(Garnett Genius figured on the left and Michael Chong on the right)
Canadian Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Michael Chong, and Shadow Minister for International Development for Human Rights, Garnett Genius, have issued a statement demanding that the Canadian government impose Magnitsky sanction on Sri Lankan officials implicated in gross human rights violations and launch an “independent international investigation into allegations of genocide”.
They further criticise the Canadian government noting that 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” however “to date, there is no indication the Trudeau government has advocated for that investigation”.
In their statement, they further highlight their concern over the “erosion and political obstruction of judicial independence and key institutions responsible for human rights violations”. They further highlight the “increased marginalisation of the Tamil and Muslim communities, and restrictions on the public commemoration of those killed in the war, including the destruction of a memorial”.
Reflecting on the recent passage of the UN Human Rights Council Resolution, they note that whilst it's a step forwards, it “does not meet that call to action”. They urge the Canadian government to impose sanctions on those responsible for human rights violations, as recommended by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
They further raise concern over Sri Lanka’s recent proscription on Tamil diaspora organisations and hundreds of individuals, many of whom continue to reside in Sri Lanka. Their statement notes:
“Conservatives are also concerned by the ban imposed by the Sri Lankan government on peaceful Tamil-Canadian organisations 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”.
Read the full statement here.