The Australian Government, today reiterated its commitment to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held here in November and urged Sri Lanka to fulfil the promises it made in the context of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report.
“Australia will attend CHOGM and we support Sri Lanka as the host for this very important event. We are willing to give any advice necessary for organizing the event,” Australian Immigration and Citizenship Minister Brendan O’ Connor, who is on a two day visit to the island, said
He said Sri Lanka needed to comply with commitments made to the international community, with regard to reconciliation, democracy and the protection of human rights.
“We support the LLRC report and the benchmarks and recommendations that have been made by the Sri Lankan government and hope that these will be fulfilled,” Mr. O’Connor said.
However he evaded the question of Australia’s course of action if Sri Lanka failed to adhere to the commitments made on the LLRC report.
“It is an important time from now until CHOGM and Sri Lanka must demonstrate its commitment. We have made it very clear to the Sri Lankan government through productive and constructive discussions with the Foreign Minister. We will be attending and we are sure the Sri Lankan government will comply with its own recommendations,” he said.
Mr. O’Connor said despite the peak in the arrival of illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka last year, the number had reduced significantly this year. “We have prosecuted a number of people responsible for organising these illegal boat operations,” he said.(Dianne Silva)