Resurging Violence in Sri Lanka, November 20, 2006
Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to represent a riding which many Sri Lankans call home: Tamil, Sinhala, Muslim and Christian. As such, my constituents keep me very well informed about the conflict in that country.
One constituent has explained that the northern region is experiencing great hardship due to conflict and resurgent violence. Residents, who once produced their own food and exercised freedom of movement, are locked down and unable to meet their daily nutritional needs. They are surviving on remittances from Canadian based family members.
This is a civil war that no one can win. NGOs, which went into the country post-tsunami, are well funded and eager to help, but they are pulling out, discouraged, frustrated by bribery, corruption and intimidation.
Allan Rock, the former UN ambassador, reports that the government of Sri Lanka has been complicit in allowing the abduction and enlistment of child soldiers, as have the Tamil Tigers. Canada cannot sit by while that nation spirals into civil war.
I call upon the Government of Canada to take an active, even-handed approach, as did the previous government post-Tsunami to help bring about a resolution to this conflict.