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CHOGM: Face-off with Sri Lanka on human rights abuse

Colombo, Nov 16 (): CHOGM is headed for a confrontation between member countries advocating a human rights probe and Sri Lanka.

Mauritius has said that it will not host the next CHOGM summit in 2015 as scheduled because of its boycott of the present meeting in Sri Lanka, said Prime Minister Navin Chandra Ramgoolam to British television Channel 4.

Ramgoolam defended his decision not to attend the CHOGM in Colombo, saying that there was no accountability on human rights violation during the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict.

As Mauritius part of boycott, it would not host CHOGM after two years since Sri Lanka will chair it. Mauritius was to host CHOGM in 2015. The CHOGM in 2015 will see Mauritius withdrawing from being host and this has been told to Foreign Affairs Minister in Colombo.

Mauritius along with India and Canada did not send a premier to Sri Lanka, on human rights abuses and the massacre of tens of thousands of civilians in its 2009 war against Tamil tiger rebels. Mauritius has an estimated 10 percent of ethnic Tamils.

Sri Lanka ruled out any probe. Sri Lanka Cabinet Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told the Chinese news agency that his country will resist attempts for an international investigation.

UK PM Cameron in CHOGM told Sri Lanka that if the island country does set right its human rights issues by March 2014, UK will press for an international investigation into the war crimes.

Silva termed this as nothing new. If this happens the Sri Lankan government would ask members of the United Nations Human Rights Council to keep off an external probe into the human rights issues of Sri Lanka.

“Commonwealth cannot be used as a global policeman,” de Silva said , meaning it is not like UN. Sri Lanka will chair the Commonwealth till 2015. Sri Lanka is currently hosting the CHOGM, the most important meeting of the 53-member bloc.

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