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Harper 'skeptical' of Rajapaksa’s promises

Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed last month that he would not attend the 2013 Commonwealth summit to be held in Sri Lanka, unless Colombo agreed to independent investigations into war crimes committed by its forces.

On Monday, British Premier David Cameron said his government’s position was ‘similar’ to Canada’s.

Both leaders told reporters they had stressed the point to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa this weekend.

Speaking to reporters later about his conversation with Rajapaksa, Harper said:

“I think it's fair to say that the general tone of the president of Sri Lanka regarding these concerns was reassuring.

However, I remain skeptical of some of the reassurances and will be working, obviously, between now and the next Commonwealth to ensure that our concerns are genuinely addressed.

“And if they're not genuinely addressed, my previous position remains what it is.”

Harper is reported to have walked out of the summit when Rajapakse addressed the summit on Sunday.

The Canadian Prime Minister faced a final irritation at the airport, while waiting to leave for Canada - his flight was delayed by the Sri Lankan delegation ahead.

See The Globe and Mail's report here.