Statement from NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan on her stay in Sri Lanka

New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP), 01 January 2014 - Statement from NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan on her stay in Sri Lanka: - For New Democrats, standing in solidarity with Canadians of Tamil heritage on matters of human rights is part of our shared values as Canadians. I recently arrived in Sri Lanka to visit my extended family and visit the places that were once home for me, during the earlier stages of my life and the civil war in Sri Lanka; but was subject to political intimidation. I was warned I could be subject to arrest and deportation, as several commonwealth MPs from New Zealand and Australia recently faced. I have received word from the Canadian High Commission in Colombo that the Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed that their previous claims of an arrest warrant in my name does not exist and I now look forward to exploring and learning more about the country of my birth. My experiences since arriving in Sri Lanka are a reminder that defending principles of human rights is not easy, but I continue to believe that it is only through open dialogue and freedom of expression that people can ultimately achieve healing and reconciliation. New Democrats, like millions of Canadians, will continue to staunchly defend human rights and freedom of speech, in Canada and around the world.

Thai Pongal is here; Kenney, Bob Rae & Tamil-origin MP greet Tamil Canadians

News East-West Desk, 14 Jan 2013 - TORONTO: Citizenship and immigration minister Jason Kenney has greeted the Tamil community of Canada on the occasion of Thai Pongal. As minister for citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, Kenney said, “I offer my best wishes to all those celebrating Thai Pongal.” Liberal Leader Bob Rae greeted the Tamil community on the festive occasion. On behalf of the NDP, Rathika Sitsabaiesan, Canada’s first MP of Tamil origin, greeted her community.

Sri Lanka: NDP Urges Commonwealth Action and Diplomatic Pressure

NDP, 13 Jan 2013 - New Democratic Party of Canada in a statement yesterday unreservedly condemned the impeachment of Sri Lankan Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake as a politically motivated attack on judicial independance and human rights. NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar urged Commonwealth members to step up action to condemn this attack on judicial independence. International diplomatic pressure must focus on the implementation of the recommendations of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka, which found credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, he said.

Statement from the Official Opposition Human Rights Critic, Wayne Marston on the arrest of students in Jaffna, Sri Lanka

NDP, 2012 12 1- The Official Opposition calls on the government of Canada to work with the international community to pressure the government of Sri Lanka to promptly release the students recently arrested in Jaffna. P. Tharshananth, Sanmugam Solaman, Kanesamoorthy Sutharsan and K. Jenemajeyamenan were arrested without warrants, and in the absence of clear evidence linking them to any alleged crime.

Statement From NDP Leadership Candidate Paul Dewar on Sri Lanka

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 27, 2011) - 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.

Jack Layton: Love is better than anger - Hope is better than fear - Optimism is better than despair - We’ll change the world

Jack Layton, August 20, 2011 - Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination. Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

Jack Layton dead at 61

Toronto Star, 22 August 2011 - OTTAWA–Jack Layton, the New Democratic Party leader who led his party to Official Opposition status in this year’s federal election, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 61. “We deeply regret to inform you that the Honourable Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, passed away at 4:45 am today,” his wife, MP Olivia Chow, and children Michael and Sarah Layton, said in a statement. “He passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and loved ones.”

Sri Lanka needs war crimes tribunal, NDP says

CBC News, 3 August 2011 - Canada should press the United Nations to set up a tribunal in Sri Lanka to deal with suspected crimes against humanity, the NDP said Wednesday. A United Nations report has already called on the organization to set up a commission to look into human rights violations committed by both the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tiger rebel group. "Both sides need to acknowledge and take ownership of their actions and injustices that they have brought on their people," said NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan. The NDP is petitioning the government to urge the UN to set up an independent, international and impartial mechanism to ensure truth, accountability and justice in Sri Lanka, NDP MP Wayne Marston said.


New Democratic Party of Canada, 2011 07 15

New Democrats say humanitarian crisis must be addressed

VANCOUVER – The Conservative government must establish a settlement program for Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka if it hopes to effectively address human trafficking, says New Democrat Critic for Immigration and Citizenship, Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway).

On Tuesday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced that the MV Alicia, which was halted in the waters off Indonesia, was believed by authorities to have been destined for Canada.

NDP Statement on UN Panel Report on Accountability for War Crimes in Sri Lanka

ndp.ca, April 29, 2011 - The New Democratic Party fully supports the recommendations made in the recently released independent UN Panel Report on accountability during and after the war in Sri Lanka. The UN Report reveals that "there are credible allegations, which if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law were committed both by the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, some of which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity". We believe those responsible must be prosecuted and urges the UN to launch an immediate and independent investigation.

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