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Canada 'supports justice and accountability in Sri Lanka'

The Canadian government said it “supports meaningful action leading to justice, accountability, peace and reconciliation,” when asked by the Tamil Guardian about the Sri Lankan government’s objection to the genocide monument in Brampton.

The Sri Lankan government reportedly summoned the Canadian High Commissioner in Colombo over plans to construct a monument to victims of the Tamil genocide in the Canadian city of Brampton.

The final design for the Tamil Genocide Memorial was approved by the Brampton City Council earlier this year and pays tribute to over one hundred thousand Tamils killed by the Sri Lankan state. The inspiration behind constructing the memorial in Brampton came after the Mullivaikkal memorial at Jaffna University, which was erected to honour the Tamil lives lost in the genocide, was bulldozed by Sri Lankan authorities in 2021.

News of a monument to victims of the genocide has angered Sri Lankan authorities, with the Sunday Times reporting that foreign minister Ali Sabry wrote to his counterpart in Canada and summoned Ottawa’s envoy in Colombo to convey Sri Lanka’s “serious concern”.

The Sri Lankan foreign ministry reportedly went on to express its “strongest concern” over the proposed monument.

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada confirmed that the High Commissioner met with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardena for a discussion on the monument. In its email response to Tamil Guardian,the Canadian government stated that "under Canada’s federal system, provincial and municipal governments are independent from the Central Government having specific jurisdictional powers". 

The Daily Mirror quoted an official as stating “Sri Lanka had been unable to thwart the efforts by the Brampton city council to construct the monument”.

Sri Lanka continues to crack down on efforts to commemorate Tamils massacred by the state, particularly on May 18, which Tamils mark as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day.

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