Address the issue of ‘common poverty’ vigorously, before we talk about ‘common wealth’- President Mahinda Rajapaksa


President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged the Commonwealth to focus, as a matter of priority, on development challenges, confronting the majority of our member nations. “I see a compelling need for those who guide the destiny of the Commonwealth to give serious thought to practical modalities, focusing on social and economic issues. This will greatly enhance the relevance and value of the Commonwealth,” he said and posed the question, “Shouldn’t we be addressing more vigorously the issue of ‘common poverty’ before we talk about ‘common wealth’?”

Commonwealth 2013 Opening Ceremony with all Heads of Governments

Inaugurating the 22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo today (November 15) President said, “If the Commonwealth is to remain relevant to its member countries, the Association must respond sensitively to the needs of its peoples and not let it turn into a punitive or judgemental body.”

President Rajapaksa said and urged the member-nations to collectively guard against bilateral agendas being introduced into the Organisation, distorting Commonwealth traditions and consensus. “The strength of the Organisation lies in keeping the member countries together, helping one another in a spirit of partnership, making the Commonwealth truly unique.”

Sri Lankan leader thanked all who have been firm in their support and understanding of the related complexities in Sri Lanka’s post conflict phase. “This confidence reposed by them in my country, will greatly assist me in steering the Organisation’s future in the best interest of our peoples.”

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