India opposes moves against Sri Lanka
HUMAN RIGHTS MONITOR ISSUE
Perth, Oct 27: The biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) kicks off here Friday, with the Indian delegation keeping a wary eye on efforts to set up a human rights monitor and prevent Sri Lanka from hosting the next meeting.
Leaders of over 50 countries have gathered for the event that is expected to focus on development issues, the global economic crisis and a host of other concerns that affect members of the 54-nation grouping.
The Indian delegation, headed by Vice President Hamid Ansari, is expected to voice its opposition to a voluminous report by an Eminent Persons Group which has, among other things, recommended the setting up of a Commissioner for Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights.
New Delhi believes such a commissioner will undermine the role of both the secretary-general and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, and would only end up duplicating what the United Nations already does through its Rapporteurs.
Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, who is accompanying Ansari, has said that the grouping does not have the budget for such activity, and suggested that "the real focus of the Commonwealth should be once again on the development challenges which are uppermost in the minds of the vast majority of its members".
"So, while we support the important values of democracy, rule of law and human rights, we believe the Commonwealth should focus on strengthening the existing institutions rather than trying to create new ones," he said earlier.
The move to prevent Sri Lanka from hosting the next meeting owing to its human rights record and alleged war crimes is also likely to be opposed. IANS
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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