Peace for the World

Peace for the World
First democratic leader of Justice the Godfather of the Sri Lankan Tamil Struggle: Honourable Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bellanwila Anunayake Thero slams ETCA, Indian expansionism

People’s Commission to formulate national policy on international trade and treaties


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*PM flayed for his determination to sign ETCA
* Padeniya bitterly criticises India-Sri Lanka FTA
*Sale of state assets condemned
*Prof. Lakshman warns against employing foreign workers

By C. A. Chandraprema-

The inauguration of the People’s Commission to formulate a policy framework for international trade and treaties appointed by the Professionals’ National Front was held last Wednesday (22 Feb.) at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. The need for such a policy framework arose as a result of the numerous discussions the Professionals’ National Front had with the government about ETCA and the need to be guided by a set of criteria in entering into trade treaties. The auditorium was packed to capacity with standing room only. The Professionals’ National Front is a consortium of a dozen professionals’ associations including among others, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), the Electrical Engineers’ Association, the Customs Officers’ Union and the National University Teachers’ Association. Explaining the objectives that led to the setting up of the People’s Commission to formulate a national policy on international trade and treaties, Dr Anurudda Padeniya of the GMOA said that the word ‘development’ used in days gone by had now been replaced by the phrase ‘sustainable development’ and that our people’s representatives keep uttering this phrase all the time.

The President, Dr. Padeniya pointed out, utters this phrase even if he happens to be addressing a daham school ceremony. However, if the politicians had any understanding of this phrase, they will know that what it means is that economic development has to take into account factors other than just the economic considerations in isolation and that matters like the environmental impact of the development, its effect on health etc also have to be taken into account. Giving an example he said that there was talk of building a bridge between Sri Lanka and India but that he had never seen even a newspaper article outlining the benefits that this bridge is supposed to bring to Sri Lanka but that medical experts have told him that this bridge will bring communicable diseases like Malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis into Sri Lanka.

Dr Padeniya drew reference to the existing India- Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement and said that this agreement has not benefitted Sri Lanka but that on the contrary Sri Lanka had suffered losses as a result of it. Drawing attention to a booklet published by the GMOA on the FTA with India, he pointed out that one of the top exports from Sri Lanka to India after 15 years of the FTA was animal feed and wanted to know whether the objective of having an FTA with India was to promote poonac exports. (The booklet pointed out that though arecanut was the main export from Sri Lanka to India even this had not resulted in a development of arecanut cultivation in Sri Lanka because arecanut is imported from Indonesia to be re-exported.)

He stated that India was seeking to subjugate the countries in the South Asian region and that Sikkim is now a state of India and Nepal was completely at India’s mercy and that certain people were now suggesting that Nepal too should become a state of India. Padeniya went on to state that some economic advisors retain their positions despite changes of government and that these individuals claim to have been educated in Oxford and Harvard and say they know what is best for this country. He stated that something akin to match fixing was going on with regard negotiating the trade deal between India and Sri Lanka and that even the people who were supposed to represent us were actually representing the other side. Dr Padeniya stated that the Prime Minister has said that ETCA would be signed in June despite all opposition to it, and that under such circumstances professionals cannot stand by idly and do nothing.

Dr Bellanwila Wimalaratnana Anunayke Thero of Sri Kalyani Samagri Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha of the Siyam Nikaya addressing the gathering said that Sri Lanka has set a world record by having no national policy for anything. He said that some time ago, politicians deceived the people saying that they were going to build a ‘dharmista’ society but that it turned out to be an absolute canard. In recent times said the Anunayake Thero, the people have been promised yahapalanaya but nobody can understand what this yahapalanaya is. The Anunayke thera said that people were being bamboozled with fairytales. He stated that treaties were being entered into without a proper study of their implications. He said that he was not opposed to trade treaties with other countries if they were of benefit to this country. For example, the Rubber-Rice Pact with China was a good treaty which benefitted Sri Lanka for many years.

The Anunayake thero stated that the authorities claimed that when the ETCA agreement is signed, both goods and services will be able to move freely between India and Sri Lanka but that even a child could say who would stand to benefit from such an arrangement. He said Indian professionals will be able to come to Sri Lanka but will Sri Lankan professionals be able to go to India and find work? He stated that there were PhDs driving trishaws in India. He said that in days gone by, a certain youth movement had a theory about Indian expansionism and that ETCA was another example of Indian expansionism and that people should talk about these things. He stated that the leaders of the nation had no right to say that they would go ahead with a trade treaty no matter who opposed it.

