Commonwealth Conference: Contemptible Start with Pungent End

Commonwealth_Heads_of_Government_Meeting_2013_logoBy Zaheerul Hassan

The 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) has been held in the capital city of Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 15th – 17th November 2013. The last CHOGM was held in 2011 in Perth, Australia and the first ever CHOGM was held in 1971 in Singapore.

The Commonwealth is an organisation consisting of former colonies of the British Empire with the Queen as the head. It is the biennial summit meeting of the heads of government from all Commonwealth nations. The aim and objectives of the organisation are to work for Democracy, Economics, Education, Gender, Governance, Human Rights, Law, Small States, Sport, Sustainability, and Youth.  Recently held conference was aiming to bring trade and assist Sri Lanka in   developing civil war affected region of Jaffna. The war has been imposed on Sri Lanka by India which continued for over 37 years.

Anyhow, two major countries by design leveled allegations of war crimes against Sri Lanka. Similarly, leaders of Canada, India and Mauritius stayed away from the summit, in protest over Sri Lanka’s rights record against ethnic minority Tamils. In fact; UK in collaboration with India has run a campaign with a view to screened Indian criminality against Sri Lanka. However, Pakistan participated in the conference and her assistance in restoring war affected areas of Sri Lanka.  In short, the summit failed to focus on equitable economic growth and debt relief for smaller countries. The temperature went further high when Britain’s David Cameron directly criticized Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and alleged his government’s troops for killing 40,000 civilians at the end of the ethnic conflict.  In fact, UK Prime Minister deliberately ignored Indian involvement in promoting and backing the world’s most ruthless rebel’s leader Velupilla Pabhakaran Chief of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Probably, US influenced Britain desire to give leading role in this subcontinent against China and Pakistan.   Instead the summit was dogged by a public dispute “It was not a success,” said Ronald Sanders, a former Caribbean diplomat from Guyana who is now a senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London.   At a final heated press conference, media ignored Commonwealth spokesman Richard Uko’s plea not to focus on the rights issue, while the editor of a pro-government Sri Lankan newspaper accused Uk of a “sinister conspiracy” of only taking questions from the foreign press. Charu Lata Hogg, from international affairs think-tank Chatham House in London, stated that the Commonwealth’s decision not to tackle the issue head-on damaged its credibility.

On Friday, he is visiting northern areas of Sri Lanka which saw the worst of the fighting between soldiers and ethnic Tamils. In May 2009 Sri Lanka’s army defeated the separatist Tamil Tigers after almost 37 years of brutal and bloody civil war. Thousands of innocent Tamils and Sri Lankan forces have been killed during last few years. Young army officers determinedly fought insurgency and thrown it out from the country. On 61 national day of Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapakse expressed that shadows of terrorism have almost been wiped out with the last remnants of the cornered in a patch of jungle in the islands northeast. At that time, he further stressed while saying “I am confident that the Tigers will be completely defeated in a few days,”. Thus Sri Lankan forces played their final episode and have defeated 37 years old Asian longest insurgency and eliminated LTTE’s Chief Prabhakaran too. It was 1979 when LTTE has been established with the support of RAW. Sri Lanka even though made many efforts to resolve the issue peacefully but India remained fully involved in backing LTTE and never let the former allowed to go for negotiations. Prabhakaran who began his fight for a separate state for Sri Lanka’s minority Tamils slowly and gradually has became strong rebel leader and started struggle for an independent Tamil State. The Lankan Leaders were in the opinion that the situation much worse than what it was during the 1987. In 1986/87 full throttle have been imparted to the movement by RAW while establishing 32 LTTE training camp in Kulathur, Salem district, India, By mid 1987, over 20,000 Sri Lankan Tamil insurgents had been provided sanctuary.  A time came when probably Rajiv Gandhi came to know about the real motives of Tamil’s leader. He asked his world’s notorious agency RAW to pull her hand out from the Tamils. Rajiv Gandhi also ordered the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to fight the LTTE because he realized that Indian government made a blunder while supporting LTTE. The Prime Minster stance was totally against the secret agenda of RAW and thus agency totally behaved opposite and deliberately helped in assassination of her Prime Minister through Prabhakaran. The LTTE chief was arrested but released on bail leaving behind a big questioned mark. Basically his bail was arranged by RAW to launch him again for attaining their mission of establishing an independent state of Tamil on Sri Lanka’s piece of land. Maddrass High Court though issued Death Warrants of Prabhakaran earlier but he never been apprehended by professional intelligence agency of India.

India has taken “U Turn “when she came to know that Sri Lankan forces are determined to up root their launched plan and Tamils started facing defeat continuously. The basic aim of India was to keep the Tamils away from the idea of establishing Independent Tamil State on majority’s area i.e. Indian Territory. For this RAW pitched them against Sinhalies and has bluffed innocent Tamils. The Indian Armed forces used to carry out brutality against Tamils and as per Indian peace keeping forces (IPKF) never felt hesitation of raping Tamil’s women. There are many officers like Lt. Col. Srikant Prasad Purohit who murdered and raped innocent women and Tamil’s male members of the families.

Commonwealth countries like UK, Canada and Mauritius should have condemned India for interference in Sri Lanka, violation of human rights against Kashmiris, Maoists and Sikhs.  The organisation is now playing in the hands of West and America. It failed to attain her objectives and put her credibility at stake while taking care of the interests of India, Canada and UK.   The writer can be approached through

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