“Difficult things happen”: Tony Abbott on human rights in Sri Lanka

While the leaders of India, Mauritius and Canada have boycotted the Commonwealth Summit in Colombo in protest at that government’s human rights record, Tony Abbot has defended Sri Lanka:

Mr Abbott said that while his government “deplores the use of torture we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen”.

“Sri Lanka since the end of the war is much more free and prosperous, and has a better future and that’s important for everyone,” he added.

The Australian

Ah yes. What are a few authoritarian excesses between friends, when the economy is going great guns? The Prime Minister goes on to say:

That Sri Lanka was willing to host this year’s CHOGM summit demonstrated its commitment to principles of the Commonwealth charter — democracy, human rights and rule of law — even though it was “not always easy to live up to those ideals.”

The Australian

On the contrary, I think these comments are an appalling demonstration of Mr Abbott’s lack of commitment to those same principles.

I mean, if you need reminding.


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