Member of Parliament
Mississauga East Cooksville
August 15, 2006
Canada Must Break Silence on Atrocities in Sri Lanka
Switzerland, the most neutral country in the world, has spoken out against what it calls an ‘outrage’. That outrage is the deliberate targeting of children in a bombing raid by the Sri Lankan Air Force. Scores of young school girls were killed, more than one hundred injured.
“Regrettably, Tamil civilians and children continue to be the victims of the silence of the world,” observed Albina Guarnieri. “It is time Canada sent a forceful message to the Sri Lankan Government that it must now be held to account for a long series of atrocities by its military.”
Canada is one of Sri Lanka’s largest donors of foreign aid and provides industrial cooperation programs to Sri Lankan business. Despite its influence, Canada has not asked for any standard of conduct from Sri Lanka. In fact, Canada continues to provide aid without requiring Sri Lanka to ratify the International Criminal Court. As a result, this recipient of Canadian tax dollars is not among the one hundred nations that are subject to investigation and prosecution for war crimes.
“It is time for Canada to take a stand against a campaign of military atrocities in Sri Lanka. Canada should link future aid and debt relief to Sri Lanka’s immediate acceptance of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and the potential investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity as set out in the Rome Statute.”