Commonwealth ready to help Sri Lanka fix institutions, build capacity: Secy Gen

Sept 13, 2012 (LBO) – The Commonwealth is ready to help Sri Lanka strengthen its public service and key institutions, build leadership capacity of senior officials and uplift professionalism of the media, a top visiting official said. Sharma said the Commonwealth is also looking at developing youth entrepreneurship in rural areas, sports and development for peace and uplift the professionalism of the media to better report issues related to development and elections.

Programmes adopted in consultation with the government will be supported by the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation.

Sri Lanka is set to hold the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2013 and President Mahinda Rajapaksa is pushing for an economic focus with emphasis on developing entrepreneurship among rural youth.

Both Canada and Australia has called on Sri Lanka to probe allegations of war crimes during the final stages of the battle with the separatist Tamil Tigers.

Canada went to the extent of threatening a boycott of the CHOGM in Sri Lanka unless the state improves its human right record against its citizens.

Sharma has urged Canada to drop a threat to boycott CHOGM in Sri Lanka, the AFP newswire reported Thurs