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New crises mean John Key must join boycott of CHOGM

11 November 2013

Media Release:

New crises mean John Key must join boycott of CHOGM in Sri Lanka

The detention of Green MP Jan Logie for two hours by Sri Lankan officials and the refusal to allow her to speak with Sri Lankan media underlines why John Key must join the growing boycott of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting due to start in Sri Lanka this Friday.

The treatment of Jan Logie is an insult to all New Zealanders. Prime Minister John Key should withdraw and help preserve our self-respect as well as let the world know we take human rights seriously.”

“If the regime acts in this way towards high profile foreigners then just think how it reacts towards any locals critical of the regime.”

The withdrawal of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a welcome addition to the boycott list after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper previously withdrew citing massive and on-going human rights abuses.”

The commonwealth’s largest country has now withdrawn – one of its smallest, New Zealand, should follow suit.”

Giving Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa a place in the international spotlight will adding insult to injury for the tens of thousands of Sri Lankan families who have been victims of war crimes and on-going human rights abuses.

According to the United Nations, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s army oversaw the indiscriminate killing of between 40,000 and 70,000 ethnic Tamil civilians in 2009.

Rajapaksa is a war criminal with blood on his hands. As President he has refused all calls for an international inquiry into the indiscriminate bombing of civilians, summary executions, torture and murder which took place under his command. The evidence is incontrovertible with many video clips showing what took place in Sri Lanka’s killing fields.

If John Key goes to CHOGM he will be giving great comfort to the worst war criminal of this century.

“We reject the argument that human rights concerns are best delivered in person. A few weasel words behind closed doors will do nothing for the Tamil community of Sri Lanka.”


© Scoop Media

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