Canada, U.K. renew calls for reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  

Even as Sri Lanka observes 33rd anniversary of the anti-Tamil riots which triggered a long civil war, Canada and the U.K., both known for having a significant Tamil diaspora, have renewed their call to Sri Lanka to fulfil commitments on human rights and democracy

In a statement issued from Ottawa, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau felt that the war and the devastation it wrought “reminds us to heal the wounds of those who have suffered, and to promote unity over division and inclusion over prejudice”. His country would “continue to encourage the Sri Lankan government to fulfil its commitment[s]” as stipulated in the October 2015 resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), he added.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in its bi-annual report on human rights covering the first half of 2016, stated that NGOs and media groups continued to report incidents of surveillance, intimidation and harassment by the security forces in the North and the East , “although fewer than under the previous government”. It also referred to the assessment of the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on torture in this context.