Queen to miss Commonwealth meeting

sinhala– සිංහල


The Queen will not be attending this year’s Commonwealth heads of government meeting for the first time since 1973, Buckingham Palace has said. She will be represented by Prince Charles at the gathering in Sri Lanka in November.

The BBC’s royal correspondent Peter Hunt says the reason is the Queen’s age and the need to limit overseas travel. The Queen, 87, is the head of the Commonwealth and every two years leaders meet to discuss global issues.

The Queen was first present at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) in Ottawa, Canada, in 1973 – missing the first one in 1971 – and has been at every summit since. The last one, in 2011, was held in Perth, Australia.


A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “I can confirm that the Queen will be represented by the Prince of Wales. “The reason is that we are reviewing the amount of long-haul travel that is taken by the Queen.”

Our correspondent said the Queen would not have taken the decision lightly and it was both surprising and significant. He said it was a significant moment for the Prince of Wales and it was also a symbolic move.

“It is about transition, about preparing this country for an elderly head of state who will be able to do less and less,” he said. “There is no intention of abdication. It will just not happen during her reign. It is the palace addressing the practicalities of her advancing age – you will see less of her and more of him.”

By stepping in for the Queen, Prince Charles will be performing one of his most significant duties to date as a future King. He has never before attended in place of the monarch at the two-yearly gathering of Commonwealth leaders. In 2007, both the Prince and the Queen attended CHOGM in Uganda.

Concerns have been raised about the choice of Sri Lanka as the host nation. Campaigners including Amnesty International are calling for the CHOGM meeting not to take place there before an investigation is carried out into human rights abuses in the final six months of the 26-year Sri Lankan civil war.

Britain is facing pressure to lead a boycott of the meeting, with Canada’s government indicating it will not attend unless specific criteria are met. But Buckingham Palace said the Queen’s decision was not related to the political situation.

“The key point here is that the Queen will be represented, although she is not there in person, by the Prince of Wales,” a spokesman said.

මහ රැජිණ ලංකාවට එන්නෙ නැහැ….

නොවැම්බර් මාසයේදී ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේදී පැවැත්වෙන පොදුරාජ්‍ය මණ්ඩලීය රාජ්‍ය නායක සමුළුවට බ්‍රිතාන්‍යයේ එළිසබත් මහ රැජිණ සහභාගි නොවන බව බකිංහැම් මාළිගය නිවේදනය කර තිබේ. 87 වැනි වියේ පසු වන එළිසබත් මහ රැජිණගේ දුරගමන් සීමා කිරීමේ අවශ්‍යතාව මත මෙම තීරණයට එළැඹ ඇති බව බී.බී.සි.ය වාර්තා කර ඇත. කෙසේ වෙතත් රැජිණ නියෝජනය කරමින් චාල්ස් කුමරු ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ පැවැත් වෙන පොදු රාජ්‍ය මණ්ඩලීය රාජ්‍ය නායක සමුළුවට සහභාගි වනු ඇති.ඇය මෙලෙස පොදු රාජ්‍ය නායක සමුළුවකට සහභාගී නොවන්නේ,1973 වසරින් පසු ප්‍රථම වතාවටය. ගෝලීය ගැටලු සාකච්ඡා කිරීම සඳහා වසර දෙකකට වරක් පොදු රාජ්‍ය මණ්ඩලීය රාජ්‍ය නායක සමුළුව පැවැත් වේ.

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