No military solution to Sri Lanka conflict- Canada

[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 August 2007, 12:17 GMT]
Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter G MacKay, said replying to a letter from Mark Holland MP, that "Canada is deeply concerned by the renewal of the conflict in Sri Lanka," and that "The Canadian government believes that there can be no military solution to the conflict. Canada calls on all parties to the conflict to renounce violence and return to negotiations in order to find a peaceful political solution to the conflict that satisfies the legitimate aspirations of all citizens, regardless of language, religion, or ethnicity."

Peter G MacKay
Peter G MacKay, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs
PDF IconCanada's Foreign Minister's Letter (157kb)
Canada' Foreign Affairs Minister further said, "Canada remains prepared to assist in peace talks when they are renewed. Until then, its priorities in Sri Lanka will focus on supporting efforts aimed at protecting civilians and providing humanitarian assistance to the affected population."

Mr Mark Holland, Liberal Member of Parliament for Ajax-Pickering in a communication to Canadian Prime Minister Harper, had earlier expressed his "deepest concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in Sri Lanka," and supported fellow parliamentarian Dan McTeague's call to "opening a consulate in Jaffna that is capable of providing immigration services."

Responding to Mr Holland's request to open a branch of Canada's Consulate in Jaffna to facilitate Tamils holed up in the North to have easy access to the consulate for visa matters, Mr MacKay said: "In 2006, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada completed a review of Canada's representation abroad and concluded that Canadians are adequately served by the High Commission in Colombo. However, mindful of the difficulties involved in travel to the capital, Canada has been working with like-minded governments and various international organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, to engage the Government of Sri Lanka to find solutions to facilitate easier movement between Jaffna and the rest of the country.'



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