A Message from the High Commissioner of Canada on the Occasion of Canada Day 2020


Happy Canada Day!

Today is a special day for Canadians in Sri Lanka, Canada and around the world. This year, as we find ourselves celebrating Canada Day virtually, we dedicate this day to the celebration of diversity, inclusion and hope.

COVID-19 knows no borders, and its impact on our health systems, our economies and our lives have been devastating – particularly for seniors, the marginalized and the most vulnerable. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of working together both to respond to the crisis and for the long-term recovery.

The bilateral friendship between Sri Lanka and Canada goes back many decades and is strengthened by our deep people-to-people ties. Over the past few months, this partnership has been further strengthened as we worked with ministries and civil society partners to provide assistance and relief to the most vulnerable communities, including women and children.

Livelihoods and economic activities around the globe have been disrupted by the pandemic, and Canada is committed to work with partners to build back better. We are extending support to strengthen the capacities of the cooperative sector and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Sri Lanka impacted by COVID-19. In international fora, Canada is working with international financial institutions to address the debt sustainability and financing challenges faced by middle-income countries, including Sri Lanka.

In difficult times, we must stand together and embrace our diversity as a strength. Canada continues to support the reconciliation process through our long-standing collaboration on national languages and by assisting with demining work. We will also continue to advocate for LGBTIQ2 rights.

After nearly three years on this remarkable and beautiful island, I continue to be struck by the warmth, creativity, and resilience of individual Sri Lankans. This is apparent wherever I travel here and in the many very successful people of Sri Lankan origin, from all communities, who have made their homes around the world, including in Canada. Canadians of Sri Lankan heritage help make Canada the diverse and vibrant country it is today, something I want to recognize this Canada Day. 

Happy Canada Day!

David McKinnon
High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka and the Maldives/ Haut-commissaire du Canada au Sri Lanka et aux Maldives