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Commonwealth chief says summit a success despite controversy

The Commonwealth is distinguished by the fact that it's a very issues-based organisation.

The Commonwealth chief Saturday rejected suggestions that the controversy-hit CHOGM summit New Delhi would fail to produce real results,saying talks among leaders of the grouping have been “productive”.

“The Commonwealth is distinguished by the fact that it’s a very issues-based organisation,” Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma said.

“As far as the outcomes are concerned,you will find at the end of this CHOGM that it has been very productive,and it has been very meaningful and successful,” he said seated alongside Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) has

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been hit by allegations of human rights violations during the final stages of the war against the LTTE,and British Prime Minister David Cameron Saturday gave Sri Lanka an ultimatum to address the issue by March.

Cameron said he would seek an international probe if Sri Lanka failed to act.

Earlier,the Prime Ministers of Canada and Mauritius boycotted the summit on the rights violations and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dropped plans to attend because of pressure from political parties in Tamil Nadu.

Though only 27 of the 53 members of the grouping have sent their heads of government,Sharma denied that discussions during the summit were lightweight.

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He said the level of discussion at the biennial summit was in no way lower than in previous years.

“They are countries from all parts of the world,they’ve got national issues on their mind…they’ve collective global issues on their mind,” he said.

First published on: 16-11-2013 at 22:00 IST
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