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Canada, Sri Lanka in funding row

AFP-JIJI

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has threatened to withdraw funding for the Commonwealth in an escalating row over rights abuses by Sri Lanka ahead of a summit next month.

Harper confirmed late Monday that he was boycotting the Nov. 15-17 summit in Colombo, citing “the absence of accountability for the serious violations of human rights” during and after Sri Lanka’s long civil war against Tamil separatists. After Britain, Canada is the second-largest contributor to the Commonwealth budget, providing about $20 million last year.