The High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Canada Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswara addressed a gathering of the Members of the House of Commons at a breakfast meeting convened by Joe Daniel, M.P, for Don Valley East constituency, held in the Canadian Parliament on March 13th. The meeting was Chaired by Brad Butt, M.P, for Mississauga-Streetville constituency.
In her address, High Commissioner Wagiswara briefed the parliamentarians on the historical perspective of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and the resort to terrorism by the LTTE. She spoke of the ruthless terrorist campaign waged by the LTTE in Sri Lanka and abroad over the last three decades, which ended with their defeat in May 2009.
She also spoke of the measures taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to address post conflict challenges. She emphasised the commitment of the Government to consolidate peace and reconciliation and to further develop the economy for the benefit of the people of all communities in Sri Lanka.
On the political front, while speaking of the difficulties faced by multi-cultural societies in a democratic setting, she spoke of the domestic mechanisms in place in Sri Lanka to address such issues. In the international context and specifically Canada, she spoke of the threats posed by the Tamil Tiger elements who are continuing the illegal activities such as fund raising, human smuggling etc; and political propaganda. It was emphasized that leaders of their front organizations under the guise of political activities and charities have the network to carry out such operations.
In response to a question raised by the Chair on what Canadian Parliamentarians could offer to Sri Lanka in its reconciliation and rebuilding efforts, the High Commissioner said that Canada could support the ongoing reconstruction and rebuilding efforts and to add their voice and support for reconciliation efforts in Canada and in Sri Lanka.
Joe Daniel M.P who visited Sri Lanka in January this year spoke of what he has seen and the efforts being initiated in Sri Lanka to rebuild the areas devastated by the conflict. He also spoke of the specific needs in the country which could be looked at for assistance.
High Commissioner Wagiswara invited the Parliamentarians to visit Sri Lanka and see for themselves the developments in the country and also requested them to join the Canada Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association.