Abbott says won’t toe Canadian line

7 October 2013 12:29 pm - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he has no intention of following Canada's leader in boycotting next month's Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka because of human rights concerns.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement on Monday, shortly before he met with Mr. Abbott in Bali, confirming his boycott of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Mr. Harper and Mr. Abbott are on the Indonesian holiday island for the annual APEC leaders summit.

The two countries have a lot in common but they certainly don't see eye to eye on the CHOGM, due to start in Colombo on November 10.

Mr. Harper said he'd hoped Sri Lanka would seize the opportunity presented by its selection as host to improve human rights conditions and move toward reconciliation and accountability after the country's long-running and bloody civil war against Tamil separatists, which ended in 2009.

"Unfortunately, this has not been the case," Mr Harper said.

Mr. Harper says he remains concerned about reports of intimidation and incarceration of political leaders and journalists, the harassment of minorities, disappearances, and even allegations of extrajudicial killings.

"It is clear that the Sri Lankan government has failed to uphold the Commonwealth's core values, which are cherished by Canadians."

Mr. Abbott said Mr. Harper's decision was a matter for him.

"But certainly I intend to attend CHOGM and will do my best to make a constructive contribution to the deliberations there," he told reporters.

The prime minister said the Commonwealth is an important forum and amongst Australia's oldest international associations.

"You do not make new friends by rubbishing your old friends or abandoning your old friends," he said. (The Australian)
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  Comments - 10

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  • Amila. G Tuesday, 08 October 2013 02:52 AM

    Well said Abbott

    Shashika Tuesday, 08 October 2013 11:01 AM

    lol.... ha ha ha....

    larief Tuesday, 08 October 2013 11:05 AM

    Very good Mr Abbort. You have are a leader

    Ed Rowlands Monday, 07 October 2013 12:41 PM

    Tony Abbott is a pragmatist and understands that the reconciliation process just does not happen over night, while Canada's Prime Minister would I am sure like to be the same, but he has to keep faith with his Canadian Tamil constituency and mouths words that satisfy them, while not adding to the solution.

    Saskia Monday, 07 October 2013 12:53 PM

    We know why. You wants to stop boat refugees and therefore you need SL. You attend this summit even if you know the human right abuses in SL. Shame.

    Banana Monday, 07 October 2013 01:04 PM

    It is the opposition UNP that is attacking its own members on the streets.

    dr ceylon Wednesday, 09 October 2013 12:57 PM

    canada dont have boat problem

    CHC Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:11 AM

    You seem to be having both the brains and the spine to be blunt Mr. Abott. We Srilankan's support you.

    Suq Madique Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:22 AM

    We know why Canada is not coming. He needs the tamil votes. Shame.

    expense clerk Tuesday, 08 October 2013 09:50 AM

    so he can claim more expenses?


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