Mr. Speaker, May 19 marks the third anniversary of the end of the armed conflict of the Sri Lankan civil war. The 26-year conflict saw the death of an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 people, and thousands more were displaced from their homes. Many of the displaced, like my family and many of my constituents, fled the country to seek safety in great countries like Canada.
Humanitarian organizations continue their work in postwar Sri Lanka, providing emergency medical relief for the internally displaced. Reports of continuing abductions and torture, systemic lack of basic security for women, increasing lack of freedom of information, illegal settlement of the northern areas and a lack of religious and linguistic freedoms for minorities are ongoing.
The victims on both sides of this conflict have waited too long for justice. On the anniversary of the end of the civil war, New Democrats call upon this government and the world to take firm action to hold Sri Lanka to account and push for an independent inquiry into the allegations that war crimes and crimes against humanity took place during this time of conflict.