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Australia dismisses calls to boycott CHOGM

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has rejected demands that Australia should boycott the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka.

The Foreign Minister claims he has not seen any evidence that the Sri Lankan government deliberately killed Tamil civilians.

"Any suggestion of a boycott would be counter-productive. It would simply isolate the country and render it defiant of international opinion," he told ABC.

See video here.

"Our challenge is to keep the pressure on to see there are further improvements, especially directed at reconciliation in the north.

"People ... in the north, they've told me they have seen former Tamil Tigers - that is fighters using terrorist means - are now being rehabilitated, being employed, gainfully employed, being reintegrated into that community."

"Apart from Canada, I can identify no other country in the 55 member Commonwealth that would not be represented at Colombo. I'm not aware the Canadians have made a final decision on that," he said.

Australia’s former prime minister, Malcolm Fraser said the government should not attend the meeting in Colombo.

"No, we shouldn't [attend]," Fraser said.

"We should have been arguing at the Commonwealth conference in Perth that Sri Lanka was an inappropriate place to have the conference.

"From all the reports that we're getting, there is still continuing human rights violations in Sri Lanka."

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