Canada: on Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Report at the UN
Posted on November 5th, 2012

Asoka Weerasinghe  Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . Canada

4 November 2012

Hon. John Baird P.C., MP
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons, Ottawa

Honourable Minister:

Re: Canada’s comments on Sri Lanka’s UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review 2012.

The report in Colombo Page of November 3 says: ” Welcoming the steps taken by the government to implement the Human Rights Council Resolution of March 22, 2012, Canada urged the government to expedite implementation of reconciliation measures in the North including the reduction of military presence in the North and setting a specific date for Northern Provincial Council elections. Canada also called on repealing certain clauses of the Prevention of Terrorism Act to ensure detainees’ safety and rights.”

As a keen student of Sri Lanka’s “ƒ”¹…”internal affairs’ and the  pressures and unwarranted interference by outside forces like Canada, Canada’s statement at the UN needs comments.

  1. I thought it was somewhat heartening that Canada’s statement has more or less kept the door ajar for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to attend the Commonwealth Summit 2013 in Colombo.   With the original strong stubborn ballyhoo wanting to play Pied Piper to rally other nations to boycott the summit and  having failed, I have paled myself knowing that it wouldn’t matter two prairie straws  to me whether he attends the Commonwealth Summit in Colombo or not.  The other Commonwealth nations will carry on with their Agenda to get things done to benefit the Commonwealth of Nations, especially the developing nations.
  2. Canada’s statement at the UN wanting the government of Sri Lanka to expedite implementation of reconciliation measures is easy for Canada to say, playing the game of “ƒ”¹…”White Viceroys and Brown Minions’.  Implementations  in a democracy is not all that easy and straightforward, as Canada knows with several Royal Commission Reports still sitting on shelves collecting dust.

When playing the game of “White Viceroys and Brown Minions” it is easy for Canada to lose its corporate memory and forget what really happened in Canada in this context.  Here’s one for you Minister.  The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) established in 1991 was to address many issues of aboriginal status that had come to light with the then recent events like the Oka Crisis and the Meech Lake Accord.  This commission culminated in a final report of 4000 pages published in 1996.  To date the federal government (which is you) has not implemented the RCAP recommendations.  This report “set out a 20 year agenda for implementing changes.”

So Minister, our Canadian representative’s riding on their high horses in to Geneva’s UN Chambers had the gall and temerity to demand from Sri Lanka urging the Government to “expedite implementation of reconciliation measures in the North”¦.”   “Shish! Canada was certainly not addressing a crowd of Sri Lankan High School students.  These are the guys and gals who suffered for 27 bloody years before kicking the butts of the foreign, including Canada, supported Tamil Tiger terrorists and wiped them out militarily on 19 May 2009.  They eliminated these ruthless Tamil Tigers who haemorrhaged that island nation for 27 years, almost single handed, and are now trying to get on their feet and  are doing fine in their own possible time-line to reconcile the aggrieved peoples and develop the bullet and bomb pock marked peninsular.   So let’s stop playing the cruel game of I am the big guy, the “White Viceroy bully and do as you are told or else”¦”

More on Canada’s Human Rights front, which should stall your arrogance to tell Sri Lanka, “We are Holier than Thou’, when on February 25, 2013, Canada will appear before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to face allegations that it is racially discriminating against First Nations children by providing flawed and inequitable funding and policies for First Nations and family services Reserves.

And on all accounts, the Tamils up North of Sri Lanka are thousand times better off than the First Nations peoples in Canadian Reserves.  And more closer to home, the Tamils in the North of Sri Lanka are far better off than the Dalits of South India.  I say “Hip”¦.Hip”¦Hooray” to Brave Sri Lanka and pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate its great achievements since the war ended.  This island also happens to be my Motherland that I am guarding its good name with a passion.

