Tag Archive | "CHOGM IN SRI LANKA"


CHOGM 2013 draws 23 Heads of Government

Posted on 15 November 2013 by admin

Published on Friday, 15 November 2013

The 22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was inaugurated this morning (15) at Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre with the participation of 23 government heads.

The number of Commonwealth countries are 53 including Sri Lanka and representatives from 49 countries have participated in the CHOGM held in Colombo.

The government heads of Cyprus, Vanuatu, South Africa, New Zealand , Bahamas, Saint Kitts , Namibia , Brunei, Tanzania, Samoa, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Malta , Solomon Islands, United Kingdom, Nauru, Rwanda, Ghana, Tavaula,Lesotho and Prime Ministers of Tonga and Swaziland participated in the inaugural meeting.

Foreign Minister of India participated in the meeting representing India.

Foreign ministers, ambassadors, governors, parliament secretaries and cabinet secretaries of other states also took part in the event.

The previous CHOGM which was held in Australia saw the participation of 36 state leaders and the Indian Prime Minister boycotted that as well.

This has been recorded as the CHOGM which was attended by the least number of state leaders.

The number of state leaders attended in the previous CHOGMs is as follows:

2011 Perth 36
2009 Trinidad 34
2007 Uganda 36
2005 Malta 38
2003 Nigeria 38
1999 Durban 47
1997 Scotland 47

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The Sunday Times reports that Colombo Hilton & Cinnamon Lakeside will host bulk of CHOGM visitors

Posted on 20 August 2013 by admin

Fifty-two Heads of State attending the November Commonwealth Summit (CHOGM 2013) would be staying at the Colombo Hilton and the Cinnamon Lakeside hotels with no public access to anyone else during this period, hotel industry officials said City Hotels Association President K. Shanthikumar told the Business Times that all the city hotels in Colombo and even a few in Mt. Lavinia have been blocked for the November 8-17 summit.

About 4500 rooms are to be used by heads of states, international media, business forum and other delegates.

The Cinnamon Grand has been blocked for the Business Forum that would see business personalities participating at the summit. Other delegates attending the summit are booked to stay at the Taj Samudra, Kingsbury, Mt. Lavinia Hotel and the Galadari, Mr. Shanthikumar said.

Some of the hotels in Hambantota – Peacock, Nature Holiday Resorts and Rosen Renaissance – have been booked for the youth forum to be held alongside the summit.

International media covering the events would be housed at the Ramada, Colombo City Hotel, Sapphire, Grand Oriental Hotel, Hotel Renuka, Hilton Residencies, Global Towers-Wellawatte, Mt. Lavinia Hotel and Berjaya Mount Royal among other tourist hotels in Colombo.

He noted during that time they would not be accepting any bookings .

In the meantime, Colombo’s key hotels are currently carrying out renovation work on at least part or full extent of the hotels prior to the summit.


Upgrading Colombo’s city hotels


Most of the Colombo hotels were currently spending money on upgrading, hotel industry officials said

City Hotels Association President K. Shanthikumar noted that the guest rooms and the lobby areas of the Ramada Hotel are being upgraded at a total cost of Rs.900 million and would remain closed from April to October this year. In this respect, the 4-star rated hotel would be able to provide 5-star facilities for its guests in the future following this renovation work, he explained although the star rating would not be increased.
The Taj Samudra in Colombo was partly closed down for renovation since the last two months, he said adding that they were also carrying out work on their lobby currently and the rooms.

Another hotel currently also under renovation is the Galle Face Hotel that had shut down its old wing since the last two months, Mr. Shanthikumar explained.

The Galadari Hotel is due to close for renovations in second half 2014 while the Hilton is expected to close for a year from mid-December for a complete overhaul of its rooms and public areas.


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Sri Lanka to host CHOGM 2013 as scheduled

Posted on 27 April 2013 by admin

No change of venue sought by members

Courtesy: Sunday Island By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

The Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said on Friday that Sri Lanka would be hosting the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November, as planned, and that no member government had indicated that it wishes to change the venue. The decision made by leaders in 2009 and confirmed in 2011 still stands. "It is a collective decision that it [CHOGM] will take place in Colombo and the date of it is in November," he said.

He confirmed that Sri Lanka had been discussed at the 39th meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting held on Friday (April 26) at Marlborough House in London under ‘matters of interest’ as part of the Secretary-General’s briefing on his Good Offices work in member states across the Commonwealth. Sharma stressed the Commonwealth’s pivotal role in assisting Sri Lanka in practical ways through his Good Offices engagement. This includes the provision of technical support to enhance the independence of the Human Rights Commission; and the Electoral Commission.

 "As the Commonwealth, we try to be practical in offering our assistance, and have embedded action for beneficial changes as far as the members are concerned," the Secretary-General said."In the spirit of a helping hand, which we give to all members, we have been engaging across a wide front in Sri Lanka with my Good Offices, and this will continue in the months to come. I am sure it will yield very good results in all the areas of human rights, of rule of law, of governance, and institution building and strengthening."

