Canadian MP, Garnett Genuis, M.P for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, has spoken out against Sri Lanka’s enforced disappearances and called upon the Canadian government to impose Magnitsky sanctions against “those involved in gross violations of fundamental human rights”.
This statement follows a “walk for justice campaign” during which Canadian Tamils marched from Toronto and Montreal to Parliament Hill to raise awareness on the plight of enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka.
In Genuis’s statement, he applauds the work of the Tamil Canadian community in raising awareness of this issue; as well as Canada’s Former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who boycotted the Colombo Commonwealth Summit in 2013.
Genius's full statement read:
“Enforced disappearances, kidnappings it’s an important human rights issue that impacts many countries and many communities around the world. Sri Lanka has some of the highest numbers anywhere for forced disappearances some estimates are that approaching 100,000 people, as well as their families, have been impacted by enforced disappearance in recent years and this is a key issue that many people in Canada from the Sri Lankan diaspora from the Tamil community, in particular, have been highlighted by calling for politicians like myself to act and to speak out and to take appropriate measures in response to push the Sri Lankan government to address the issue of enforced disappearances and to address issues around human rights more broadly.
Right now we have a number of people walking from Toronto to Ottawa and from Quebec to Ottawa to raise awareness about this issue and also to present petitions to the government calling for awareness and action in response to enforced disappearances. On behalf of our conservative caucus and conservative leader Erin O’Toole, I want to salute the efforts of those working to bring attention to this important human rights issue.
I just say that in Canada because of our geographic breath we have a long and important history of people walking long distances or running long distances to either fundraise for or raise awareness about important causes so these great Canadians who are walking from Toronto to Ottawa from Quebec to Ottawa are participating in a long-running and important practice in Canada of physically sacrificing yourself going to great efforts walking long distances within our vast geography to bring attention to very important issues, in this case, the issue of the human rights abuses associated with enforced disappearances taking place in Sri Lanka.
Our Conservative Party has been calling for stronger action around human rights in Sri Lanka and around the world, a greater willingness to use Magnitsky sanctions target those involved in gross violations of fundamental human rights. Following the leadership of Stephen Harper when he boycotted the Colombo Commonwealth Summit in 2013. Again I want to salute and congratulate the work of those who are walking to Ottawa and I hope the government will have a response to that petition that you present.”
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