Sri Lanka hits out at 'judgmental' countries as some leaders boycott summit

An archway with a portrait of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse is pictured in the capital Colombo on November 11, 2013, ahead of the forthcoming Commonwealth summit. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) opens in Colombo on Novem
An archway with a portrait of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse is pictured in the capital Colombo on November 11, 2013, ahead of the forthcoming Commonwealth summit. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) opens in Colombo on November 15, hoping to tackle a range of economic, social and diplomatic issues affecting the 53-member bloc. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP/AFP) - Sri Lanka says no Commonwealth country has the right to sit in judgment over others, in an apparent reference to the boycott of an upcoming summit by the leaders of some countries.

External Affairs Minister Gamini Peiris said on Tuesday that "within the Commonwealth, there is no room for judgmental positions for some countries to sit in judgment over other countries".

The Prime Minister of Mauritius announced on Tuesday he will stay away from this week's Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka because of the host's poor human rights record. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday joined Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in boycotting the Nov 15 to Nov 17 Commonwealth leaders' meeting in Sri Lanka over concerns about the country's human rights record. There are 54 members of the Commonwealth, a loose association of former British colonies.

Sri Lanka is facing international criticism for failing to properly probe rights abuses during its long civil war, which ended in 2009.