Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is hinting he’d like to see this year’s Commonwealth summit moved out of Sri Lanka in protest over the country’s human rights record, CTV news reported.
Harper has made it clear for more than a year that, without major reforms, he personally will not be attending next fall’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo.
In response to a Liberal question in the Canadian House of Commons about moving the whole summit to Canada, Harper says he and all MPs are of “one mind” on the issue.
According to CTV news, Harper said the November conference is currently slated to take place in Sri Lanka, but also notes any number of countries would be willing to host the event.
Asked to clarify Harper’s remarks, the Prime Minister’s Office did not address a direct question about whether it’s a sign he’d like to see the venue changed.
As recently as last month, Canada’s envoy to the Commonwealth, Conservative Sen. Hugh Segal, was assuring Sri Lankan media that Harper had at no time indicated he wanted the country stripped of this year’s conference.