Canadian FM visits Sri Lanka to help with human rights

Stéphane-Dion

July 27, 2016 (LBO) – Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion is to visit Sri Lanka until July 29 to advance bilateral relations and to support Sri Lanka in its efforts to promote human rights, reconciliation and accountability.

Canadian government announced that the Foreign Minister will meet with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera as well as with the leadership of the Tamil National Alliance.

“Canada stands ready to support a process through which all communities in Sri Lanka will be able to live in security and peace,” Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said.

“As I undertake this visit to Sri Lanka, I am encouraged by the government’s efforts to advance reconciliation and ensure accountability. We stand ready to assist the government in fulfilling this commitment.”

Minister Dion will also spend a day in Jaffna, where he will visit Canada-supported development projects and victims who have suffered as a direct result of the civil war.

The Minister will see first-hand how these projects are helping improve livelihoods, particularly those of youth and people in woman-headed households, and further developing the economic foundations of victims’ communities following the end of the war in 2009.

“Minister Dion’s visit to Sri Lanka will provide an opportunity to hear more on the Sri Lankan government’s efforts to promote inclusion, respect for the rule of law, truth, accountability and human rights,” Canadian government said.

His visit will include meetings with members of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly and civil society to deepen his understanding of the constitutional reform process in Sri Lanka.

“These meetings will allow Minister Dion to convey in person Canada’s commitment to helping Sri Lanka further strengthen its democracy and attain lasting peace for all of its citizens.”

This visit to Sri Lanka will be the first made by a Canadian foreign minister since 2003.