New Zealand Member of Parliament Jan Logie and Australian Senator Lee Rhiannon were carrying out their investigation ahead of this week's Commonwealth summit in Colombo, reported a Chinese state run news agency.

Leaders from India and Canada have already signaled they will not be attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka where the government has come under fire for its human rights record since ending the 26-year civil war with the Tamil minority in 2009.

Jan Logie and Lee Rhiannon released a statement on Sunday, saying that they had evidence of widespread human rights abuses and warning that CHOGM's presence in Sri Lanka risks becoming an award for a regime accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The New Zealand Green Party, to which Logie belongs, on Monday called on Prime Minister John Key, who will attend CHOGM from November 15 to 17, to oppose the appointment of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to chair the Commonwealth.

"President Rajapaksa cannot be allowed to assume a main leadership role of CHOGM when he is allowing human rights abuses to continue under his watch," Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said.

"John Key should boycott the meeting but, if he is determined to go, then he needs to use the opportunity to ensure human rights issues are front and centre during the talks and that an appropriate chair is selected," Norman said.

The main opposition Labour Party said Sri Lanka was "unfit" to chair the Commonwealth for the next two years and Key must insist Sri Lanka observes basic human rights.

"To agree to Sri Lanka becoming the chair would weaken the Commonwealth's credibility and undermine its status as a body that stands up for human rights," Labour foreign affairs spokesperson David Shearer said.

Radio New Zealand reported that the New Zealand government had said that it was more constructive to engage with Sri Lanka and Key would directly express New Zealand's concerns about issues such as human rights.

(Agencies)

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