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

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news