He said that the professionals had embarked on an important endeavour and he likened the National Commission to formulate a national policy on trade and international treaties to the Buddhist Affairs Commission in the 1950’s headed by Professor Gunapala Malalasekera. The Anunayake thero observed that the recommendations made by that commission had a major impact on the 1956 general election with S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike undertaking to implement those recommendations.

Speaking on this occasion, entrepreneur Samantha Kumarasinghe of Nature’s Secrets stated that an agreement was entered into in the 1980s with a Singaporean Company to mill wheat imported into Sri Lanka for 30 years on a ‘build operate and transfer’ basis but that in 2001, the then President sold the business that was to come into the hands of the government in 2007, for 60 million USD. The turnover of that enterprise since then had been well in excess of eight billion USD and that abuses like this happened due to the lack of a national policy on trade and investment. The point that Kumarasinghe made was that in the absence of a policy framework, leaders and governments could make arbitrary decisions with regard to national assets. He said that people are being hauled to courts for misusing vehicles, but there is not even a discussion about the abuses that took place in selling assets to foreigners.

Kumarasinghe said that likewise fuel distribution rights were given to an Indian company for 75 million USD simply to import fuel and to distribute it without even refining it in Sri Lanka. He stated that even the Central Bank Governor was saying that our country is in a debt crisis and that assets have to be sold to get out of this trap. He said that the debt to GDP ratio in Japan was over 250% but that nobody was talking in terms of selling off Japanese state assets to foreigners. He appealed to the government not to sell the Hambantota harbour. Prof W. D. Lakshman the Co-Chairman of the people’s Commission to formulate a national policy on trade and international treaties stated that while the powers that be in Sri Lanka have placed their faith in the neo-liberal economic model of free trade, sweeping changes were taking place in the world with Brexit, and the Trump administration in the USA reviewing NAFTA and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Speaking further, Prof. Lakshman stated that foreign remittances from Sri Lankans employed abroad was what enabled us to meet our foreign exchange needs but if Indian employees coming into Sri Lanka under ETCA and the opening up of the services sector, were allowed to remit money from Sri Lanka that would deplete Sri Lanka’s biggest source of foreign exchange. The members of the People’s Commission to formulate a national policy on international trade and treaties are Prof. Lakshman and Palitha Fernando PC (co-chairmen) P. D. Fernando, R. P. L. Weerasinghe, Dr Bandula Weerasekera, Dr Anula Wijesundera and Lakshman Perera.

The ‘superior quality’ doctor of Padeniyas- Soysas kills the first baby of wife of an army soldier !


LEN logo(Lanka-e-News -23.Feb.2017, 11.45PM)  While the Padeniyas-Soysas doctor mafia are showing loud spurious concern for the medical standards and the rights of  patients , while  making a big din staging public demonstrations ,one of the doctors of  their own so called  ‘high standard’,   demonstrated how inferior their true standards are , when he killed a healthy infant within the womb of a mother who is a wife of an army soldier. 
This doctor killer of the Padeniya –Soysa mafia which is obsessed with so called  ‘superior standards’  is attached to Mawanella base hospital .

25 years old Demodara Wijesinghalage Vasantha  the unlucky  husband of the mother who suffered this fate at the  hands of the  so called  ‘superior quality’ doctor killer is  attached to the infantry division  of the army Trincomalee camp.  
When there were signs that wife of Vasantha was  going to have her first baby  , the doctors after examination have given the delivery date as 9 th February 2017. 
Vasantha’s wife was under the supervision of a doctor who is engaged in  private  channeling practice in Mawanella town  . Unfortunately , this happened to be  a doctor who also served at the base hospital of Mawanella , and therefore of the so called ‘ superior quality’  mafia.

On the 9th Vasantha after  taking leave has gone home and taken his wife to  consult their doctor at the channeling hospital. The doctor has instructed them to get her admitted to Mawanella base hospital.  Accordingly the patient was admitted on the 10 th   morning .
That evening the patient has developed labor pains . On the 11 th and 12 th the pain has intensified , but no doctor had taken any interest to  perform surgery , or to deliver the baby.

