Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry on Monday, reacting to the India-Canada diplomatic row, said terrorists have found safe haven in Canada and their Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came out with the outrageous allegations without any proof.
Speaking exclusively to ANI, Mr Sabry said he is “not surprised” by his remarks since Trudeau keeps making “outrageous and substantiated allegations.”
“Some of the terrorists have found safe haven in Canada. The Canadian PM has this way of just coming out with some outrageous allegations without any supporting proof. The same thing they did for Sri Lanka, a terrible, total lie about saying that Sri Lanka had a genocide. Everybody knows there was no genocide in our country,” he said.
India-Canada ties hit a new low after Justin Trudeau on September 18 alleged India’s involvement in the fatal shooting of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India, was killed outside a gurdwara in Canada’s Surrey on June 18.
India had rejected the allegations as “absurd and motivated”.
Taking a dig at Trudeau for honouring a former Nazi soldier in Canada’s parliament, he said, “I saw yesterday he had gone and given a rousing welcome to somebody who has associated with the Nazis in the past during the Second World War. So, this is questionable and we have dealt with it in the past. I am not surprised that sometimes PM Trudeau comes out with outrageous and substantiated allegations.”
Last Friday, during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech in the Canadian Parliament, 98-year-old Ukrainian Yaroslav Hunka, who served in the first Ukrainian division, also known as the SS division “Galicia” during World War II, was honoured by the Speaker of Canada’s House of Commons.
Mr Sabry said Trudeau’s “genocide” comment had affected Sri Lanka- Canada ties.
“That has actually affected our relationship. The Foreign Ministry has a different take on that. Ministry of Global Affairs has very clearly said that Sri Lanka did not go through a genocide, whereas PM Trudeau as a politician stands up and says that genocide had taken place. That itself is contradictory to each other. That doesn’t help,” said Mr Sabry.
He also advised the Canadian PM not to interfere in the internal matters of a sovereign country.
“I don’t think anyone should poke their nose into other countries and tell as to how we should govern our country. We love our country more than anyone else. That’s why we are in our country. We are not very happy about that statement at all. Indian Ocean identity is very important and we need to strengthen the regional architecture. We have to look after our region. We need to work together. That’s how we can create a peaceful environment. We should not be dictated by anyone else as to how we should conduct our affairs,” he added.
Sri Lanka had earlier rejected Trudeau’s statement containing “outrageous claims” of genocide relating to the past conflict in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan foreign ministry said such irresponsible and polarizing pronouncements by the leader of a nation breeds disharmony and hatred both in Canada and Sri Lanka, instead of promoting peace and reconciliation.
Asian News International