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No comment on CHOGM expenses - GL

2013 Jul 16

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on the estimated expenditure for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).



"That is not the way it should be looked at in an event like this," Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris said, when quizzed by the media.



At a press briefing, Minister Peiris said the media should not question about expenses but 'be positive' about the outcome of the event, and what would accrue to the country once CHOGM is over. "We are in the process of working out the exact expenditure, but in life, we can take anything either with a positive view or a negative view. Good things cannot happen by calculating in that manner. Than asking how much the summit would cost, you should ask how much the country would benefit, instead," he said.



He went on to say that Trinidad and Tobago, and later on Australia, had hosted CHOGM in the past and we know how much money it brought into their countries.

"One should be very objective and understand that we need to spend to generate investments. It is very sad from the national point of view that a negative perspective is derived out of this event. Let's be objective and balance. After all, to generate resources we have to incur expenditure," he further said.



However, on being questioned by the media on the quantum of revenue CHOGM could bring to Sri Lanka, he was non-committal in his response.

"I cannot give an exact figure. It would be a hypothetical amount. If you ask the Australian Foreign Minister about the revenue expected from CHOGM before the event was held, would he be able to give an answer?" he asked.



"The quantum of the investment cannot be predicted. The reply would be insincere and I don't need to be insincere. We can only set the platform for it and then wait till the event is over," Prof. Peiris added. (SRM)

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