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432-00052 (Foreign affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

WHEREAS,

  • Canada has played and continues to play an important role in advocating for accountability, sustainable peace, and human rights in Sri Lanka and all over the world;
  • Canada is home to the second largest Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora population and many of their relatives have disappeared while in the custody of the Sri Lankan Government (Enforced Disappearances);
  • Sri Lanka has the second (the first being Iraq) largest number of disappearance cases communicated by the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances to the government for action. Amnesty places the number of disappeared between 60,000 and 100,000;
  • According to the investigation of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for human rights (OISL) many of the victims are in the Northern and Eastern part of Sri Lanka where many Sri Lankan Tamils reside.
  • Even though Sri Lanka ratified the UN Convention on Enforced Disappearance it made reservation to Article 31 of the Convention which allows the Committee established under the Convention to receive communication from the victims or on behalf of the victims.
  • In most countries the international crimes are committed by states themselves or by employing state apparatus. For instance according to the Report of the Expert Panel appointed by the UN Secretary General in Sri Lanka, the crimes were committed by the state. Thus a mechanism should be created to hold states accountable for these heinous crimes.
  • On August 30th, 2020, the International Day of the Disappeared, a dedicated group of Tamil-Canadians began a long Walk for Justice for victims of enforced disappearances, with the full support of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, community members and various other Tamil organizations;
  • Mr. Mahajayam Mahalingam, Mr. Vijitharan Varatharajah, Mr. David Thomas, and Mr. Yogendran Vaiseegamagapathy walked from Brampton City Hall to Parliament Hill, a total of 434 km while Mr. Yogeswaran Nadesu, Mr. Kulenthirasigamany Veluchsamy, and Mr. Vijayakumar Namasivayam walked from Mont-Royal, Québec to Parliament Hill, a total of 227 km;

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS OF CANADA, CALL UPON PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU AND THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA TO:

(1) Support a legislative effort to remove sovereign immunity as a defense by states for international crimes: namely genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture and enforced disappearances, and;

(2) Refer Sri Lanka to the Committee established under the Convention Against Enforced Disappearances pursuant to Article 32 of the Convention.

Presented to the House of Commons
Gary Anandasangaree (Scarborough—Rouge Park)
October 2, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00052)
Photo - Gary Anandasangaree
Scarborough—Rouge Park
Liberal Caucus
Ontario

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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