HC Bruce Levy: Your statement on Prime Minister Harper attending Colombo’s 2013 Commonwealth Summit
Posted on October 14th, 2011

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . K1J 6G1 . Canada

13 October 2011

His Excellency Bruce Levy

Canadian High Commissioner for Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 
Colombo 7, Sri Lanka

Dear High Commissioner Bruce Levy:

Your statement to the Daily Mirror of 13th October about Prime Minister Stephen HarperƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s position of attending the 2013 CHOGM confused me, and challenged my knowledge of the English language.

You said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-LetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s be absolutely clear on what that Prime Minister said.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  He did not say that he will boycott the summit. What he did say is that he will find it difficult to attend the summit if there is no progress in terms of political reconciliation and some of the issues surrounding the closing months of the war. ThatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s a two year time frame.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It is important to note that he is not reaching in conclusion based on events that may or may not have occurred in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.

And this is what the transcript of Prime Minister Stephen HarperƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s response to that interview with journalist Ragavan Paramchothy reveals: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Well, CanadaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s position hasnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t changed.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  First of all, in terms of the specifics you raised in your preamble, I have expressed concerns about the holding of the next Commonwealth summit, the one after the one coming up, in Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I intend to make clear to my fellow leaders at the Commonwealth that we do not see progress in Sri Lanka in terms of human rights and some of the issues that you raised, I will not as Prime Minister be attending that Commonwealth summit.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  And I hope that others will take a similar position, but I hope that this will pressure the Sri Lankan Government to take the appropriate action.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

High Commissioner, the operative words of the intended action by Prime Minister Harper are these ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦if we do not see progress in Sri Lanka in terms of human rights and some of the issues that you raised, I will not as Prime Minister be attending that Commonwealth summit.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

Those words have been interpreted quite rightly by the reporters of the Globe & Mail and The EMBASSY, both reputable newspapers that Prime Minster has threatened to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-BoycottƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ the 2013 CHOGM.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  You in your role as CanadaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s High Commissioner did your diplomatic spin to calm the agitated waters in which I too have been swimming in as a Canada-Sri Lanka watcher with a hawkƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s-eye. Spin is what your job description expects you to do.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I canƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t fault you for that.

Sure, High Commissioner, Prime Minister Harper did not say he will ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-boycottƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ the 2013 ColomboƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Commonwealth summit, but he did imply though according to the definition of the word ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-BoycottƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ in several English dictionaries.

Reverso Collins say: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”boycottƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is to refuse to have dealings with (a person, organization, etc.) or refuse to buy (a product) as a protest or means of coercion. And Prime Minister Harper did just that;

Oxford Dictionary says: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”boycottƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is to refuse to cooperate with or participate in (a policy or event).ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  And Prime Minister Harper did just that;

The Concise Oxford Dictionary says: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”boycottƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ v.t., & n. is to punish, coerce (person, class, nation) by systematic refusal of social or commercial relations. And Prime Minister Harper did just that.

So whatever your spin is Mr. High Commissioner, I am in agreement with the Globe & Mail and The EMBASSY reporters.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Prime Minister HarperƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statement was a mild threat to the Sri Lanka government, to soothe the angry Tamil hearts that lost the Tamil Tigers who were fighting for their separate Tamil state Eelam for which they kept funding gunny bags full of green Canadian $20 bills. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ You know this fact as much as I do, and so does CSIS and RCMP. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ With that statement Prime Minister Harper obviously hoped to have that ABRACADABRAƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  magic of a convincing power to convert the Tamil Liberals and NDPers ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ votes ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ into Tamil-Conservative votes in the Greater Toronto Area next time around in the Federal and Provincial elections.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Convince me that I am wrong High Commissioner and I will be glad to lend you my ears.

