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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Some nations may boycott CHOGM meeting in Sri Lanka: Rudd

Natasha Chaku
 Disclosing that the next meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) will go ahead in Sri Lanka in 2013, Australian foreign minister Kevin Rudd today said some nations may boycott it. “It will be a matter for individual governments how they then view matters unfolding in Sri Lanka between now and when that next CHOGM is held,” he said adding that “I think our friends in Sir Lanka are mindful that there are a range of views on this across the Commonwealth.”
Rudd indicated that other nations may “boycott” the next CHOGM too, depending on the results of Sri Lanka”s own reconciliation report.

Canada has already threatened to boycott the next CHOGM meet to be held in Sri Lanka raising its discomfort because of claims of human rights violations committed by Sri Lanka”s army.

Rudd has also urged the UN”s rights watchdog to re-visit its investigation into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka during the closing stages of the civil war in 2009.

Speaking from Canberra to a local radio channel ABC, Rudd said “We simply say very clearly to our friends in Sri Lanka that it is of fundamental importance that the upcoming reconciliation commission report deals with the various questions which have now been raised in the UN report on allegations of human rights abuses within Sri Lanka.

“Furthermore the Australian national position is that the Human Rights Council needs to re-visit its earlier deliberations on this matter.”
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard also stressed the need to address allegations of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.

During her talks with Rajapaksa yesterday, Gillard underlined Australia”s view of the need to deal with the issue through the reconciliation process.

Gillard will hold talks today with more of her counterparts, including the prime ministers of Malaysia and Canada at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth.

Rudd further said that the agenda makes it possible for individual governments to raise these matters both in the next two days, but also when the heads of government meet as well.

Rudd had yesterday informed that in the last meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, Sri Lanka and Mauritius were named as hosts for the next two meetings.
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