Canada Suspends Commonwealth Funds For Next Two Years
Posted on April 15th, 2014

Herold Leelawardena

John Baird, Foreign Affairs Minister of Canada says, he has withdrawn Canada’s $10-million annual voluntary contribution to Commonwealth. It is obvious that Baird has joined his neo con gang to force Sri Lanka to agree to their witch-hunt. He tells us that there is no ‘principles of freedom, democracy and respect for human dignity’ in Sri Lanka and for that reason Canada had stopped their stipend to reprimand Sri Lanka. I like to open Lankaweb readers’ eyes for the fact that Baird is blind to what’s going on in his own country, Canada.

 Genocide is a deliberate extermination of one ethnic group by another. That has never happened in Sri Lanka. True, throughout history, Sinhalas fought to stop plundering by invaders. But when Tamil invaders were defeated or went back to their homeland with the plundered booty, the remainder had become guests and settled down with the local polity by integrating into the Sinhala populace. We can safely assume that’s how Sinhalas grew to what they are today. 

 The indigenous peoples or the ‘first nation’ of the Americas are the various aboriginal people commonly called ‘Indians’. These indigenous peoples have cultures spanning thousands of years. Progeny of invaders say there were about two million ‘first nation’ people in the late 15th century but repeated outbreaks of European infectious diseases said to have killed up to 80% of that number. What a lie.

 That apart, what interest me is, the God’s agent, Pope Alexander VI drew a line and divided lands discovered in America between Spain and Portugal in 1493. American ‘first peoples’ were polytheistic, believing in many gods and many levels of deity. They attached supernatural qualities to animals, heavenly bodies, the seasons, dead ancestors, the elements, and geologic formations. Needle to say, Europeans hate such believers and call them pagan. So, Columbus brought a force of 17 ships on his return voyage in 1493 to implement slavery and mass-extermination on the first nation in Caribbean. Other conquistadors introduced small fox etc. to settlements of the first nation peoples in Canada and the US at later stages with the sole aim of exterminating them.

 Somehow, the average ‘first nation’ slave said to have died at 18, and the average African slave died at 25 but the average European lived to reach the age of 35 at the time. One can visualize how Bairds’ ancestors reduce the ‘first nation’ to a bare minority. That’s what Baird’s ancestors meaning European invaders to Canada and the US had done to its indigenous populace. What a contrast to past events of Sri Lanka.With all that dirty and gloomy record, Canada today has elevated itself to be a leading nation that preach others on human rights. So much so, its Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird accuses Sri Lanka for failing to take meaningful action on human rights, political reconciliation and accountability. 

 So, let’s fast forward to 20th century. Canada says they have a National Aboriginal Day and recognizes the cultures and contributions of Aboriginal peoples of Canada. But Canada continued the force removal of the children that began in the 19th century till 1970s. At the forced boarding schools, children were forbidden to use their own languages and discouraged from learning about their own cultures. Canadian policy was not just to kill the colonized but eradicate their language, music, art, religion, healing, agriculture, cooking style, the institutions governing social life as well. We  in Sri Lanka never had such policies.

 Duncan Campbell Scott, a senior official in the Indian affairs department, wrote in 1920 that the aim was to “kill the Indian in the child” until “there is not a single American Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed”. About 90,000 of the 150,000 students who went through the system are still alive. Today, the indigenous population makes up only about 4% of Canada’s population. But they’re among the poorest.

 Canada lobbied member states to postpone United Nations Declaration on the ‘Rights of Indigenous Peoples’. Their general excuse was it would create constitutional problems. The truth is, Canada didn’t want to cede state control of lands or resources to their ‘first nation’. But 143 states voted in favour, 4 voted against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States) and 11 abstained (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burundi, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Samoa and Ukraine) At the General Assembly on 13 September 2007. Are Canada and the US true human right protectors or schemers.

 Not long ago in 1937, the Pequot Indians were exterminated by the Colonists when they burned their villages in Mystic, Connecticut in adjoining state in the US, and then shot all the other people ”” including women and children ”” who tried to escape.

 Jose Noriega’s well-documented historical account of the forced indoctrination of colonial thought into the minds of American Indian children as a means of disrupting the generational transmission of cultural values, clearly demonstrates the cultural genocide employed by the U.S. government as a means of separating the American Indians from their land.

 Talking about the 21st century, HRW has prepared a report which alleged widespread abuse of ‘first nation’ women in British Columbia by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2013. Many say victim numbers would exceed 600. So, HRW hoped Prime Minister Harper would start a national inquiry into the problem of murdered and missing ‘first nation’ women across Canada. But Harper merely demanded that the alleged victims of police abuse come forward and be identified. Is that an action by a protector of human rights?

 Terrified for their safety, and in some cases their lives, if they speak out publicly not many turned up for the inquiry that followed. In the 90-page report after 87 interviews with 50 indigenous women and girls between the ages of 15 and 60 in10 British Columbia aboriginal communities, one woman alleged she was gang-raped by four officers in 2011. The report’s findings include allegations that said “They threatened to kill me and make it look like an accident.”

 Two 12-year-old girls said they were Tasered. Another youth said he was pepper-sprayed. Another said, she was attacked by a police dog. A ‘first nation’ woman alleged she was arrested and taken to a basement stripped, drugged and sodomized her, then threatened to murder or “disappear” her family members if exposed. Likewise, many ‘first nation’ women who say they were abused by the police fear retribution if they report the crimes.

 There are more than 600 cases of missing or murdered ‘first nation’ women in Canada, says the leading missing-women advocate Gladys Radek co-founded the group Walk4Justice after her niece, Tamara Chipman who disappeared along northern British Columbia’s Highway. Native Women’s Association of Canada says it had a list of 582 missing women and girls from 2005 to 2010.

 What a laugh, Baird accuses Sri Lanka for failing to take meaningful action on human rights, political reconciliation and accountability. Baird should go look for the culprit in the mirror.



2 Responses to “Canada Suspends Commonwealth Funds For Next Two Years”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Well said Leela.

    SL should INITIATE a WAR CRIMES investigation in COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES especially Canada.

    COMPENSATION should be demanded from the COMMONWEALTH.

    Looks like UK and Canada are taking the baton from USA on HR BS. USA will be out of UNHRC in 1 year.

  2. cw Says:

    Thanks Leila, Harper & Baird should be awarded the prize for the “Biggest liars of the Century”. Pillay, CA moon & Obama are not far behind.

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