"Racial supremacist ideology thriving in Sri Lanka"

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 12 October 2011, 04:51 GMT]
"The status of Sri Lanka in the 21st century is of a political elite triumphantly thriving on racial supremacy ideology....CHOGM is the perfect opportunity to challenge Rajapaksa over his government's wilful murder of Tamils under the guise of defeating terrorism. It is arguable whether he should even be allowed into the country but if he arrives in Perth he should be made to realise that he has the blood of innocents on his hands," said Antony Loewenstein, an Australian independent journalist who sits on the advisory council of the UK-based Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, in the ABC's online column Wednesday.

The international community has a moral and legal responsibility to hold Sri Lanka to account. Failing this basic task will merely encourage other states engaged in a "war on terror", from America to Israel and Yemen to Afghanistan, to act with impunity against civilians, the Loewenstein article said.

The article quoted excerpts from a letter signed by the world's leading human rights groups sent to the Commonwealth foreign ministers which said:
    We are gravely concerned about the ongoing discussions on holding the 2013 CHOGM in Sri Lanka. At the 2009 CHOGM, Sri Lanka's candidature for hosting the meeting was deferred from 2011 to2013 because of concerns about human rights abuses by the Sri Lankan government. While war-time abuses have ended, the situation in Sri Lanka continues to be characterised by serious human rights violations, including assault on democratic institutions, such as the media and trade unions.

    The Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary-General to advise him on the status of allegations of war crimes during the last weeks of the conflict in Sri Lanka has concluded that serious abuses were committed by the government and by the LTTE, and warrant an international investigation.
The statement called on Sri Lanka to implement numerous changes before it would be awarded hosting honours in 2013. Furthermore, Sri Lanka is keen to host the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and the Commonwealth itself, never known to be overly pro-active against human rights abusers, is being asked to not consider Colombo's application, the article said.

Loewenstein also noted the round table conference Federal Greens MP Lee Rhiannon convened, called for a suspension of Sri Lanka from Commonwealth, and observed that Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper recently announced that he intended "to make clear to my fellow leaders at the Commonwealth that if we do not see progress in Sri Lanka in terms of human rights… I will not as prime minister be attending that Commonwealth summit [in 2013].". Harper also strongly backed calls for an independent investigation of alleged war crimes during the war.


External Links:
ABC: CHOGM a chance to hold Sri Lanka to account

 

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