Whether or not Sri Lanka will play host to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November this year will be known after the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meets in London on Friday.
Although the question of the venue is not on the formal agenda of the CMAG, it could be raised under the provision for “any other business.” The most recent plea against holding the summit in Lanka came from the Commonwealth Law Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, between April 14-18. The meeting, attended by 27 Chief Justices, unanimously passed a resolution asking CMAG “to place Sri Lanka on the agenda of the next meeting on April 26, and suspend it from the Councils of the Commonwealth for serious and persistent violations of the Commonwealth’s fundamental values.” The resolution also called upon Commonwealth countries to “reconsider” holding CHOGM in Lanka, and blamed the SL government for its role in impeaching Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake “in defiance of the judgments of the highest courts in Sri Lanka.”
Elections to NPC
Meanwhile, Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterated his promise to hold elections to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) in September this year, but said that the date would be fixed after consulting his astrologer.
The Election Commissioner has told the media that elections to the NPC cannot be held without the government establishing the Council by a gazette notification. If the elections are to be held in September, the gazette notification should come by April end.