The high-profile case of Khuram Shaikh, a 32-year-old Red Cross worker from Rochdale, UK, who was killed in 2011, and the sexual harassment followed by gang-rape of Shaikh’s Russian-girlfriend, have cast a shadow over the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo in November, the Guardian reported. CHOGM is due to be chaired by Prince Charles and attended by the British Prime Minister David Cameron. Earlier, Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper’s office announced that Harper will be boycotting the meeting protesting the “intimidation and incarceration of political leaders and journalists, harassment of minorities, reported disappearances, and allegations of extra-judicial killings,” and Canada accused Indian Diplomat Sharma as acting as a stooge to Colombo.
Prince Charles offered to help in the effort to win justice for a British man who was murdered in Sri Lanka – allegedly by a close political ally of the country’s prime minister., the paper said, adding, “[t]he disclosure that Prince Charles has taken a private interest in the case comes the week after Cameron was put under pressure over the case at prime minister’s questions by Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk. That led the prime minister to promise that he would personally raise concerns with Rajapaksa,” the paper said.
Meanwhile, Rochdale MP Danczuk, who has visited Sri Lanka to spotlight the inaction by Colombo to investigate and to bring criminal charges against the perpertrators, is repeating his request that Cameron boycott the meeting unless there is clear progress in the stalled murder investigation.
Critics say the lack of justice for Shaikh is emblematic of the widespread impunity enjoyed by those accused of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. Shaikh was stabbed in the throat and shot dead after he complained about a group of men sexually harassing his Russian girlfriend as they enjoyed a drink at a small hotel in Tangalle in the south of Sri Lanka in the early hours of Christmas Day 2011, the Guardian said.
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