World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


A Black Mark in the Commonwealth's History

A Black Mark in the Commonwealth's History

30 October, 2011

The Commonwealth has decided not to reassess Sri Lanka’s suitability to host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2013. This decision runs contrary to the association’s fundamental values of human rights and democracy, and has pushed the Commonwealth to the lowest point in its history.

In 2009, Commonwealth Heads of Governments deferred Sri Lanka’s proposal to host CHOGM 2011 for two years. Little has changed since then. Instead, human rights concerns have increased significantly and the Sri Lankan regime’s response has been denial and defiance rather than genuine efforts at accountability and recompense.

An Expert Panel appointed by the UN Secretary-General in June 2009 called for independent international investigations after it found credible allegations of humanitarian law violations and egregious war crimes - domestic efforts to investigate them were considered weak and inadequate.

The Commonwealth, however, has chosen to turn a blind eye to the widely publicised allegations. The few Commonwealth member states that have expressed some concern have been resolutely opposed by strong voices that prefer to paper over the serious situation. By allowing Sri Lanka to confidently go on to host CHOGM 2013, and subsequently become chair of the association, the Commonwealth has clearly indicated its future direction, squandering the Perth CHOGM which once held so much potential. It has now openly proclaimed that it is no longer capable of landmark human rights stances, as demonstrated by its historic activism against Apartheid.

A Commonwealth position that legitimises the human rights situation in Sri Lanka may in the very near future delegitimise the Commonwealth fatally and forever.

Without a strong commitment to human rights, the Commonwealth cannot be of any relevance to its two billion people. The Commonwealth’s stance on Sri Lanka in the run up to CHOGM 2013 will indicate whether there is any chance that the organisation can salvage itself from this substantial tear in its moral fabric. If CHOGM 2013 takes place in Sri Lanka without credible justice and accountability, it will do irretrievable damage to the Commonwealth’s raison d’etre its fundamental values.

Follow CHRI on Twitter: http://twitter.com/chri_INT*
Join CHRI on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chridelhi*
Join South Asian Right to Information Advocates Network (SARTIAN): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sartianetwork/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The French Election Result

Macron is shaping as the third major test case, after Bill Clinton, after Tony Blair – on whether the aim of ‘progressive social policy’ and realities of ‘neo-liberal economic settings’ can be made to credibly co-exist within the same sentence, let alone within the decrees from the Elysee Palace. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Snap Election In Britain

The election call is entirely opportunistic and self-serving and will – regardless of the outcome – put Britain in a worse negotiating position for managing its Brexit. More>>

Turkey: Observers Say Erdogan’s Constitutional Referendum Flawed

Lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms created unlevel playing field in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, international observers say. More>>

ALSO:

Westminster: NZ PM Condemns London Attack

“London is a place many thousands of New Zealanders have visited and called home, and where many more have friends and family based, so this attack feels very close to home,” Mr English says. More>>

ALSO:

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news