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October 11, 2013 Minister Jason Kenney met the Tamil Media in Toronto


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The Hon. Minister Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment, Social Development and the Minister for Multiculturalism held a media conference regarding the Government of Canada’s decision not to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka, on Wednesday, Oct. 9th, 2013 at the Ministers’ Regional Office located in Down Town, Toronto. The Minister informed that the PM made the decision of not attending the Commonwealth Heads meeting in Sri Lanka as the Canadian Government did not see any improvement in the situation in Sri Lanka especially in relation to Human Rights matter. He also added the following reasons for the Government’s decision not to attend the meeting in SriLanka.


SriLankan Government had failed to implement the reconciliation process as recommended.. Failed to reconcile with the Tamil community. Failed to return lands to the Tamils thus preventing from earning their livelihood. Failed to settle the internally displaced people. Failed to answer regards the missing people. Failed to comply with the UN recommendations. Detention and disappearances of journalists/media personnel. No freedom for the media. Not respecting the democratic values. Interference with judiciary citing the removal of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayke He further said that Canada strongly sought Sri Lankan government to be accountable for the loss of lives and disappearance of people during the final war but the Sri Lankan government has failed to take any responsibility. Minister emphasized that the commonwealth to be relevant and meaningful, it should meet the very fundamental values on which it was built. The values being democracy, human rights, independent judiciary, human dignity. He added that regrettably, the Sri Lankan government has failed in all these fundamental values. The Canadian government not attending the Commonwealth in Sri Lanka is not only a signal to Sri Lanka but also to other governments who are in a similar state. Canada’s absence will be felt by other countries that have similar values like Canada. Minister said that Sri Lanka is an important country and that Canada will work with the Sri Lankan government continuously. Canada’s call to commonwealth countries is for them to come back to its root values and accountability.


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