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Sri Lanka decries Ontario’s “Tamil Genocide Education Week”

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement condemning the passage of Bill 104 in Ontario, also known as the “Tamil Genocide Education Week” bill, claiming it was based on a flawed premise, unfounded assumptions and blatant lies.

The passage of the bill recognises Sri Lanka’s genocide against Tamils and establishes May 11 to 18 as a week in which Ontarians “are encouraged to educate themselves about, and to maintain their awareness of, the Tamil genocide and other genocides that have occurred in world history.”

Read more here: Ontario pass Tamil Genocide Education Week bill

May 18 marked the end of a genocidal campaign conducted by the Sri Lankan forces which saw tens of thousands of Tamil civilians killed, hospital repeatedly shelled, summary executions, and rampant sexual violence.

In their response, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry claimed that “Neither the UN nor foreign governments including the friendly Government of Canada, have ever made a finding that there was genocide”. However, this follows shortly after the passage of a UN resolution mandating the collection and preservation of evidence for a future war crimes tribunal.

In the UN High Commissioner’s report, she highlights the “inability and unwillingness of [the Sri Lankan] Government to advance accountability”. Her report further called on the “international community to listen to the determined, courageous, persistent calls of victims and their families for justice, and heed the early warning signs of more violations to come”.

Her recommendations highlight tangible actions foreign governments can take which include sanctions, travel bans, and pursuing justice within their own domestic courts under universal jurisdiction.

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