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Holding Commonwealth summit here approves of its un-democracy-Mangala

2013 Jul 08

Holding the Commonwealth summit in Colombo, without proven commitment from the Sri Lankan Government to the values and principles of democracy, would grant the Commonwealth seal of approval to an emerging dictatorship in Asia, warns Mangala Samaraweera, former Foreign Minister and United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian.

He has said the Commonwealth was active in Sri Lanka, in advancing Commonwealth values including human rights, the media, judiciary and building mutual respect and understanding within communities.

“The Commonwealth wanting to make a practical difference in Sri Lanka is indeed most welcome,” Mr. Samaraweera says, in response to Mr. Sharma. “However, for many of us who are living not afar, but in Sri Lanka, we find it rather difficult to share your optimism, as Sri Lanka seems to be moving away from the values which you claim that the Commonwealth is advancing even now.”

“The day-to-day practical reality is that, Sri Lanka continues to violate with impunity, all 16 values of the Commonwealth Charter in varying degrees, and we, in Sri Lanka, experience firsthand, the present Sri Lankan government’s contempt for democratic values, the rule of law and the sanctity of life,” Mr. Samaraweera says in a letter to Mr. Sharma.

The human rights situation in Sri Lanka shows no signs of improvement, he says. “The casual manner in which the death of persons in police custody is being treated by the authorities, is an insult to our system of administration of justice,” he asserts. 

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