Bangladesh is the current chair of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, which is meeting in April to discuss among other matters Sri Lanka’s alleged failure to abide by the Latimer House Principles on judicial independence.
South Asian diplomatic sources said Bangladesh had already come under tremendous pressure from some Commonwealth nations that sought an early CMAG meeting to take action against Sri Lanka and wanted the venue of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit shifted from Hambantota to London or Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris will fly to Dhaka on Wednesday in what is seen as a crucial mission to avert a Commonwealth stricture on Sri Lanka.
They said Minister Peiris’ visit aimed at persuading Bangladeshi leaders not to go along with Canada and some other members of the CMAG would put Dhaka in a major diplomatic dilemma.
Bangladesh was inclined to back Sri Lanka, but Sri Lanka must show up with at least some perfunctory progress towards Commonwealth values so that Bangladesh could resist pressure and justify its decision not to take action against Sri Lanka, the sources said.
Canada slammed Sri Lanka for not adhering to the Commonwealth values. It also said Colombo had not taken measures to address human rights violations and accountability issues related to the separatist war.