In Parliament earlier this week, New Democrat MP for Scarborough-Rouge River Rathika Sitsabaiesan and fellow NDP MPs urged the Harper government to take a principled stance on Sri Lanka. They called on the Conservatives to support international calls for an independent investigation into allegations of war crimes committed at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war.
And this press release from Sitsabaiesan’s office:
OTTAWA – Today, the Conservative government refused to accept NDP demands for a principled position on Sri Lanka.
“Unless Sri Lanka complies with the UN calls for an independent investigation, Canada must not attend the Commonwealth meetings,” said New Democrat Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar in today’s Question Period. “Will the Minister make that clear commitment to Canadians here and now?”
In his response, Conservative Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird refused to make a clear commitment.
Earlier in Question Period, NDP Human Rights Critic Wayne Marston said: “yesterday the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution once again underscoring the need for accountability. Today, Conservative Senator Hugh Segal is in Sri Lanka. Will the Senator be pushing for an immediate, independent inquiry into those reprehensible actions during that civil war?”
Once again, Minister Baird refused to commit that the Conservatives would be pushing Sri Lanka while their Senator is visiting the country.
“I’m very disappointed that the Minister talks tough, but refuses to take a principled stance on Sri Lanka” said Dewar after Question Period. “New Democrats will continue to stand up for human rights, accountability and justice.”
Obviously, the Conservatives don’t really care about international law and human rights. So much from a party that relentlessly tells us that Canada is a leader on the world stage.