Feb 11, Colombo: The Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma who is in Sri Lanka on a four-day visit has denied the media reports which said that he had confirmed Sri Lanka as the host venue of the of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November 2013.
Issuing a statement the Commonwealth Secretariat said contrary to some media reports the Secretary-General has not made any statements today with regard to Sri Lanka as host venue of the CHOGM.
"The only public statement issued by the Commonwealth Secretariat thus far is a press release issued by the Secretariat's Official Spokesperson, Richard Uku, on 10 February 2013 announcing the Secretary-General's current visit to Sri Lanka," the office said.
Local media reports Monday said Sharma had confirmed the location of the summit as Colombo during a meeting with the task force heads and External Affairs Ministry officials and had reviewed the ongoing preparations for holding the CHOGM.
Local media reported that the Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Richard Uku has also told them that Sharma has confirmed that CHOGM would be held in Sri Lanka.
The Secretary-General's visit to Sri Lanka comes amid calls by Canada and other special interest groups to boycott the CHOGM in Sri Lanka and the uncertainty of Britain whether it will attend the 54-nation summit.
The Commonwealth Secretariat reiterating the spokesman's 10 February statement said that Sharma will be in Colombo to discuss matters of shared interest between Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth, including November's Heads of Government Meeting and that he will review organizational preparations for CHOGM and discuss possible outcomes that Sri Lanka and Commonwealth leaders will want to achieve at the summit.
It further reiterated that the Secretary-general is expected to discuss, among other issues, options for advancing Commonwealth values and principles, including the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers.
There will be a statement at the end of the Secretary-General's visit to Sri Lanka on Wednesday, 13 February, the Secretariat informed.