All member countries will participate at CHOGM - External Affairs
All 54 member countries of Commonwealth will participate in the
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka in
November this year, External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunathilaka
Amunugama yesterday said.
“The External Affairs Ministry will send invitations to member states
within the next two weeks, “he said.
“Preparatory arrangements are being made for the Summit even as we
speak,” said Amunugama. “We are waiting to welcome all member states to
our country.” He said,” We are sure that this will provide them an
opportunity to experience the social and economic development taking
place in Sri Lanka as well as the peace achieved through post-war
efforts at reconciliation to achieve social and political stability,”
Asked if there were any countries that are trying to boycott the
meeting, especially, Canada that has not only raised their concerns.
but, also urged other countries to stay away from participating in the
CHOGM in Colombo on account of various reports of human rights
allegations raised by the Tamil diaspora, Amunugama said, “ There has
never been a problem of Canada’s participation in the meeting except
that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had reportedly told the
media that he would not attend the meeting on similar accounts.”
“I am one hundred percent sure that all countries are eager to
participate in the the forthcoming bi-annual CHOGM sessions in Sri
There is no question of Canada’s participation. The problem is with
the level of participation.” “What I can tell you right now is that
there have been positive signs with regard to the level of
We expect a very high level of participation,” he explained. All
member states of the Commonwealth are expected to send their Prime
“The way I see it is that any country can indicate that they are
concerned about some conditions, such as, human rights improvements in
another country due to various reasons.
When they see that the conditions have changed or improved, the
outcome could also change, “ pointed out Amunugama. “ “There are
positive signs from all Commonwealth countries to participate at the
“They have indicated their goodwill and support to us,” added
Asked if the External Affairs Ministry is expecting a UN
investigation team to visit Sri Lanka prior to Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting , Amunugama said, ” the UN teams may visit Sri Lanka.
These visits are separate and are not to be confused with CHOGM as
the latter has its own significance.