“International pressure ought to be ratcheted to bring the perpetrators of war crimes to justice in Sri Lanka”, says Ragavan
By Siva Sivapragasam
Ragavan Paranchothy, one of Canadian Tamil community’s best known personalities in the fields of TV presentation and radio broadcasting, is the Conservative Party’ choice in the upcoming federal election on April 3rd for the Markham-Thornhill constituency.
The by-election is the result of former Liberal MP John McCallum resigning his seat to accept a diplomatic posting as Canada’s Ambassador for China.
As a veteran TV presenter and broadcaster, Paranchothy was one of the community’s most recognized voices and faces who presented many programmes highlighting the community’s interests.
The following are questions and answers in an interview done with Mr. Ragavan Paranchothy:
What reasons motivated you to seek nomination for the election from the Conservative Party?
I have been an active member of the conservative movement for over a decade. I believe that as a Tamil, we are naturally aligned with the policies of the Conservative Party of Canada on matters such as saving for the future, working hard for our growth, believing in the rule of law and democratic process. We, Tamils like most other immigrant communities, work hard to ensure that our culture is preserved and respected. And unlike what the Liberals want us to believe, the Conservative Party of Canada is far more inclusive, practical and genuine. I am proud to be representing this party as a candidate.
What priorities of needs do you think will engage your mind for the benefit of your constituents in your electorate if you win in the election ?
Knocking on doors in this constituency has given me a good sense of the reality that a vast majority of the immigrant population was taken for granted by the Liberals as vote banks that they can rely on. And there is revolt! People are displeased with the way the current government is managing affairs. Some priority concerns include marginalization of seniors, potential drug injection sites popping up in their neighborhoods, and the anticipated legalization of marijuana in 2018. And people are worried for the lives of their children who will be taxed to the hilt to compensate for the deficit and debt the Trudeau government is racking up. I will be voice for my constituents in the house addressing these concerns and more.
Against the background of a need for an international inquiry regarding abuses committed in the last civil war in Sri Lanka, what will be your suggestion for a suitable mechanism to solve this issue and bring the perpetrators of war crimes to justice?
It was one of the highlights of my media career to interview the former Prime Minister Stephen Harper when he said he would boycott the CHOGM in Sri Lanka because of its lack of action on the concerns of human rights violations. I strongly feel, there will be no reconciliation without accountability. The international pressure ought to be ratcheted to bring the perpetrators of war crimes to justice. The Conservative government championed that matter. The Trudeau government on the contrary is making friendly visits and sharing pleasantries with the Sri Lankan government and the military. I understand the need for diplomatic relationships, but the Trudeau government is too soft and does not consider the matter of Tamil peoples grievances seriously.