Lankan diplomat ducks rights discussions in UK
The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Britain, Chris Nonis, declined to participate in a rights discussion on Sri Lanka held end of last week at the UK’s Frontline club where the author of Sri Lanka’s Unfinished War, Frances Harrison, Channel-4′s producer of a series of documentaries on Sri Lanka’s war, Callum Macrae, and policy and advocacy manager at Freedom from Torture, Sonya Sceats, took part. The discussion was moderated by barrister Sadakat Kadri, who was a rapporteur to the investigation into the impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice.
“The Sri Lankan government has an endless history of commissions that have amounted to nothing. And I think we’re going to see a lot in the run up to the UN sessions in March. I think a spurious reconciliation commission will be offered with the unfortunate help of South Africa, which will be used as an excuse to prevent things form happen. I’m sorry but from what they’ve done in the past, we can guarantee that almost any investigation will be spurious," Macrae told the audience.
Sonya Sceats, said Sri Lanka was producing the most torture cases worldwide, and regarding Colombo’s contention that most of the allegations are fabricated, Sceats said, "To this day we have not seen a shred of evidence that supports this claim."
Francis Harrison stressed the need for an independent investigation into the allegations of torture and opined that there was enough investigation for the UK to investigate the cases and trace back accountability.
Macrea in concluding cautioned that "the continued failure of the international community to provide justice for the Tamils could result in another armed conflict.”
The Frontline website described its history as follows: The Frontline Club opened its doors in 2003, soon after the Frontline News Television agency closed down. Frontline has become a key player in the independent fringe of television newsgathering and as a centre for a diverse group of people united by their passion for quality journalism and dedication to ensuring that stories that fade from headlines are kept in sharp focus. It exists to promote freedom of expression and support journalists, cameramen and photographers who risk their lives in the course of their work.