Channel 4 Video: Cameron mixes diplomacy and strong-arm politics
In Sri Lanka’s Tamil north on day one of the Commonwealth conference, David Cameron tells Channel 4 News he wants to focus on the human rights issues that have dogged the run-up to the summit. [Channel 4]
BBC World News – Sri Lanka, behind the headlines of the Commonwealth summit
The meeting of Commonwealth heads of government has started in Sri Lanka.
But the summit’s attendance list has already narrowed. Leaders of Canada, India and Mauritius have boycotted the gathering. [BBC-TW]
Cameron’s visit boosts morale of war displaced Tamils
by MEERA SRINIVASAN
British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the Sabapathipillai Welfare Centre at Chunnakam, about 10 km from Jaffna town, on Friday. He walked into the narrow lanes with tiny homes adjacent to each other and talked to some residents. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A. Sumanthiran helped with translation. [The Hindu]
Sri Lanka: Cameron meets Tamil leaders during symbolic visit
David Cameron has become the first foreign leader to visit northern Sri Lanka since 1948, where he met leaders of the Tamil minority in the country.
The Tamils’ treatment at the end of the country’s civil war dominated the run-up to the Commonwealth summit, which opened in the capital Colombo earlier. [BBC]
Sri Lanka Police Press Protesters in Colombo
British prime minister David Cameron says he will use the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka to challenge the Sri Lankan president over allegations of abuses by the country’s security forces. [Channel 4-TW]
Boycotting The Commonwealth over human rights in Sri Lanka [The Current-CBC]
Interviewed om the Program:
Frances Harrison is a former BBC Correspondent who spent four years covering Sri Lanka.
Hugh Segal is a Conservative Senator and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to The Commonwealth. He was in Kingston, Ontario.
Chitranganee Wagiswara is Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Canada and joined us from Ottawa.
Criticism of Sri Lanka for the torture of Tamils in the four years since the end of a terrifying war, has Prime Minster Harper and other leaders staying away in protest as The Commonwealth summit is set to begin tomorrow. Today, we look at the sins of Sri Lanka.
Demolition of portion of Mullivaikal Memorial ~ “It is double standard”
courtesy of Ananada Vikatan
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday described the authorities’ action to demolish a portion of the Mullivaikal memorial as a mark of “double standard” of the government.
He told reporters in the affirmative whether the State government, which had got a resolution adopted in the Assembly on the Union government’s decision to participate in CHOGM in Sri Lanka, could be said to be adopting “double standard.” [The Hindu]
Sri Lanka’s ghosts haunt the summit it’s about to host
Report by Bill Neely
You won’t find this beach in any glossy tourist brochure on Sri Lanka. It’s not the image of paradise the island’s government wants to sell you.
Hell more like it. Or at least it was four years ago, and it’s still littered with the debris of the mass exodus and killing that took place here. [ITV]
Newshour: Sri Lanka – Jonathan Miller on being turned back by angry mobs
In Sri Lanka a team from Britain’s Channel Four TV News was blocked from travelling to the north of the country today – after their train was surrounded by hundreds of angry government supporters. Quite a day for Channel 4′s Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Miller as he told Newshour’s James Coomarasamy [Audio via soundcloud]
Why are you interfering with the freedom of the press in this way?
James Robbins reports from Sri Lanka for PM, BBC Radio 4 [BBC]
Tamils stopped en route to Colombo before Commonwealth summit
More than 100 Tamils whose family members disappeared during or after Sri Lanka’s civil war have been prevented from travelling to Colombo as the city hosts a Commonwealth summit.
The military stopped their buses from leaving the north en route to a human rights festival in the capital. [BBC]
People ‘putting themselves at risk’
President Mahinda Rajapaksa tells Channel 4 News he is “not concerned” by allegations of war crimes – but Jonathan Miller says people in Sri Lanka could be at risk after speaking to the programme. [CH 4]
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has not spoken to President Mahinda Rajapaksa
by MEERA SRINIVASAN
Contrary to reports that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will call up Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to explain why he could not attend the Commonwealth summit, the two leaders have not spoken on the phone since New Delhi firmed up its decision, it is reliably learnt.
Sources in the Indian mission here said Dr. Singh’s letter, expressing his inability to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), was handed over at the President’s Secretariat on Sunday afternoon. However, officials said Dr. Singh had not telephoned Mr. Rajapaksa. [The Hindu]
Channel 4 News confronted by protesters in Sri Lanka
As a Channel 4 News team arrives in Sri Lanka they are mobbed by protesters angry at our reporting of the army’s actions during the final days of the country’s civil war in 2009. [Channel 4 News]
TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran on CHOGM 2013
Earlier today, India’s Prime minister Manmohan Singh confirmed he would skip the summit. He’s followed the lead of the Canadian PM Stephen Harper, amid growing pressure for a boycott of the event over alleged war crimes by Colombo.
There was renewed concern about Australia sending Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop after the Australian Greens senator Lee Rhiannon was detained by immigration officials in Colombo over the weekend. She and the New Zealand Greens MP Jan Logie were on a fact-finding visit to the country and had spent several days speaking to members of the Tamil community.
The CHOGM controversy [abc.net.au]
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh skips visit to Sri Lanka for Commonwealth summit
By Siva Sivapragasam
With intense pressure mounting in Tamil Nadu from all political parties and five Congress Ministers opposing, it is now almost certain that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will skip the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka next week. Prime Minister Singh is expected to convey this to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse over the week-end and thereafter make an official announcement. [monsoonJournal]
Cameron to raise war crimes claims with Sri Lanka leader
The Channel 4 film recorded the apparent indiscriminate shelling of areas packed with civilians, including hospitals, extrajudicial executions and rapes by soldiers.
The Sri Lankan government denies responsibility for any such events.
Mr Cameron said the documentary, called No Fire Zone, was “one of the most chilling documentaries” he had watched. [BBC]
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to skip CHOGM
Attendance not important if it is against people’s sentiments, says Congress leader
Bowing to political pressure, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not be attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) beginning on Friday in Colombo, highly placed government sources have said. [The Hindu]