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'No member country is boycotting CHOGM'

2013 Jul 19

Chaminda Perera

External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peris on Tuesday said that no member in the Commonwealth family is boycotting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to be held in Colombo in November.

The Minister was speaking at the Meet the Minister session organized by the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA) on Tuesday evening.

"This is a major achievement on the part of the government," he said.

He said there was heavy opposition against Sri Lanka hosting the CHOGM in Colombo due to the adverse campaign launched by the LTTE rump overseas.

this international event would be invaluable in the present context. He said many countries were competing to get the chance to host this event, and Sri Lankans are privileged to have this opportunity.

Minister Prof. Peiris was of the view that the international media was heavily influenced by the LTTE rump operating in foreign countries.

"Many countries including New Zealand have expressed their support for CHOGM in Colombo and the New Zealand government has expressed willingness to deploy their aircraft to bring the CHOGM leaders from south pacific islands. Minister Peiris said Sri Lanka has received tremendous support from all parts of the world for CHOGM.

He said the majority of member countries insisted that developing countries should be given an opportunity to host this summit. The Minister added that Commonwealth Countries, such as, Australia are working with Sri Lanka in a very fruitful manner in many fields. Minister Prof. Peiris added there were moves to scuttle the hosting of the CHOGM in Sri Lanka at the last Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group meeting in April, but, countries, such as, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh and Tanzania stood by Sri Lanka and negated that move. "These countries strongly supported Sri Lanka", Minister Prof. Peiris said. The Minister said the LTTE rump is trying their best to isolate Sri Lanka diplomatically and economically. They are trying to discourage tourists and the investments flowing in to the country," he said.

The Minister added that the Diaspora has a very large quantum of assets accumulated through all sorts of illegal activities. 

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