Stsatements on Sri Lanka At Royal Commonwealth Society, London Jan. 23,2012
Posted on January 30th, 2012

Ira de Silva London,  Canada

Hon. John Baird
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Canada
 
Dear Sir: 
 
 I refer to the biased, factually incorrect comments you made in London at the Royal Commonwealth Society meeting on Jan.23,2012. I read them in the Colombo Telegraph today.
 
It is stated that you said you are aware of reports “on the issue of high military presence in the north of Sri Lanka and the continuing human rights issues faced by the Tamil minority community there” and that as a government you will not shy away from highlighting these issues in international forums”. It appears that in your eagerness to please your Tamil vote base in Canada you disregard or are unaware of even the reports of two of your own party members Hon. Chungen Leung, MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism, and Hon. Joe Daniel, MP, and Marlene Gallyot, Special Assistant to Hon. Joe Daniel who were in Sri Lanka this month and in a press release stated “the human rights situation in Sri Lanka has greatly improved and it was understood that there is no discrimination against the Tamil community in Sri Lanka“. This is the  essence of their first hand observations having visited Sri Lanka. Do you prefer to believe the falsehoods that are being constantly fed to politicians by the supporters of the LTTE without any basis in fact or the observations of Canadian parliamentarians? Has Mr. Levy, the High Commissioner for Canada in Colombo, not sent you this information or are we to believe that Mr. Levy too only believes LTTE propaganda and does not report this type of information? 
 
In London you stated that you will continue to highlight these “issues” until the situation is rectified. It appears that, according to the statements by the two Canadian M.P.’s that “the situation is rectified” – are you going to continue to repeat  falsehoods and hearsay from Tamils who supported the LTTE from Canada and were responsible for paying for terrorism in Sri Lanka with the blessings of the Canadian Government or attempt to get your facts correct? You further stated “Canada will stand for its principle position and stand up for the values that we believe in”. I sincerely hope that one of the values you believe in is truth because Canadians value truth and honesty from their elected representatives and that you will be truthful on Sri Lanka in future statements. To not do so will illustrate that you yourself do not stand for Canada’s principles. It is hoped that Mr. Levy too will follow these values that Canada believes in.
 
The article further states “he (referring to you) ” was not forgiving for his country’s western, Christian values and said that Canada stands firm on those values and apologized for discriminating against Chinese Canadians”. I trust that one of the Christian values that you stand firm on is truth and if Canada apologises for mis-statements as part of these values that you will correct your statement because as you said “we have not been right all the time and we will readily admit to it”. It is too much to expect that you will apologize to the people of Sri Lanka for vilifying them (you noted Canada’s apology to Chinese Canadians) because you will lose the votes of the Tamils in Canada who still support the division of Sri Lanka but, if in future you make the effort to be truthful, the Canadians of Sri Lankan origin in Canada, who do not support the LTTE, may re-consider voting for your party.  Further, the people of Sri Lanka will not continue to regard Canada as being responsible for decades of Tamil terrorism and after the war ended, for being the the chief advocate of the LTTE supporters overseas who are still hoping to divide Sri Lanka. 
 
You are said to have articulated Canada’s policy of human rights. Did you forget Canada’s policy towards it’s own  native people who by all accounts are living in conditions that are far worse than the Tamil community in Sri Lanka? It is always easier to criticise other countries whilst ignoring the problems in your own but since you are so vocal on Christian values  perhaps you should convince your own government to uphold these principles in Canada first before criticising others.
 
You appear to be concerned about the “high military presence in the north of Sri Lanka”. May I remind you that the north of Sri Lanka is still a part of Sri Lanka and the government of Sri Lanka has the right to station it’s military anywhere in the country. This statement again is based on the continued efforts of your Tamil LTTE supporters who want to create a separate state in the north solely for the Tamils to which end they carried out ethnic cleansing in the north and terrorised all of Sri Lanka for thirty years. If Canada claims the right to station it’s military anywhere in the country and has of late concentrated on the Arctic to safeguard Canada’s sovereignty, why should you have a problem with Sri Lanka having a military presence in the north when the country is being threatened by the LTTE rump, the politicians of Tamil Nadu wanting to invade the country and the Indian Government, to get Tamil votes in India, keeps harassing Sri Lanka. In case you are unaware of the history of the region, it was India that trained the LTTE terrorists in India, provided bases in Tamil Nadu,  the Tamil Nadu Government  voted funding for the LTTE and that the Indian Government threatened to invade Sri Lanka, all for Tamil votes in Tamil Nadu, India. It now appears that Canada has joined in the current “offensive” against Sri Lanka for the Tamil votes in Canada. Perhaps that it why you state “we are working with like minded governments in the region”. 
 
When asked by Dr. S. Joseph where you were getting information of women being abused and others in Sri Lanka you stated that your main source is the Canadian Embassy in Sri Lanka. Perhaps the Canadian Foreign Ministry has different values because this statement is again false and if Mr. Levy is feeding you these lies he too needs a lesson in the Canadian values you keep talking about. I wonder if the diplomats from countries based in Ottawa are reporting back to their governments about the rapidly increasing number of abused women and children in Canada?
 
Yours truly,
 
Ira de Silva
London,  Canada
 

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