But here is where things go iffy with Prime Minister HarperƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statement which is somewhat disingenuous and places Canada in an untrustworthy position.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

When Canada is a country which had difficulty to pat on the back of Sri Lanka and say, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Good job, Sri Lanka for getting rid of the Tamil Tiger terrorists, the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world, the only terrorists who assassinated two heads of state, Rajiv Gandhi of India and President Premadasa of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚, when most western countries saluted Sri Lanka for just doing that, and our Foreign Minister (Lawrence Cannon) sent out a pathetic Press Release and that told it all about CanadaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s position on Sri Lanka;

When Canada is the country which has had difficulty to acknowledge the very fact that Sri Lanka had restored the most sacred right of any human being in any civilized society, by giving back the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”right-to-lifeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ to 22 million of its peoples which had been hijacked by the Tamil Tiger terrorists for 27 bloody years, by eliminating them militarily on 19 May 2009 and say ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Good Show, Sri Lanka, you are doing good on the human rights fieldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚;

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ When Canada is the country which has had difficulty to acknowledge and say ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Good show Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚, for excelling in functional human rights by liberating 300,000 Tamils from the clutches of the Tamil Tigers, the most ruthless terrorist group in the world, that herded these people for 30 months as a human shield;

When Canada is the country which has had difficulty to acknowledge the human rights miracle performed by the Sri Lankan Government and its majority Sinhalese people, by cooking a million meals a day to feed the 300,000 Tamil refugees three hearty meals ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” breakfast, lunch and dinner, a day, and not starve them to death and say to Sri Lanka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-You have performed a miracle Sri Lanka in human rights. Good Show you are on the right track keep on trucking.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  There would have been many Canadian native peoples in remote reserves who would have loved to give anything to have exchanged their places with these lucky Tamils;

When Canada is the country which has had difficulty to acknowledge the fact that Sri Lanka had rehabilitated 8,000 out of 12,000 Tamil Tiger cardres and are now full fledged citizens. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ And that too happened within two years of their surrender.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  These are amazing human rights class acts, and not a word from Prime Minister Harper saying ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Good Show, Sri Lanka, way to go!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

Prime Minister Harper now says ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦if we do not see progress in Sri Lanka in terms of human rights and some of the issues raised, I will not as Prime minister be attending the Commonwealth summit.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  What Human Rights is he talking of ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Mr. High Commissioner, when he has ignored all the above Human Rights class acts by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Government since the Tamil Tigers were eliminated, andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  he had no compunction to say, with a pat on their backs ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Good ShowƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ With the above backgrounder, I doubt that Prime Minister Harper would recognize a negative or a positive Human Right in Sri Lanka even ifƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  it drops from heaven at his feet. And I really mean it when I say, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Prime Minister Harper should stay away from the summit in 2013 without being there to cloak himself as the Commonwealth Bully to satisfy the Tamil electorate in Canada.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ And finally let me share one of my concerns in this file. Canada is absolutely insane to interfere with Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s progress in its rehabilitation and reconciliation programmes, as they are matters for the elected representatives of Sri Lanka to deal with to satisfy the peoples living in Sri Lanka and not citizens of Canada whether they are of Tamil or Sinhalese origin, nor to satisfy a Prime Minister of a foreign country and his or her ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ immigrant minions who have an axe to grind.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Let us be absolutely clear that if the Tamil Diaspora and the Tamil Tiger rump in Canada who left Sri Lanka in search of greener pastures after the July 1983 riots believe that they are the architects of the destiny of the Tamils who stayed back and want to live in harmony with the majority Sinhalese people, then these Canadian-Tamils are day dreaming. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government should not touch this Tamil day-dreamerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s stupidity even with a barge pole and give Peace a Chance in Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Sri Lanka deserved this after having been haemorrhaged for 27 bloody years with guns and bullets bought from millions of Canadian dollars sent by the Canadian-Tamil separatists.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ That has to be clear in our minds as well in the minds of Prime Minster Stephen Harper andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  his Foreign Minister John Baird, who did his little song and dance about Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Human Rights ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ and accountability atƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the UN.

Sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe

4 Responses to “HC Bruce Levy: Your statement on Prime Minister Harper attending Colombo’s 2013 Commonwealth Summit”

  1. gamunu6 Says:

    Deear Asoka Weerasinghe!

    Its about time learned individuals like you in Canada & elswhere respond to such misrepresenation of facts. Canada & Sri Lanka use to enjoy immense diplomatic & mutual respect in the past. We have sometimes including the Govts: of Sri Lanka, ignored many accusations levelled against us.

