Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon chastised the government of Sri Lanka last week, after Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam was handed a lengthy prison term for articles printed in the North Eastern Monthly magazine in 2006 and 2007. "The Government of Canada is deeply concerned by the sentencing of J.S. Tissainayagam to 20 years in prison for violating Sri Lanka's Prevention of Terrorism Act," he said in a statement. "Canada is a strong proponent of vibrant and free media, an essential element of democratic governance in Sri Lanka and around the world. Open and informed debate remains vital to long-term reconciliation and reconstruction in Sri Lanka."