The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma, said yesterday that he saw no deficit in democracy in Sri Lanka. “I don’t think there is a deficit in democracy in Sri Lanka. However, considering the fact that democracy is a continuing process, there are certainly areas that could be addressed and improved,” he said. He made these statements at a media briefing held last evening.
When questioned on Canada’s apprehensions about attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2013, which is to be held in Sri Lanka, Mr. Sharma said it was his intention and hope that as many heads of government as possible would attend the meeting.
Mr. Sharma said there was no longer a question of appointing a Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law, and Human Rights, and that the Commonwealth would discuss, later this month, what steps could be taken to perform this function without appointing an official.
He said the Commonwealth was looking into starting a number of projects in collaboration with the Sri Lankan government in the areas of public service, youth entrepreneurship and local government.
The secretary general was here to attend the sessions of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and to discuss preparations for the upcoming CHOGM. “I have visited the venues at which the events of the meeting will be held and preparations are proceeding well. There are certain venues that have yet to be finalised but the direction in which these decisions are progressing are satisfactory,” he said. (Dianne Silva)
Pix by Pradeep Pathirana