The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is due to take place in Sri Lanka in November.
This will give a world stage to the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa, responsible for the slaughter of over 100,000 Tamils in 2009, and for ongoing oppression.
We protest against the decision to send Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince Charles to this event.
Please send this protest letter from your trade union branch, community group or campaign to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – sending a copy to Tamil Solidarity – and circulate it widely to other groups.
Please also see the statement from the Knowsley branch of the public-sector union, UNISON
Protest against the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
We, Knowsley UNISON, protest against the decision to hold the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka in November 2013.
We also strongly oppose the decision to send Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince Charles as representatives of the British government and crown.
The Commonwealth meeting will provide a world stage and lend legitimacy to the Sri Lankan government which stands accused of the most savage war crimes against civilians during its conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in particular in the final few months ending in May 2009.
According to reports by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Channel 4, and others,many tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed as Sri Lankan armed forces systematically attacked so-called ‘no-fire zones’.
An effective military occupation now operates in the predominantly Tamil north and east of Sri Lanka.
In addition, the Sri Lankan government is becoming ever more authoritarian. Trade unionists, journalists, human rights and political activists from all ethnic/religious origins, including from the Sinhala majority, face increasing repression.
Given this appalling human rightsrecord, we call on the government to reverse its decision to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka.