The Canadian government has launched a blistering attack on Sri Lanka‘s “appalling” record on democratic accountability as the controversy intensifies over the Commonwealth‘s decision to allow Colombo to host its biennial heads of government meeting later this year.
The Commonwealth’s general secretary said on Friday that he saw no reason to strip Sri Lanka of the honour of staging the meeting in November despite mounting international concern over the country’s failure to tackle human rights abuses and demonstrate a clear commitment to democracy and the rule of law.
John Baird, Canada‘s foreign minister, said he was stunned that Colombo was not facing censure for its behaviour.
“We’re appalled that Sri Lanka seems poised to host CHOGM and to be chair-in-residence of the Commonwealth for two years,” he told the Guardian.
“Canada didn’t get involved in the Commonwealth to accommodate evil; we came to combat it. We are deeply disappointed that Sri Lanka appears poised to take on this leadership role.”