Canada to independently evaluate situ

A Canadian Parliamentary delegation on a visit to Sri Lanka will stop in various parts of the country and seek to independently evaluate the situation on the ground, the Canadian Foreign Ministry said.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has sent parliamentary secretaries Chris Alexander and Rick Dykstra, along with Senator Vern White.

The delegation will meet with a range of government officials and non-governmental organizations, as well as representatives of different communities throughout Sri Lanka. The delegates’ findings will help inform Canada’s next steps.

The Government of Canada has taken a firm stance following the conflict in Sri Lanka. Baird has strongly urged the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’s report, and develop a complementary road map to that end.

Canada has called for an independent investigation into the credible and serious allegations raised by the United Nations Secretary General’s panel that international humanitarian law and human rights were violated on both sides of the conflict.

Canada has also taken a lead in co-sponsoring a resolution to be presented at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Alexander, Dykstra and White will report back to Minister Baird in due course on the findings of their mission, the Canadian Foreign Ministry said.