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Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) has not listed Sri Lanka or the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on its agenda for the April 26 in London, Richard Uku, spokesperson for Commonwealth Secretariat, said last week.

However, according to unconfirmed reports although Sri Lanka is not on the agenda, CMAG ministers have agreed to talk about the country under "Any Other Matters". This decision apparently has been taken when the CMAG ministers had their tele-conference last Wednesday.

Uku said that there have been so many inquiries whether the CHOGM 2013 venue will be shifted. However, there has been no request from any Commonwealth member government for a shift of the venue. Commonwealth Heads of Government remain committed to the decision they took collectively in 2009, and which they reaffirmed in 2011,  to hold the summit in Sri Lanka", Uku said.

He said that the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s "Good Offices" role has not been expired and it is very much alive.

"It is producing practical outcomes. We have agreed to contribute to enhancing the independence and authority of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL). In practical terms, we are exploring options to provide technical support to the HRCSL in staff training; expanding training of police personnel on human rights obligations; strengthening capacity in the media on human rights reporting; bolstering capacity to be involved in national reconciliation processes; and strengthening capacity to investigate human rights abuses", he noted. According to Uku, a Commonwealth expert round-table conference on reconciliation will be held in London in May for which Sri Lanka participate to share the experiences of reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation.

"The aim of the conference is to share experiences of the challenges faced and lessons learnt during post-conflict reconciliation in Commonwealth member states. Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Report is a pivotal national plan for moving forward, to achieve a multi-ethnic nation at peace with itself. We have urged the report’s expeditious implementation, which the Commonwealth remains committed to supporting. The Commonwealth will continue to explore opportunities where it can offer its collective wisdom and experience, and will aim to agree by mid-2013 on areas where it can support Sri Lanka’s implementation of the LLRC Report’s report", he added.

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