Conservatives express concern by Sri Lankan government ban on peaceful Tamil-Canadian organizations

Ottawa, ON – Today, the Hon. Michael Chong, Conservative Shadow Minister for  Foreign Affairs, and Garnett Genuis, Conservative Shadow Minister for International  Development and Human Rights, issued the following statement about the human rights  situation in Sri Lanka:

“Conservatives continue to be gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Sri  Lanka, including the erosion and political obstruction of judicial independence and key  institutions responsible for human rights violations, increased marginalization of the  Tamil and Muslim communities, and restrictions on the public commemoration of those  killed in the war, including the destruction of a memorial.

“Shortly before the last general election, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the House  of Commons unanimously passed motions calling on the ‘United Nations to establish an  international, independent investigation into allegations of genocide against Tamils  committed in Sri Lanka, including the last phase of the armed conflict in 2009.’

“Although a step forward, the resolution adopted at the UN Human Rights Council last  week does not meet that call to action. Additionally, many of High Commissioner  Michelle Bachelet’s recommendations were not included in the UNHCR resolution. She  noted that ‘given the demonstrated inability and unwillingness of Government [of Sri
Lanka] to advance accountability at the national level, it is time for international action to  ensure justice for international crimes.’ In support of High Commissioner Bachelet’s  recommendation, Conservatives call on the Trudeau government to impose Magnitsky sanctions on those responsible for gross human rights violations.

“Conservatives are also concerned by the ban imposed by the Sri Lankan government  on peaceful Tamil-Canadian organizations for their work in advancing human rights in  Sri Lanka. We call on the Trudeau government to acknowledge this ban is not an appropriate response to legitimate criticism.

“Canada’s Conservatives continue to ask for an independent international investigation into allegations of genocide. To date, there is no indication the Trudeau government has  advocated for that investigation.”

Last Updated: March 29, 2021



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