Mr. John McKay (Scarborough East, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, on Sunday I participated in a memorial service for victims of ethnic violence in Indonesia. The struggle for human rights is as ancient as recorded civilization. From time to time, however, we should note signposts of progress.
Three years ago there was a flare up of ethnic violence directed against people of Chinese origin. It was vicious and brutal and the Government of Indonesia did very little to prevent the outbreak.
Representatives of Canadians Concerned about Ethnic Violence in Indonesia asked me and other members for support in their struggle. I am pleased to say that the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Government of Canada were very responsive to concerns raised by CCEVI.
The Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, through the minister, was able to confront the evil and change things to support the government of President Wahid. Needless to say, it is far from over, but President Wahid is deleting references to ethnicity in laws and Chinese people have felt free to celebrate their new year for the first time in many years.
Mr. Speaker, it is never over.
Subtopic: Ethnic Violence