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Note to the Sri Lankan community in Canada

The High Commission of Sri Lanka is aware that some interested parties have launched ‘genocide allegations’ against Sri Lanka in the month of May 2019.  A declaration by the Brampton City Council and Resolutions 94, 97 and 104 in the Ontario Parliament have been made in this connection.

 

The High Commission in Ottawa and the Consulate General Office in Toronto have already taken action to raise our concerns with the Global Affairs Canada and Mayors in Toronto and Brampton as well as the Premier of Ontario and the Lt. Governor General of Ontario.

 

In addition, the High Commission and the Consulate General Office in Toronto are closely working with the Sri Lankan community organizations in Ottawa and Toronto in raising concerns with MPs and MPPs, through media and social media etc.

 

The High Commission and the Consulate General Office are continuously monitoring current developments in this regard in the Canadian political arena and will meet relevant MPs and MPPs to brief them about false charges of ‘genocide in Sri Lanka’.

 

The Sri Lanka High Commission requests the Sri Lankan community in Canada to share this information with other Sri Lankans and interested parties.

 

The High Commission wishes to ensure that it will continue its efforts to bring the attention of the Canadian authorities to this issue and clear Sri Lanka’s name from the false ‘genocide allegations’.

 

Cooperation of the Sri Lankan community in this connection would be much appreciated.

 

 

 

Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa

08th July 2019

 

 

The following article appeared on the Brampton Guardian on 5th July 2019

The following article appeared on the Brampton Guardian on 5th July 2019  in response to the comments made by His Worship Patrick Brown, Mayor of Brampton City Council in his interview to the article ‘Shoulder to shoulder’: Brampton mayor defends Tamil genocide remembrance proclamation’ on 12th June 2019.

Not a genocide

OPINION 04:00 AM Brampton Guardian

Friday Jul 5

 I write with reference to the article titled 'Shoulder to shoulder': Brampton mayor defends Tamil genocide remembrance proclamation by Graeme Frisque, published in the Brampton Guardian June 14, 2019.

The article does not reflect the position taken by the Sri Lanka High Commission and government of Sri Lanka.

Contrary to the assertions made by the mayor of Brampton, the government of Sri Lanka was engaged in a conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which is designated as a terrorist organization by Canada, the U.S., India, U.K., Sri Lanka and the EU, while Australia has listed the LTTE under their terrorist asset-freezing sanctions.

The action by the Sri Lankan security forces during the conflict, which ended in 2009, was against a group designated as a terrorist organization and not against any community. Now that terrorism has been defeated, all communities are working in unison toward reconciliation and economic progress.

The government of Sri Lanka has taken many measures which include promotion and protection of human rights; upholding the rule of law; strengthening good governance and democracy; fostering reconciliation and sustainable peace; and ensuring equitable and inclusive development, for the benefit of all citizens.

Read more: The following article appeared on the Brampton Guardian on 5th July 2019

 

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga is awarded the 2019 Common Ground Award for her vision and commitment to peace and reconciliation

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Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Sri Lanka’s first and only female President, was awarded the 2019 Common Ground Award for her vision, courage and commitment to peace and reconciliation by Search for Common Ground at a reception organized in her honour on Monday 17 June 2019 at the Cholmondeley Room, House of Lords in London. The former President received the award from Roza Otunbayeva, the 2018 Common Ground Awardee and the first female President of Kyrgyzstan.

The event was attended by Her Majesty Queen Noor al-Hussein, Honorary Chairwoman of Search for Common Ground UK who in her address commended former President Kumaratunga for her work in peace building and reconciliation, and for her steadfast commitment to democracy.  Mme Kumaratunga in her address dedicated her award to ‘the hundreds and thousands who are the unsung heroes of the struggle for peace, understanding amongst all beings’.  She also remarked that in the fight against terrorism, ‘it may be more productive to use the weapons of understanding, discourse and negotiation’, ‘coupled with an honest intent to resolve the root causes of each relevant conflict.’ Former President Kumaratunga is the Chairperson of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR).

The distinguished gathering included Lord Stone of Blackheath; Shamil Idriss, CEO of Search for Common Ground; its UK Board of Trustees chaired by Lord Purvis; UK Minister of State at the Department of International Development Dr Andrew Murrison; Envoys of Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan in the UK; members of the House of Lords and Commons; and civil society.

