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Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative calls for action against Sri Lanka

A Commonwealth accredited human rights NGO has endorsed the Green Party’s call for John Key to act to prevent Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa regime from assuming the office of Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, Green Party human rights spokesperson Jan Logie confirmed today

Vrinda Choraria, the Strategic Initiative Programme Officer of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), an international NGO accredited to the Commonwealth and with Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, has emailed Jan Logie stating that as a result of Sri Lanka’s approach to the protection and promotion of human rights that CHRI opposes Sri Lanka taking on this role.”

The CHRI also affirmed the Green Party’s view that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) were to agree that they cannot allow Sri Lanka to take this position, they can change the practice of the CHOGM host nation automatically becoming Chair-in-Office.

Vrinda Choraria wrote to Ms Logie that if there is political will, it’s not an impossible ask and that it requires looking for creative ways to achieve what the leaders believe will be best for the Commonwealth.

The practice of the host country automatically becoming Chair–in-Office was created by the 1999 CHOGM in South Africa.

John Key and other leaders at the current CHOGM in Sri Lanka can change that practice,” Jan Logie said.

“It is untenable for a regime involved in war crimes and human rights abuses to hold the role of Chair-in-Office, which has responsibility for reinforcing the Good Offices role of the Commonwealth Secretary-General in undertaking conflict prevention and resolution work carried out in Commonwealth.

“John Key should stop hiding behind protocol and act like the leader of a country that upholds human rights by taking the initiative of stating New Zealand’s opposition and lobbying other Commonwealth countries to oppose Sri Lanka becoming Chair-in-Office.

11/14/2013 – 00:00


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