Our friends at Avaaz have launched a campaign against the Commonwealth Summit (CHOGM) which is due to be held in Sri Lanka at the end of the year, thus whitewashing the regime’s reputation. This is good news, theirs will be a short, sharp, campaign aimed at this Friday’s meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG – in effect the Cabinet of the Commonwealth). It will sit alongside our longer campaign on the same issue.
The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group will be under increased pressure after an event in Parliament on Monday at which a number of internationally renowned experts called for the summit to be moved. Sadakat Kadri of the International Bar Association accused the Sri Lankan Government of “making up the rules as it went along” when they ignored Commonwealth principles to impeach their chief justice. Former Nigerian Chief Justice Mohammed Uwais said the situation was similar to that in Fiji, which led to Fiji being suspended from the Commonwealth (the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association has also called for Sri Lanka to be suspended fro the Commonwealth).Please do sign their petition. This is a really powerful tool to force the Commonwealth to listen to public opinion and move the summit to a country that respects human rights.
The International Bar Association showed this video which captured the current crisis in Sri Lanka’s judicial system:
Following the “CMAG” meeting on Friday the chair, Dr Dipu Moni, will answer questions at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at 3:30 (although she wishes to only discuss Bangladesh). We also understand there will be a demonstration outside the meeting (Marlborough House, London) on Friday between 11 and 3.