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Clarification regarding my stance on CHOGM

| by Dr. Rayappu Joseph

( November 10, 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) I release this statement to clarify my stance regarding the CHOGM meeting scheduled to take place in a week's time in Colombo. The necessity to release this statement has arisen owing to certain media reports that seek to attribute certain positions with regard to the subject that i am not in agreement with.

1. My understanding of the CHOGM meeting being held in Colombo is that it is being used to help boost the legitimacy of the Sri Lankan Government as a responsible actor in the International Community. Given the continuing nature of the genocidal acts being perpetrated against the Tamil people it is my considered position that Colombo is not an appropriate venue for CHOGM. I also think to host the meeting in Colombo is in conflict with values enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter. I am in agreement with Archbishop Desmond Tutu that staying away from CHOGM is the best way to send a message to Sri Lanka.

2. The Honourable Prime Minister of India should accept Northern Province Chief Minister Hon. C.V. Wigneswaran's invitation to visit the Tamil affected areas of Sri Lanka. This however should not be interpreted as an invitation to the Prime Minister to attend CHOGM.

( The writer is the Bishop of Mannar.)

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