The 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference (CHOGM) would be held as planned in Sri Lanka, despite opposition from some member states, allied organisations and rights groups.
This was announced by the chairman of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), Dr Dipu Moni, the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, after a meeting of the CMAG in London on Friday. BBC quoted Moni saying that the decision to hold the summit in Lanka was taken by the Heads of Government and that CMAG could not overturn it.
Asked if the issue was raised by any minister, Moni said she would not go into specifics, but said that all issues relevant to the Commonwealth were discussed.
Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma said he was satisfied with the progress made by the Sri Lankan government in preparing to hold the summit in Colombo between Nov 15 and 17.
This is a major victory for Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose leadership style stands vindicated by the CMAG’s decision. There was no immediate response from the Lankan government.
The decision to stick to Lanka was taken despite opposition from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who said it’s rights record was “appalling”.