Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to boycott Commonwealth summit over Sri Lanka human rights records


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The Independent US

The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, says he will boycott next month’s Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka because of human rights concerns. He is also threatening to cut off funding to the organisation over the decision to host the meeting there.

Mr Harper said on Monday that the Sri Lankan government has failed to uphold the Commonwealth’s core values. He says Canada remains disturbed by ongoing reports of intimidation and incarceration of political leaders and journalists, harassment of minorities, reported disappearances and allegations of extra-judicial killings.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Deepak Obhrai, will now travel instead. Mr Harper also said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting in Indonesia that Canada will examine its financing of the Commonwealth.