Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara clarified that Commonwealth Member States in 2009, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Trinidad & Tobago had decided to hold the 2013 Summit in Sri Lanka and therefore it would be unfair to reopen the issue and that the arrangements for hosting the summit in 2013 are already underway.
High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara brought this up when she called on the Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird on 14 September 2011 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As this was the first meeting the High Commissioner had with the new Foreign Minister, she thanked the Minister for providing the opportunity to discuss important issues of interest to both countries.
While acknowledging the long standing links between Sri Lanka and Canada, the High Commissioner briefed the Foreign Minister on the post conflict development activities being undertaken in Sri Lanka following the defeat of terrorism in May 2009.
The High Commissioner also explained the initiatives taken by Sri Lanka on issues pertaining to consolidating peace and reconciliation and outlined the Government’s plans for the future. In this context, High Commissioner Wagiswara discussed the activities of the Sri Lankan Diaspora in Canada with the focus on the promotion of multiculturalism and integration.
Furthermore, High Commissioner Wagiswara also referred to the recent statement made by the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the next Commonwealth Summit to be hosted in Sri Lanka in 2013.
Clarifying Sri Lanka’s position, she stated that the Commonwealth Member States in 2009, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Trinidad & Tobago decided to hold the 2013 Summit in Sri Lanka and therefore it would be unfair to reopen the issue and that the arrangements for hosting the summit in 2013 are already underway.
Hosting 2013 summit…
The possibility of arranging for a visit to Sri Lanka by a group of Canadian Members of Parliament was also discussed among other matters.
Kenneth Macartney, Director General South East Asia & Ocenia (GSD) of the Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade was also associated with the Foreign Minister at the discussion. The High Commissioner was accompanied by Sumith Dassanayake, Minister Counsellor of the High Commission.