Despite threats from several member nations, the External Affairs Ministry is presently making arrangements to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo from 15 to 17 November, The Nation learns.
A senior official of the External Affairs Ministry speaking to The Nation said there were no indications of the venue being shifted from Sri Lanka.
UK Parliamentarian and former Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, in a video message at the 22nd Sessions of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva last week called for a change of venue for the CHOGM. “Now is the time for international bodies such as the UN and the Commonwealth to demonstrate their relevance by promoting and upholding core values of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Therefore, I support further action on Sri Lanka at the Geneva session and urge the UK and all Commonwealth members to call for a change of venue for 2013 CHOGM, so that the principles of these institutions are not undermined,” he had said.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) too had urged for the venue to be changed unless the government takes meaningful steps to address issues of accountability and human rights.
The official at the Ministry said the CHOGM will go ahead scheduled and added the country had commenced preparations to host the event late this year.