TORONTO – Tamil Canadians will be protesting the attendance of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse at the British Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. The invitation of the Sri Lankan President to such celebrations – amidst persistent allegations against the Sri Lankan armed forces of war crimes and crimes against humanity – is seen as counterproductive to the growing call for justice and accountability for the crimes committed.
According to the United Nations Panel of Experts Report on Sri Lanka, the war in the island state of Sri Lanka ended amidst the backdrop of over 40,000 Tamil civilian deaths caused by the indiscriminate bombings of civilian “safe zones,” hospitals and humanitarian operations. “Three years after the formal end of the war on May 18th, 2009 the Tamils living in the NorthEast of the country continue to endure violations of human rights and protracted genocide ”states Krisna Saravanamuttu, the NCCT National Spokesperson.
The Commonwealth Business Council -the organizers of the Commonwealth Economic Forum- cancelled the Sri Lankan President’s expected address for Wednesday morning and there are expectations that his attendance at the lunch with the Queen – organized by the Commonwealth Secretary- will be reconsidered as well.
“At the backdrop of a recent UN Human Rights Council resolution which highlighted Sri Lanka’s ongoing violations of human rights and international law – that was spearheaded by the Commonwealth countries – it seems counterproductive that the leadership of the Commonwealth would invite the Sri Lankan President to one of their most prestigious celebrations,” he further said.