Unedited version of column published in Scottish Sun on Sunday 24th November 2013
SRI LANKA, WAR CRIMES & BRITISH PMs
I just love it when British Prime Ministers take to the international stage to lecture others on human rights. This time it wasn’t our perma-tanned ‘war criminal’ Tony Blair but the turn of David Cameron.
After lecturing Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaska who hosted the Commonwealth Conference, Cameron flew off to the Dubai Air Show to try and flog some weapons to regimes which still claim a divine right to rule.
As for Sri Lanka, its civil war which begun in 1983 killed over 100,000 and ended in 2009, since then over 40,000 Tamils have been butchered. Cameron rightly stated that an independent war crimes tribunal must be completed by 2014.
The Sri Lankan security forces engaged with impunity in systematic murder, gang rape, mutilation, abduction, torture, disappearances, indiscriminate bombing, starvation and the genocide of the Tamil people.
Yet not one member of the Sri Lankan armed forces has ever been held to account and we should know from recent history in Ireland without justice there will never be peace.
The Tamil North was once the best in terms of literacy and health level but is now one of the poorest in SE Asia. Fishing which once provided sustenance to over 200,000 Tamils was forcibly reduced from 104,000 tonnes to just 1000 tonnes.
Tamils have been treated as second class citizens since independence in 1948 and it is only a matter of time before this ‘festering wound’ explodes again.
In 2009 over 280,000 were detained in concentration camps but thousands still rot in custody today.
I remember Blair’s attempt to introduce a draconian 90 days detention without charge for terror suspects in this country, but Sri Lanka can hold suspects for up to 18 months without charge under its terror laws. Rape and torture of those held in detention is endemic.
That’s why mothers, wives and children carrying photos of missing loved ones bravely ran the gauntlet of state security to try and reach the World’s journalists gathered at the conference.
Only last year thousands of Tamils protested outside the Palace as our Queen wined and dined Sri Lankan President Rajapaska as part of her Jubilee celebrations.
Miliband who criticised Cameron’s attendance at the conference would do well to remember that under Gordon Brown’s ‘ethical foreign policy’ millions of pounds of military aircraft and guns were sold to Rajapaska’s regime
The majority Sinhalese Buddhist community has engaged in the genocide of Tamils yet not a single Sinhalese has been prosecuted for murder, rape or torture of a Tamil person in over 60 years.
One third of the Tamil population fled abroad as entire villages were razed to the ground, infant mortality quadrupled but Sri Lanka cloaked ethnic cleansing under the convenient ‘flag of counter terrorism’.
Combine the ‘Highland Clearances’ with the ‘Irish Potato Famine’ multiply them by one hundred and what you have is Sri Lanka.
Cameron’s is looking to the UN Human Rights Council as a solution but they are a pathetic impotent body which hasn’t held to account those responsible for war crimes in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Lebanon, or Palestine.
A truly ethical British foreign policy would mean sanctions, boycotts and the seizing of the Sri Lankan regime’s European assets. Cameron should start by telling Sri Lanka not to bother coming to the Commonwealth Games if they don’t sort out their act.
G4S- ‘SECURING YOUR WORLD’
G4S the world’s largest security company was summoned last Wednesday before Parliament after the National Audit Office found that G4S had been overcharging the taxpayer.
Turns out G4S had been charging for electronically tagging criminals years after they had removed equipment from their homes, were abroad, back in prison or just dead.
Claiming it was a ‘genuine’ mistake’ they offered to return the £24 million as they had overcharged for nine years!
Last year G4S had turned a £280 million security contract for the Olympics into a ‘humiliating shambles’ which meant thousands of soldiers and police officers were drafted in at the eleventh hour to fill the gap.
The Chief Executive responsible resigned from the company this year with a mere £16 million financial package for his ‘massive contribution’ to the company.
In 2011 G4S lost keys to its privatised prison resulting in prisoners being locked up for 24 hours.
Last month they passed on their condolences after their security guard at Glasgow’s SECC bludgeoned to death an international visitor in the female toilets.
According to Police Scotland we ‘should have a high level of confidence that they will deliver on security on the Commonwealth games next year.’ Well I suppose everyone deserves a second chance don’t they?
I was reminded this week my daughter isn’t the personification of evil because at least she doesn’t sellotape her dollies mouths, pull their heads off and hide them like my niece Raabiah once used to. Maybe there is hope for my daughter as my niece has not turned into a serial killer (yet)