We didn’t see much positive or negative come out of the recent Commonwealth 60th Anniversary Summit in Trinidad & Tobago, although we’ll give the organisation the benefit of the doubt for another ten years.
In our opinion, the most noteworthy item at the summit, especially in close proximity with World Aids Day, was the Commonwealth’s failure to deal in a united front with Uganda’s new law that provides the death penalty for certain homosexual sex acts and HIV transmission.
“The law requires a three-year prison sentence for anyone who is aware of evidence of homosexuality and fails to report it to the police within 24 hours.”
Knowing how Uganda has fared in the last oh, say forty-seven years or so since gaining independence from Britain, we have no doubt that the law will be used very effectively against the political (read ‘tribal’) opposition. While Canada, Sweden and a few other countries came out publicly against Uganda’s new law, to our knowledge the rest of the world (including Barbados and Jamaica of course) remained silent. Gordon Brown “raised the matter” with Uganda’s President Museveni, but ever so gently.
And there is a matter of racism in the silence of the Commonwealth as a group. After all, it’s only one of those darky countries in Africa. Hardly worth talking about it when they start hacking away at each other, doan ya know?
Afrik.com Gays to be killed
Daily Monitor Sweden to cut aid to Uganda over Gay law
The Star Commonwealth Shame
Globe and Mail Uganda’s anti-gay bill causes Commonwealth uproar