April 14th, 2014

NDP Condemns Sri Lankan Attack on Civil Society

The NDP is deeply concerned by the attack on international civil society by the Government of Sri Lanka

“The recent decision by the Sri Lankan government to ban numerous international civil society organizations is unacceptable and must be immediately reversed,” said NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre). “This assault on international civil society affects a number of Canadian organizations, and undermines efforts for accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.”

The Government of Sri Lanka recently banned 16 international organizations advocating for human rights and accountability in Sri Lanka, specifically targeting groups advocating for an international inquiry into allegations of human rights abuses during the Sri Lankan civil war. Last month, the House of Commons unanimously endorsed an NDP motion calling for an independent investigation.

“Civil society is an essential part of democratic life in Canada, and organizations based in Canada have been important advocates for defending human rights and accountability in Sri Lanka,” added NDP MP Rathika Sitasabaiesan (Scarborough–Rouge River). “The Government of Canada must continue supporting accountability in Sri Lanka, and protect Canadian citizens who speak up for human rights worldwide.”