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Canada picks fights with the Maldives and Sri Lanka

The big news: Meanwhile, Brazil is furious about alleged Canadian espionage


 

“Mr. Baird posed several harshly worded questions as well as derogatory and inappropriate remarks to the Acting Foreign Minister concerning domestic politics in the Maldives.” —Mohamed Waheed, president of the Maldives, in a statement

No one really likes it when someone else is angry with them. The world would be a happier place if everyone got together and eradicated anger. That remains the dream of the Kumbaya set, and so it should be. Stephen Harper and John Baird are certainly not helping to create that global happy place. They’re making people angry. They probably don’t like to do that.

The Maldives has a bone to pick with John Baird, Canada’s foreign minister, because he made some allegedly “derogatory and inappropriate remarks” to his counterpart from the island nation. Mohamed Waheed, the president of the Maldives, complained about the apparent incident in a letter to Harper. Rick Roth, Baird’s spokesman, was only too happy to speculate about Waheed’s anger.

Roth outlined a laundry list of complaints related to Maldivian democracy, and recalled that Baird had aired such complaints publicly. The spokesman’s tone resembled passive aggression, and more than that, confidence. On this, these Conservatives won’t back down.

Meanwhile, Harper’s decided to boycott an upcoming meeting of Commonwealth nations in Sri Lanka. “Canada is deeply concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka,” the PM said in a release. “The absence of accountability for the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian standards during and after the civil war is unacceptable.”

Maybe that’s a good idea, maybe that’s a bad idea. Harper’s not triggering a revolt among his fellow heads of state. But, for his part, the PM is deferring to the Canadian people. “The feedback we’ve had from Canadians has been absolutely overwhelming that they would not expect the prime minister of Canada to attend such an summit.”

There you have it. John Baird and Stephen Harper, unapologetic crusaders for democracy and human rights on the world stage. Now, if only they could spin their way out of Canadians allegedly spying on Brazil, the confident Conservatives might look like they’re on top of things.

 

What’s above the fold

The Globe and Mail Brazil is angry with Canada for engaging in a “cyberwar.”
National Post Canada lacks the motive to spy on Brazil.
Toronto Star Rob Ford‘s friend tried to exchange drugs for a cell phone.
Ottawa Citizen The Defence Department wants to cut costs by $1.2 billion a year.
CBC News Stephen Harper says Canadian officials are working with angry Brazilians.
CTV News Brazil summoned the Canadian ambassador to express its “indignation.”
National Newswatch The Harper government faces many distractions when Parliament returns.

What you might have missed

THE NATIONAL Foreign takeover. The feds rejected a $520-million takeover attempt of Manitoba-based MTS Allstream, a prairie telecom firm, by Egypt-based Accelero Capital Holdings. Industry Minister James Moore said the government reviewed Accelero’s bid and rejected it based on national security concerns—but didn’t elaborate. Both companies sought clearer takeover rules.
THE GLOBAL Malala. A year after the Taliban failed to murder Malala Yousafzai, a young girl in Pakistan, the group is vowing to try again and claiming the 16-year-old teenager’s “secular ideology” is dangerous to Islam. Yousafzai, a contender for the Nobel peace prize who also won the International Children’s Peace Prize 2013, supports peace talks with the Taliban.
THE QUIRKY Downtown Charlie. Charlie Delorme, a Yellowknife resident who spent decades living on the street, received federal compensation for his time attending residential schools. Now, he’s sprinkling cash around any charity in town that catches his fancy. “Downtown Charlie” has already handed out several cheques for thousands of dollars apiece.


 

Canada picks fights with the Maldives and Sri Lanka

  1. “The feedback we’ve had from Canadians has been absolutely overwhelming,” said Harper, “that they would not expect the prime minister of Canada to attend such an summit.”

    Why Sri Lanka my suspicious mind wondered? Of course, if it’s Harper it must have a domestic political angle. Mr Principle himself has expended many angry and sanctimonious words scolding the Liberals for this kind of behaviour. And I’m shocked, shocked to see he lied about talking to NZ as well. Personally I’d have thought a coordinated position with our closest commonwealth allies would be more effective a strategy. I guess they don’t have many votes in play here, and of course they just might have a little politics of their own.

  2. Harper playing to the same voter base who supported terrorism in Sri Lanka by not attending the summit. Shame on Harper

  3. Both the Maldives and Sri Lanka? Looks like Harper is trying to punch above his weight again.

  4. It’s unfortunate for Canadians! previously many in the world believe Canada as a row
    model of democracy & tolerance but with cheap politics coming into Canadian
    political circle make it very hard for Canadians to face the world & Canada
    is been now been isolated in world arena.

  5. Nobody really cares about two idiots, but Canadians should be worried that their prime minister is willing to cow-tow to the Tamil community and work against a friendly country just to win a few votes.

  6. Harper’s decision to avoid attending the summit in Sri Lanka is an inferior act. If he is a true leader, he should attend the summit and express his views and objections openly. That is the quality of the true leadership in a democratic country. He should not hide behind the Tamil Tiger vote bank just for the sake of domestic political reasons. This is not the kind of leadership Canadians expect from a leader who talk big about democracy and human rights. It is shameful.

  7. I love how Harper always stands up for democracy overseas and then does everthing in his power to manipulate it here.

  8. “The feedback we’ve had from Canadians has been absolutely overwhelming
    that they would not expect the prime minister of Canada to attend such
    an summit.” – somehow I find this ludicrously unbelievable – that the average Canadian (who hardly knows where Sri Lanka is on the global map!) was expressing such a sentiment. Of course, if by “absolutely overwhelming” he meant the 300,000 Tamil-Votes in Canada he and his cons have been cheaply and unashamedly trying to woo since his own govt. banned Tamil tiger terrorists got liquidated in Sri Lanka (basically now trying to outdo the Liberals and steal from the traditional pro-Tamil separatist Liberal base), then it is quite understandable.

  9. For once I feel proud that Canada is standing up for democracy – the rest of the world should speak out against the police and some of the court in the Maldives who are manipulating politics in the Maldives to bring back dictatorship. If all foreign governments thought the same way as Canada, it would be so much easier for the countless Maldivians who want democracy back.

  10. Tom Mulcair says Harper has fostered a “Culture of Corruption”. I have documented proof that the Department of Foreign Affairs and John Baird personally are part of a conspiracy to conceal evidence of corrupt and criminal acts by a bank partly owned by the Government of Canada and on which John Baird holds a seat on the Board of Governors. I also have evidence that a number of identified staffers of DFAIT have been instructed to
    comply with this support of corrupt and criminal activity. I will be happy to make the charge and show the proof in a court of law. I can be contacted at wgrifftran@aol.com.

    William Griffiths

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