“Six years have passed since the end the Sri Lankan Civil War. On May 18, we reflect on the tragedies that occurred as the 25-year conflict came to a close, particularly as they affected Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority.
“I join with the members of Canada’s Tamil community in remembering the tens of thousands of people who were killed and displaced. Indeed, we remember that many Canadian Tamils had themselves found refuge in Canada directly as a result of the bloody conflict in their homeland.
“Canada remains committed to remembering the victims of the Sri Lankan civil war. Our government has consistently urged Sri Lankan authorities to demonstrate accountability by thoroughly investigating allegations that up to 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed by Sri Lankan troops in its final phase. Canada will continue to stand for the truth, as we did when Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the principled decision not to attend the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit hosted by the Rajapaksa regime due to their refusal to adequately address our important concerns.
“Earlier this year the people of Sri Lanka, including Tamils, exercised their democratic right to vote, choosing to reject the Rajapaksa regime and electing a new government under President Sirisena. I am hopeful that this new government will continue to pursue a constructive approach to addressing the crimes of the past, while actively pursuing reconciliation with the Tamil community.
“As we remember the victims of the civil war, we commit to working with the new government in Sri Lanka and the international community to promote truth, justice and reconciliation, and to preventing such atrocities from ever being repeated.”
TORONTO – The Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the sixth anniversary of the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War:
“Today, we solemnly reflect on the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka. We remember the lives shattered and lost during more than twenty-six years of violent conflict, and the displacement of thousands of civilians after the war. I have met many Tamil-Canadians personally affected by the war. To them, I extend my deepest sympathies and support.
“Despite the end of the armed conflict six years ago, peace has not yet been achieved in Sri Lanka. Thousands of civilians continue to live in makeshift camps, families have lost their properties to the army, those who surrendered have not been accounted, and thousands of civilians are in prison without charge or conviction. Moreover, documented reports of sexual violence perpetuated by the Sri Lankan armed security forces continue to surface.
“The Liberal Party of Canada has been resolute in its calls for an international, independent investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the armed conflict. We await the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, scheduled to be released in September, and we earnestly hope that it will pave the path for accountability in Sri Lanka.
“On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary Caucus, I reaffirm our commitment to seeking accountability and justice for the many who have suffered the terrible consequences of this protracted war, and to working with the international community to pursue true and lasting peace on the island.”
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne issued the following statement today:
“As Premier of Ontario, I stand with you to honour the loved ones tragically lost as we remember the sixth anniversary of the final phases of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka and the loss of so many lives throughout the years. We await this September where the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will release its report during the time of this armed conflict. We anticipate that this will be the basis of an accountability process to the victims affected by this decades-long conflict. I continue to support the efforts of the Tamil community as you work towards achieving justice for all those that have suffered during this conflict.
As Premier of Ontario I have worked closely with a strong and vibrant Tamil community – Ontario is a true beacon of inclusion and equality. I know many people have personally been touched by this conflict. Today, I pray with the entire community and offer my deepest sympathies to all that have been affected by the conflict”.
Mayor Jeffrey issues statement on the 6th anniversary of Tamil Remembrance Week
“On behalf of my colleagues on City Council and all City of Brampton staff we are united with our friends in the Tamil community as we recognize and remember the great loss of life and the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Tamil community here in Brampton, across the nation and globally as we continue to mourn the loss of loved ones and friends.
On this occasion, I encourage all Brampton resident is to join with Brampton’s Tamil community in commemorating the thousands of innocent civilians who lost their lives or were displaced during and after the war.”