Canada welcomes the High Commissioner’s report on Sri Lanka and acknowledges the importance of Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship of Resolution 40/1.
We note the steps taken by Sri Lanka in establishing the Office of Missing Persons, the release of some civilian lands, the release of some prisoners held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and efforts to establish an Office of Reparations. These initial steps, however, are insufficient as we mark the tenth anniversary of the end of the armed conflict.
We acknowledge the increased level of frustration of the victims by the lack of substantive progress in advancing accountability and compounded by inconsistent messaging from Sri Lanka. A process of accountability that has the trust and confidence of the victims is critical to peace and reconciliation.
We encourage Sri Lanka to take the following steps without delay:
- End impunity by enacting domestic legislation that criminalizes violations of international law without statutes of limitation
- Establish a judicial mechanism with special counsel to prosecute violations of international law with the involvement of international investigators, prosecutors and judges.
Justice demands that resolution 30/1 be implemented in its entirety. Canada urges the government of Sri Lanka to set a time-bound strategy for full implementation of the commitments it has made to its own people. Canada stands ready to support Sri Lanka in its efforts to meet these commitments under the renewed resolution.
Intervention delivered by Gary Anandasangaree, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism