Paul Dewar For Leader Campaign

Paul Dewar For Leader Campaign

October 27, 2011 18:01 ET

Statement From NDP Leadership Candidate Paul Dewar on Sri Lanka

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 27, 2011) - NDP Leadership Candidate Paul Dewar has issued the following statement:

"The protection and promotion of human rights must be a priority for the Commonwealth. Together, we must take collective action to support minority rights and true reconciliation in Commonwealth countries.

With regards to the conflict in Sri Lanka, the Commonwealth was not able to speak with a united voice in support of human rights protection. Commonwealth's next meeting is scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka, even though the United Nations found credible allegations of attacks on hospitals and civilians during the civil war and torture in refugee camps in the post-war period.

The Commonwealth must not condone impunity. Once again, I call on the government of Sri Lanka to agree to a full, independent inquiry into the allegations of war crimes committed by all sides during and after the Sri Lankan conflict.

The Government of Canada must take leadership and bring the Commonwealth countries together to collectively hold the government of Sri Lanka to account. The next Commonwealth meeting should not take place in Sri Lanka unless the Sri Lankan government has accepted an independent investigation of alleged war crimes and committed to a true reconciliation process, beginning with justice for victims of violence.

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