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UK PM to attend CHOGM

2013 Sep 05

British Prime Minister David Cameron and his foreign secretary William Hague will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Sri Lanka in November, the foreign secretary said.

Responding to question at the British House of Commons session on Tuesday, British Foreign Secretary Hague said "We are very concerned, as the hon. Gentleman knows, about human rights in Sri Lanka, including media freedom. We raise those issues regularly with the Sri Lankan Government. The Prime Minister and I have decided to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka. We think that the Commonwealth and its future matter so much that we must do that, no matter what the location. However, we will do so in a way that draws attention to the issues. We and other countries will continue to press Sri Lanka on those issues over the coming weeks.”

The transcript of the debate in the British House of Commons:

Andrew Love, Labour (Co-op) MP, Edmonton: "In the light of recent human rights violations, will the Government review their decision to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November? As part of that review, will they set out their objectives and what targets the Sri Lankan Government need to meet?"

William Hague: "We are very concerned, as the hon. Gentleman knows, about human rights in Sri Lanka, including media freedom. We raise those issues regularly with the Sri Lankan Government. The Prime Minister and I have decided to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka. We think that the Commonwealth and its future matter so much that we must do that, no matter what the location. However, we will do so in a way that draws attention to the issues. We and other countries will continue to press Sri Lanka on those issues over the coming weeks.

Stella Creasy, Labour (Co-op) MP, Walthamstow: "Further to the Foreign Secretary’s answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Edmonton (Mr Love), may I press the Government to be more explicit about what progress they are seeking ahead of the meeting in November, given the very worrying reports about human rights violations in Sri Lanka?"

William Hague: "All parties in this House seek progress in Sri Lanka on a wide range of issues, including implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission; ensuring that there is media freedom and the operation of non-governmental organisations; and ensuring that not only is there reconstruction after the conflict, but that all political persuasions have a genuine ability to participate in democracy. We are looking for continued improvements in Sri Lanka across quite a broad front and we will be able to make those points at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November."

http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/34864-uk-pm-to-attend-chogm.html

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