By Bob Rae –
The reports of recent attacks at the Uthayan newspaper and on-going violence in Sri Lanka are deeply concerning.
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has not matched his rhetoric on Sri Lanka with concrete, strong actions. He must work to persuade members of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to take collective action against the Rajapaksa regime’s continued violation of Commonwealth values and principles.
The Liberal Party of Canada is urging Minister Baird to engage with his counterparts at the upcoming CMAG meeting on Friday, April 26, to hold the Sri Lankan regime accountable for the impeachment of its Chief Justice, the absolute deterioration of democracy and rule of law, and the violent attacks on minorities. The Minister must additionally use this occasion to push for the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be moved from Sri Lanka.
Furthermore, we are calling on the Government of Canada to formally request that the Commonwealth Secretary General seek an independent legal opinion as to whether the Sri Lankan regime has violated the Commonwealth’s Charter; should this be the case, then the Commonwealth must rightfully suspend Sri Lanka’s membership from the association.
*Canadian Liberal party communique – Issued April 20, 2013