Sri Lankan 'war crimes' warning for UK PM Cameron

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Ray, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Sri Lankan 'war crimes' warning for UK PM Cameron

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    David Cameron has been warned by the Sri Lankan government not to quiz them over alleged war crimes in 2009.

    The prime minister has rejected calls to boycott a Commonwealth summit in the country, saying he would use his visit to raise its human rights record.

    But the Sri Lankans said he had no right to bring it up as he had not been invited on that basis.

    Mr Cameron is also holding trade talks with his Indian counterpart, who is among those avoiding the summit.

    Manmohan Singh is joined by the prime ministers of Canada and Mauritius, who are staying away in protest over allegations that the regime of Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaska carried out war crimes at the end of a civil war with Tamil separatists four years ago.

    'Independent state'

    Tamil representatives and the Labour opposition urged Mr Cameron to join the boycott, but the UK PM argues he can achieve more by using his attendance to "shine a spotlight" on "some of the human rights issues".

    But the Sri Lankans reacted angrily to that suggestion.

    "The invitation to Prime Minister David Cameron was not based on that," minister of mass media and communications Keheliya Rambukwella told the BBC.

    "We are a sovereign nation. You think someone can just make a demand from Sri Lanka?


    The BBC's James Robbins says the PM's determination to put human rights in the spotlight will be tested
    "We are not a colony. We are an independent state."

    Asked about the comments, Mr Cameron maintained he was right to raise questions, adding: "That's exactly what I'll be doing."

    The UN estimates that 40,000 civilians were killed in the last five months of the 26-year conflict but the Sri Lankan authorities deny responsibility.

    British media in Sri Lanka who have been asking questions about the government's human rights record have struggled to get answers.

    A Channel 4 documentary team was forced to give up on reaching the north of the south Asian state after being stopped by pro-government demonstrators.

    Many critical Sri Lankan journalists have been murdered, the BBC's diplomatic correspondent James Robbins says.

    Mr Cameron, who arrived in Delhi on Wednesday en route to the summit, is expected to unveil trade deals with India.

    He is also seeking to promote the UK as a destination for Indian students and companies.

    BBC News - Sri Lankan 'war crimes' warning for UK PM Cameron

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    It is indeed a sad commentary for Sri Lanka.

    They are spending immense sums to make the CHOGM a success and all they are achieving is brickbats.
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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