UK warns Sri Lanka on abuses before Commonwealth summit
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Wednesday there would be “consequences” for Sri Lanka if its leaders did not address international concerns over human rights abuses, ahead of a Commonwealth summit scheduled to be held in Colombo in November.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told parliament “despicable human rights violations” had taken place in Sri Lanka, but that Britain still planned to attend the Commonwealth meeting there, a stance that has drawn heavy criticism from rights groups.
Sri Lanka has repeatedly rejected calls for an independent, international investigation into accusations of war crimes committed during the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that ended in May 2009.
Tens of thousands of civilians, mostly Tamils, were killed in the final months of the war, a U.N. panel has said.
“All of us accept the controversy around this, accept the unease around this, but what we’ll be doing by attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka is using the opportunity to cast a spotlight on the unacceptable abuses in Sri Lanka,” Clegg said.
“Of course there will be consequences if there is not a change in conduct of the Sri Lankan authorities,” added Clegg, standing in for Prime Minister David Cameron during parliament’s weekly question and answer session.
Britain’s Foreign Office was not immediately available to outline what consequences Clegg was referring to.
Sri Lankan government officials have repeatedly rejected accusations of human rights violations.
Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague are expected to attend the bi-annual Commonwealth meeting, and in a break with tradition, Prince Charles will represent Queen Elizabeth, who usually attends but is now, aged 87, cutting down on long-distance travel.
The summit is a meeting of leaders mostly from former British colonies, where issues including trade, development and human rights are discussed.
As well as human rights violations, Clegg said media freedom had been suppressed and legal professionals attacked.
Last month, Human Rights Watch called on the summit to be shifted from Sri Lanka, warning the Commonwealth will face “ridicule” if the meeting goes ahead.
Amnesty International has said Sri Lanka is intensifying a crackdown on critics, creating a “climate of fear”, an accusation the Sri Lankan government rejected. (Reuters)
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Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg and Mr Harper are wooing the tamil diaspora votes in their countries.
So did Hillary Clinton…
Don’t pay too much attention to this guy. Both his party and him will be in political wilderness for a very long time after the next general election in the UK. Most of the time in current council and by-elections his party is pushed to 5th place and lose the deposit as well.
He is the one who promised free university education during the election campaign and then voted to increase the fees from 3000 pounds to 7000-9000 pounds a year and said “Had we known we would be in government, we would not have given such a promise!”
HE Mahinda Rajapaksa solved the problem of eternal change in Governments lead by parties that have no clue on how to lead the country.
Under the Rajapaksa Brothers our nation is blessed with a leadership based on Mahinda Chinthana and Theravada Buddhism. The war against Tamils was completed in May 2009. The moral regeneration is now being lead by Sri Lanka’s Dalai Lama, Rev Golgoda Atthhe Gnanasara Thera. The economic growth is lead by Governer Cabraal.
We are on the path to being the only Theravada Buddhist Theocracy in the whole world.
We are on the path to being the Wonder of Asia.
Aren’t we fortunate in having stable political leadership of the Rajapaksa Brothers?
From the UK The Telegraph:
…..Mr Clegg, the deputy prime minister and Lib Dem leader, insisted his party was were “holding our own” in many areas as it moved from being a party of protest to a party of government.
His soothing message attempted to put a poor night in a more favourable light after the party lost a quarter of its councillors in the 35 authorities being contested in England and Wales.
But it was the scale of the party’s failure in the South Shields parliamentary by-election that capped a bad set of results.
The Lib Dem candidate in David Miliband’s former seat, Hugh Annand, secured just 352 votes, 1.4 per cent of the vote. He came seventh behind an independent, a BNP candidate and an independent socialist, and lost his deposit.
Tim Farron, the Lib Dem president, said the by-election had been “shocking” but insisted that the party was taking seats from the Conservatives in council elections.
Thanks for the valuable info regarding the tottering Cameron Government.
There’s also the Governmemnt in Australia which is facing total anhillation in Australia. The Gillrd Government is so unpopular that they may lose a presence in parliament at the next elections in Sept 2013.
Their Foreign Minister was picked up from the retiree dump a couple of months ago and this fossil is proudly claiming he has “no evidence of any abuse in Sri Lanka”. This guy should have his head examined (not in Australia but overseas). This guy is hoping to go to Medamulana in Nov and rub shoulders with the rapists and murderers who are regional political leaders in Hambantota.
The Australians are a dumb lot. The Australian Government approved suspected war criminal samarasinghe as the Ambassador. the Australian Govt is ignoring a report from their own Police Force that leading top ranking Govt Officials closely related to the ruling clan of being involved in organising the boats to Australia. Since january this year, 126 boats carrying 8000 “refugees” have arrived in australia. the esimated earnings of people smugglers since jan 2012 is $350millon. Who is cheating who, Indra.
A very good analysis. Spot on. The current budget deficit in Australia is said to be $20 billion and $10 billion of it is attributed to the unexpected resources required to look after the illicit arrivals sent over with official sanction! The Aussies are supposed to be frothing!