Tag Archive | "CHOGM SRI LANKA"


CHOGM SRI LANKA: World leaders expected from Nov.14th

Posted on 02 November 2013 by admin

Over 800 journalists registered so far : World leaders for CHOGM due here from Nov 14 by Manjula Fernando World leaders for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting will start arriving in the country on November 14 and 15, the day of the inauguration at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Performing Arts Theatre in the evening. A senior spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry said the official Commonwealth delegations will start arriving in the country on November 4. A youth delegation from the UK will be the first to arrive in the country.. The Commonwealth People’s Forum in Galle and the Youth Forum in Hambantota scheduled from November 10-14 will be the first events to be flagged off followed by the Business Forum at the Hotel Cinnamon Grand in Colombo from November 12-14.

A pre-CHOGM Foreign Ministers’ meeting will be held on November 13 and 14 at the BMICH and a program for the Foreign Ministers’ spouses from November 13-16 will include visits to Galle and Kandy. One of the important side events to CHOGM will be the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) on the Harare Declaration. The CMAG meeting will be held on November 13 at the BMICH. The CMAG is the Commonwealth’s political watchdog which assesses the nature of persistent infringements of fundamental political values and recommends collective action “aimed at speedy restoration of democracy and constitutional rule”. The Commonwealth main meeting, Retreat and the bi-lateral meetings of Heads are scheduled from November 15-17. A joint press conference will be held by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma following the closing ceremony on November 17 morning. Already 530 local media personnel have registered to cover the summit while over 300 international media personnel have applied for CHOGM accreditation. Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath said they have closed the registration for the local media but applications from the international media were still being entertained. The Ministry hopes to accommodate up to 500 foreign journalists.

Courtesy: Sunday Observer

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CHOGM Sri Lanka: 37 countries have confirmed attendance

Posted on 31 October 2013 by admin

COLOMBO, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) — Thirty- seven countries have confirmed attendance for the main Commonwealth summit to take place in Sri Lanka next month despite ongoing protest over human rights violations, a top official said here on Thursday. Cabinet spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters that the bulk of the 53 Commonwealth members have already confirmed participation. "At this point 37 countries have confirmed their attendance. With that affirmation it is safe to say that participation for CHOGM (in Sri Lanka) is higher than what was seen in Perth Australia during the previous summit," he noted. The latest tally comes amidst uncertainty over Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's attendance. Singh has been placed under severe pressure from India's southern state Tamil Nadu to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka over allegations of human rights violations. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has already pulled out of the summit and announced a cut on funding made by his country to the Commonwealth Secretariat citing Sri Lanka's poor human rights track record. British Prime Minister David Cameron and New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully have also announced they will visit the former war-torn northern parts of Sri Lanka during the summit to ascertain first-hand the situation faced by tens of thousands of the Tamil population. "New Zealand has a strong interest in the progress being made on reconciliation and devolution in the north and I will report back to the Prime Minister (John Key) on the situation there ahead of the CHOGM Leader's Retreat," McCully said in a statement. Countries outside of the Commonwealth will also be attending events on the sidelines of CHOGM with a crucial business forum and trade exhibition set to be key highlights. A large business delegation from China is expected for the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF), which hopes to drum up 2 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Investment for Sri Lanka. Eighty one companies, 42 of them from China, have also signed up for a major trade, investment and tourism exhibition.

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CHOGM News: Hi-tech safety measures in place for flights bringing foreign leaders

Posted on 27 October 2013 by admin

State-of-the-art satellite navigation systems will closely monitor aircraft bringing foreign leaders to Colombo for the Commonwealth Summit, a senior official said.

Civil Aviation Authority Director General H.M.C. Nimalasiri said Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), a surveillance technology for tracking aircraft and Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) using satellite navigation systems were among the new features to enhance surveillance.

ADS-B is a system for air traffic surveillance and replaces conventional radar. Aircraft with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers can transmit their location to nearby aircraft and to air traffic control.  Performance Based Navigation (PBN) using satellite navigation system isalso essential when there is an increase in air traffic and demands on airspace capacity.

Mr. Nimalasiri said the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had conducted safety and security surveys. “There will be expert teams and security teams from a number of countries conducting safety checks prior to their leader’s arrivals. We are ready to provide all necessary support,” he said.

Most of the Commonwealth heads of government will use the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) while several private jets are also expected at the Ratmalana Airport. Passengers using the BIA between November 12 and19 are also requested to be prepared for unexpected delays of flights due to the arrival or departures of heads of governments and their delegations.

“All attempts are being made to avoid such delays and inconveniences. However, priority will be given to VVIP aircraft carrying leaders and delegates. All local agents of international commercial airlines have been informed,” he said. The Director General said the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport also would be available for delegates to arrive as several events including the Youth Forum and opening of the Mirijjawila Botanical Garden would be held in Hambantota.

Within the country, he said all 14 domestic landing sites would be developed and Sri Lanka Air Force helicopters and sea planes would also be available at the request of delegates.

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IDB Chairman claims “CHOGM expenses’ will translate into long term investments

Posted on 26 October 2013 by admin

CHOGM will definitely bring huge economic benefits to the country and, therefore, the expenses for this international event are long-term investments, said Industrial Development Board (IDB), Chairman, Navaz Rajabdeen.

This is the biggest international event to be hosted by Sri Lanka after the 1976 Non-Aligned Summit in Colombo. This will be the best opportunity for Sri Lanka to showcase what it has achieved in the past few years after defeating terrorism, he said. It is a good opportunity to showcase the economic potential of the country to attract foreign investments and for tourism and export promotion. The three events, the meeting of Heads of Government, the business forum and international trade exhibition should be used to reap economic benefits, Rajabdeen said.

He said that Perth and Western Australia received unprecedented international attention and support to promote the tourism industry in the region when CHOGAM 2011 was held in Australia.

More than 1,000 international and Australian media personnel attended the Perth CHOGM and it was a rare and unique opportunity to promote Western Australia. “Today we too have got the same opportunity and since Commonwealth countries are spread in Africa, the Caribbean, North America, Europe and Asia, the value of this exposure is huge. Even today there is an international debate on Sri Lanka over CHOGM. Although there is a campaign against the country it has been adequately countered,” Rajabdeen said.

Heads of the governments of around 50 countries and representatives from all 53 countries will participate. Meanwhile the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) said that it had registered 160 participants for the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) from diverse business sectors.

The Chamber was also instrumental in procuring several business proposals from private sector member companies to be discussed at the B2B meetings at the CBF. This would enable business partners to meet potential knowledge partners to discuss projects. The forum is an ideal avenue for potential investors to set up partnerships with Sri Lankan counterparts to strengthen business ties for the future. Key sectors that have been registered through the Chamber include agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, education, IT, BPO, renewable energy and infrastructure. The positive response in the number of registrations is evident of the enthusiasm of Sri Lankan business in the Commonwealth Business Forum and its outcome. The Secretary General CEO of the Chamber, Harin Malwatte said, “We started contacting our members early and we are appreciative of our members who registered for this important forum.”

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