Aug 17, Colombo: The spotlight will be on Sri Lanka during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which will be held in Colombo in November, to demonstrate its commitment to the Commonwealth values, the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, John Rankin has said.
"We will look to Sri Lanka, as we would any host, to demonstrate its commitment to Commonwealth values, including on freedom of expression, freedom of the media and respect for human rights and the rule of law," Rankin said delivering a speech at a function recently.
The High Commissioner has confirmed that Prince Charles will be attending CHOGM, representing the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth and Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague will represent the British Government.
He said the UK will help Sri Lanka to make the Commonwealth summit a success.
"Our hope is that CHOGM will be a success and we will continue to work towards that end, including through our engagement in preparations for the Commonwealth Business Forum," Rankin said.
He said the UK hopes that the forum will provide substantive business opportunities for partnerships between UK companies and the public and private sectors in Sri Lanka.
The British Government has made it clear to the Sri Lankan government that they expect to see concrete progress on human rights, reconciliation, free, fair and peaceful Northern Provincial Council elections in September and that media and civil society have access and freedom of movement to the Commonwealth meeting.