The United Kingdom has caused a stinker at the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government meeting (CHOGM) after Prime Minister David Cameron became the first Western leader to call for an international inquiry into violations of human rights by the Colombo government during and after the 30-year civil war against Tamil Tigers.
Mr Cameron who spent only a night in Colombo before heading for a business meeting in Dubai, told a press conference he was giving Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa until March next year to order and investigation into the claims or else force Britain to use her position at the UN Human Rights Commission to force the establishment of an international inquiry.
But an angry President Rajapaksa countered by reminding Mr Cameron that those who live in glass houses ought not to throw stones. Mr Rajapaksa reminded Britain it had only recently completed an inquiry into Bloody Sunday, when 13 civilians were shot dead in Northern Ireland by the British army in 1972. He said some investigations took 40 years to emerge, referring to an inquiry into the shootings which reported in 2010 and laid responsibility for the events on the army.
Attempts by Sri Lanka to shield foreign visitors from knowing what was going on in the country proved very unsuccessful as several women whose loved ones have never been seen since the war ended, threw themselves on roads as the foreign dignitaries were being transported around the CHOGM venues. Indeed many converged on Mr Cameron’s convoy and stuck photos of their loves ones on the windows of Mr Cameron’s car as he arrived in Northern Jaffa where the majority of the massacres are said to have taken place.