Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that not only is he boycotting the Commonwealth summit in November over human rights issues in Sri Lanka, but he is also reconsidering Canada’s funding contribution to the Commonwealth.
At a press briefing Monday (October 7) at the end of the APEC summit in Indonesia, Prime Minister Harper said he will boycott the Commonwealth summit because of deteriorating human rights conditions in Sri Lanka. And he said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will review Canada’s financial contributions to Commonwealth programs.
Prime Minister Harper said the Foreign Affairs’ parliamentary secretary, Deepak Obhrai, would represent Canada at the Commonwealth summit.
In a news analysis, CBC correspondent Terry Milewski wrote the Prime Minister “did something unusual when he decided to stay away from the next Commonwealth summit, in Sri Lanka. He declared that it’s not because he can’t, but because he won’t.”
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from November 15 to 17.
CBC News – Harper scrubs Sri Lanka visit over human rights violations – here
Globe and Mail – Harper raises stakes by threatening to cut Commonwealth funding – here
CBC News/Terry Milewski – Harper’s Sri Lankan boycott includes swipe at Commonwealth – here
Commonwealth website – Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013 – here