Sri Lanka to appoint a committee to coordinate 2013 Commonwealth leaders meeting in Colombo

Mar 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka plans to set up a national steering committee at ministerial level to coordinate all activities relating to hosting 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo.

The cabinet of ministers today granted approval to a proposal submitted by the External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris to appoint the steering committee.

The National Steering Committee at Ministerial level will be headed by Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne.

A National Task Force at Secretaries level headed by Secretary to the President is also to be set up to implement the decisions taken by the national steering committee.

The CHOGM held in Trinidad and Tobago in Nov 2009 has unanimously agreed to hold its 2013 meeting in Colombo, the government said, adding that following the 2013 meeting Sri Lanka will serve as the Chair of CHOGM for the next two years.

CHOGM is held every two years and is the highest consultative and policy-making mechanism of the Commonwealth.

According to a cabinet press statement CHOGM will be the largest international event to be hosted by Sri Lanka since 1976 as 54 Heads of States or Governments will participate at this summit.

Sri Lanka lobbied the Commonwealth nations to gather support to host the 2011 meeting in Colombo but the United Kingdom, Canada, and New Zealand vehemently opposed Sri Lanka’s bid for 2011 citing concerns over its humanitarian issues.

Perth, Australia was assigned as the host for 2011 and Sri Lanka as the 2013 host of the biennial event.

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