Malta chosen as host of 2015 Commonwealth summit

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Malta to head 2015 Commonwealth summit
Colombo, Nov 17: Malta was Sunday unanimously chosen as the host of the 2015 Commonwealth summit, Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat said.

Joseph Muscat said his country will rise to the occasion after being selected to host the biennial event, Xinhua reported.

The decision was made at the retreat session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo after Mauritius withdrew as host of the 2015 Commonwealth summit as a result of its prime minister's boycott of the Colombo summit over Sri Lanka's human rights concerns.

Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Chandra Ramgoolam had told Britain's Channel 4 television that Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma had informed his government that the head of state of Mauritius needed to be present in Sri Lanka as the next host of the summit.

Ramgoolam said as a result, he was ready to withdraw as host of the 2015 Commonwealth summit as he stood by his decision not to attend the Colombo summit.

The Mauritius prime minister joined Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper who had boycotted the event in Colombo over claims the Sri Lankan government had failed to address allegations of human rights abuses committed during the final stage of the war between the army and the Tamil Tiger rebels.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa Saturday said Sri Lanka needed time to address concerns raised after the war.

"Those in glass houses must not throw stones," the president said at a press conference.

President Rajapaksa said he was satisfied with the domestic process adopted to look into the war crimes allegation and will not agree to any international investigation.

IANS

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