UPDATE: Canada attempting to achieve political mileage; a statement from the Government : Video
Responding to the decision taken by Canada to suspend funding to the Commonwealth, the External affairs Ministry stated that this announcement is not a surprise.
It may be recalled that when the Canadian Prime Minister announced his non attendance of the 2013 CHOGM in Colombo, he also alluded to the issue of cutting back his Government’s contributions to the Commonwealth.
Further, during conversation with a Canadian Government representative in Sri Lanka over a year ago it was mentioned that Canada was considering the rationalization of their contributions to international organizations including the Commonwealth.
When Sri Lanka was to assume Chairmanship of the Commonwealth, the Canadian Government sought to make their reservations in this regard as the reason for the cut.
Concern has been expressed amongst the wider Commonwealth that the countries which provide the majority of the finances seek to unduly influence the working of the Organization.
This action by Canada stands in evidence of such machinations.
Regrettably the Canadian Government has sought to use its voluntary funds as a political tool based on the dictates of electoral compulsions, thereby holding the membership of the wider Commonwealth to ransom, through competing claims for power.
Further, the relentless action pursued by Canada on Sri Lanka, will only seek to undermine the delicate reconciliation process, as the bona fides of the basis of that Governments trajectory is questionable and not in tandem with the interests of the people of Sri Lanka.
External affair Ministry further states that it is the Government of Sri lanka which is best placed to continue the evolution of a home grown solution for its people in accordance with a realistic time frame and Sri Lanka upholds Commonwealth values and has never sought their change.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the Patriotic National movement Dr. Wasantha Bandara states that the decision taken by Canada is yet another stage of the American resolution against Sri lanka.
UPDATE: Tuesday, 15 April 2014 - 07:0.7 PM ------------------------------------ Canada suspends voluntary Commonwealth funds over Sri Lanka issue
Canada will suspend funding to the Commonwealth while the chair of the secretariat is occupied by Sri Lanka because of human rights concerns.
Canada will instead direct its planned 20 million dollars contribution toward other Commonwealth programmes.
Canada will allocate the 20 million dollar contribution to assist in combatting the practice of child, early and forced marriage, and help Commonwealth civil society advance the promotion of human rights.
Sri Lanka has denied accusations by rights groups.
When inquired by our news team, a senior spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs stated that any commonwealth country has the right to make an independent decision.
She further stated that the expenditure of the funds are decided by Commonwealth Secretariat.