    Its time to respond vigourously to those who critize us, as a people and particular as a the ONLY country who defeated the terrorists. If we conduct ourselves (both Govt: & expatriates) to constantly accuse another country about their HUMAN RIGHTS records and how they treat their minorities, Aborigines there will be enough matrial to write & tarnish their images as well.

    We have always fought from the days of LEAGUE OF NATIONS in San Frnacisco, when the so called workl community black listed, treated someimes unfairly(Japan)..our then Finance Minister came to defend Japan.

    Then again when Pakistan needed re-fueling for her Aircrafts in war with soon to be Bangladesh(then East Pakistan) we supported Pakistan and allowed them landing rights to refuel in our country.

    More recently when Island of FIJI was about to barred from Commonwealth (some say a common nuisance), then we stood by Fiji. Our record of saying HURAH to all the gangs who practice HOLIER THAN THOU attitude, is very clear. We always stood by the weaker person or country, when we see some injustice being done.

    Most of the time we have succeeded. That is why Sri lanka is what it is. We may not agree with super powers or one who pretend to be, to punish small countries even these smaller countries have impecable records to boast about. As in many cases we explain our situation & do not whole heartedly support methods adopted by major countries, just because they are big or have the finnacial clout.

    We are BUDDHISTS, and are taught humility, modesty and peaceful co-existence & middle path as corner stones of our philosophy, which is more than a religion.

    I feel all Sri lankans whether in Canada or elsewhere should diplore, when a country is targetted the way its done to Sri Lanka, mostly because of large number of Tamil diaspora & their financial influence.

    We should be united in condeming such actions by the west & some countries who support the west. Asians must unite as Asians so that the outside world cannot treat smaller countries as their punching bags.

    I congradulate Sir, for your continued responses in matters relating to our homelamd. May God Bless you & May the Noble Triple Gems guide & guard you in all matters.

    Thanks again Asoka!……..Gamunu Alahakkone. P.Eng Canada……..Retd Engineer

  2. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    It seems the Prime Minister of Canada has swallowed the muck circulated through the fabricated film of Ch-4 and is now the latest casualty of the wealthy Ezham Tamils (as they now refer to themselves) of Tamil Nadu. Yes, Mr Harper has got on to the high horse cheered on by the Ezhamists of Tamil Nadu and has obviously decided to waltz around the world with these peddlers of lies, hoping he’ll get their votes and support for election campaigns.

  3. jay-ran Says:

    Harper’s mislead attitude towards Sri Lanka amply exposes how foolish and shortsighted they to have believed(if so) Ch 4 bullshit.Are they not educated enough to understand between the fake doctored videos and the genuine videos.Or is it because LTTE Tamil Diasporah have been able to bribe them? They must understand that when they point one finger at some, 4 of his own fingers are pointed towards themselves.
    Further why are these fools not worried about the 30 yrs of killings by LTTE and only interested in last few hrs?
    USA killing Osama Binladen who was unarmed and hiding in a foreign country is acceptable,but Sr Lanka killing those armed LTTErs is wrong?

  4. OaO Asithri Says:

    Evidently, Haper is on record saying:

    “if we do not see progress in Sri Lanka in terms of humans rights…”

    ““our position’s very clear that we are supportive of an independent investigation“

    Mahinda Rajapakse should also be saying:

    “We need to see progress on the current Govt. of Canada disassociating itself from LTTE supporters in Canada AND holding an inquiry into: How the Tamil Canadian LTTE supporters raised thousands of millions of dollars in Canada to help the LTTE unleash horrifying terrorism in Sri Lanka (as stated by none other than the Canadian premier law enforcement authority, the RCMP), with the revelation of names of those guilty parties from the Canadian Tamil diaspora AND evidence of prosecution of same AS WELL AS the culpability of the Govt. of Canada for allowing such criminal act to take place within Canadian soil and who are the guilty politicians in Canada, some who are still alleged to be in the parliament in Canada, who turned a blind-eye at best and provided moral support at worst, for such to happen.”

    AND he should also add:

    “our position’s also very clear; if the Govt. of Canada is unwilling or unable to do this, then we are supportive of an independent investigation“

    OaO Asithri

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