I have listened to many people in the Tamil-Canadian community about the atrocities they or their family experienced in Sri Lanka. I have heard from elders and community leaders as I stood in Albert Campbell Square at the May Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day event, listened to friends while at cultural events like TamilFest, and met with family members and campaign team members as well. Just as the Governments of Ontario and Canada have acknowledged the Tamil Genocide, I believe the Tamil community when they describe what their people have been through.
As a second generation Sinhalese-Canadian, born and raised in Canada, I appreciate the opportunity to clarify any doubt on my position. Growing up in Canada, it has been a personal journey as an adult to learn about the past and understand the current reality in Sri Lanka. As a Sri Lankan Canadian, my journey of learning and working towards reconciliation spans both sides of my identity. Like many Canadians, I am still learning about my role in reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada and following through on the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
I know that many still carry the trauma of what they experienced, or must deal with what they and their family are still living through. The opportunity we have of living in Canada means that we have the space and time to reflect, to learn together, and to work together on a path forward.
In my personal life and as a leader, I am committed to being a strong ally who will work towards the pursuit of truth, reconciliation, justice, and accountability.