Sri Lanka to host Commonwealth Summit in 2013

Posted By: Pti
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Sri Lanka
Perth, Oct 30: The Commonwealth announced that Sri Lanka would host its next summit in 2013, ending speculation that the island nation could be stripped off the rights over concerns of war crime allegations during the final push to defeat the LTTE in 2009.

In a communique at the end of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) here in the western Australian city, the leaders of the 54-nation grouping reiterated their decision to hold the next meeting in Sri Lanka. "Finally, to reaffirm their decisions to meet next in Sri Lanka in 2013 and thereafter in Mauritius in 2015, as well as to welcome the offer by Malaysia to host the 2019 CHOGM," the communique said.

Earlier, Australia, the host of the summit had assured Sri Lanka there were no plans to strip it of hosting rights to Commonwealth talks in 2013 over war crimes allegations, though Canberra had called for a UN probe into the claims. Prime Minister Julia Gillard raised the accusations in bilateral talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Perth.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Gillard told reporters: "I have been clear about Australia's position in relation to allegations of human rights abuse in Sri Lanka. We believe that this is a serious question." As a lawyer's group said it had new evidence showing Sri Lankan troops committed war crimes in 2009, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said the UN Human Rights Council must examine whether atrocities occurred.


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