand, I would have asked Mr. Nonis to ask to question when the Iraq inquiry report going to be out, and why the NATO had no count of dead in Iraq. It is only estimates by the NGO Iraq Body Count exist. When in SL the number of deaths ALLEGED to be 30,000-40,000, in Iraq it is beyond 100,000. I think SL diplomats/ politicians should not be shy away from raising questions and give as good as they get (we living outside SL, terribly miss Prof. Rajiva Wijehinghe when it come to this) , since almost all these western media there are out to do one thing, that is to sling mud. How many in SL know that the UK Crown prosecution had brought only minor charges against only one policeman among many, in a case the Channel 4 made big headlines called ‘Plebgate’- related to the Downing Street No.10 police had conspiracy against a senior politician- Because of the video tape provided by the Channel 4 had been edited . The videos from the other CCTV cameras was not supporting the claims by the C4.
From the UK Telegraph, Saturday 30 November 2013
Iraq inquiry delayed for another year.
The Iraq Inquiry, set up by Gordon Brown to find the truth about Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War, will not report its findings for at least another year, two years later than expected.
When the Inquiry began in 2009, it had been expected to publish its findings by the end of 2011, but yesterday Sir John Chilcot, the Inquiry chairman, wrote to David Cameron to alert him to the latest delay.
So far the Inquiry has cost £6.1 million, and the extra year of information-gathering is expected to cost the public purse around £1.4m more.
For Sri Lankan standards, I think Dr. Nonis did his best. That said, I have to agree with you. Sri Lankan diplomats are meek and allow interviewers to dominate them. We all understand that current SL Government ran out of gas and does not have a clear strategy to counter attack the allegations and no vision for way forward. They are in a defensive mode.