Tuesday, March 20, 2012

'Double standards' over Sri Lanka rile MPs

Opposition parliamentarians are up in arms after the motion to debate the alleged genocide in Sri Lanka, which saw the death of some 40,000 Tamils, was disallowed in Parliament.

NONE“What the government is showing is that it does not understand the universality of human rights and is practising selectivity, it shows you have no moral basis,” said R Sivarasa (PKR-Subang) (left), pointing out that the government had in the past allowed debates on Palestine.

M Manogaran’s (DAP-Teluk Intan) emergency motion, which asks the Foreign Ministry if the government, as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, would debate on the resolution submitted by the United States.

The United States, Norway and France have moved a resolution against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes and human rights violations allegedly committed by Sri Lanka during the final months of the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009.

AThis morning I received a letter from the speaker saying that it was rejected in chambers (because) the House cannot allow a debate on the internal affairs of foreign countries.

“But I’m not raising questions about Sri Lanka... All I wanted is to move the House to debate on the motion of the US regarding the Geneva Convention,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

“I urge the prime minister and the deputy prime minister to take a stand on crimes against humanity,” he said.

djz convention 101205 manogaranEarlier on, Manogaran (right) raised the issue of the rejection in the House. However, deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee asserted that a motion denied in chambers cannot be brought up in the Dewan Rakyat.

Sivarasa also expressed disappointment that his question on the matter was omitted from the Order Paper on grounds that questions cannot be posed on countries friendly to Malaysia.

“It should not matter if you’re Tamil, Singhalese, Muslim, Christian (or) Buddhist. It doesn’t matter. If war crimes have been committed against you, whether you’re (a) Palestinian (attacked by) Israeli tanks or whether it’s Sri Lankan tanks. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make a difference.

“By remaining silent or supporting the Sri Lankan government on this issue, it shows that our human rights position is completely


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