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* Commonwealth expresses disappointment at Canada's decision to suspend funds over Sri Lanka
Wed, Apr 16, 2014, 01:41 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 15, London: Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma Tuesday expressed disappointment at Canada's decision to suspend voluntary contributions to the Commonwealth over Sri Lanka's human rights situation but looked forward to the resumption of the contributions.

In a statement Sharma said the Government of Canada has informed its decision to suspend contributions to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation over the next two years during which Sri Lanka holds the chairmanship of the Commonwealth.

This mutual and voluntary fund is the principal means for provision of technical assistance to Commonwealth countries.

He recalled that Canada has a long and valued record of support for the work of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation.

Mr. Sharma said the difficult adjustments to Commonwealth development programs would be made, and expressed confidence that important priorities agreed by Commonwealth member states collectively can still be delivered, with results and impact for the benefit of the people of the Commonwealth in accordance with the current strategic plan.

Canada said it will allocate the $20 million contribution to assist in combatting the practice of child abuse, early and forced marriage, and help Commonwealth civil society advance the promotion of human rights.

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