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'Absence of war is not peace' - Tutu & Robinson

Writing in the Times of India on Monday - Commonwealth Day, two prominent members of the Elders group, the Archibishop Desmond Tutu and the former Irish President Mary Robinson, argue that the "climate required for reconciliation does not yet exist" in sri Lanka and "urge the Commonwealth to seriously reconsider appointing Sri Lanka as its chair for 2013-15".

See here - 'Hope and reconciliation: Healing Sri Lanka’s wounds of conflict' - together with embedded links.

Extract reproduced below:

'How the Council chooses to act at this time will have a profound impact on Sri Lanka's standing in the international community. In this regard, we urge the Commonwealth to seriously reconsider appointing Sri Lanka as its chair for 2013-15, as it currently plans to do. In this role, Sri Lanka would host the biennial meeting of Commonwealth heads of government in November this year.

The prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, has already threatened to boycott the summit if the situation does not improve. The UK Parliament has called on its prime minister, David Cameron, to do the same.

As Elders, we welcome this forthright stance and recall the Commonwealth's founding commitments to democracy, freedom, peace and the rule of law.

The Human Rights Council - still a relatively young institution, created by the UN in 2006 - must show that it can build on its successes from one session to the next: if last year's resolution gave Sri Lankans hope, this year's session must go further to keep their hope alive.

Other crises have flared in the past year. Syria and Mali, to take two obvious examples, rightly figure high on the Council's agenda. The case of Sri Lanka offers a different test: of the Council's ability to hold governments accountable even when global attention has turned elsewhere.'

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