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Sri Lanka's foreign secretary lashes out at Canadian minister over genocide recognition

Following the 15th anniversary of the end of the armed conflict, Sri Lanka's Foreign Secretary, Aruni Wijewardane, met with Canada's Deputy Minister for International Development, Christopher MacLennan, and Canadian High Commissioner, Eric Walsh, where he objected to Canada's recognition of the Tamil genocide.

Sri Lanka's Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that the “Foreign Secretary expressed deep concern regarding high-level pronouncements made in Canada in recent years representing a false narrative of genocide in connection with the conflict that took place in Sri Lanka". She further claimed that Canada should engage with “Sri Lanka in a constructive manner and facilitate dialogue and reconciliation.”  

In 2022, the Canadian parliament became the first country in the world to recognise May 18th as Tamil Genocide Rememberance Day, and since then, Canadia's Prime Minister, the opposition, and several senior ministers have issued messages to commemorate the occassion. Since the end of the armed conflict, the Tamil disapora has continued to campaign for the recognition of the Tamil genocide highlighting the numerous war crimes committed during the final phase which include the indiscriminate shelling of hospitals, food lines and "no-fire" zones. The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has reported that over 160,000 people were killed during the final phase of the conflict.

“Two years ago, Canada’s Parliament unanimously voted to recognise May 18 as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day. We will always advocate for justice and accountability for the crimes committed during the conflict, as well as for the hardships faced by all in Sri Lanka,” a statement from Canadian Prime Minsiter, Justin Trudeau stated to mark the anniversary this year. 

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