Yahya Jammeh has been under pressure to withdraw what seemed to be his most widely condemned statement, made last September, in which he threatened to kill people who identifies with human rights defenders ‘‘to destabilize my country.’’ Jammeh remains characteristically defiant against the overwhelming outpour of international outcry that continues to put
Kamalesh Sharma told journalists at the International Financial Centre in Port-of-Spain that respect for human rights is a core value of the Commonwealth. “I would like to say that we are in discussion with the Gambian side and that discussion continues,” the
The government of
After bowing out, apparently for fear of what he might meet ahead of him, coupled with fears of his possible overthrow amid intense speculation of coup plot at home, Jammeh is reportedly been represented at the CHOGM by Foreign Affairs Minister Ousman Jammeh.
Museveni is expected to officially handover chairmanship of the Commonwealth to Prime Minister Patrick Manning of
“The statement of the [Gambian] president essentially related to domestic matters in
Commonwealth Secretary General Sharma’s statement of assurance is seen as a Cushion, aimed at dispelling reasons for fear and more uproar by a seemingly unrelenting force against human rights violators.
Sharma told reporters that the Commonwealth is in the process of strengthening and expanding its various institutions.
"A lot of Commonwealth voices have been raised," he said. "But one point is clear: Respect for human rights is a core value. We are in discussion with the Gambian side. As far as
At least Sharma’s statement serves as source of encouragement for
Caribbean Centre for Human Rights executive director, Diana Mahabir Wyatt, who reportedly disputed Manning’s view on the matter. She said that they were “in contravention of the Harare Declaration” upon which the Commonwealth was founded.
Maja Daruwala, executive director of the India-based Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, described the Trinidadian prime minister’s statement as misguided.
"It's a great pity that the leader of a country with a good record on human rights would miss the opportunity to show real leadership," she was quoted by the Ottawa Citizen.
"As the new chairman of the Commonwealth,’’ she added, ‘‘he [Prime Minister Patrick Manning] has failed an early test. It is not only disappointing but against all Commonwealth principles. He is dismissing the cries of ordinary citizens who are asking their leaders for basic human rights."
To add on this, another voice critical of the unresponsive view of the Trinidadian prime minister, Royal Commonwealth Society director Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, whose group is said to have released a critical report about effectiveness of the Commonwealth, said he was shocked by Manning's remarks.
"The Commonwealth is about shared values and principles everyone has signed on to," Director Sriskandarajah said, "so if they can't be discussed here, then where? If a member state falls short you either help them or sanction them in some way. If the Commonwealth stops being about that, we've lost another leg of the Commonwealth stool."