O Canada- why can’t we be more like you?

The Canadian government has vehemently condemned Sri Lanka’s hosting of this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. They have quite rightly branded the awarding of the meeting as “appalling”. The reason, for those unaware, being the Sri Lankan governments conduct of the civil war, where it conducted a genocide of Tamil civilians, and its ongoing repression of any dissent. There is yet to be an effective neutral inquiry into the conduct of the war, where the government repeatedly shelled no fire zones filled with refugees and aid workers. Yet most Commonwealth governments are happy to continue to maintain political and cultural relationships with a nations which is behaving in a similar fashion towards sections of its own populace to apartheid South Africa or Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, which incidently led to the latter being expelled from the Commonwealth. The Australian government, along with all other Commonwealth nations, ought to condemn Sri Lanka’s human rights record, rather than tacitly condoning it by attending this meeting. Indeed, they ought to be questioning the very place of Sri Lanka in the Commonwealth.

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2 thoughts on “O Canada- why can’t we be more like you?

  1. Alex Braae

    I agree with you to an extent, Sri Lanka must conduct some form of Truth and Reconciliation process if it is ever going to move on from the civil war, and so far there is little evidence that will happen. You cannot simply sweep events like that under the carpet.

    On the other hand though, the government were fighting a civil war against an incredibly determined rebel group. That was simply never going to end peacefully, as there had been so many decades of bloodshed, temporary peace and then more bloodshed before. The actions of the government were reprehensible, but in terms of them defending their existence as the legitimate rulers of Sri Lanka, rational.

    Reply

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