Mr. Speaker, Sri Lanka is not only one of the worst of contemporary killing fields, but one of the most tragic in terms of humanitarian consequence.
The indicators are chilling. Over one million internally displaced people with UNHCR have a limited mandate for protection. There are over 12,000 unresolved cases of disappeared persons, second only to Iraq. Both government and LTTE forces have been implicated in a variety of humanitarian abuses, with civilians as target and victim. The UN special rapporteur on violence, who is herself Sri Lankan, has emphasized government complicity by security personnel in sexual violence. UNICEF has expressed concern for child victims of war and denounced the LTTE's use of child soldiers.
Given the above, we should therefore be encouraged by two lesser known developments. First, we are in the second month of an agreed upon and long awaited ceasefire in Sri Lanka and, second, a Quebec coalition for peace in Sri Lanka has been founded by one of my own constituents, which ought to augur well for an enhanced humanitarian sensibility within Quebec and Canada to developments in Sri Lanka.