28 June, 2022


Commonwealth Urged To Reassess Sri Lanka’s Suitability To Host CHOGM And Assume Chair

At a panel discussion to launch the new International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) report, A Crisis of Legitimacy: The Impeachment of Chief Justice Bandaranayake and the Erosion of the Rule of Law in Sri Lanka, panellist Sadakat Kadri said, ‘Sri Lanka is due to be holding the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM, in Colombo in November 2013. It is up to the Commonwealth to decide whether or not that goes ahead. But the IBAHRI notes that the Commonwealth is committed by its Charter to the observance of the rule of law, good governance, independence of the judiciary and the upholding of human rights; the question for the Commonwealth, therefore is, does it stand for those values? If it does, it needs to consider very carefully whether Sri Lanka is an appropriate venue for the CHOGM and whether it is an appropriate chair in office for the two years after that, because Sri Lanka will become the body that represents the Commonwealth and its core values around the world.’ Mr Kadri, the rapporteur of a fact-finding delegation that, under the auspices of the IBAHRI, investigated the independence of the legal profession in Sri Lanka added, ‘There is a very real danger that if the CHOGM meeting goes ahead [in Sri Lanka], the present government will consider it a licence to continue along the course that it has so far proceeded and fail to uphold the Commonwealth’s values.’

Chief Justice - Shirani

The launch of A Crisis of Legitimacy took place on Monday 22 April 2013 at the House of Lords in London, United Kingdom. The audience included representatives of the Government of Sri Lanka, High Commissions, human rights groups, lawyers and journalists.

During the opening address, Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws said, ‘IBAHRI delegations have visited Sri Lanka in 2001 and 2009; unfortunately Sri Lanka would not admit the latest [IBAHRI] delegation of senior lawyers into the country to report upon the rule of law and the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Bandaranayake.’ She added, ‘It is so important that we give sustenance to other people who are struggling to protect human rights and the rule of law, and all the evidence suggests that the rule of law is seriously under threat in Sri Lanka.’

Overall, the research underpinning the Report revealed that the removal of Chief Justice Bandaranayake from office in Sri Lanka was unlawful, is undermining public confidence in the rule of law, and is threatening to eviscerate the country’s judiciary as an independent guarantor of constitutional rights. Discussing these issues at the IBAHRI Report launch were fact-finding delegation members The Honourable Justice Muhammad Lawal Uwais, a former Chief Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Mr Kadri, a UK Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, together with Dr Sunil Coorey, of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. Alex Wilks, an IBAHRI Senior Programme Lawyer, moderated the discussion.

Justice Lawal Uwais remarked during the debate, ‘The removal of Chief Justice Bandaranayake was done by the parliament and the Executive of Sri Lanka in contravention of the rule of law. The removal was rushed, ignoring the fact that there was a case before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, challenging the right to initiate the proceedings to remove the Justice from office’.

Film footage of the Report launch will be posted on the IBAHRI Sri Lanka-dedicated website pages in due course, alongside the short video clips (click here to view) that gave an overview of the salient findings of the Report ahead of the launch.


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Latest comments

  • 0

    Sri Lanka has gone to dogs

    • 0

      What kind of dogs? Hybrids or mangy mongrels? Trained or untrained? Domesticated or junk yard dogs?

  • 0

    Why is Sri Lanka moving heaven and earth to host the Commonwealth Conference? Only for one strong reason. To proclaim to the world that 54 nations can’t be wrong in considering SL not guilty of war crimes. Very attendance is endorsement of lily white innocence. Even more, that Sl has not violated any of the core values of the CW. What the rogue state wants is a blank cheque to continue with its violations and persecution without restraint.

    Prevarication up to now itself is a standing indictment on the CW. Hope it will seek redemption on the 26th.

  • 0

    Gl Peiris overtaken by euphoria crowed that SL hosting the 2013 Conference was an unqualified triumph for Sri Lanka. A correct description indeed and reason to gloat. All the crimes from 2009 to 2011 were swept aside and given a clean slate of approval at Perth. This decision taken with absolute levity gave all the strength to the rogue to ride with impunity and in triumph since then.

    The whole world knows that the worst of violations to date were subsequent to the Perth Endorsement.

