Canadian Parliament calls for targeted sanctions against Sri Lanka

li-paul-dewar-02379342Mr. Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, last month, the Sri Lankan government launched a smear campaign against international civil society groups, including ones right here in Canada. These groups helped lead the successful push for an international independent investigation into the atrocities committed during the Sri Lankan civil war.

What actions is the government taking to protect peaceful Canadian citizens against the Sri Lankan ban? Will the Minister consider targeted sanctions against those responsible for abuses and repression, as was recommended by the foreign affairs committee in 2009?

Hon. John Baird (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC): 

Mr. Speaker, no government anywhere in the world and no leader of any government in the world has stood up more strongly and loudly than the Prime Minister of Canada when it comes to the challenges facing the people of Sri Lanka.

I want to tell the member opposite that we are certainly very pleased to continue our strong leadership on Sri Lanka. We are pleased to work with him and his ideas and suggestions on how we can build on the strong record that we have taken to stand up against war crimes, to call for accountability and to stand up against a growing authoritarian trend across Sri Lanka.