Mr. Speaker, for over 20 years, the nation of Sri Lanka has been embroiled in a deadly armed conflict.
Today, the violence continues, breeding widespread human rights abuses. Over 65,000 lives have been claimed and hundreds of thousands of citizens have been displaced or have fled the country. Families are being cut off from food, water and medicine. Political disappearances, forced evictions and the recruitment of child soldiers are daily occurrences. Freedom of speech has been choked by the recurring abduction and murder of journalists.
I was at a community meeting in Burnaby last weekend and the message from my constituents is clear. It is imperative for peace that the federal government increase pressure on the Sri Lankan government and military to respect the human rights of the Tamil population and other minorities.
I urge the government to actively support the peace process and efforts of the United Nations to uphold human rights of all peoples in Sri Lanka.