Search for Common Ground is an international non-profit organization headquartered in Washington D.C. and Brussels, whose mission is to transform the way the world deals with conflict away from adversarial approaches toward cooperative solutions.  Previous winners of the Common Ground Award include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US President Jimmy Carter, and former President of Kyrgystan Roza Otunbayava.

 

Sri Lanka High Commission

London

25 June 2019

 

Sri Lanka Updates HRC on Human Rights Measures taken to advance Human Rights, Peace and Security

The Sri Lanka delegation to the Human Rights Council briefed the Council today on progress made in addressing human rights concerns, national security imperatives, as well as reconciliation priorities.  Sri Lanka’s intervention under Agenda Item 2 of the Council, followed the Oral Update provided by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Madam Michelle Bachelet at the opening of the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council on 24 June 2019, where a reference was made to Sri Lanka.

Clarifying the latest situation in the Country following the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks and its aftermath, Sri Lanka stated that it has made significant progress in assuring the security of all Sri Lankans and upholding law and order through the implementation of relevant laws and legal processes, among other important measures.

Sri Lanka further asserted that the national institutions in Sri Lanka continued to make interventions on issues pertaining to violence and extremism, as the Government pursued effective measures that have led to the dismantling of terrorist networks in the Country.

Statement is attached.

 

 Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Colombo

 25 June 2019

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Statement by the Delegation of Sri Lanka on the Oral Update of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at 41st Session of the HRC

 

Mr. President, distinguished delegates,

We are pleased to take the floor under Agenda Item 2 in relation to the Oral Update presented by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Madam Michelle Bachelet, to the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council.

We share with the High Commissioner the broad concerns expressed on several important issues where human security and human rights are at stake. We note in this context, a number of significant comments made on the role of the national human rights institutions, implementation of a strategy and action plan on hate speech, rights of migrants and statelessness, as well as concerns relating to the use of digital technology to the detriment of human rights. These are areas where we would continue to extend our cooperation to the respective human rights mechanisms in advancing further dialogue and positive outcomes.

Mr. President, in her Oral Update, the High Commissioner also referred to the current developments in Sri Lanka, and in this regard, we wish to draw the attention of this Council to the following points:

Read more: Sri Lanka Updates HRC on Human Rights Measures taken to advance Human Rights, Peace and Security

 

Consular Mobile Service conducted in Mullaitivu, under ‘Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu’ Programme

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated for the fourth time, at the ‘Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu’ national programme, held under the guidance of President Maithripala Sirisena, with the aim of providing swift and sustainable solutions for issues faced by the general public.

As part of this national programme coordinated by the Presidential Secretariat, the Ministry organized a consular mobile service at the Maritimepattu Divisional Secretariat in the Mullaitivu District on 07 June 2019 and participated at the Mullaitivu District Progress Review Meeting, chaired by the President on 08 June 2019.

Read more: Consular Mobile Service conducted in Mullaitivu, under ‘Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu’ Programme

 

Kochchikade in Ottawa St. Anthony's Feast 2019

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The 4th Annual Kochchikade in Ottawa St. Anthony's Feast was held at Good Shepard Church in Orleans on 15th of June 2019. The event was organized by the Sri Lankan Community living in Ottawa to celebrate the annual feast of St. Anthony's Shrine at Kochchikade in Sri Lanka.

Addressing the large gathering at the ceremony Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Canada, Asoka Girihagama highlighted the importance of St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade to Sri Lankan citizens regardless of their religion and race and underlined the significance of this feast which is annually celebrated on a grand scale at St. Anthony’s national shrine. High Commissioner also took the opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of the senseless terror attacks occurred in Sri Lanka on 21st April 2019.

Read more: Kochchikade in Ottawa St. Anthony's Feast 2019

 

Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa takes part in Heads of Mission Spouses Association (HOMSA) Charity event at Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

1H

Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa participated in the Heads of Mission Spouses Association charity event organized to raise funds for school supplies for Indigenous children in Ottawa on 11th June 2019. This was the first time that the Mission participated in this annual charity event.

The spouses of Heads of Mission Spouses Association’s Asia-Pacific chapter organized this event together with a team at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, which is an Ottawa-based health centre aimed at supporting the Indigenous community in Ottawa. The goal of the event was to raise $10,000 to supply 50 children at the centre with basic school essentials as part of the centre’s “Walk in Beauty” program.

Read more: Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa takes part in Heads of Mission Spouses Association (HOMSA) Charity event at Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

 

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