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Canada should pressure Sri Lanka –times colonist

[MISC, Saturday, 11 September 2010 11:59 No Comment]

While we understand the government’s desire to deter the illegal shipping of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka to Canada, it also needs to address the cause of this flow of refugees.

The primary cause are the injustices suffered by the Tamil population under Sri Lanka’s government. The Canadian government should be energetically using its influence and considerable Canadian International Development Agency funding to urge the government of Sri Lanka to amend its policies towards its minority Tamil population and ensure their democratic rights.

The Anglican Church of Canada has just received an important statement from the highly respected bishop of Colombo, Rev. Duleep de Chickera. It expresses concern about a proposed amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution and its effect on democratic government.

This amendment, says de Chickera, "if passed by Parliament will remove the restriction on the two terms a person can serve as president." It would also erode the independence of crucial commissions "meant to safeguard the democratic rights of the people, such as the Elections Commission, Public Services Commission, Judicial Services Commission, National Policy Commission, Bribery Commission and so on."

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