When the army officer had inquired about their  private doctor who is also attached to the base hospital , the staff had  informed  , he is on leave  for three days -10, 11 and 12.
After the staff of the hospital had contacted the relevant doctor on the 12 th and informed him of the emergency. This irresponsible doctor of the so called superior quality ( Padeniya – Soysa mafia organization) , has told the hospital staff , since there is no way to perform surgery and deliver the baby  there , to transfer the critical mother to the Kegalle general hospital. The doctors who were patiently waiting for the instructions at the base hospital have transferred the patient to Kegalle hospital. The doctors at Kegalle hospital have however  broken the sad news to the soldier that the infant in the womb of his wife had died before delivery. 
Following the advice given by the doctors that , as the baby is now dead and  surgical intervention will  serve no purpose , to  permit the baby to be expelled normally. Accordingly , the grieving mother delivered  a still born baby  on the 13 th.

The post mortem in this regard was conducted on the 20 th by specialist judicial medical officer, Ramesh Agaliyawanna  of Kegalle general hospital .It was pronounced death was due to fecal matter and urine collecting within the womb,  and failure of placental feeding,   by the inquirer into sudden deaths, Renuka S. Kaluarachi  of the Kegalle general hospital . This was a consequence of the  infant being  not taken out from the womb before these complications supervened.
So this is just one super tragic story that came to light of the superior standard  doctors of so called ‘superior quality’ mafia doctors of Padeniyas and Soysas. But, how  many such neglected cases go unrevealed is unknown.

The grieving father of the child  speaking to the media said , such a tragedy should not strike anybody else . He bemoaned , his  first baby died  due to the negligence of the doctors at Mawanella base hospital , and he is begging them not to be cruel to  others  in the same way.
While this is the treatment meted out to patients  by the ‘superior quality’  doctors of Padeniyas-_Soysas GMOA mafia, the irony of ironies is the same killer mafia is  staging strikes from district to district purportedly  for and on behalf of ‘rights of patients’
The masses must decide whether the  killer mafia  of Padeniyas-Soysas- Heraths should be allowed to continue with their atrocious operations wearing the hypocritical livery instead of the cloak of genuine doctors ? Or  should they be taught an unforgettable lesson of their life time?  SL losing   two or three doctors  of the same ilk of Padeniyas , Soysas and Heraths , will only be a boon to the patients , medical profession and the country at large ,and not a bane !
(Thanks to Amunupola Chaminda  Jayalath of Mawbima)
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by     (2017-02-23 20:56:02)

Massive crowd to denounce illegal degree shop

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February 23, 2017
The protest march held by the JVP against SAITM illegal degree selling medical institute took place today under the theme ‘Denounce SAITM that destroys free education’ and the rally is being held now.
A large crowd including leaders of the JVP, trade union leaders, doctors, artistes and students participated.
The rally was addressed by the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka, its General Secretary Tilvin Silva, the National Organizer of Socialist Students’ Union (SSU) Rangana Devapriya, the General Secretary of All Ceylon Medical Officers Association Dr. Jayantha Bandara and several others.
The large crowd that attended the rally caused heavy traffic around Colombo Fort area.

Fordham charges student over SJP support rally

Sapphira Lurie, center, has been charged by Fordham University for organizing a 23 January rally in support of Students for Justice in Palestine. (Facebook)
Nora Barrows-Friedman-22 February 2017
A student at Fordham University in New York faces punishment for helping organize a 23 January rally in support of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), the activism group which was banned by the college’s dean last month.
Dean Keith Eldredge charged senior student Sapphira Lurie with violating the university’s demonstration policy and summoned her to a closed-door meeting on Wednesday to determine her guilt and punishment.
Faculty, students and lawyers see the accusations against Lurie as part of a broader attack on free speech and academic freedom.
Eldredge prohibited Lurie from bringing legal counsel, a friend, or her faculty advisor to accompany her inside the meeting, prompting her attorney to tell The Electronic Intifada that there was “no semblance of due process whatsoever, which requires a fair and neutral decision maker.”
However, when Lurie showed up to Eldredge’s office for the hearing, she brought accompaniment anyway.
Her attorney, Radhika Sainath of Palestine Legal, came with her, along with Lurie’s advisor and more than a dozen other members of faculty.
The small crowd initiated “an ad-hoc sit-in” in the hallway, Sainath told The Electronic Intifada, as Lurie asked the dean if she could bring her counsel or her faculty advisor inside the meeting, or if the door could remain open. Eldredge refused all of the requests.
Sainath said that she reviewed printed-out student conduct policies with the dean and showed him that no policy demands that a student attend a disciplinary meeting alone with an administrator, but he dismissed her assertions.
The Electronic Intifada also could not find a rule in Fordham’s online student handbook which states that a student must be alone when facing a disciplinary hearing.
After the dean refused Lurie’s requests for accompaniment, Lurie, her attorney and supportive members of faculty left the hallway, effectively canceling the hearing altogether.
“We don’t know whether [Lurie] will be punished more severely because she wanted to exercise some basic due process,” Sainath said.

