Mr. Speaker, eight years ago today, the 26-year-old armed conflict ended in Sri Lanka, yet peace has not been achieved on the island. The scars of this war remain deep within the hearts of Tamils around the world as a result of the 100,000 lives lost, the occupation of over 65,000 acres of land, the fate of Tamils who surrendered, the thousands of Tamils who were abducted by government and paramilitary forces, and the numerous Tamils who languish in prisons under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The Sri Lankan government stands accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Human rights violations continue daily, with Tamils living in fear of the occupying military. Even today, they are barred by the state from mourning their loved ones.
I met many of the victims last July during my visit to the island. They seek answers, which can only come from a fair, independent, and internationally mandated process of accountability. I want to reaffirm our commitment to seek truth, justice, accountability, and peace.