Harper made enormous political hay out of Canadian Tamils and their support for the Tamil Tigers in their rebellion in Sri Lanka. Naturally in Harper's black and white world view it was Tigers-Bad, Government of Sri Lanka-Good.
According to the latest report from the International Crisis Group, maybe we ought not to have been so uncritically supportive of Sri Lanka:
Both sides in Sri Lanka’s civil war violated international humanitarian law throughout the decades-long conflict. However the violations became particularly frequent and deadly in the months leading to the government’s declaration of victory over the LTTE in May 2009.
Evidence gathered by Crisis Group provides reasonable grounds to believe that government security forces repeatedly and intentionally violated the law by attacking civilians, hospitals and humanitarian operations. The government declined to respond to Crisis Group’s request for comment on these allegations. Evidence also shows that the LTTE violated the law by killing, wounding or otherwise endangering civilians, including by shooting them and preventing them from leaving the conflict zone even when injured and dying.
Much of the international community turned a blind eye to the violations when they were happening. Many countries welcomed the LTTE’s defeat regardless of the cost of immense civilian suffering and an acute challenge to the laws of war. The United Nations too readily complied with the government’s demands to withdraw from conflict areas.
Today's political leadership, Conservative and Liberal, have abandoned the calm, even-handedness that once marked Canadian foreign policy and our country is the worse for it. When you give uncritical support to one side in a conflict, you're condoning if not outright supporting what they do and whether it's Honduras or Gaza or Sri Lanka you usually wind up backing some pretty ugly atrocities.
Today's political leadership, Conservative and Liberal, have abandoned the calm, even-handedness that once marked Canadian foreign policy and our country is the worse for it.
That nicely sums it up.
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