“Embarrassing”

Glenn Hendler, the faculty advisor for SJP at Fordham, criticized Eldredge’s insistence on a closed-door meeting.
“It is appalling and embarrassing that Fordham has a procedure for adjudicating alleged violations of its demonstration policy in which a single person serves as accuser, prosecutor and judge,” Hendler told The Electronic Intifada.
Hendler said he had offered to accompany Lurie to the meeting and was rebuffed, even when he insisted he would not interfere in the discussion. Fawzia Mustafa, Lurie’s faculty advisor, told The Electronic Intifada she had also offered the dean the same, but he had refused.
When pressed for a reason, Eldredge reportedly told Hendler, “that’s the way we do things.” According to Hendler and Palestine Legal, the dean admitted that there was no formal rule forbidding a student from bringing support to a disciplinary meeting.
Eldredge refused to answer The Electronic Intifada’s question about the university’s rules and his remark to Hendler.
More than 100 members of Fordham faculty signed a petition this week urging the administration to drop the charge against Lurie, while students held another rally on Tuesday in support of Lurie and Fordham SJP’s right to organize.
A group of faculty advisors held a meeting with Eldredge prior to Wednesday’s hearing where they tried to persuade him to drop the charges against Lurie and reverse his decision about banning SJP. “But he was absolutely unmoving,” Mustafa told The Electronic Intifada.
“It’s disgraceful that [Eldredge] continued to ignore the requests from my lawyer, from the faculty and from the dozens of students who rallied to support me,” Lurie told The Electronic Intifada on Wednesday.

Demands to lift the ban

More than 100 students and local activists demonstrated on 23 January to demand that Fordham lift the ban and allow SJP to establish a chapter on campus.
“We were asking Fordham to reverse its decision banning SJP and to commit to free speech on campus, which I think is a huge issue right now for students at Fordham and for students in this country,” Lurie told The Electronic Intifada.
In charging her, Eldredge claims the protest may have violated university demonstration policy.
But the students say that this came as a surprise.
“Before that, we had no indication that [the rally] was unsanctioned,” Lurie said. “We had sent someone to meet the dean the morning of [the event] and designated someone to be the campus public safety and administrative liaison, in accordance with the student handbook rules.”
She told The Electronic Intifada that Eldredge himself was present at the rally. But she said it was unclear why Eldredge singled her out for disciplinary charges, as she was just one of many students who organized and spoke at the rally.
Eldredge did not comment when questioned on this issue. He only sent The Electronic Intifada a statement implicating students in possible violations of university policies.
“Our students are free to express themselves and to advocate for the issues and causes that they believe in; this includes demonstrations and protests​, which the university routinely supports​,” Eldredge wrote.
“In this instance, the question is if the student organizers chose to hold their demonstration outside of the policy parameters that are in place,” the dean added. “The focus in the disciplinary hearing is not on expression nor speech, but on the possible violation of policy (a relatively minor violation).”

“Misconstrues facts”

But faculty members and lawyers disagree.
Fawzia Mustafa says that members of faculty are “alarmed” at the administration’s behavior not just against an individual student, but also in the context of the ongoing SJP ban. “We see it as a freedom of speech and an academic freedom issue,” she said.
In banning SJP, Eldredge unilaterally overruled the students government’s approval of an SJP chapter in November.
Civil rights groups have demanded Eldredge reverse his decision and uphold students’ freedom of speech.
“All evidence indicates that the denial was based on the viewpoint of [the] students’ message and/or their national origin,” attorneys with Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights state in a 17 January letter to Fordham administrators.
The attorneys also warn that the denial “could give rise to a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act” – US legislation meant to protect students from discrimination at educational institutions.
Days later, Fordham replied to the attorneys, saying it was sticking to its decision to ban SJP.
The administration claims that SJP exhibits “a singular focus” on the “political agenda of one nation, against another nation” and that the group “encourage[s] disruptive conduct” which would contradict the college’s values of “civility.”
Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights responded once again, asserting that the administration “misconstrues the facts [and] misunderstands the law.”
Sainath told The Electronic Intifada that Fordham has so far refused to meet with attorneys from Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

