Canadian PM hopes to meet MR at Commonwealth Heads of Govt. Meeting

11 October 2011 09:28 pm - 4     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper hopes to meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Western Australia, and discuss the reconciliation process and allegations of human rights abuses.

“The Prime Minister will be participating at the Commonwealth meeting in Perth, and I hope he will have the opportunity to discuss some of these issues directly with the President,” Canadian High Commissioner said yesterday.

In an interview with Daily Mirror, Canadian High Commissioner Bruce Levy also clarified that the Canadian Prime Minister will not boycott the 2013 CHOGM due to be held in Sri Lanka, contrary to some media reports.

“Let’s be absolutely clear on what the Prime Minister said. He did not say that he will boycott the summit. What he did say is that he will find it difficult to attend the summit if there is no progress in terms of political reconciliation and some of the issues surrounding the closing months of the war. That’s a two year time frame. It is important to note that he is not reaching a conclusion based on events that may or may not have occurred in Sri Lanka,” Mr. Levy said. “The Canadian position is that the human rights allegations remain unproven, and I have seen references saying that Mr. Harper will boycott the meeting. He has not said that.”

Asked whether an international, independent investigation into these allegations was necessary as urged by Human Rights Watch, High Commissioner Levy said, “It might be useful to have an investigation with international elements but that is for Sri Lanka to decide. We believe it is important for Sri Lanka’s own future that there is a credible process on what, at the end of the day, are some quite dreadful allegations.”

Mr. Levy said Sri Lanka’s growing ties with countries such as China and Iran need not imply distancing herself from old friends.

“Sri Lanka is a mature country with every right to decide on who she should be friends with, but this need not be an ‘either or’ game,” he said and added that Canada had maintained relations with Cuba despite the United States being Canada’s closest neighbour and biggest trading partner. (Ayesha Zuhair)
 

 

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  Comments - 4

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  • Roksa Wednesday, 12 October 2011 12:20 PM

    Good Hon President meet harper and tell him without taking politcal advantages and ask him to mind his own business.

    Guru Wednesday, 12 October 2011 02:34 AM

    Good, meet and give him left and right and teach him about human rights, democracy etc etc.

    SriLankan Wednesday, 12 October 2011 05:57 AM

    Thank you Hon. Prime minister. It is a very good decession you discuss those matters with the Sri Lankan president and other officials.
    Canada has lots of Srilankan community including Sinhalese as well. Majority of those Sinhalese moved to Canada because of the LTTE terrorists. Also majority of the Sinhalese moved to Canada through proper legal channels like Canadian immigration system.

    azdaktoday Wednesday, 12 October 2011 06:21 AM

    MR should tell this dummy Harper that he has got more important things to do


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