Sri Lanka Neglects International Pressure On Conducting War Crimes Investigation

Libby Waldo hiking at sunset in Spray Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington, United States

Before leaving from the Commonwealth summit in the host country, British Prime Minister David Cameron defined the mood of the meeting to one of stress. The Prime Minister effectively set a deadline of four months to conduct the investigations in the war crimes allegation to the country. He left Colombo, unable at securing any kinds of concessions from the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakshe for a concrete step.

The Britisg Prime Minister also failed to elicit any collaboration from other international leaders to put pressure on the island country in investigating the war crimes allegations. However, Cameron did set a four month deadline unto March to see to the initiation of the enquiry process into allegations of brutality on civilians. Cameron warned of consequences in the form of an UN-backed investigation to look into the matter in the event of non-compliance from Sri Lanka.

Rajapakshe was however strongly defiant in using the old phrase of people in glass houses must not throw stones. He also stated that the country would initiate the enquiry process in due time to look into the different allegations. In this context, internationally acclaimed spin bowler from Sri Lanka, Muttiah Muralitharan, stated that Cameron may have misleading information on the rampant abuse of human rights at the North Part of the country embroiled in a 25-year long civil war. The world record holder, also a Tamil by ethnicity, stated that it is impossible to say whether the British Prime Minister is right or wrong because he did not pay a personal visit to the affected regions in the country.

Cameron defended his assertions by stating that he based them upon his personal experience in Jaffna and after talking with newspaper journalists who lost six colleagues while covering the plight of hundreds of people living in refugee camps since 1990. Following his warning to Sri Lanka against perpetuating war crimes, Prime Minister Cameron went ahead with his itinerary of attending the Gulf Air Show. The show intends to act as an effective platform for British defense industries in selling the Typhoon fighter Eurofighter jets and a huge cache of arms to the United Arab Emirates, which is also a country with a controversial position on allowing general dissent.

Cameron has plans to attend a private one-on-one dinner meeting with Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. The purpose of the private meeting would be to coax the crown prince into choosing the British Typhoons over the competing Rafale from the French. Last year, the British lost a major consignment when India chose to purchase the Rafale. However, Saudi Arabia and Oman ordered the Typhoons. Speaking for the occasion at Dubai, Cameron stressed on increasing business connections to foster investor relations and create employment opportunities.

A notable aspect of this summit is the fact that the trio of Canada, India, and Mauritius boycotted the Commonwealth summit in protest against the war crimes in Sri Lanka, which continues to be under the heavy shroud of an administrative iron veil. It waits to see how the events take shape in the coming four months to restore stability and justice to the war ravaged country.