Labour Party : GOSL is ‘inhumane’
Channel 4 – McDonagh on Sri Lanka: ‘Watch Channel 4 News’
Addressing the final day of the 2009 Labour party conference, former Labour whip Siobhain McDonagh MP draws attention to Channel 4 News’s coverage of events in Sri Lanka.
The Labour party conference in Brighton turned its attention to the aftermath of the civil war in Sri Lanka today.
In his speech, Foreign Secretary David Miliband said –
“In those democracies, like Sri Lanka, where civil war claimed lives and liberty, we say governments have a duty to uphold the civil, social and political rights of all their citizens, whatever their ethnicity or religion.”
The conference went on to debate – and pass – a resolution which condemned “the detention by the Sri Lankan government of 300,000 men, women and children” as inhumane.
The resolution also called for journalists to be allowed to enter Sri Lanka and report what is happening in the camps, and for the withdrawal of Sri Lanka’s favoured trading status.
Debating the resolution, former Labour whip Siobhain McDonagh described Sri Lanka as “a country where we can see on Channel 4 News young men, naked and bound, shot at close range.”
On 25 August Channel 4 News broadcast footage which appeared to show Sri Lankan forces executing Tamils.
The footage allegedly dated from January of this year, several months before Sri Lanka declared victory over the Tamil Tigers after a civil war that had lasted more than a quarter of a century.
Sri Lanka’s government disputed the authenticity of the footage, but it nonetheless prompted the United Nations to call for an investigation. UN rapporteur Philip Alston remarked: “This videotape seems to have most of the characteristics of a genuine article.”
On 7 September Channel 4 News broadcast new film which appeared to reveal the victims of Sri Lanka’s war, suffering poor conditions in UN-funded camps.
Four days later, on 11 September, Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, spokesman for Sri Lanka’s ministry of disaster management, appeared on Channel 4 News, questioning the authenticity of the film shown on 7 September and of the earlier footage.
Tamilnet – British MP urges boycott of Sri Lanka goods
Siobhain McDonagh MP, Mictham & Morden, UK, during the Labor Party conference held Thursday appealed to the delegates, and to the millions of live TV viewers, to shoulder their own commitment on the Sri Lanka issue, urging that a boycott of goods and avoiding holidays in the unsavory state would ensure their money would not “prop up that government.” During the event, the sitting government party passed a resolution condemning the treatment of Tamils in the island by that government.
“Next time you want to buy underwear from Marks & Spencer, you want to buy a t-shirt from Next, you want to go on a holiday of a lifetime in a beautiful island off the coast off India – Do you really want to spend your money on a government that chooses to lock 300,000 people up behind barbed-wire.