Principles for return of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India

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Resolution number: 
10
May 2003
Whereas: 
  1. The Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have agreed on a cessation of hostilities and began peace negotiations to end almost two decades of civil war;
  2. Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in refugee camps in India met in February 2003 to discuss the peace process and agree on principles for their possible return home;
  3. The refugees have come out with a Memorandum of Concern stating that their return home should be "safe, orderly and as a consequence of a peace process that is transparent, democratic and inclusive with a visible commitment to protecting the rights of all Ceylon's citizens and the restoration of their social and material well-being";
  4. The refugees have asked for international support of their principles of return;
  5. The principles of return as outlined in the Nallayan Declaration Memorandum of Concern are in line with CCR concerns that refugees have a say in decisions impacting on their lives;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Endorse the Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees Memorandum of Concern outlining principles on return;
  2. Send a copy of the Memorandum of Concern to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, asking that Canada encourage the Sri Lankan Government to take steps to ensure that the refugees' concerns (as outlined in the memorandum of concern) are addressed in the peace process;
  3. Send a copy of the Memorandum of Concern to the Minister for International Cooperation, asking that her department (CIDA) provide financial support to demining and rehabilitation/reconstruction efforts in Sri Lanka;
  4. Ask the Government of Canada to encourage UNHCR to take steps to ensure that the refugees' concerns (as outlined in the memorandum of concern) are addressed in discussions, plans and programs on the possible voluntary return of the refugees home.
Working Group: 
Overseas Protection and Resettlement