John Key needs to tell the New Zealand public just what concerns he intends raising about human rights at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Green Party human rights spokesperson Jan Logie said today.

The United Nations says allegations of war crimes that occurred as the Sri Lankan government crushed the Tamil separatist movement in Sri Lanka have not been properly investigated.  Despite a number of commonwealth leaders boycotting the 2013 Commonwealth heads of Government meeting John Key has stated that it is better to be at CHOGM to raise concerns about human rights.

“If John Key truly considers that the best way to fight for human rights in Sri Lanka is to raise these issues at CHOGM then he needs to tell the public what he will say,” Ms Logie said.

“Other leaders from Commonwealth countries such as Canada and India have chosen to protest the human rights situation in Sri Lanka by boycotting this year’s CHOGM.

“If John Key is sincere about raising the many human rights issues occurring now in Sri Lanka and the war crimes from only a few years ago then he needs to be transparent  and tell the public exactly what message he will convey on behalf of New Zealand to an administration that refuses to investigate or take any responsibility for war crimes.

“New Zealanders care about human rights and want people in Sri Lanka to be safe and free,” said Ms Logie.

“It is important to the public that New Zealand takes a stronger stance on human rights in Sri Lanka than we have done under the Key Government.

“In between talking about Fonterra and dairy access to Sri Lanka with President Mahinda Rajapaksa Mr Key also needs to push Sri Lanka to improve their recent dreadful human rights record.”

As host of this Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting Sri Lanka also automatically becomes the chair in office of the Commonwealth for the following 2 years.

“New Zealand also needs to take a stand for human rights by doing all it can to stop Sri Lanka chairing the Commonwealth for the next two years,” Ms Logie said.

11/15/2013 – 09:00

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