“Not backing away”

FIRE, a free speech watchdog, designated Fordham as one of the top ten worst universities in the US for free speech, based on its banning of SJP.
The group last month condemned Fordham’s SJP ban.
The National Lawyers Guild admonished the ban, with attorney Lamis Deek saying it “exemplifies a long and ubiquitous history of anti-Palestinian censorship rampant across campuses.”
Fordham, a Catholic institution, is also drawing criticism from a Christian group.
Tarek Abuata, executive director of Friends of Sabeel North America, an ecumenical activism organization which works closely with SJP chapters, called on the university to reverse its decision in accordance with a recent statement from Catholic bishops encouraging solidarity with Palestinians under occupation.
Friends of Sabeel this week encouraged its members to call Fordham administrators and demand they drop the disciplinary charges against Lurie and allow SJP.
Palestine Legal’s Radhika Sainath said that if Fordham maintains its decision to ban SJP and punishes Lurie for her involvement in the rally, it would set a troubling precedent.
“Fordham is not only sending a message that supporting Palestinian rights won’t be tolerated on campus, but if you question Fordham’s censorship of you, that you will be punished,” she said.
“It has a terrible chilling effect, especially in Trump’s America,” Sainath added.
For her part, Lurie says the dean’s charge and his handling of the disciplinary hearing has been “a pretty blatant attempt to try and intimidate me into stopping organizing on campus.”
But, she said, “I will not be backing away from this work.”

UK firms linked to alleged war crimes tout weapons in UAE


British arms manufacturers showcase weapons that have been used in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is accused of committing violations
UAE forces at military show at the opening of IDEX 2017, 19 February (AFP)

Jamie Merrill's picture
Jamie Merrill-Thursday 23 February 2017 
Major British weapons manufacturers linked to alleged war crimes in Yemen have been “touting” for business at the Middle East’s biggest arms show in the United Arab Emirates, to the dismay of opposition politicians and human rights campaigners.
The presence of sales representatives from BAE Systems, Raytheon and MBDA at International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2017) in Abu Dhabi this week has prompted outrage as it comes only weeks after the High Court in London heard calls for a halt to arms sales to Saudi Arabia over allegations of human rights violations by the kingdom and its allies, which include the UAE, in Yemen.
IDEX 2017, which concluded on Thursday, is organised in association with the UAE armed forces and held under the patronage of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the country’s president.
According to promotional materials, the official delegations represented more than 150 countries from around the world, and included a UK pavilion organised by ADS, the trade body for the arms industry in Britain. It was also attended by the DIT DSO, a UK civil service body that exists to promote arms exports.
All of the major firms that arm Saudi Arabia and its allies were at the event displaying weapons, many of which have been used in air strikes in Yemen, including the Eurofighter jet.
Middle East Eye has also learned that BAE Systems used the event to showcase the British-made Hawk Advanced Trainer, including presenting a scale model fitted with Brimstone missile and Pavey IV bombs that have been used by Saudi forces over Yemen.
It is unclear if the controversial weapons can be fitted to the training aircraft and it is unlikely that this would be the case, but the display comes after Saudi Arabia agreed to purchase 30 of the jets in February 2016. Analysts say the training jets are vital for Saudi Arabia to train its pilots for action over Yemen.
Also in attendance was MBDA, which makes the Storm Shadow, and Brimstone missile and Raytheon, which makes the Paveway IV bombs.
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan stands next to Patrice Caine, CEO of French multinational company Thales at IDEX 2017 (AFP)
British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon confirmed last year that the Royal Saudi Air Force has used the British-supplied missiles and the Scottish-built Paveway IV guided bomb against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
They are among the most powerful weapons in the UK’s arsenal and have been deployed in several conflicts by the Royal Air Force. A defence source told MEE the weapons are “battle proven” and “very attractive to the Saudi and UAE air forces operating in Yemen”.
The display of British military hardware in the UAE comes at a time of ongoing international condemnation of civilian deaths caused by Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen.
According to reports from IDEX 2017, British arms firms are continuing to concentrate on arms exports to the Middle East, despite a partial US arms embargo against Saudi Arabia brought in by former President Barack Obama in December 2016 and an outstanding court challenge in British courts.

