Perth: The Commonwealth on Sunday announced that
Sri Lanka would host its next summit in 2013, ending
speculation that the island nation could be stripped off the
rights over concerns of war crime allegations during the final
push to defeat the LTTE in 2009.
In a communique at the end of the Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting (CHOGM) here in the western Australian
city, the leaders of the 54-nation grouping reiterated their
decision to hold the next meeting in Sri Lanka.
"Finally, to reaffirm their decisions to meet next in
Sri Lanka in 2013 and thereafter in Mauritius in 2015, as well
as to welcome the offer by Malaysia to host the 2019 CHOGM,"
the communique said.
Earlier, Australia, the host of the summit had assured
Sri Lanka there were no plans to strip it of hosting rights to
Commonwealth talks in 2013 over war crimes allegations, though
Canberra had called for a UN probe into the claims.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard raised the accusations in
bilateral talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Gillard told reporters: "I
have been clear about Australia`s position in relation to
allegations of human rights abuse in Sri Lanka. We believe
that this is a serious question."
As a lawyer`s group said it had new evidence showing Sri
Lankan troops committed war crimes in 2009, Foreign Minister
Kevin Rudd said the UN Human Rights Council must examine
whether atrocities occurred.