5 years ago23 views
The troubled Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka again saw angry protests on Friday when the motorcade of the British Prime Minister was briefly mobbed in Jaffna.
He had gone to the north to see conditions for himself, visiting refugee camps and meeting some who had been there for more than 20 years.
David Cameron and other Commonwealth leaders are unhappy with Sri Lanka’s human rights record, and Cameron’s car was surrounded by families of children who had disappeared during the 27-year civil war.
“There are some very serious questions that need to be answered. Questions about human rights violations today in Sri Lanka, the fact there are so many people who disappeared, the fact that there aren’t proper rules for a free press. But there are also very big questions to be answered about how the long war ended and the appalling scenes that we’ve seen on television about thousands of innocent civilians being killed at the end of that war,” he said in Kennagi refugee camp near Jaffna.
The biggest Commonwealth member and neighbour India only sent its foreign minister, while Canada and Mauritius stayed away over the human rights issues.
Prince Charles is representing his mother, the Head of the Commonwealth.
Sri Lankan officials have been stung by what they call interference from abroad and an attempt to tarnish their hosting the summit.
The government insists reconciliation is underway helped by the strong economic growth it has produced. Critics accuse some of its leaders of war crimes and claim continued flouting of the rights of the Tamil minority in the north.