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The Commonwealth Games, principles and protest

Categories: Articles:Human Rights | Published: 11/08/2014 | Views: 1186
The 2014 Commonwealth Games brought moments of sporting glory, to Glasgow. It also brought protests exposing the gap between Commonwealth ideals and reality in many member countries. The very existence of the Commonwealth, originating from the British empire, raises questions. Nevertheless it offers opportunities for international cooperation and exchange. The Commonwealth Charter commits members to high ideals including democracy, human rights, peace, sustainable development and environmental protection. Yet many – the UK included – fall short, with little real challenge. (Ekklesia)

The Sri Lankan government was criticised by the United Nations for its ruthless treatment of civilians towards the end of a civil war, thousands of whom were killed. Human rights abuses are still rife. Yet in November 2013, president Mahinda Rajapakse became chairperson-in-office of the Commonwealth.  He prudently decided not to appear at the 2014 Games, held from 23 July to 3 August in Glasgow. Nevertheless Tamil protesters with placards gathered outside Celtic Park before the opening ceremony, though the protest was marred by the high profile of apologists for the defeated Tiger rebels, themselves guilty of mass abuses.   Read more here

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