Depleted Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting reflects human rights concerns

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Twenty-five out of fifty-three heads of State did not attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which took place in Colombo on 15 November 2013. [1] The Governments of Canada, Kenya and India, which FIDH and its member organizations had urged to «reconsider the level of representation to the official meeting», were not represented by their heads of State.

«The lowest-ever turn-out at the CHOGM strongly indicates growing concern among Commonwealth countries about persisting impunity and human rights violations in Sri Lanka» , noted Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

David Cameron, who attended the CHOGM as UK Prime Minister, nevertheless paid a historical visit to the northern Jaffna region to eyewitness the situation of the Tamil minority community. He also urged the president of Sri Lanka to go further and faster over human rights issues and reconciliation following the end of the country’s civil war in 2009.

In the two weeks that preceded the CHOGM, Sri Lankan authorities disrupted by all means attempts to publicly raise human rights concerns in the country.

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