Visiting Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney today expressed concern over accountability, human rights and lack of political solutions in Sri Lanka. He also said these factors are reasons for an influx of immigrants to Canada.
If Sri Lanka does not address issues related to human rights, accountability, political reconciliation, resettlement and judicial independence, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will keep away from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, he said.
Minister Kenney said Prime Minister Harper had sternly emphasized that Canada would not compromise on its stance of maintaining superficial alliances with partner countries.
“We will not go along, to get along”, he said.
The minister said the lack of progress in the areas of human rights, accountability, a political solution to the national question and resettlement was acting as a catalyst for human smuggling activities and was forcing Sri Lankans to seek asylum overseas.
“The lack of progress in achieving a political solution, accountability for crimes committed during the last stages of the war, resettlement and human rights issues are some of the factors that are compelling individuals to seek asylum in Canada and this is an area of profound concern for Canada,” he said.
The minister said the deteriorating situation in the country was demonstrated by the increase in the number of illegal asylum seekers to Australia and Canada, in the post war period.
“There are more people trying to enter Canada and Australia through illegal means now, than during the period of the conflict – this is a demonstration of the worsening situation,” he said. (Dianne Silva) (Pix by Kithsiri de Mel)