7th November 2013 – Colombo, New Town Hall
We the undersigned civil society organizations who made joint submissions to the Universal Periodic Review on Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council in November 2012, will not be participating in the November 2013 Peoples’ Forum at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Sri Lanka. We are firmly of the opinion that the November 2013 CHOGM should not be held in Sri Lanka and that the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) should not hold the chair of the Commonwealth for the next two years, as per precedent.
Our position is based on a number of factors which together demonstrate that the GOSL is in violation of a host of international covenants and instruments on human rights to which it is a signatory including the Commonwealth Charter and the preceding declarations of the Commonwealth on which the Charter is based.
We firmly believe that allowing the GOSL to host the November summit and hold the chair of the organization for the next two years is an egregious affront to Commonwealth values and principles and to the numbers of our fellow citizens who are victims of the culture of impunity in our country in respect of serious human rights violations, the near collapse of the Rule of Law, institutionalised militarization, growing religious intolerance, the shrinking of the space for civil society and widespread corruption.
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