June 12th, 2019

Conservatives Reject NDP's Motion to Investigate Allegations of Genocide Against Tamils

OTTAWA - Today, the Conservatives rejected the NDP's unanimous consent motion regarding the atrocities committed in Sri Lanka against the Tamils. It was an opportunity for all parliamentarians to seek justice for all families, survivors and victims of violence and war in Sri Lanka.

"I'm proud of the NDP leadership to have brought forward this motion," said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. "I understand the impacts of genocidal acts. The trauma and loss of life. The impact of a missing generation - where thousands of innocent women, children, and men were extrajudicially murdered and disappeared during 30 years of war in Sri Lanka. As Leaders in this country, we have a role to confront past and ongoing human rights violations, challenge persecution, and do everything we can to ensure that these atrocities never happen again, but today, some of us failed to do so."

Here is the official text of the motion tabled by NDP Human Rights Critic Cheryl Hardcastle:

That the House:

a) extend its condolences to all the victims of violence and war in Sri Lanka;

b) call on the Government of Sri Lanka to promote justice for those affected by the Easter Sunday attacks, protect the rights of religious minorities, and defend all places of worship;

c) reaffirm Canada's call for Sri Lanka to implement its obligations within a clearly specified time frame, as mandated under the UN Human Rights Council Resolutions 30/1 and 40/1; and re-affirms Canada's support in advancing accountability, peace, and reconciliation among all peoples on the island; and

d) call upon the United Nations to establish an international, independent investigation into allegations of genocide against Tamils committed in Sri Lanka, including the last phase of the armed conflict in 2009.

"It was an honour to have put forward this important motion for the community even if it is not the outcome we wish for. We are building on the work of Jack Layton who was a strong ally of the Canadian Tamil community for a number of years," said Hardcastle. "To all Tamil Canadians, we want you to know that you have in the NDP, an ally that will always stand with you in your peaceful pursuit of truth and justice. You are a resilient and strong community that has overcome atrocities of the worst kind."