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Sri Lankan government wants to hide what it’s done – The Whig Standard – Ontario, CA

[MISC, Friday, 10 July 2009 11:43 No Comment]

Geoffrey Johnston has every cause for concern about the situation in Sri Lanka. ("Put Sri Lanka on agenda," July 9).

The United Nations Human Rights Council saw the divisive politics and geopolitical aspirations of some in regard to the Sri Lankan issue. It is really a shame that the policy-makers don’t have Sri Lanka on the G8 agenda.

Expressions of deep concern and condemnations were proved to be of no avail in influencing a Sri Lankan regime that unleashed a high level of cruelty against its own minority population. The conduct of the recent war and the continuing subhuman treatment of displaced persons should be real concerns for any right-minded person.

Certain foreign diplomats are taken on guided tours of the displaced persons camp maintained for "showing" to foreign visitors. There are clear signs that the Sri Lankan authorities are attempting to benefit from this humanitarian catastrophe. There are reports of militarization and colonization in the vacated Tamil lands. The aid groups are taxed to the maximum to fill up the depleted war chest.

There are still more than 300,000 civilians kept captive in Nazi-style camps and reports of inmates being treated like slaves. The people in the camps include more than 60,000 children who haven’t had schooling for the past two years, and 30,000 mutilated victims of the war.

There are no democratic rights in Sri Lanka– not even the "freedom to think." Media are threatened and pressured to publish pro-government stories. Journalists and members of parliament are threatened or killed. Arrogant, intimidatory actions are taken against peace envoys, such as Canadian Bob Rae, who wasn’t allowed into the country. It is evident that the Sri Lankan government wants to hide everything from the outside world.

Are these conditions acceptable to Canada and the other members of the G8?

Sandy Vadi Toronto

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