Three High level Canadian government’s delegations are in Sri Lanka to shape the Canada’s next steps following the adopted UN resolution against Sri Lanka.
Whilst the world is aware that there is no requirement for a resolution against Sri Lanka as work on LLRC recommendations had already commenced, Canada co-sponsored UN resolution against Sri Lanka adopted on Thursday. Although resolution was sponsored by the United States, Canada, Co-Sponsor of the UN resolution against Sri Lanka relentlessly lobbied 47 member states of the top UN human rights body for many weeks prior the Geneva voting on Thursday. Canada organized number of side events in Geneva with member states of top UN human rights body and lobbied in support of the UN resolution against Sri Lanka.
Ever since Harper’s government call for an independent investigation into the alleged war crimes committed in Sri Lanka and supported the Darusman panel’s report’s findings and recommendations last year, Canada continue to be hostiles towards Sri Lanka and pressing the international community for an independent investigation into the credible and serious allegations raised by the Darusman panel on accountability in Sri Lanka.
Late last year, Harper told fellow leaders at the Commonwealth meeting in Perth, Australia that as prime minister he will not be attending the Commonwealth summit in 2013 in Sri Lanka unless Sri Lanka show progress on human rights issues, rule of law, political reconciliation, democratic values and accountability.
Harper said "I will not as Prime Minister be attending that Commonwealth summit. And I hope that others will take a similar position, but I hope that this will pressure the Sri Lankan government to take the appropriate actions"
Last October, Guillermo E. Rishchynski, Canada's Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations statement to the third committee on the promotion of human rights, called on Sri Lanka to address the underlying sources of conflict in Sri Lanka.
Late last year, Canadian foreign Affairs Minister John Baird also called on Sri Lanka to advance a process of reconciliation and expressed concerns over lack of accountability and a growing trend toward authoritarianism in Sri Lanka at the UN, New York.
John Baird has several times met with the members of the Canadian Tamil community some of whom asked him to send a delegation to signal Sri Lanka that Harper government takes the issue seriously, according to one community leader.
John Baird, this week urgently dispatched three high level delegations, MPs Rick Dykstra and Chris Alexander – a former ambassador to Afghanistan – and new senator Vern White. These three delegations are already in Sri Lanka and they are here to meet up with religious leaders, members of the civil society, university students, Tamil political party leaders and human rights activists in the country including northern part of Sri Lanka.
They are here in Sri Lanka to conduct a fact-finding mission on claims such as heavy militarization of Tamil area, rights issue situations including continuing abductions, disappearances, status of rehabilitation works in the Tamil area, adequate mechanism in place to care for women and children who were badly affected by the prolonged war and the rule of law is being flouted in Sri Lanka.
Canada under the Harper government seems working very hard to fully isolate Sri Lanka in the international forums while shape up Canadian government’s next steps following the adopted UN resolution against Sri Lanka on Thursday.