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Canadian MP rejects SL claims of CHOGM RSVP

The Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, has rejected Sri Lankan reports that he has confirmed his plans to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November this year.

Baird's spokesperson Rick Roth said the Baird was yet to decide either way, and remained concerned about impunity for the allegations of war crimes against Tamils.

Roth said:

"Canada will continue to monitor events in Sri Lanka and do what we can to try to increase pressure on the government of Sri Lanka to make changes,"

"As the prime minister has stated very clearly, we expect our concerns to be addressed prior to the next Commonwealth meeting. However, given the current circumstances, it would be very difficult for this government to fully participate."

A Sri Lankan newspaper had quoted a Sri Lankan MP as saying,

"About 85 per cent of the participants from 54 Commonwealth countries including Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird have confirmed their attendance ... We hope the Canadian Premier will also confirm his participation once the other Commonwealth Leaders confirm their participation,"

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