WORLD NEWS

FM raises concerns with Canadian HC over Ontario bill against Sri Lanka

Foreign Minister Prof G.L. Peiris met the High Commissioner of Canada David McKinnon on Thursday (October 09) at the Foreign Ministry.

A number of areas of ongoing bilateral cooperation were discussed. The minister also briefed the high commissioner on Sri Lanka’s recent multilateral engagements in Geneva and New York.

He updated the high commissioner on progress related to Sri Lanka’s vaccination programme and the gradual opening up of the country.

Minister Peiris appreciated Canada’s contribution to Sri Lanka’s process of recovery from the pandemic. Sri Lanka continues to seek vaccine availability from all available sources.

In the meantime, the high commissioner has briefed the foreign minister on post-COVID recovery in Canada and economic collaboration between Sri Lanka and Canada, as well as other issues of mutual interest.

The minister reiterated Sri Lanka’s strong concern regarding the Private Members Public Bill 104 on ‘Tamil Genocide Education Week’ passed earlier this year in the Ontario Legislative Assembly including Sri Lanka’s objection to the unacceptable association of genocide in relation to the past conflict in Sri Lanka. He went on to note that this Act is being challenged in the Ontario Superior Court. As highlighted in his address to the UN Human Rights Council, Sri Lanka is continuing its efforts to achieve reconciliation among the communities following decades of terrorist conflict, the minister said further, while recalling that the LTTE is a proscribed terrorist organization in Canada.

The high commissioner stated that this issue, which was a decision by the Ontario Legislative Assembly, is in a judicial process relating to a Constitutional Question. He agreed to keep the Sri Lankan minister informed of its developments.

The minister also updated the high commissioner on his address to the UN Human Rights Council and on progress on matters related to human rights and the recent steps taken domestically. The high commissioner has thanked the minister for the update and encouraged Sri Lanka to make progress on the matters raised by the Council.

Courtesy: Adaderana

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