  • 0

    What is the whole purpose of having CHOGM in Sri Lanka. What are you going to discus. Do you know that we have everything catered to our own Home Grown flavoured market.

    Therefore If somebody could explain the reason to bring CHOGM to Sri Lanka is helpful. Why we need CHOGM when we have everyting HOME GROWN.

    We have a cabinet of ministers who are 90% illiterate in English Language to understand it.They neither talk, speak or understand western high standard english.

    We have 90% of parliament members who do not have a university degree.

    We have 70% of Parliament members who do not have a Law Degree.

    We have 60% of Parliament ministers who have not passes Advanced Level Exam.

    We have 40% ofr Parliament members who do not have a GCE ordinary level certificate.

    Therefore to whom CHOGM members are going to speak to in English.

    Which Sri Lankian Govt. Minister or Parliament member going to understand your Western English Language.

    Sinhala is our sole national language and every Sri Lankan Tom, Dick and Harry speak, write and understand only their proud Sinhala Language only.

    Therefore unless all CHOGM members first learn to speak, talk and give their presentations in Sinhala Language, there is no point coming all the way to Sri Lanka to waste both your and our time.

    It’s Ok if you come to Sri Lanka to have a good time such as to have a glass of Toddy, dip in the ocean, eat coconut sambol and rice, drink a king coconut ,eat rice and Karavala dinner and can go and visit Mattala airport and Hambanthota Harbour in a bakki karatte “Bullock cart”, new Nanthikandal Ranaviru Hotel, VP’s bunker, Sigiriya etc….

    Other than that you may also get a chance to witness some live tourist Murder action,live Kasippu fight, live suicide bungee jumps to the trains, or live white van abductions etc.etc.

    Other than that there is nothing much to see….Also you may face a sudden water cut or a electricity breakdown so please bring your own water and battery fan and a torch light.

    Also you may expose to a Malaria or Dengue mosquito bites so bring your own mosquito repellents.

    Also if you plan to bring your wives and daughters make sure they bring their 10,000 volt stun Bras and stun underwares.

    Also make sure you take a 10 million Dollar Life and personal Property insurance coverage.

    Good luck.

  • 0


    You appear to be a highly educated person not belonging to the community which every Tom, Dick and Harry of Sri Lanka belong to. So you are highly qualified to be a Member of Parliament appointed from the National List. If you get the opportunity please associate, at least briefly, with other members elected by all Toms, Dicks and Harrys of the country. Then you will realize that they can present in Sinhala, the issues concerning their voters, better than those who speak English.

    Having a university degree does not mean educated. Both SBD and BG have proved it. There are Ministers who are lawyers and they have openly violated the constitution. Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is a Professor of Law, does know how to buy his home needs. There are more in the list. Have chats with them also. In no time you will be qualified for a doctoral study on your own thoughts and philosophy.

    No hard feelings. Keep on sending comments.

    The Professional

    • 0


      I truly understand your comment. You also have to note that now we have everything home grown under President Mahinda Rajapakse Chinthana and Mahinda Chinthana Ediri Dekma.

      Therefore you have to understand than it doesn’t matter if you are educated or not under the new Chinthana Program since now everything is Home Grown.

      See the following what we have…………

      Home Grown Chief Justice,
      Home Grown police commission,
      Home Grown Election Commission,
      Home Grown Media Commission,
      Home Grown Human Rights Commission,Foreign Ministry and Foreign Diplomats.
      Home Grown Constitution Amendment,
      Home Grown Parliament and cross over system,
      Home Grown Mahinda Chinthana economic planning,
      Home Grown National Prison Commission, Internal Security and Human rights system.
      Home Grown Education, Healthcare, Language, Religion Systems,
      Home Grown awarding contracts, projects and comission system,
      Home grown Land commission,
      Home grown Foreign Trade, Tourism, BOI projects ect…
      This is how our Home Grown our own Mahinda Chintana wonder of the world system works.

      Threrfore what I tried to say was when we have everthing Home Grown…..what’s the point have a CHOGM in Sri Lanka.WE DO NOT NEED THAT MUCH OF CHOGM ASSISTANCE UNLESS TO HAVE A HUGE CACATION CUM SIGHTSEEING PARTY.


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