"All member states subscribe to the same principles and values equally. Interacting with them on many fronts – as I have been doing at all levels – I am fully persuaded that they are sincere in subscribing and following those values."

Sharma further highlighted next week’s Commonwealth workshop on reconciliation, in which Sri Lanka will participate. At the workshop, countries will share their own historical experience of reconciliation, which will give further impetus to what the Commonwealth can do in partnership with Sri Lanka, to help them in all the other very deep, ingrained issues, he said.

"We are the one organisation that is working with them [Sri Lanka] on institution-building in the way that I have described. I do not see many other institutions doing such a comprehensive exercise with Sri Lanka. I think the way in which we are acting and the way in which we are trying to make real progress on the ground, is actually a sign of this institution’s relevance to the difficulties which are faced by member states," he said.

Sharma spoke about the road map that the Commonwealth had developed and agreed upon by Sri Lanka. This includes technical support to Sri Lanka in respect of the appointment and dismissal of senior judges, based on examples of good practice across the Commonwealth.

"From this exercise, we will be able to make recommendations as to what needs to be done moving forward in order to have those immediate measures, whether systemic of legislative, so that the kind of constitutional crisis which arose earlier and the polarity and the excuse for confrontation never arises again," he said.

The Secretary-General expressed satisfaction that the progress that he is making will continue. He stressed that he is not working against a deadline, but against success and progress.

The Secretary-General was joined at the press conference by CMAG Chair Dr Dipu Moni, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, and the Vice-Chair of CMAG, Senator Bob Carr, Foreign Minister of Australia.

The CMAG meeting was chaired by Dr Dipu Moni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh. It was also attended by Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia; Hon John Baird, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada; Hon A J Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica; Hon Dr Abdul Samad Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Maldives; Hon Dr Samura Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sierra Leone; Hon Bernard K Membe, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of Tanzania; Hon Winston Dookeran, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago; and Hon Nipake Edward Natapei, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Vanuatu.

A few weeks prior to the CMAG meeting, the Canadian Government and several Human Rights Groups tried hard to include Sri Lanka in to the formal CMAG agenda to try and move the venue from Sri Lanka but they could not succeed.

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Visiting Canadian envoy holds talks in Sri Lanka

Posted on 20 March 2013 by admin

COLOMBO, March 20 (Xinhua) — Visiting Canadian envoy Hugh Segal who is currently on an official visit in Sri Lanka ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November held talks with several officials in Colombo, officials said here on Wednesday.

Canadian Senator Segal, is in the island as an envoy to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

"I have had a day and a half of meetings with various civil society groups, some parliamentarians, international organizations, Commonwealth and other diplomats and officials of Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry," he told the media.

He said that he will be in the north for two days from Wednesday and will be meeting senior government officials all day on Friday.

"Over the weekend I will be visiting Galle. Your officials and all Sri Lankans have been most courteous and kind in every way," he said.

Quoted in the local media just before his arrival in Sri Lanka, Segal said that the purpose of his visit to the island nation will be to act as a fact finder for Canada's foreign minister

"As you may know, the level of our delegation to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting scheduled for November in Colombo has yet to be decided. I shall report back to the Foreign Minister after my trip is concluded," he said.

Canada has said that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka unless there is an improvement in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.

Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Chrystiane Roy had said last December that the Canadian government feels the Sri Lankan government continues to fail victims and survivors of the war.

"Prime Minister Harper has clearly stated that unless there is significant progress on political reconciliation, accountability and respect for human rights in Sri Lanka, he will not attend the CHOGM hosted by Sri Lanka in 2013," Roy said.


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CHOGM Official Website confirms Colombo Summit

Posted on 13 March 2013 by admin


Sri Lanka will host the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) from November 15 to 17 this year, the CHOGM official website states.

The choice of each CHOGM venue is a collective decision taken by Commonwealth leaders. At the 2007 CHOGM in Kampala, Uganda, Heads took note of the offer made by the Sri Lankan President for his country to host CHOGM. At their meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, two years later, Commonwealth leaders accepted the offer from the Australian Prime Minister to host the 2011 CHOGM.

They also accepted the offers of the Sri Lankan President and Mauritius Prime Minister to host the 2013 and 2015 CHOGMs.

Meeting in Perth, Australia in 2011, Commonwealth Heads of Government reaffirmed their decisions to meet next in Sri Lanka in 2013 and thereafter in Mauritius in 2015. They also welcomed the offer by Malaysia to host the 2019 CHOGM. Every two years, leaders meet at CHOGM to discuss global and Commonwealth issues, and to agree on collective policies and initiatives.

Courtesy: priu.gov.lk

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