3.  And Canada had said: “”¦..reconciliation in the North including the reduction of military presence in the North“.

We Canadians are certainly an amazing lot, aren’t we Minister, poking our fingers unnecessarily into Sri Lanka’s security and internal affair?  If Sri Lanka poked its fingers into Canada’s Security and Internal Affair, I know where you, with your pit-bull persona, would ask Sri Lanka to go.

The Sri Lanka’s army is in the North for a specific purpose.  To secure the sovereignty of the island, as the North has shown its vulnerability in the past, like the untrustworthy neighbour India, violating Sri Lanka’s sovereign Northern air space by flying low screaming Mirage 2000s in June 1987 on a relief drop of 25 tons of parippu to Jaffna peninsula’s 800,000 Tamils from four Anatov Transport planes, to force Sri Lanka to sign the Indo-Lanka Accord  on 29 July 1987; Like the Chief Minister Jayalalitha of India’s southern state Tamil Nadu threatening to invade Sri Lanka; like the proxy Tamil Tiger groups abroad, as in Canada, still dreaming of their mythical separate state Eelam and collecting funds for that cause as they did before the demise of the Tamil Tiger terrorists in Sri Lanka.

We Canadians are obviously not listening to the Sri Lankan Administration when they say that there is no intrusive military presence impacting on civilians lives in the North, in Jaffna or in the Wanni.  That they have reduced the military personnel significantly in the North since the end of the conflict on 19 May 2009.  But however, like the Canadian Army helping the government during crises like the Manitoba Red River  valley flooding, etc, the Sri Lankan army between May 2009 to October 2012 have constructed 4,652 permanent new houses and what’s wrong with that Minister?  The army has constructed 6,171 semi-permanent houses.  They have constructed 73 new schools, renovated nearly 500 old schools and constructed 23 school playgrounds, and what’s wrong with that Minister?  You cannot penalize Sri Lanka  for such acts done for the welfare of their country just because a few Tamils in the Greater Toronto Area whine to their  Conservative MPs like a pack of lost coyotes. The army has renovated 7,454 houses, through their initiatives and efforts. And what’s wrong with that Minister?  Surely you are not going to dismiss and pooh-pooh the army’s efforts during the Sri Lanka’s crisis to appease your Tamil voter-bloc, are you Minister?  Come on Minister, let’s get real!

And I wish the Sri Lankan Government point out this to you Minister and the Canadian representatives at the UN in Geneva “”…” “That aren’t you Canadians under the pretext of the war on terror and through initiatives such as the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), as well as other commitments, has an ongoing effort to further harmonize North American Security priorities.  Isn’t the militarization of the continent along with US-Canada integration is taking place in areas of law enforcement, border services and armed forces.  And all this when Canada has not even experienced what Sri Lanka has been subjected to major Tamil Tiger terrorist attacks involving loss of life.  Your biggest terrorist attack was the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in 1985 killing 312 Canadian-Indian citizens over the ocean, but Sri Lanka has seen umpteen number of Tamil Tiger terrorist attacks on land including 388 suicide bomb attacks killing scores of hundreds of innocent people, and maiming for life thousands of others.  Don’t you see that what is good for the goose surely is good for the gander?”  So Minister, that is Canada”ƒ”¹…”s hypocrisy when dealing with Sri Lanka.

4.      The Canadian statement at the UN’s Geneva Review for progress in resettlement and efforts for reconciliation: “Canada also called on repealing certain clauses of the Prevention of Terrorism Act to ensure detainee’s safety and right.”

      What’s all this hypocrisy Canada?  And I wished the Sri Lanka Government responded to this statement like this:  “While we appreciate the country’s observation about our Prevention of Terrorism Act, perhaps it would be pertinent to inform the Council that we had studied Canada’s successful War Measures Act and our PTA was almost a copy cat Act of theirs, and we question why this questionable refinement, as we trust that what was good for the goose then should be good for the gander now.

