Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka will Discredit Brand

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 Political Analyst Sir Ronald Sanders said that the the most important reason for the selection of a country as the host-venue for a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is that it serves the interests of the Commonwealth as a whole and iff this reason were a consideration, President Mahinda Rajapaksa would already have withdrawn Sri Lanka from hosting the CHOGM in November.  The President has not done so.  Instead, he has insisted that the Commonwealth Summit must be held in Sri Lanka even as his government is mired in intense controversy over violations of human rights and disregard for the rule of law.

 He added that By this insistence, the Sri Lanka President demonstrates only an ambition to claim honour and respectability through hosting the meeting and representing the Commonwealth for the next two years as its Chair. This self-serving position of the Sri Lanka government is injuring the Commonwealth.

Sir Ronald Sanders argues that every member state of the Commonwealth –- particularly its small and weak ones — needs the Organisation to be strong and credible.  A discredited Commonwealth, that cannot stand-up for its own declared values, would have no moral authority or convincing status to advocate effectively for the welfare of its member countries in the international community.

 

He concludes that the  Sri Lanka government should withdraw from hosting the CHOGM in November, or the other Commonwealth countries should withdraw themselves from attending. Either action would strengthen the Commonwealth and enhance its authority. But, on no account should the CHOGM be held in Sri Lanka.

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