Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Government letting trade trump human rights

Behind-the-scenes meeting shows Govt letting trade trump human rights

The National Government is allowing trade to trump human rights, by doing deals with a regime accused of genocide and crimes against humanity, the Green Party said today.

The Green Party’s human rights spokesperson, Jan Logie, has released details of a meeting held in Auckland on May 8 between Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and the External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka.

The meeting, to advance dairy joint ventures, was held despite the UN Human Rights Council’s recent vote in favour of an investigation into alleged war crimes and human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, and ongoing concerns about human rights abuses there.

“The Minister kept the meeting quiet, and I can see why. It is morally wrong to help a regime that has been accused of genocide and war crimes,” said Ms Logie, who was detained in Sri Lanka last year for speaking out against human rights abuses.

“Extending our relationship at this time undermines international efforts to hold the regime to account.”

OIA documents released to the Green Party, and detailing official advice given to Murray McCully ahead of last year’s controversial CHOGM meeting in Colombo, again show the National Government putting trade ahead of human rights.

Despite warnings that “the human rights situation [in Sri Lanka] remains problematic”, that “freedoms for civil society and media are increasingly restricted” and that there is “ongoing discrimination against the Tamil minority” and “discrimination against other minorities as well”, the briefing documents say “CHOGM presents an opportunity to sign the New Zealand-Sri Lanka Dairy Cooperation Arrangement” and stress the importance of bilateral meetings to further the deal.

“The Government is not only ignoring the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, but it’s going a step further and providing diplomatic support to the Sri Lankan regime,” said Jan Logie.

When New Zealand was asked to co-sponsor the motion at the UN for the international war crimes investigation it declined to do so. At the meeting in Auckland, Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister thanked McCully for refraining.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Mullivaikkal Massacre in which tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed, maimed and displaced in the final days of the Sri Lankan Civil War.
Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On War Crimes And The Afghan Insurgency

Truly, with friends like former defence Minster Wayne Mapp, the SAS does not need enemies. At the very least, the Hit and Run book has raised the possibility that the New Zealand SAS committed war crimes in the attack they led in Afghnistan upon the villages of Naik and Khak Khuday Dad...

Mapp’s attempted defence of the SAS on RNZ this morning unintentionally indicated that collective punishment was baked into the planning exercise for the raid, and also into how the raid proceeded on the ground. More>>

 
 

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Water Everywhere

Monday's Post-Cabinet press conference focused on water, with the Prime Minister fielding questions about the possibility pricing water taken for export. Mr English said the government was directing their water allocation technical advisory group to include export water in considerations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news