Australia rejects calls to boycott summit

bob carr       Australia has vowed not to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka over allegations of human rights violations, despite mounting calls not to attend.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr says he will not boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka over allegations of human rights violations

Bob Carr said it would be counter-productive to skip the summit in Sri Lanka in November.

“Any suggestion of a boycott would be counter-productive. It would simply isolate the country and render it defiant of international opinion,” he told ABC television late Friday.

“Our challenge is to keep the pressure on to see there are further improvements, especially directed at reconciliation in the north.

“People… in the north, they’ve told me they have seen former Tamil Tigers — that is fighters using terrorist means — are now being rehabilitated, being employed, gainfully employed, being reintegrated into that community.”

Senator Carr says all other Commonwealth countries are expected to attend.

“Apart from Canada, I can identify no other country in the 55 member Commonwealth that would not be represented at Colombo. I’m not aware the Canadians have made a final decision on that,” he said.

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