Having regard to the substantial progress achieved by Sri Lanka in dealing with a variety of complex challenges since the advent of peace and also in view of the clearly formulated rules governing the scope of CMAG’s role, there is absolutely no justification for introducing any issues relating to Sri Lanka into the agenda of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, External Affairs Minister Prof G.L. Peiris said in Dhaka on Thursday.
He made these remarks in the course of a wide ranging discussion with Bangladesh Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Dipu Moni at her Ministry during a two-day official visit to Bangladesh.
Prof. Peiris, who provided his counterpart in the government of Bangladesh with a detailed briefing on current developments in Sri Lanka, used the opportunity to inform her of the substance of the discussions which took place in Colombo during the visit by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma to Sri Lanka last week.
The Minister said that exercise of the good offices role of the Secretary-General was quite evident from the wide range of consultations which he had with representatives of the government, the diplomatic community and several statutory agencies.
He pointed out that exhaustion of the good offices role of the Secretary-General is a condition precedent for any specific country situation to be included in the agenda of CMAG.
This is clear from the rules relating to CMAG, adopted by the Commonwealth Heads of Government at their meeting in Perth, Western Australia, in October 2011.
Prof. Peiris told Dr. Moni that he had set out this position with clarity to Secretary-General Sharma in correspondence as well as at discussions in London and Colombo during the last few days.
This had also been communicated, he said, through their High Commissioners in London to the Foreign Ministers of all nine countries which are members of CMAG.