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Sunday, 5 May 2013

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CHOGM preparations - Australia pledges support

Australia has offered to assist Sri Lanka in organising the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November.

The visiting Immigration and Citizenship Minister Brendan O’Connor told a media briefing on Friday, “Through our own experiences we might be able to share our insights on the best way to do it and that is something we are likely to provide in the near future.”

Echoing the words of the Australian Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr, O’Connor said there was no doubt that Australia will attend the upcoming international event in Sri Lanka.

His visit to Sri Lanka was part of their efforts to counter illegal maritime arrivals from Sri Lanka and several other destinations. The Aussie Minister hailed the Government’s efforts to prevent boats taking to sea from here.

He said the issue of bogus asylum seekers and irregular maritime arrivals was a ‘complex and regional challenge’ that needs ‘multinational arrangements involving countries of origin, transit and destinations’.

He had told the External Affairs Minister during a meeting that Australia was a supporter of Sri Lanka as the CHOGM host.

He also said that the Australian Government supported the LLRC recommendations and called upon the Government to work through the recommendations and have them realised fully.

“We believe it is important for the prosperity and stability of Sri Lanka.”

“Australia is a friend and we will always speak candidly to the Sri Lankan Government about any concerns we have. We wish to see that the future of Sri Lanka is one of peace, economic growth and stability,” he said. The Minister was accompanied by Secretary, Department of Immigration and Citizenship Martin Bowles.

 

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