by Promod Puri
Canada’s Twitter diplomacy in condemning Saudi Arabia has not affected the latter’s tormented human rights record, especially against women. Instead, it generated anger and overreaction from the Saudi leadership resulting with lightning speed the withdrawal of diplomats, investment and trade, stopping of flights and immediate return of the Kingdom’s students from Canada.
The question is why the Canadian foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland used the Twitter channel to raise the issue instead of traditional face to face dialogue. Presuming the minister and her advisory staff are not naive in their concern for human rights in Saudi Arabia, the motive has not served its desired purpose. Rather it has been a disaster toward Canada-Saudi relationship.
The feud has not only wiped out the friendly influence which Canada could use over Saudi Arabia in its grave violations of human rights, but it has generated another conflicting spot in the world already dotted with tensions and violence.
In its open denunciation thru series of Tweets against Saudi Arabia’s adamant violation of human rights, the government has won nil support worldwide. But the Leftist community seems to applaud the Liberal government as it is very well aware of the credibility of Canada on this issue.
Canada has its own bad record of human rights violations as well as its known double standards in observing complete silence when its biggest trading partner, the USA, has committed much more serious human rights violations all over the globe including Vietnam, Iraq, and in Afghanistan.