Statement by Liberal Leader Bob Rae on the Situation in Jaffna

December-13-12

For Immediate Release
December 13, 2012
 
Statement by Liberal Leader Bob Rae on the Situation in Jaffna, Sri Lanka

TORONTO- Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement today on the situation in Jaffna, Sri Lanka:

"News is slowly emerging of an attack on the men's and women's dormitories at Jaffna University, with some fifty students being sent to hospital, and many arrested without warrants.
 
Sri Lanka's civil peace is still under threat from its own government. The United States government has issued a call for a respect for civil liberties and pluralism. Canadians can hardly do less in the face of continuing attacks on journalists and others expressing their opinions.
 
I had the chance, nearly a decade ago, to give a couple of talks at Jaffna University, and as it was during a time of cease fire and efforts to create a different governing structure students were enthusiastic participants in discussions about federalism and pluralism. With the resumption of fighting, defeat of the Tamil Tigers and death of tens of thousands of innocent civilians, all has changed.
 
Canada's vigilance in defence of free speech and an open society must continue. The government of Sri Lanka must be held accountable for these violations of human rights."