It should also be noted that as for our Prevention of Terrorism Act, many countries including our giant neighbour India, have witnessed draconian laws being enacted, constitutions being violated, and citizens placed in peril through this principle.  However, each of these departures has been justified politically and legally when exigencies threatened the very survival of a nation.  Beginning with a decision of the Supreme Court of Cyprus in 1964, the courts in Nigeria, Ghana and Pakistan have held that persons in power may act through extraordinary legislation departing from all accepted norms of good government, including the violation of the constitution, if they could establish that “”¦.the evil perpetrated upon the citizens by so departing is less than the evil avoided by such departure.”

And so we saw the invoking of  the War Measures Act by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s Liberal Government on 16 October 1970, that got the military onto the streets of Montreal and Ottawa with their guns on the ready to shoot.   All this was to get rid of a few FLQ (Le Front de liberation du Quebec) terrorists who planted a few mail box bombs and killed Pierre Laporte, Quebec Province’s Labour Minister and the kidnapping of James Richard Cross,  British Trade Counselor.  When compared to the Tamil Tiger terrorists killings in Sri Lanka, what happened in Canada in October 1970 looks like a mere child’s play of cops-and-robbers.

Sri Lanka underwent horrendous assassinations by Tamil Tiger suicide bombers, bombs, and sniper shootings of politicians like, President Ranasinghe Premadasa (equivalent to Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper), two Foreign Ministers Ranjan Wijeratne and Lakshman Kadiragamar (Canada’s Lawrence Cannon and John Baird), Labour Minister C.V. Gunaratna (Canada’s Lisa Raitt),  Leader of the Opposition A Amirthalingam (Canada’s  Tom Mulcair), three Mayors of Jaffna (three Mayors of Montreal) and several other politicians.  And that is why the PTA is in place in Sri Lanka with warts and all.

Perhaps it would be worthy to note when a reporter asked Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau how far he was prepared to go trying to quell the October 70  terrorist crisis, his answer was, “Just watch me!” These are the  very words that echoed through President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s  silent voice about the serial killer Tamil Tigers. And further, you may or may not remember what Prime Minister Trudeau said to a reporter, “Yes, well. There are a lot of bleeding hearts around who just don’t like to see people in helmets and guns. All what I can say is go on and bleed.”  Words that may very well echo through President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s  silent voice, to people who want to dilute Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorist Act.

As a concluding note Minister Baird, when growing up in Colombo my wise old Mother always reminded admonishing me in a way, “Putha (son) if you don’t have anything nice to say about anyone, then please shut up.”  Well, perhaps this is an appropriate piece of advice that I am willing pass on to you.  “If you don’t have anything nice to say of the positives happening in Sri Lanka after the end of the  separatist terrorist Eelam war, then please shut up at international fora and stop trying to hurt my Motherland, Sri Lanka, just to obtain a few Tamil votes for yours and my Conservative party.  Remember that you will be hurting 21 million people who just want to get on with their lives.”

Sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe

(a sustaining donor of the Conservative Party)

5 Responses to “Canada: on Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Report at the UN”

  1. LankaLover Says:

    A brilliant article Asoka! You should send this to all the National papers of Canada for publication.

  2. M.S.MUDALI Says:

    This idiot was loving the honeymoon of LTTE-UNP sakkilies in the past. Now why does he bark? I think he may be one of them who danced with LTTE criminals in front of the Queens Park where LTTE and UNP sakkilies cried that Prema is Aiyaa and Prabaa was Malli!

  3. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    JOHN BEARD, DISHON. MINISTER OF TAMIL FOREIGN AFFAIRS, Just shut thef up, putha.

  4. RohanJay Says:

    Great article, Canada should worry about its own country rather than interfere in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is doing just fine thank you. Now that the LTTE were kicked out of Sri Lanka comprehensively.

  5. Voice123 Says:

    MS Mudali, never mind about Asoka, perhaps Jeya (lalitha) is your Sakkili Akka and Vaiko your psycho Annar?

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