Mr. Speaker, this week we mark eight years since the end of Sri Lanka's civil war.
During that war, Canada rightly listed the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organization, but unfortunately the fight against terrorism was and continues to be used by Sri Lanka's government as a basis on which to violate the fundamental human rights of the Tamil community. Estimates are that over 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed during the final phase of this civil war, as the government shelled civilians, no-fire zones, and hospitals. Subsequently, IDPs faced torture, and the use of torture in Sri Lanka remains a concern.
Progress in the search for justice and reconciliation is between slow and non-existent. Independent judicial mechanisms to investigate crimes committed by both sides were promised but never materialized.
I was proud of the leadership showed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper when he announced that Canada would boycott the 2013 Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka over human rights abuses. The Liberal government must maintain and increase that pressure.
This week, we mourn those who lost their lives and renew our calls for justice and accountability.