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UK warns SL on abuses before C’wealth summit

15 May 2013 04:05 pm - 36     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Wednesday there would be "consequences" for Sri Lanka if its leaders did not address international concerns over human rights abuses, ahead of a Commonwealth summit scheduled to be held in Colombo in November.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told parliament "despicable human rights violations" had taken place in Sri Lanka, but that Britain still planned to attend the Commonwealth meeting there, a stance that has drawn heavy criticism from rights groups.

Sri Lanka has repeatedly rejected calls for an independent, international investigation into accusations of war crimes committed during the war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that ended in May 2009.

Tens of thousands of civilians, mostly Tamils, were killed in the final months of the war, a U.N. panel has said.

"All of us accept the controversy around this, accept the unease around this, but what we'll be doing by attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka is using the opportunity to cast a spotlight on the unacceptable abuses in Sri Lanka," Clegg said.

"Of course there will be consequences if there is not a change in conduct of the Sri Lankan authorities," added Clegg, standing in for Prime Minister David Cameron during parliament's weekly question and answer session.

Britain's Foreign Office was not immediately available to outline what consequences Clegg was referring to.

Sri Lankan government officials have repeatedly rejected accusations of human rights violations.

Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague are expected to attend the bi-annual Commonwealth meeting, and in a break with tradition, Prince Charles will represent Queen Elizabeth, who usually attends but is now, aged 87, cutting down on long-distance travel.

The summit is a meeting of leaders mostly from former British colonies, where issues including trade, development and human rights are discussed.

As well as human rights violations, Clegg said media freedom had been suppressed and legal professionals attacked.

Last month, Human Rights Watch called on the summit to be shifted from Sri Lanka, warning the Commonwealth will face "ridicule" if the meeting goes ahead.

Amnesty International has said Sri Lanka is intensifying a crackdown on critics, creating a "climate of fear", an accusation the Sri Lankan government rejected. (Source: courant.com)

  Comments - 36

  • kumar Thursday, 16 May 2013 06:56 AM

    Only warnings No action.

    ind Thursday, 16 May 2013 03:34 AM

    That's all they can do as they too violating HR at even higher rate.

    Fayad Thursday, 16 May 2013 05:46 AM

    Please cancel the commonwealth summit because we can't incur the cost & pay you later with interest

    RamUK Thursday, 16 May 2013 06:46 AM

    u r mad with LTTE phenomena consult a doctor..

    Paul Thursday, 16 May 2013 06:45 AM

    This is cool suddenly this lame duck has also found a voice on Sri Lanka. Look into your own stuff before you point fingers at us at your next debut.

    Uditha Thursday, 16 May 2013 06:45 AM

    mate grow up and take off your lion mask.
    You make people sick!

    kumar Thursday, 16 May 2013 06:48 AM

    Seems that you can't forget your old job. it's natural.

    kumar Thursday, 16 May 2013 06:50 AM

    Yes but part of the civilized world I think?

    kumar Thursday, 16 May 2013 06:55 AM

    You are correct let us invite the International investigators to come and investigate about the those killing as well.

    ind Thursday, 16 May 2013 03:33 AM

    First hey must clean their houses before preaching others.

    Abr Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:27 AM

    Forget about other people's houses what the west is forcing this govt will benefit us the normal citizen

    idroos2002 Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:30 AM

    This is what would happen if the minorities rights and other human rights are trampled . If the minorities are satisfied no powers can enter sri lanka this is the fact

    papadam Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:33 AM

    What about the HR violations of UK ??
    Ur soldiers kill innocent civilians in afghan & Iraq ! When Israel was slaughtering women and children , where was ur voice ??
    A real hypocrite !
    The US & UK have killed the MOST amount of ppl around the world !!

    Nodrog Thursday, 16 May 2013 08:18 AM

    The only message that is clear is that even the Brit politicians can be bought by promise of votes.

    Foxen Thursday, 16 May 2013 08:31 AM

    Do not take notice of him.vasse pathata ooya man like Wimal. Uk wimal

    UK Resident Thursday, 16 May 2013 12:22 PM

    I wouldnt pay much attention to someone who will be out of a job after the next election.

    sahdi Thursday, 16 May 2013 04:24 PM


    Up Thursday, 16 May 2013 01:26 AM

    Continue to say Hell Hello . When you start to hear then it is too late.

    Crow Wednesday, 15 May 2013 04:31 PM

    Hello Hello Hello !! I could not get you. Sorry i could not listen Hello! Sorry Sir.

    Saskia Wednesday, 15 May 2013 04:32 PM

    Thanks a lot for this clear and strong message to SL. Please attend the Common wealth summit in Colombo and rise this issue and push the SL government to do a transparent and credible war crime investigation.

    expat Thursday, 16 May 2013 12:00 AM

    what about the innocent civilian casualties at the hands of the British in Iraq & Afghanistan? via DM Android App

    penny Thursday, 16 May 2013 12:08 AM

    These people have no idea about the war or have nay independent opinion about it. Just trying to please the Tamil votes in their electorates in UK.

    Suq Madique Thursday, 16 May 2013 12:36 AM

    What a hoot! One of the biggest perpetrators of HR violations in the world preaching to us while they still accommodate LTTE organizations on their own soil.

    malli Thursday, 16 May 2013 12:54 AM

    ...........and SL thought that they have got away from blame when the summit is to be held in SL.

    Saman Thursday, 16 May 2013 01:02 AM

    SL is not a British Colony anymore. So please mind your language mister.

    Critic Roshan Thursday, 16 May 2013 01:16 AM

    Mr.Nick, first you should realize for most of Sri Lanka problems Britishers are the cause. Think deep.

    King Kong Wednesday, 15 May 2013 04:27 PM

    Coming sign no good

    Hettiarachchi Thursday, 16 May 2013 01:40 AM

    We are now guided by Uganda which has a very clean human rights record from Idi Amin's days.

    Premalal Thursday, 16 May 2013 01:46 AM

    After buying all these Rolls Royce engines and cars?

    Ken Thursday, 16 May 2013 01:47 AM

    Sorry who is UK? We will not allow terrorist like you to lift your ugly head up again or anyone else. The mistakes in the past will never be repeated.

    lionheart Thursday, 16 May 2013 01:52 AM

    Whatever the outcome, you will not get EELAM in Sri Lanka. Until that fact is absorbed into your peanut brain, you can keep commenting from abroad during your off hours of cleaning white mans toilets in foriegn land.

    nathen Thursday, 16 May 2013 01:56 AM

    What about the countless massacres done by the ltte of Sinhala villagers. Has anyone talked about that? What about the Buddhist monks who were killed in Anuradhapura. Did anyone talk about that? These are just two examples of the crimes committed by the terrorist. I’m proud that the Sri Lankan Gov is taking a very strong stand in this matter. Do not bow your head to UK,US and other countries who are trying to put pressure on the Gov. They have their own problems which they cannot solve and explain to their own people and they are just trying to divert attention to this matter.

    Pro Thursday, 16 May 2013 01:58 AM

    still warning?

    Arul Thursday, 16 May 2013 02:51 AM

    It is nothing to with Eelam. It all about HR. Eg:- Sirani, Murders, Kidnapping etc. You must be living in the parallel universe.

    Bushel Perera Thursday, 16 May 2013 02:55 AM


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