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BOYCOTT CHOGM, tell Sri Lanka that M'sia won't tolerate inhumane acts - Kasthuri to PM

2013 Oct 25

BOYCOTT CHOGM, tell Sri Lanka that M'sia won't tolerate inhumane acts - Kasthuri to PM

In the year 1976, Malaysia along with other counterparts like India, Liberia, Mauritius, Philippines, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Swaziland and Yugoslavia courageously withdrew their participants from the Miss World pageant as a sign of protest against the apartheid system exercised in South Africa with the presence of a black Miss South Africa and a white Miss South Africa. Malaysia may have been a small country but it sent a strong message that it dared to stand on the same platform as other countries to uphold what is true, righteous and just.

37 years later Malaysia as part of the Commonwealth nation will be attending the 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November hosted by Sri Lanka, a country that has unremittingly denied its involvement in genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity as seen in the past decades against the minority Tamils.

Members of Parliament from DAP, PKR and PAS as well as NGOs have vehemently been opposing these acts of genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity by the Sri Lankan government and have been demanding that independent investigations be done against these atrocious crimes.

Oppression and tyranny continues to dominate the society and government security forces act like little Napoleons taking the law into their own hands. Rape, sexual violence and its victims and detainees continue to be voiceless as the government maintains its innocence. According to a United Nations panel of experts, over 40,000 people have died in the civil war between the minority Tamils and the might of the Sinha regime.

After focusing hostility on the Tamils, now the Sri Lankan government has turned its vengeance to its minority Muslims and Christians in the form of hardliners who have been given some form of immunity to continue their attacks on other ethnicities in Sri Lanka. Mosques have been vandalized, attacked and in some cases closing down a mosque by mobs and hardliners as well including a violent campaign calling for the boycott of ‘halal-certified’ meat. From anti-Tamil to anti-Muslim, violent attacks on ethnicities keep arising but the government has chosen to take a back seat to investigate and address the violation of human rights in the highest order. Around 160 incidents of violence targeting Muslims have been reported this year.

Although Sri Lanka has embarked on a ‘reconciliation agenda’ however it is highly doubtful if this intention will hold any water judging by the way it has treated its citizens.

To date, Canada is the only country to have made its stand to has boycott attending this conference whereas the UK Prime Minister will attend it to express the stand of the British government that Sri Lanka needs to make concrete progress on human rights, reconciliation and political settlement, and also to improve its deplorable record on human rights and a commitment to good governance.

Malaysia had made a bold stand once to protest against the apartheid system in 1976 but why not now against crimes against humanity that has gone unanswered.

DAP urges Malaysia under the helm of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as a member of the OIC and CHOGM in his cries that Malaysia has the ‘best democracy in the world’ to boycott attending the CHOGM meeting as a sign of solidarity with Canada in pressuring the Sri Lankan government to admit and come clean in violence against minorities.


Kasthuriraani Patto

Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan


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