Canada will maintain a strategic boycott on Sri Lanka and not participate in the Commonwealth summit next month. Canada PM Stephen Harper said that the main reason behind the boycott is the concern of human rights abuse. He has always expressed his desire to cut off its funding as well.
Mr Harper issued a statement on Monday emphasising on the failure by the government of Sri Lanka to uphold the core values of the Commonwealth. He further added that Canada had remained to be disturbed by the reported confinement and intimidation of journalists and political leaders in the South Asian country. There has been alleged harassment of the minorities in the country. People have strangely disappeared and there have been alleged illegal murders.
Even though there have been assumptions that Canada may boycott the next Commonwealth summit to be held in Sri Lanka, Mr Harper's confirmation at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meet now makes it official.
In addition to the boycott, Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned that Canada might cut off its funding to the Commonwealth organisation on the grounds of the consistent reports of alleged human rights violation in the host country. Mr Harper was speaking at the APEC summit when he expressed that the decision to boycott the summit had been made with a "heavy heart".
Canada's decision to boycott the Commonwealth summit this year does not, however, come as a surprise as it has been expressing its desire to do so since 2011 when the Commonwealth leaders' meet was held in Australia. On the other hand, Mr Harper's candid views on the political condition of Sri Lanka create the ripples.
The Commonwealth organisation was formed with 54 nations who were under the British rule in the past and are now facing economic crisis to exist on the global platform.
Canada's decision to boycott the summit may come as a double blow as the U.S. President Barack Obama is not going to be able to present at the meet due to the budget crisis at Washington. Deepak Obhrai, the parliament secretary, is now going represent Canada on behalf of the prime minister.