'Profit from destruction'

Andrew Smith, a spokesperson for Campaign Against Arms Trade, said many of the companies soliciting business in Abu Dhabi are the same firms that have “profited from the destruction of Yemen”.
“Events like IDEX don't make a war-torn region any safer, all they do is put even more arms into the hands of repressive regimes while providing photo-ops and politics support to the brutal Emirate dictatorship,” Smith told Middle East Eye.
BAE Systems, Raytheon and MBDA have repeatedly said they comply with all UK and US legislation governing arms exports to the region. They also say that their weapons are "guided" or "precision" munitions and are designed to help avoid civilian casualties.
Nonetheless, the role of British arms at the event has also prompted renewed calls for a halt to arms exports to Saudi Arabia from the Liberal Democrats.
Tom Brake MP, the opposition party’s foreign affairs spokesman, told MEE: “The weapons on display at IDEX, many of which have been deployed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen to murderous effect, must serve as a chilling reminder to the UK government of their obligation to suspend arms sales to Saudi.”
Campaigners have also raised concerns that a British government minister was sent to speak at the event.
Despite claims of human rights violations, the UK’s Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin MP, told journalists and delegates at the show that that she was “proud” to led a delegation of almost 100 UK companies.
“It is wonderful to be celebrating the ties that we have between our two countries and the important role that UK firms play in terms of security and prosperity of the Gulf states,” she said.
Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the UAE, have received logistical and intelligence support from the US, UK and France in their battle against the Houthis and forces loyal to former Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, since March 2015. The conflict has killed more than 10,000 civilians and displaced more than three million people since 2015.
The UK’s military commitment to the region was on show at IDEX 2017 in the form of HMS Penzance, a Sandown Class minehunter, which attended the show.
Normally based at the Royal Navy’s new base at Bahrain, the warship was moored alongside Al Hili, a Baynunah-class corvette of the UAE Navy. The Baynunah-class have been deployed in the Saudi-led naval blockade of Yemeni ports, which has been condemned by aid agencies.

'Clear risk'

The conflict, aerial attacks and a blockade imposed by the coalition has triggered a humanitarian disaster, leaving 80 percent of the Yemeni population in need of aid. Amnesty International and Oxfam have repeatedly called for a halt to the blockage of Yemeni ports by Saudi-led forces.
Lucy Wake, Amnesty International UK’s government relations manager, said IDEX comes at a time of huge concern over the “clear risk” that UK weapons “could be used to carry out serious breaches of international humanitarian law in the war in Yemen”.
“We’re not against the arms trade where it’s conducted with proper safeguards, but we have real concerns about the UK’s current licensing procedures,” she told MEE.
Campaigners have been quick to point out that one of the biggest contracts publicly announced at the show was a $350m deal for arms manufacturer Raytheon, which makes the Paveway IV guided bomb used in Yemen, to supply munitions to the UAE Air Force and the UAE Air Defence Force.
Other British firms at the show included SC Group, which was displaying its new Jackal 2 off-roader, the HMT 400 Desert. The firm hopes to export the vehicle to the UAE to serve in the Kingdom's Presidential Guard. The Jackal 2 is well known in the UK as it served in the British Army in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Labour MP Andy Slaughter, a former shadow human rights minister, said there is “terrible logic” behind the growing role of the UK in supplying weapons to Gulf countries.
“The more active the GCC becomes in military action – from civil repression in Bahrain, to military action Yemen and Syria, the more they need a range of armaments and the more the UK can do to develop a market,” Slaughter told MEE.
“Very wealthy purchasers in a volatile area is nothing new but the greater offensive role they are playing is new. At the same time, the human rights record of the Gulf countries is more under scrutiny, especially where UK contracts – from Saudi arms supply to custodial services – are seen as complicit with abuses.”
On Wednesday, US-owned defence company Raytheon said it intends to focus on the region despite the US suspending an arms deal with Saudi Arabia affecting some of its sales.
“We intend to continue to comply with rules and regulations and work with countries and figure out the best possible way to answer their needs, supply them with capabilities while never ever putting into question our support and compliance with US requirements,” John Harris, the chief executive of Raytheon International told The National.