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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2766

Sri Lanka expressed strong objection on the decision to suspend Pakistan

Kampala, 24 November, (Asiantribune.com): President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday expressed strong objections of Sri Lanka at the decision taken to suspend Pakistan from Commonwealth membership at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala, Uganda earlier yesterday.

President Rajapakse expressed Sri Lanka’s position when President Yoweri Museveni, who is the Chairman of the CHOGM, asked for the views of Heads of Governments on the decision taken by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to suspend Pakistan from the Commonwealth in view of current developments there. It was of President Rajapakse’s view that due consideration should be given to the changes now taking place in Pakistan before such an important decision is taken regarding a Member of the Commonwealth.Mr.Yoweri Museveni President of Uganda  welcomes President Mahinda Rajapakse and Madam ShiranthiMr.Yoweri Museveni President of Uganda welcomes President Mahinda Rajapakse and Madam Shiranthi

President Rajapakse’s objections to the decision to suspend Pakistan was in keeping with a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held yesterday, which reiterated an earlier decision that Sri Lanka should stand by Pakistan, vis-a-vis the move to suspend her from the Commonwealth, in view of the changes the country was going through at this time.

He stated that all avenues must be explored by the Commonwealth towards Pakistan’s continuity in the Commonwealth Councils and for this process the Commonwealth should judge the developments in that country in the context of domestic compulsions and ground realities. Heads of States at the opening session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) yesterday  in Kampala, UgandaHeads of States at the opening session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) yesterday in Kampala, Uganda

The President recorded Sri Lanka’s dissent on the decision taken at the Executive Session of CHOGM.

Earlier, The Cabinet of Ministers, at a Special Cabinet Meeting yesterday (23) discussed on the decisions arrived at the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group in London regarding the Membership of the Republic of Pakistan in the Commonwealth of Nations and having considered the fact that the internal problems faced by that country are now being resolved through freeing persons taken into custody during the emergency resolved that any action initiated to remove the Republic of Pakistan from the Commonwealth or suspend its Membership, should be opposed by the Government of Sri Lanka.

In this connection, the Cabinet further noted that considering the close historical and bilateral relations between our two countries, Sri Lanka is of the view that the Republic of Pakistan remain within the Commonwealth and it would not support any motion adopted to oust Pakistan at the Commonwealth Summit being held in Kampala, Uganda.

Sri Lanka advocated the need for greater space for Pakistan to achieve and realize its obligations from the last meeting. It was reiterated by Sri Lanka that it is important for CMAG to engage Pakistan from within the Commonwealth.

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has consistently taken this position during the CMAG in New York in September 7 and at the two subsequent meetings. Queen Elizabeth address the opening session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala, Uganda earlier yesterday,Queen Elizabeth address the opening session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala, Uganda earlier yesterday,

At a media briefing at the venue of the CHOGM attended by the President of Uganda and Don Mckinnon, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, many questions were asked about the decision to suspend Pakistan, and Sri Lanka’s objection to it.

The Secretary General explained that Sri Lanka had acted within her rights as a senior member of the Commonwealth. Commonwealth  Heads of Government  with Queen Elizabeth yesterday  in Kampala, Uganda (Pix: Sudath Silva)Commonwealth Heads of Government with Queen Elizabeth yesterday in Kampala, Uganda (Pix: Sudath Silva)

Subsequently Pakistan’s caretaker Foreign Minister Innamul Haq speaking to Foreign Minister Bogollagama conveyed Pakistan’s deep appreciation for the efforts made in maintaining the consistent position of Sri Lanka on the issue of Pakistan at CMAG. He requested the Minister to convey to the President of Sri Lanka, the gratitude of Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister for Sri Lanka’s efforts in support of Pakistan.

- Asian Tribune -

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