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'Trouble in paradise' - Jon Snow's experience of CHOGM in Sri Lanka

Channel 4 News reporter, Jon Snow described his experience of the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka and its build up as ‘trouble in paradise’.

See extracts form the blog post below.


“This turned out to be the worst attended Commonwealth leaders’ summit on record. 25 of the 53 presidents or prime ministers stayed away.”

“Hence the entire summit proved a strange event indeed.”



“After President Rajapaksa broke his own constitution by summarily sacking Sri Lanka’s responded chief justice in January, the Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma had little option but to have the matter investigated. The investigation lawyers, who included Britain’s Sir Jeffery Jowell QC, concluded that the matter had been a serious breach of the rule of law. But the advice was never shown to the eight Commonwealth foreign ministers who had to make the final decision as to whether to go ahead with meeting in Sri Lanka.”


“Having seen Channel 4’s film ‘No Fire Zone’, the prime minister was in no doubt that  he needed to challenge the Rajapaksas. And so, it seems he did.”

“Consequently boycotts, non-attendances and discussion of Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes – and crimes against humanity- obliterated everything else. Even some of those who did attend left early. This was, I can testify a shambles of a meeting.”

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