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Canadian FM denies Sri Lanka’s claim

31 July 2013 02:07 am - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird denied reports Tuesday that he has confirmed plans to attend the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka.

Two newspapers in Sri Lanka reported Tuesday that Baird had sent his RSVP to be part of the Canadian delegation to this November's summit of the 54 Commonwealth leaders.

"About 85 per cent of the participants from 54 Commonwealth countries including Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird have confirmed their attendance ... We hope the Canadian Premier will also confirm his participation once the other Commonwealth Leaders confirm their participation," a Sri Lankan MP was quoted in one domestic newspaper (Daily Mirror).

But Baird's spokesman Rick Roth says the minister has yet to decide whether he will attend the meeting.

Roth says the minister remains concerned about the Sri Lankan government's lack of accountability over allegations of war crimes against ethnic Tamils in the aftermath of the country's long civil war that ended in 2009.

"Canada will continue to monitor events in Sri Lanka and do what we can to try to increase pressure on the government of Sri Lanka to make changes," Roth said in an email.

"As the prime minister has stated very clearly, we expect our concerns to be addressed prior to the next Commonwealth meeting. However, given the current circumstances, it would be very difficult for this government to fully participate."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has threatened to boycott the summit, saying Sri Lanka shouldn't be hosting until it cleans up its act on human rights.

Baird has said it would be up to the prime minister to decide whether anyone goes to represent Canada because the November meeting is for heads of government.

Harper's spokesman Carl Vallee said the prime minister's views on the matter remain unchanged.

A senior government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said "we've seen this sort of misinformation in the past" from the Sri Lankan government.

The Harper government's tough line against the Sri Lankan government has won praise among human rights groups who share the concern over the lack of accountability and transparency by the government.

As Baird emerged from a recent meeting of Commonwealth foreign ministers in London earlier this spring, he said he was "appalled" that Sri Lanka would be hosting the summit.

That sparked a backlash in the Sri Lanka media, including a lengthy editorial by one newspaper that used a long string of derogatory terms to describe Baird.(The Canadian Press)

  Comments - 16

  • Porky Pig Wednesday, 31 July 2013 02:19 AM

    When people lie they much it nicely. Not to get caught redhanded. Ha Ha Ha!

    Wantok Mali Wednesday, 31 July 2013 02:35 AM

    your comment makes no sense!!!!! what are you trying to say?

    Perumal Wednesday, 31 July 2013 02:39 AM

    Canada is just one country!

    be fair Wednesday, 31 July 2013 04:48 AM

    try not to come.........
    its ok

    CROW Wednesday, 31 July 2013 06:47 AM


    Malin Wednesday, 31 July 2013 07:46 AM

    Who cares? CHOGM will go ahead even if the Canadians come or not.

    Bing Kunda Wednesday, 31 July 2013 08:40 AM

    What's so big about Canada which is a supporter of LTTE?

    logan Wednesday, 31 July 2013 08:45 AM

    thats an other lie

    warra Wednesday, 31 July 2013 09:59 AM

    that's all right bro you can hang with your LTTE buddies aye.

    Saskia Wednesday, 31 July 2013 10:04 AM

    Shame shame, puppy shame.

    Rohan Wednesday, 31 July 2013 10:52 AM

    We do not want Canada to be here in Sri Lanka. Better go to Tamilnadu and Join LTTE terrorists there.

    rajarajaraja Wednesday, 31 July 2013 11:21 AM

    what about your politician

    sumith Thursday, 01 August 2013 05:40 PM

    is it Sri Lanka's accountibility or greed for power eyeing the LTTE votes. blatant lies exposed. dont blackmail Canada.

    ralahami Thursday, 01 August 2013 10:07 PM

    yea right, sri lankans never lie!!
    gihin kaapan thanakola....after that go sleep in the new highway!!!!
    asia's miracle!!!!

    Aaron Singho Thursday, 01 August 2013 10:39 PM

    Please stay where ever you are and don't come to Sri Lanka.

    Siva Thursday, 08 August 2013 04:54 PM

    HA HA HA HA day by day the truths coming out

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