A discussion on “Should the Commonwealth establish a Commissioner for democracy, rule of law and human rights?,” led to a majority of countries opposing such a move while Canada, U.K., Australia and four opposition legislators supported it.
The topic was discussed this afternoon at the on goings sessions of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference in Colombo, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said.
The four opposition MPs who supported the appointment of a Commissioner were Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP MPs John Amaratunga and Jayalath Jayawardena and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran. Leader of the house Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva and Senior Minister Dr.Sarath Amunugama were among those who opposed such a move.
Later Minister of External Affairs G.L.Peries told reporters that there are some countries trying to further the agenda of the Unite Nations via the Commonwealth. “The Commonwealth is a voluntary organisation and does not have a Constitution. No country of grouping can interfere in the internal affairs of a country using the UN mechanism as a cover,” the Minister said.
Sri Lanka which will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Colombo next March has suggested that economics be high on the agenda of the meeting.
Secretary General of the Commonwealth Kamlesh Sharma who addressed a media briefing separately said that the emphasis on economics should resonate well with Commonwealth nations.