Let me speak to that. India is an established democracy with which we share a lot of values--common values. Canada can not allow our territory to be used to promote separation forces within India or terrorism; we feel very strongly about that and will continue to keep a watchful eye on it.
If I could speak to the situation in Sri Lanka, this has long been a significant concern for me personally. I should be very clear that our recent pronouncements on Sri Lanka are not related to electoral politics. There was not significant discussion of this during the election campaign--rather, after. Sri Lanka has accused a lot of political actors in Canada of using it for political gain here, but that is not the case, in my judgment.
We're very concerned about three things. One is the lack of accountability for very serious allegations of war crimes, particularly at the end of the civil war. We are deeply concerned that two years after the civil war we've seen no meaningful attempt at reconciliation with the Tamil minority community. Third, we're tremendously concerned about a growing authoritarian trend by the government in Colombo. This causes us deep concern. At the Commonwealth heads of government meeting, Canada led the discussion on this and expressed our deep concern.
The Commonwealth is supposed to be an institution that has some common values, and I had no hesitation in raising these issues bilaterally with my counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, and then in open session at Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister has said that if the situation is as it is today, he would not attend the next Commonwealth heads of government meeting.
I'm pretty proud that Canada led the discussion on this at the Commonwealth meeting in Perth. Colombo was supposed to host the Commonwealth this year; it was delayed by two years at the last meeting in Port of Spain. We hope that over the next two years this will be another impetus for some change.
They're coming out with their lessons learned report. I have to say that I was somewhat concerned when their report was supposed to be tabled in September before the Commonwealth meeting but was delayed by two months, until after the Commonwealth meeting. But we'll carefully review that.
I think the United Nations has had many challenges and many problems, but one area where I think we should speak up strongly in support of the UN and the Secretary General is his report on Sri Lanka. The content of that is deeply, deeply disturbing, as is the British television documentary about the human rights.... Frankly, I think there's room for investigation on both sides for human rights atrocities.
Other countries have taken ten years for reconciliation. Other countries never reconcile. But it's incredibly important. When there are allegations of such extreme human rights violations, we cannot turn our back on that, because it sends a terrible message to others in the future. There has to be accountability--and frankly on both sides.