Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada deeply regrets the return of active conflict in Sri Lanka and the consequences this has had for the safety of civilians. Canada has expressed these concerns to the Sri Lankan government.
The Sri Lankan president has created a commission of inquiry to investigate these reports. He has also agreed to the establishment of an international independent group of eminent persons to ensure that the work of the commission remains transparent, objective and credible.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs has accepted an invitation for Canada to participate in this initiative and has named Professor Bruce Matthews, a world renowned scholar and an expert on the nexus of religion, ethnicity and conflict in Sri Lanka, as the Canadian candidate to this group.
Canadian participation in the eminent persons group represents Canada's support for the Sri Lankan peace process through promotion of accountability and respect of human rights.