President to Australia With Jumbo Delegation -
10-23-2011, 02:42 PM
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to travel to Australia this week for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting with a delegation comprising over 100 members including the entire Rajapaksa clan, well informed sources told The Sunday Leader.
The 108 member Sri Lankan delegation will include junior officials from the military who are either still serving in the army or are in various other postings but will not include any senior military officials, The Sunday Leader has learnt.
The Sri Lankan delegation is due in Perth, Australia in time for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting on Friday, External Affairs Ministry officials said.
Officials also said that there will be several meetings in Australia this week before the heads of government meeting but Sri Lanka will not take part in any of those meetings.
Canada and Australia are expected to raise concerns with Sri Lanka on the sidelines of the heads of government meeting in Perth, over concerns of human rights abuses committed during the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka will host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2013 but Canada has said it will pull out of the meeting in Sri Lanka if the country fails to show progress in addressing human rights concerns.