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Sri Lanka 'categorically rejects' Canadian parliament's recognition of Tamil genocide

Sri Lanka's Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement saying it “categorically rejects” the unanimous motion by the Canadian government to recognise May 18 as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day.

In a statement reacting to the recognition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states: 

“The Government of Sri Lanka notes with regret the adoption of a motion in the Canadian Parliament on the alleged genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka and recognizing May 18 as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day.  The Government categorically rejects the blatantly false allegation of genocide contained in the parliamentary motion with reference to Sri Lanka [...]” 

The statement further condemns the use of the term 'genocide' and justifies the litany of war crimes committed by the regime. 

“The Government reiterates that the term genocide has specific legal connotations and has never been used in relation to the Sri Lankan conflict by the United Nations, nor by any of its inter-governmental bodies including the UN Human Rights Council. It is observed that the term is arbitrarily and erroneously applied to the Sri Lankan situation only by a minority of politically motivated anti-Sri Lanka elements in the diaspora inimical to Sri Lanka’s interests.”

The landmark move renders Canada the first national parliament in the world to recognise the Tamil genocide. 

Gary Anandasangaree, MP for Scarborough-Rouge Park, brought forward the motion on the 13th anniversary of the Mullivaikkal genocide earlier this week. 



The statement comes despite a report from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, documenting the lack of accountability for human rights violations committed by Sri Lanka. Bachelet further renewed her call to member states to use universal jurisdictions and targeted sanctions against alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses.  

Bachelet  “remains concerned about the continued lack of accountability for past human rights violations and recognition of victims’ rights in Sri Lanka, particularly those stemming from the conflict that ended in 2009.”

The motion accompanies a series of progressive measures in Canada to acknowledge the genocide and educate Canadians about the crimes against humanity that occured.

2009 Protests in front of Canadian Parliament

In Canada, five Ontario school boards marked the beginning of Tamil Genocide Education Week last week, the first year since Bill 104, the Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, was passed into law. Bill 104 is currently being challenged in court by two separate groups, the Sri Lankan Canadian Action Coalition (SLCAC) and Hewage, who argue that the bill is unconstitutional.

Read Sri Lanka's full statement here

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