The Commonwealth of Nations is a dying Institution. Australia and Canada if they continue their false Human rights mission demanding progress in human rights in Sri Lanka, without which they would boycott the commonwealth Summit in Colombo, they may only accelerate its demise.
Both Australia and Canada who have suddenly awakened to human rights issue should open their old cupboards to see the hidden frightening skeletons that speak a lot of their own past records of human rights. Australian Green Party is trying to become a political force perhaps benefitting from the largess of the Sri Lanka Terrorist Front Organisations in Australia.
Australian Green’s Senator Lee Rhiannon (Senator for New South Wales) should instead of barging, on the advice of the Clergyman Emmanuel of the Global Tamil Forum, into unknown territories demanding to drop Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth should look into the Australian aborigine issue to allow them the right to climb the social ladder of equality among all citizens in their own country and have more political power, better education facilities and a share in the country’s wealth.
In Sri Lanka the aborigines have equal rights and their living conditions are being looked after more than the Australians doing their lot to the upliftment of the Australian Aborigines. The Aborigines of Australia still do not share full citizenship rights as the white Australians. The voting rights of the Aborigines have been vastly restricted. It is only very recently that one or two aborigines have been elected to Provincial Councils or the Parliament.
Canada is not second to Australia. The Canadian Indians are not provided with equal opportunities, and yet the Canadian Prime Minister dare speak of the human rights violation of the Sri Lanka Army in their military operations against terrorism and threatening to boycott the Commonwealth Meeting in Sri Lanka if there is no progress in human rights. Canadian Indians are bound by the Indian Act which is a restriction of the freedom of a section of its citizens.
It had been an uphill task for many Canadians like John Corbière who fought to seek equality of Canadian Citizenship for the Canadian Indians along side the white Canadians. In the dedication of a report “ Justice is Equality, prepared by the Congress of Aboriginal People” reads :
“This report is dedicated to John Corbière, whose courage, persistence, commitment, and personal struggle on behalf of off-reserve people achieved the near impossible - the demolition of a portion of Canada's colonial and discriminatory Indian Act. We are honored to continue his fight, in the hope that the thousands of our people who continue their daily struggles to overcome the real barriers created by Canada's own "Berlin Wall" will eventually be able to move freely throughout Canada without the weight of the Indian Act breaking their backs and spirits. Thank you, John. It was a job well done. ”
Commonwealth of Nations when it was organized was called a “family of Nations”. As all Western Institutions it was floated with high principles, but used to inflict pain to poor and feeble, to enrich rich powerful and the influential.
The Commonwealth of Nations consists of 54 member states which were former British colonies except for Mozambique and Rwanda. It is an Intergovernmental Organization with its member states considered equal in status without distinction of colour, country, or wealth..
It has a number of other non-governmental Organizations such as the Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Games, collectively called the Commonwealth Family. They strengthen the shared culture of the Commonwealth through common sports, literary heritage, political and legal practices , hence they are not considered foreign to each other and their diplomatic missions are designated as High Commissions. It is what is said about the Commonwealth of Nations.
But to what extent is there any cooperation or willingness to help one another, politically or otherwise to settle problems and foster unity among the Nations of the Commonwealth. If there were any “family ties” among the Nations of the Commonwealth, they should have become apparent when Sri Lanka was being battered by terrorism to separate its people and territory.
But instead of supporting “a family member of the Commonwealth of nations”, David Milliband of UK was getting together pro terrorist Governments, Hillary Clinton of USA, Bernard Kouchner of France, Eric Solheim of Norway, Carl Bildt of Sweden and others to stop the military operations against the terrorists. But they did not at any time during the 30 years of terrorism intervene to give a helping hand to the Government of Sri Lanka either for a peace settlement or for a military solution.
And when the government of Sri Lanka determined to finish with terrorism under which it suffered for 30 years, without any help from the Commonwealth of Nations or any of the pro-terrorist USA and European Nations, these very same nations along with other Countries of the Commonwealth continue to attack Sri Lanka for war crimes they suppose the Government Armed Forces had committed in the process of the elimination of terrorism.
Now two years after the elimination of terrorism in Sri Lanka, and thousands of innocent Civilians murdered by the NATO forces in Libya, unknown numbers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, our “ Commonwealth Family Member” - Canada comes forward threatening to boycott Commonwealth Games in Sri Lanka if Sri Lanka does not show progress in human rights, and demanding an investigation by an International Commission..
This call comes despite our repeated assertion that we have a Committee of highly respected Elders of our own, making an investigation which is unbiased and objective, which we in Sri Lanka cannot expect from a foreign Committee of Investigation.
Though Stephen Harper the Prime Minister of Canada jumps like a jack-in-the-box ,calling for progress in human rights in Sri Lanka, Canada itself has no clean record with regard to violation of human rights.
In a Blog Dedicated To Anti-Corruption Practices And Human Rights Violations,
It states that in , “…. Exposing the Canadian government's human rights abuse. Its disregard for respecting the International Standards on Human Rights. The corruption that is also pervasive in its politics. The targeting of individuals and marginalized groups. Focusing on its human rights abuse, such as the torture and abuse, of the rights, of those it has targeted, including the author of this blog.”
In Global Research.ca, an article, “ Canadian Government Rocked by Accusations of Abuse, Torture of Afghan Prisoners. “ by Roger Annis, it is stated :
“The charges were made by Richard Colvin, a highly placed diplomat in the Canadian embassy in Kabul during 2005-07, the years when Canada escalated its military role in Afghanistan.
Colvin testified on November 18 before the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on National Defense that he had sent more than 15 reports to his political superiors and the military high command warning that Canadian forces were complicit in the abuse and torture of Afghans it had detained. He said the practice of handing detainees over to Afghan authorities and then turning a blind eye to their treatment not only violated international law, but would also do incalculable damage to Canada’s role in the Afghan war and its reputation among the Afghan people.”
So when Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, says , “….. if he does not see human rights progress in Sri Lanka, he will boycott the 2013 Commonwealth summit in Colombo,” we would ask him first to put his own house in order .
Stephen Harper cannot exonerate himself for violation of human rights in Canada. And the Commonwealth has to ask why Canada should not be suspended from membership in the Commonwealth of Nations for allowing Canadian Forces to be complicit in the abuse and torture of Afghans.