Mar 17, Colombo: Canadian Special Envoy to the Commonwealth, Senator Hugh Segal will arrive in Sri Lanka Monday on a fact finding mission to review Sri Lanka's situation as the country prepares to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November this year.
The envoy, who was appointed by the Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to advise him and represent Canada on Commonwealth matters, will meet the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris, and representatives of various political parties including the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
Senator Segal is also expected to visit Jaffna during his five-day visit to get a firsthand look on the progress in the humanitarian issues and the post-war development activities in the region.
The Canadian envoy will deliver a guest lecture titled "The Commonwealth as a Force for Good" at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies in Colombo on Friday, March 22, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Segal's visit to Sri Lanka is viewed as significant since Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that he would boycott the CHOGM if Sri Lanka failed to make a significant improvement in the human rights situation and accountability issues.
Meanwhile, the envoy has told Sunday Island that Canada will not boycott the CHOGM and there will be a Canadian delegation in Colombo for the event. However, the Canadian Prime Minister will not attend the summit, he has said.