The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a powerful Tamil diaspora lobby group operating from London, is continuing to push for a boycott of the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo.
Rev. Dr S.J. Emmanuel, the President of GTF, in a letter addressed to the Commonwealth heads of governments, says the 2013 CHOGM summit will seriously weaken the Commonwealth’s commitments to core principles of human rights and democracy.
He says even powerful figures like the former military commander and 2010 Presidential candidate, Sarath Fonseka, and Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake, have been imprisoned or, in the latter case, illegally removed from office for challenging the government.
GTF says 2013 is not only an important year for Sri Lanka, but a vital moment for the future credibility of the Commonwealth.
“It is astounding that a Government accused of involvement in war crimes and of complicity in continuing human rights abuses will then sit on bodies, such as the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, mandated to deal with serious and persistent violations of the Commonwealth’s fundamental values, the GTF President said.
He urged Commonwealth leaders to prevail upon the Government of Sri Lanka, in the strongest possible terms, the need to end the culture of impunity, to restore the rule of law and to comply with its international obligations to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of its people.