'SL plays active role in C'wealth'
Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma yesterday said that
Sri Lanka has played an active role in the Commonwealth and upheld the
democratic norms and practices since its inception.
"Ceylon was one of the three developing countries when the
Commonwealth's London Declaration was adopted in 1949, he added.
'The Commonwealth is continuously strengthened by Sri Lanka's
membership. He said Commonwealth policies are to be reformed and one of
the two approaches on strengthening what the Commonwealth intends to do
at the time of the election.
"We have created a Commonwealth electoral network to promote best
practice and share experience", he added.
Addressing a press conference in Colombo, Sharma said he arrived in
Sri Lanka to participate in the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary
Conference which was inaugurated on Tuesday morning. He said that he
focused on Sri Lanka's preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of State
Meeting to be held in Colombo, during his visit.
He said that he visited some of the facilities which would be used
for Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka next year. "I
visited some of the logistic facilities of the venues," he said.
Sharma said he met a number of senior government leaders, including,
External Affairs Minister Prof G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President
Lalith Weeratunga, Monitoring MP for External Affairs Ministry Sajin
Vass Gunawardena and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. He added
that all these meetings were purposeful. He said Sri Lanka has expressed
its wishes to have an economic orientation at the CHOGM meeting.
Sharma added that he visited Thirikkovil in the Eastern Province and
had discussions with the local officials yesterday morning.
He said that he inspected a project in the former war zone. Sharma
added that he visited a fishing village in the Eastern Province and
inspected the progress of the projects assisted by the Commonwealth
He said Commonwealth is becoming younger as the organization
considers the younger generation as an element to economic and social
'We are implementing a Commonwealth local government policy which
will help strengthen Local Government policy of Sri Lanka. This
declaration was adopted by the heads of Commonwealth organization
The Commonwealth Secretary General also said he explored more avenues
to forge closer partnership between Sri Lanka and Commonwealth during
Commenting on a proposal to establish the post of Commonwealth Human
Rights Commissioner, Sharma stressed that it is only a proposal.
He said he expects to visit the Northern Province during his next
visit to Sri Lanka.