Colombo – an excellent choice for the CHOGM
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit (CHOGM) for 2013 has been finalized to be held at Colombo, Sri Lanka.For those of you in the dark: The Commonwealth is comprised of 54 nations united by the fact that they were formerly serfs of the British who exploited them for resources and services, get together every 4 years and discuss  the masochistic pleasure of being vassals to British imperialism. Of course, on paper there are suitably noble common goals. The high aspirations that the Commonwealth is about are promoting democracy, good governance, human rights and prosperity. The Harare declaration in 1991 encapsulates the Commonwealth’s core set of principles and values. These include: world peace, economic development, the rule of law, a narrowing of the wealth gap, an end to racial discrimination, liberty regardless of race or creed and the “inalienable right to free democratic processes”. Almost all of it is gobbledygook or bureaucratic jargon, which is never practiced.

This year they will, very appropriately,  meet in Sri Lanka. The irony is inescapable. The British subjugated by force most of these 54 former colonies, looted their natural resources for hundreds of years, divided their populations, practiced torture and murder routinely, and walked off into the sunset of their empire with pockets full of gold (or rather ships full of it). The colonies or countries as they are now, appear to have versions of  ‘Stockholm
Syndrome’ where they profess varying degrees of love to their former imperial aggressors – the British. Sri Lanka is quite appropriately the best choice for this summit as it fulfills some very important colonial criteria. As a country it practices genocide, massacring Tamils en mass.  (They learnt well from the Brits: witness the Bengal Famine). Sri Lanka routinely practices state sponsored torture, rape and murder. (The CID appears to be the re-incarnation of Saddam Hussein’s secret police). Sri Lanka does not have an independent press and Sri Lanka does not have an independent judiciary or for that matter, rule of law. It is very similar to the golden age of the British Empire in Asia.

The British practiced a peculiar form of perfidy amongst their subjects: Rule of law at home, and the absence of it away from England. As a final insult to their colonies, they set up Government bureaucracies and brutal police forces (with aforesaid tendencies) with British goals in mind. They were staffed with bright obliging ‘natives’ who had, ‘mastered’ the language and were eager to bend over backwards to please their English masters. Fast forward to 2013 and witness our own antiquated British based laws in India, where our bureaucrats and police work against the interests of our fellow citizens. And appear to have some very deep connections to their ‘colleagues’ in Colombo.

There are the usual grumblings from some member states claiming that holding the CHOGM in Colombo ‘sends the wrong signals etc’.

To whom I pray?

All the member states have been taken to the cleaners by the British. Merely by being a member country signifies that they do not care that they were abused and taken advantage of for 100’s of years. A bright note is that Ireland is not a member. Raise a toast for the Irish!

There will be countries which will boycott the Colombo meet. They will miss the excellent Scotch and the old boys reunion from Oxford. (These days they masquerade as ‘diplomats’, obligingly carrying out the work of their colonial masters.) The ’embedded media’ will gushingly report on the ‘significant progress’ made on the human rights front in Sri Lanka and how charming the state dinners were. Various Government leaders will read out vexingly boring speeches. But lets not forget friends on what exactly the Commonwealth is and what it represents. It stands for all that a free thinking citizen abhors: the loss of life, the loss of property, subjugation, slavery, torture and death.

Can we forget India’s hoary freedom movement and the abject insults, torture and deprivation, they were subjected to? Can we forget the fiery orations of Subramania Bharati, chastising the injustice he witnessed? Can we forget Veerapandian Kattabooman who took up arms to boot the Brits out? The Association of former colonies of the British has never made a difference in the world and never will. The worthlessness of the Commonwealth can be neatly summed up as hubris. Ideals that it advocates are not upheld and it offers a veneer of legitimacy to despotic regimes. It wastes the time of governments and the money of the poor tax payer.

Perhaps the British may find such an accurate colonial resonance in Sri Lanka, that they may set up the permanent headquarters of the Commonwealth in Colombo. And for that they get my vote.
As usual : Vanakkam, Jai Hind and Vande Mataram