May 18th, 2014

Statement from the Leader of the Official Opposition, Tom Mulcair, on the 5th Anniversary of the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War

“Today and this month, I join with Canadians across the country in commemorating the fifth anniversary of the end of the Sri Lankan civil war. This solemn anniversary is a time for remembrance, reconciliation, and accountability.

The brutal conflict that raged in Sri Lanka for more than two and a half decades killed between 80,000 and 100,000 women, men, and children. Hundreds of thousands of others were displaced both internally and abroad. The end of the war was marked by particular horror, with countless reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, sexual violence and other serious violations of human rights.

I am deeply concerned by the findings of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that human rights and democratic freedoms continue to be abused in Sri Lanka. Efforts by the Sri Lankan authorities to avoid genuine accountability and substantive reforms are unacceptable, as are attempts to undermine the work of human rights defenders and peaceful civil society organizations.

My New Democrat colleagues and I are proud to stand with Canadians and people around the world who pursue truth, peace, and justice in Sri Lanka.”