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Sunday, 10 February 2013





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Commonwealth Secretary General arrives today

Kamalesh Sharma

Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma will arrive in the country today to finalize preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to be held in November this year.

A five-member team of officials from his office has been here for the past several days, ahead of his visit, attending to logistical and other preparations in Hambantota and Colombo, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson told Sunday Observer yesterday.

Sharma will observe the preparations for the summit during his stay from February 10 to 13 but it was not immediately clear if there is a scheduled visit to the South where the host-city is located. A task force and an organising committee headed by External Affairs Ministry Monitoring MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena has been appointed to oversee all logistical aspects of the CHOGM summit. External Affairs Ministry's Chief of Protocol, Malinda Jayasinghe is the Chief Executive Officer of the organising committee.

The Secretariat is based at the BMICH. "The summit involves a huge logistical operation," the spokesperson said.

In addition to the main summit of Heads of State, there will be different segments, a youth summit and a people's summit for which separate venues have been earmarked.

The Commonwealth Head made his first visit to Sri Lanka in view of the CHOGM, in September last year. Sharma told media during the last visit that he had encouraged all Heads of States to participate in the CHOGM meeting this year.

"It is for each member state to decide their action on the matter, but as the Head of the Commonwealth I am hopeful that there will be as many Heads of States at the CHOGM," he said.



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