Canadian MP Rathika in hot water over Jaffna episode
Posted on January 2nd, 2014

by Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy Island

Jaffna born Canadian MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan is likely to face disciplinary action back at home for falsely claiming that she had been placed under house arrest in northern Sri Lanka.

Canada based sources told The Island that the New Democratic Party (NDP) MP had caused chaos while being on a private visit to Jaffna. NDP leader Thomas Mulcair went to the extent of phoning Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Ottawa Chitranganee Wagiswara to inquire about Sitsabaiesan’s safety and security.

Immigration authorities yesterday told the visiting MP as she was here on a tourist visa she shouldn’t engage in  unnecessary activities. She had told them that she would be leaving the country on January 3.


The NDP is the main Opposition to Premier Stephen Harper’s ruling Conservative Party.

She met several TNA representatives in Jaffna.

A senior GoSL official told The Island that the Sitsabaiesan’s episode should be examined against the backdrop of MP Deepak Obhrai (Conservative Party), Parliamentary Secretary to Foreign Minister John Baird expressing serious concern over the situation in Jaffna. Having met Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, Bishop of Jaffna Rev. Thomas Saundranayakam and Tamil National Alliance MP Eswarapatham Saravanabavan in Jaffna during the second week of November, Obhrai declared that the people there had been deprived of even the basic democratic rights. Obhrai declined to reveal the names of others he had met in Colombo and Jaffna as, he said, he feared for their safety.

Sitsabaiesan earlier lost her position as the NDP spokesperson on higher education and universities soon after Thomas took over the leadership in 2012.

Canada based Tamils told The Island that Sitsabaiesan had undertaken a visit to Jaffna in the wake of Markham Councillor Logan Kanapathi (Liberal Party) challenging her in the newly created  federal electorate Scarborough North next year.

Kanapathi was inadvertently identified as a Labour Party member in our yesterday’s front-page news item. The error is regretted.

As Kanapathi had the unstinted support of the powerful pro-LTTE groups based in Canada, Sitsabaiesan probably felt she could overcome the challenge by reaching out to the ITAK, the dominant constituent of the five-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA), sources said.

Sitsabaiesan earned the wrath of the LTTE grouping after she refused to attend a conference on Tamil People’s Rights on March 2, 2013 on the sidelines of the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council session. Kanapathi agreed to attend the Geneva conference at short notice.

The Conservatives and the Liberal were represented at the Geneva meet by MP Partrick Brown and MP Jim Karrigiannis, respectively.

The LTTE grouping also prevented Sitsabaiesan from attending an event at the Queen’s Park, Toronto on May 18, 2013 to remember those killed war.

Apart from Kanapathi, several others, including TULF leader Anandasangaree’s son, Gary, are seeking to enter the fray on the Liberal Party ticket. Sources said that most of those who had been seeking nomination from the Liberal Party were pro-LTTE. But, the LTTE lobby would also field some of their activists on the Conservative Party ticket, sources said. They identified Nehru Gunaratnam as one of those closely dealing with the Conservative Party in spite of him involvement in the LTTE during the Norwegian arranged Ceasefire Agreement in Feb 2002.

Although the Conservative government was often accused of supportive of the LTTE, the Conservatives proscribed the LTTE and took tough measures to curb illegal migration.

2 Responses to “Canadian MP Rathika in hot water over Jaffna episode”

  1. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Sri Lanka should get far more strict in allowing known prejudiced nations like Canada, the UK, India, the US, Norway, to have free access to any part of Sri Lanka. China which is known for her human rights abuses would never tolerate free access to any part of China by these self proclaimed heralds of what they consider a human rights violation. They have plenty of human rights violations in their own home nations as well as across the world to keep them busy without singling out Sri Lanka.

    In addition Sri Lanka should have the same right as a Buddhist nation with Buddhist values to check on the human rights of these nations, including the treatment of animals, and if their nation’s policies follow the teachings of the Buddha for Sri Lanka is being judged according to the Secularist beliefs of what constitutes human rights violations, which is alien to the teachings of the Buddha. Nations like the UK wrecked havoc and mayhem during the colonial age in the name of Christianity and because of their power they get away with anything. It is time to emulate China and put a stop to this self proclaimed crusaders of Human rights applied selectively and based subjectively.

  2. Sri Rohana Says:

    Bernard you are absolutely correct. Our online visa scheme is to monitor and scan terrorist supporters. But if ardent tamil terrorist supporter and well-known anti Sri Lanka tamil racist Seethasabesan can come through the International Airport means there is something wrong somewhere. Why not our authorities deported her? Deporting any terrorist coming to Sri Lanka is discretion of our authorities and it is for the interest of our national security.

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