Canada says it continues to encourage the Sri Lankan Government’s efforts to advance reconciliation and accountability in the country as well as present a viable political solution in order to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankan citizens, regardless of language, religion, or ethnicity.
The views were expressed by Shelley Whiting, the High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka and the Maldives in a message to mark Canada Day which falls today.
The High Commissioner said Canada has welcomed the Sri Lankan Government’s commitments to reconciliation and the government’s efforts to mend relations among communities so that all Sri Lankans can live in peace and dignity, free from discrimination based on ethnic, religious or linguistic identities.
“We strongly believe that Sri Lanka’s commitments on reconciliation will usher in peace, security and stability for all Sri Lankans. Canada remains committed to working with the Government of Sri Lanka toward building this lasting peace, reconciliation and prosperity in Sri Lanka,” she said.
She also said that in Sri Lanka, Canada has been a longstanding development partner and the assistance continues to focus on sustainable economic growth, improving skills for employment and livelihoods, and on advancing democracy through the promotion of language rights.
“Assistance has also been provided for de-mining in support of post-war reconciliation efforts by the Sri Lankan government. Our Canadian volunteer program enhances technical cooperation, fosters friendship and interactions between communities,” she said.
She also said that the Canada – Sri Lanka trade relationship is going strong. Trade volumes have grown by 25% in 2015 and she looks forward to continued growth and enhance trade ties, particularly in priority sectors, such as agrifood, infrastructure, aviation, clean tech and education.
“With just a year remaining for 150th anniversary celebrations, let’s take some time today, and in the next few months in the lead up to 2017, to truly reflect on how far we have come as a country and how far Canada and Sri Lanka have come in our bilateral relationship. Canada Day is a day to savour and celebrate the achievements of Canada and its people, and share the celebration with our partners and friends around the world,” she added.
She says Canada and Sri Lanka have a long-standing bilateral partnership, a shared commitment to fundamental values and deep people-to-people ties and Canadian interest in Sri Lanka is driven by a foreign policy commitment to the principles of freedom of expression, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. (Colombo Gazette)