MONTRÉAL– The Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic, Marc Garneau, made the following statement today in response to the oral report delivered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on the situation in Sri Lanka:
“The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report in Geneva reaffirms our long-held concerns about the Rajapaksa regime, and restates the need for an independent, international investigation of human rights violations and humanitarian law in Sri Lanka.
Neither truth nor reconciliation has been achieved since the civil war. Discrimination and violence – particularly against ethnic and religious minorities – are growing unabated. The Rajapaksa regime’s abuse of human rights and democracy continues, and the Sri Lankan government has taken no concrete steps to resolve this persistent state of affairs.
The Liberal Party of Canada continues to advocate for a boycott of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting this November in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and insists that the venue be changed. The Rajapaksa regime has not earned the right to chair the Commonwealth for the next two years, and we call on the Government of Canada to work with other member states to ensure this does not occur.
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs must engage fellow members of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to immediately address Sri Lanka’s persistent and serious democratic and human rights violations, and insist on an independent, international investigation.”