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UK and South Africa pull out of Sri Lanka maritime conference

Reports have stated that the United Kingdom and South Africa have pulled out of the “Galle Dialogue Maritime Conference” hosted by the Sri Lankan Navy and Ministry of Defense, which is due to commence on Monday.

This follows Dr. W Lawrence S Prabhakar, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science of Madras Christian College, confirming that he will be boycotting the event, “in full solidarity with the issue of the Tamils”, and said he was “pained by this heinous crime” against the Tamil people.

The conference has come under intense scrutiny, with the Sri Lanka Campaign conducting a “Sink the Seminar” campaign.

Sri Lanka Campaign Director Fred Carver said that there had a been a thousands of responses to their campaign, which urged countries to boycott the conference.

“It is important that the Government of Sri Lanka is made to realise that they will not be able to simply brush multiple allegations of war crimes, torture and impunity for rights abusers under the carpet. This event is hosted by the chief suspect in an ongoing war crimes investigation (Gothbaya Rajapakse) at the behest of an institution (the Sri Lankan Navy) against which there is also credible evidence of war crimes.

"By attending what are essentially PR events, government representatives legitimise the actions of a Sri Lankan State that continues to violate international norms on rights, freedom and democracy."

See our earlier posts:

‘Sri Lankan Navy pelts Tamil fishermen with stones’ (Nov 2011)

‘Growing calls for prosecution of Sri Lankan envoy to Australia’ (Oct 2011)

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