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Canada-Sri Lanka Relations

In Sri Lanka, Canada is represented by the Canadian High Commission in Colombo.

Sri Lanka is represented in Canada by a High Commission in Ottawa. Sri Lanka also has consulates in Montréal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Canada and Sri Lanka have strong bilateral relations based upon shared participation in the Commonwealth, and development assistance through the Colombo Plan, in addition to the presence of a vibrant community of Canadians of Sri Lankan origin. Canadian interest in Sri Lanka is also driven by a foreign policy commitment to the principles of freedom of expression, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

In April 2006, Canada listed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a terrorist organization under the Canadian Criminal Code, and in June 2008, the World Tamil Movement was also added to the list.

With the end of Sri Lanka’s 26-year conflict in May 2009, Canada now looks to the Sri Lankan government to present a viable political solution in order to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankan citizens, regardless of language, religion, or ethnicity.

Canada has a long-standing development assistance partnership with Sri Lanka dating back to the 1950s, managed largely by the Canadian International Development Agency. In response to the tsunami of December 2004, the Canadian government and individual Canadians pledged an unprecedented amount of assistance for relief, recovery and reconstruction projects in Sri Lanka. Annual bilateral assistance is approximately $6 million, and in 2009, Canada announced up to $22.5 million in humanitarian assistance. Canada also contributed $130,000 to the Commonwealth Expert Team, which monitored the January 2010 presidential elections.

Total merchandise trade between Canada and Sri Lanka stood at CAD510,977 in 2012 with Canadian merchandise imports at CAD18,.219 million, 58.25 percent of which consisted of woven and knit apparel. Canadian merchandise exports to Sri Lanka for 2012 stood at CAD321,778 million. Canada has established an important share of the Sri Lankan merchandise import market for wheat and other agriculture commodities. Almost 84.5 percent of Canadian merchandise exports to Sri Lanka in 2012 were in wheat. Wheat exports remain the single most valuable item exported by Canada to Sri Lanka.

April 2013


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Date Modified:
2014-01-20