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Scotland's silence over Sri Lanka disappointing

Richard Hamer, programme director of Amnesty International in Scotland criticised Scotland’s sports minister Shona Robison for not speaking out about human rights while in Colombo. Writing in the Scotsman, Hamer argued that the UN Human Rights Council must establish an international investigation in its March session.

See here for full article. Extracts reproduced below:


“THERE has been much talk of the legacy the 2014 Commonwealth Games will leave for the people of Glasgow and Scotland as a nation, but becoming a
silent witness to war crimes was not the sort of thing we had in mind.”

“Sri Lanka is good at […] promoting a narrative of post-war peace and prosperity. It has spent millions on PR companies to convince the world that the horrors of the conflict are a thing of the past and that reports of ongoing human rights violations are nothing more than slander.

But the international community should not be fooled by the window dressing.”

“Scotland’s Commonwealth Games and Sports Minister Shona Robison was also in Colombo for the summit and indeed was the first Scottish Government minister to be invited to address the meeting. It is hugely disappointing she did not take advantage of this opportunity to speak out on behalf of the people of Scotland about the disturbing incidences of rights violations endemic in Sri Lanka.

Instead, Ms Robison focused on the positive, saying: “We are already experiencing benefits from hosting the Games. But that is only the start of our legacy ambition.” Shouldn’t we also be aiming for Scotland to leave a positive international human rights legacy to the nations attending next year’s Games?”

“The upcoming UN Human Rights Council session in March can and must establish the international inquiry that is long overdue to ensure that the shadow of Sri Lanka’s horrific human rights record does not cast a pall over Glasgow 2014.”

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