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Canadian Parliamentary delegation says: LLRC report, guide to reconciliation

Chaminda PERERA – A visiting Canadian Parliamentary delegation observed that the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations would have a positive impact on the reconciliation process, involving the different communities in Sri Lanka.
Addressing the media in Colombo on Wednesday, Conservative Party member representing the Don Valley East District, Joe Daniel asserted that the LLRC will help reconcile the people of different communities.

His colleague Chungsen Leung, MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multiculturalism in Canada said that the government has done many things for the uplift of living standards of the people in the North with more to be done.

He said that they would apprise the actual situation in Sri Lanka to the Canadian government.

The delegation visited Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya and met government officials and the public.

They also inspected the projects funded by Canada during their visit.

The two member delegation were also of the view that the government has made tremendous progress in resettling people who were displaced by LTTE atrocities.

He said that they obtained first hand information of the projects being implemented by the government to uplift the living standards of the people.

Daniel added that most of the resettled people have resumed their livelihood activities with government help. He said this is a commendable act.

The government has provided high speed Internet facilities to the people of Northern Province to promote people-to-people connectivity, he added.

Marlene Gallyot, Special Assistant to Joe Daniel (for Sri Lanka) and External Affairs Deputy Minister Neomal Perera also spoke.

Meanwhile the Parliamentary delegation from Canada comprising Chungen Leung (M.P.), a Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multiculturalism, Joe Daniel (M.P.), and Marlene Gallyot Special Assistant to Joe Daniel (for Sri Lanka) paid a courtesy call on Acting External Affairs Minister Neomal Perera at the External Affairs Ministry and had bilateral discussion on a wide range of issues, a press release issued by the External Affairs Ministry said.

The delegation visited the Northern Province on January 9 and 10.

During their tour they met the Northern Province Governor, the Government Agents of Jaffna and Killinochchi, and the Bishop of Jaffna.

The team also visited the Jaffna and Chavakachcheri hospitals, and the Killinochchi resettlement villages, schools, the agricultural areas in the Northern Province.

A visit was also made to the housing scheme funded by the Indian government.

The delegation, having made observations during their visits, stated that they appreciated the government’s role in the reconciliation, reconstruction and the infrastructure development programmes implemented in the Northern Province.

Education, health and employment opportunities being provided by the government to the people of the North and East to open a window of opportunity to engage in their normal life after a three decade of conflict was most commendable, stated Dr. Daniel.

Sri Lanka should be given time and space to effectively implement the recommendations made by the LLRC that would give an opportunity to create a peaceful Sri Lanka, stated Dr. Daniel.

The delegation stated that the human rights situation in Sri Lanka has greatly improved and it was understood that there is no discrimination against Tamil community in Sri Lanka.

The Canadian Parliamentarians admitted that funds are collected in Canada by the Tamil Diaspora with the promise of the monies being expended productively for the welfare and wellbeing of the people in the North and East in Sri Lanka. But it was observed during the interactions with the people in the North that they do not receive such financial assistance from the Diaspora in Canada.

The Parliamentary members were thankful to the Acting External Affairs Minister for inviting them to visit Sri Lanka and giving them the opportunity to experience firsthand, the ground situation in the North, and the post conflict developments in the areas.

They were optimistic that Sri Lanka will be able to move forward to usher peace and prosperity for all Sri Lankans.

The Acting Minister thanked them for believing in SL and the positive sentiments expressed by the Canadian Parliamentarians.

He requested them to brief their fellow parliamentarians on the positive progress taking place in Sri Lanka, which they witnessed themselves during the visit.


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