The US based advocacy group PEARL - People for Equality And Relief in Lanka - called on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to suspend Sri Lanka from the Councils of the Commonwealth in a statement released on Wednesday.
See here for full statement, extracts reproduced in full below:
"Suspending Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth will send a clear message to the Sri Lankan government as well as other oppressive regimes around the world, that the Commonwealth is willing and able to take decisive action in the face of the world's worst crimes. If CMAG does not decide to suspend Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth, it should at least move the venue of the upcoming CHOGM. Though a change of venue will not in itself bring accountability or justice to the island, to hold CHOGM in Sri Lanka would effectively endorse a state that willfully falls far short of the Commonwealth's vision."
"We are also deeply concerned that in addition to hosting CHOGM 2013, Sri Lanka will also hold the chairmanship of the Commonwealth from 2013 to 2015. Granting Sri Lanka leadership of the Commonwealth, at a time when the state has allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and ongoing human rights violations levelled against it by a United Nations Panel of Experts and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, would reflect poorly on the Commonwealth's stated commitment to human rights.
Thus, we urge you to immediately suspend Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth. In the alternative, we request that you to shift the venue of CHOGM from Sri Lanka to a country that upholds the values of the Commonwealth."
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