Sunday, November 17, 2013


There’s been much controversy about the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting in Sri Lanka. The NZ Government is causing some of it.

Consider the first two paragraphs from Andrea Vance’s reporting for Fairfax:
Foreign minister Murray McCully returned from the Tamil-led north of Sri Lanka last night and indicated he believes New Zealand should not support an independent investigation into war crimes.

Shortly after his return to Colombo, McCully signed a dairy co-operation agreement with his counterpart Professor GL Peiris, worth about $2 million.
McCully denied there was any soft handling of Sri Lanka to protect dairy deals, arguing that New Zealand sits “in the middle of the spectrum” in holding the Sri Lankan government to account for human rights violations and alleged war crimes.

Also purely coincidentally, before McCully headed to the Tamil area in the north of the country to assure himself no international inquiry was needed, he laid the foundation stone for a milk chilling plant being built at the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the country’s civil war. But hey, the Sri Lankan government’s doing a good job, he assured us.

Meanwhile, McCully’s boss, Prime Minister John Key, sat down for drinks and a chat with UK Prime Minister David Cameron—who wants an international inquiry—and with newly installed Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is probably not sure what an international inquiry is. John Key probably just shrugged and said, “oh, look, I’m relaxed about what David wants,” because that’s the sort of thing he usually says.

But hey, why should New Zealand care about the deaths of 40-70,000 civilians, alleged rapes committed by the Sri Lankan army or the disappearance of thousands more? New Zealand gets a dairy deal and a couple elephants, so it’s all good, right? John Key thinks so.

John Key’s National/Act Government is a disgrace. They’re destroying New Zealand’s prestige on the international stage by turning a blind eye to human rights violations as well as the brutality of various dictators. The sooner we vote to change the government, the better for New Zealand and the world.

Leaders from Canada, Mauritius and India boycotted the meeting, and that cost Mauritius the right to host the 2014 CHOGM meeting.

No comments: