Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Commonwealth Sec Gen defends 'progress’ in SL amidst staunch questioning at CMAG press brief

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held its 39th meeting today.

The meeting was Chaired Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister, Dr Dipu Moni, and reviewed developments of the only nation on the CMAG agedna, Fiji.

The official Concluding Statement welcomed the recent reaffirmation of the Commonwealth’s commitment to democracy, human rights, the rule of law, separation of powers, freedom of expression, good governance, tolerance, respect and understanding and the role of civil society, and outlined CMAG’s intention of helping Fiji’s reinstatement at the commonwealth.

A press brief by the Commonwealth Secretary General Mr Kamalesh Sharma, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr Dipu Moni and Vice-Chair of CMAG Senator Bob Carr, followed the meeting.

Despite several reminders from the panel that the Fiji was the only nation on the CMAG agenda, the panel received a barrage of questions that probed the Commonwealth’s relationship with Sri Lanka.

Responding to the questioning of Sri lanka’s ability to uphold Commonwealth values, Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma, said,

“I am fully persuaded that they are sincere in subscribing and following those values.”

Despite numerous statements questioning the Commonwealths integrity due to its collaboration with Sri lanka,  Sharma went on to uphold Sri Lanka’s apparent progress in the field of accountability and reconciliation, stating

“I am satisfied with the progress which I am making is encouraging and will continue.”

Responding to queries of the alleged ‘progress’, Sharma purported,

“By progress, I mean the road map and a way forward which we have agreed upon. It is still a work-in-progress, and when it is achieved then it will be known very widely.”

The Chair of the CMAG meeting, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni, at a separate press brief for the Institute of Commonwealth studies, faced staunch questioning regarding Bangladesh’s relationship with Sri Lanka.

Responding to Tamil Guardian’s questioning of Bangladesh’s ‘brotherly’ relationship with a state facing accusation of grave human rights abuses, Dr Dipu Moni said,

“there are other institutions working with Sri Lanka. When Sri Lanka decides to implement reconciliation and accountability process, we will assist.”

The Commonwealth’s lack of apprehension with Sri Lanka , was deemed appalling by Canadian foreign minister , John Baird.

Check our twitter account for lives tweets from today’s press conferences.

See here for a full transcript of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group Press Conference.

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.