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

 

Israel’s Demolition Of Palestinian Homes

Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. UN Photo/Violaine Martin More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Israeli Settlers Continue Their Attacks against Palestinians
  • Tribespeople Call On WWF To Stop Funding Abuse

    This Baka man from Ndongo village reported that he was severely beaten by anti-poaching squads on two occasions. His neighbors have appealed to WWF to stop funding such abuses. More>>

    Ebola: UN Crisis Response Mission Opens New Office In Mali

    Workers build an enclosure at the Mayagba Ebola community care centre construction site in Bombali District, which is among the areas worst affected by the disease in Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/John James More>>

    ALSO:

    UNESCO Chief Denounces Murder Of Somali Radio Journalist

    Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz More>>

    Palestinian Refugees From Syria Face Worsening Situation

    Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah More>>

    ALSO:

    Greece Risks Prolonged Social Crisis

    Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried More>>

    Madagascar: Warning Of ‘rapid’ Spread Of Plague In Capital

    Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala More>>

    New Bird Flu Strain In Europe Threatens Poultry Sector

    24 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today warned that a new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, especially in low-resourced countries situated along ... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news