Canada’s statement on the arrest of human rights activists in Sri Lanka
Posted on March 19th, 2014

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . Canada

19 March 2014

Hon. Deepak Obhrai, MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
House of Commons, Ottawa

Dear Deepak:

Here’s what I read last night in ColomboPage. ‘Canada calls on Sri Lanka to respect the rights of the detained activists.’ The comment was fair.  But at the same token, I wish the high powered West comply with what they try to preach to others, especially to the developing countries.

Your comment was directed at Sri Lanka because the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) of Sri Lanka Police on Sunday arrested and detained Ruki Fernando a human rights adviser to the Colombo based human rights organization INFORM, and a Catholic priest, Rev. Praveen OMI, former Director of the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (CPR) based in Jaffna, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

By now you may have read Sri Lanka’s explanation of the investigation to the UNHRC,  that led to the arrests of these activists.  That was pretty comprehensive, and Canada would have done so too if a couple of Canadians were suspect of possible terrorist activity in Canada. The safeguard of the sovereignty of the state is supreme for any country and  Canada wouldn’ have done any different.

It was October 16, 1970, that I was flying in to Ottawa in an Air Canada plane from London, England, to take up my appointment with National Museums Corporation to join the team to work on 15 new Exhibition halls at the Victoria Memorial Museum in Ottawa.

Holy Moly, Deepak, looking through the window of the plane, I thought that I was landing in a mosquito infested tropical country, as I saw hundreds of helicopters buzzing in the air.  What? I wondered. Surely, am I in Ottawa, the capital of Canada or was I in a remote country like a Bakushiland of some sort!

But here’s what I found out the following day through the Ottawa Citizen.

During the FLQ crisis, on the day I was landing in Ottawa, on October 16, 1970, the Cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau advised the Governor General to invoke the War Measures Act at the request of Premier of Quebec, Robert Bourassa, and the Mayor of Montreal, Jean Drapeau.   The provisions took affect at 4:00 a.m., and soon, hundreds of suspected FLQ members and sympathizers were taken into custody.  The War Measures Act gave the power to arrest people without  a warrant, and 497 people were arrested.

So Deepak, what’s the difference between Canada’s War Measures Act and Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA)?

Canada’s War Measure Act was invoked in peacetime.  The FLQ was declared as an Unlawful Association (So has Sri Lanka with the LTTE).  This meant that under the War Measures Act the military had full power to arrest, interrogate and hold anyone they believed was associated with the FLQ. This meant that, “A person who was a member of this group, acted or supported it in some fashion became liable to a jail term not to exceed five years.  A person arrested for such a purpose could be held without bail for up to 90 days.  It was estimated that within the first 24 hours of the War Measures Act being put into place, the Canadian forces aligned with the mobile police were mobilized to arrest suspects of the unlawful organization.  The police and army conducted searches and 497 people were detained.  Along with all this the Canadian War Measures Act violated and limited many human rights of people who had been incarcerated. Like The Crown could detain a suspect for seven days before charging him or her with a crime. In addition the Attorney General could order before seven days expired, that the accused be held up to 21 days.  The prisoners were not permitted to consult legal counsel and many were held incommunicado.  Well…well….well, Deepak  this is Canada and not Sri Lanka.

Deepak, go back and read Sri Lanka’s explanation at the UNHRC for the arrest of the activists.  They didn’t do anything different from what Canada did in October 1970, to safe guard the integrity and sovereignty of Canada. 

So why are you being so smug about Canada and making statements about Sri Lanka arresting the activists who are suspected of aiding and abetting K.P. Selvanayakam a.k.a ‘Gobi’ who is believed to be leading the revival of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in Sri Lanka.    And you bet, Canada wouldn’t dare let the FLQ raise its ugly head again either.

In other words Deepak, with your statement I have concluded that Canada is still having its daggers drawn on Sri Lanka, resisting its right to survive as a peaceful nation which is making a hellava effort to reconcile with its aggrieved peoples, Sinhalese as well as Tamils as well as the Muslims and other minority groups, after a debilitating 27 year war with the Tamil Tigers that was aided and abetted by Canada,  who wanted and still want their mono-ethnic, racist, separate state, Eelam.

You as a Canadian politician, who embarrassed yourself as well as Canada by laying a wreath for the minorities (and not included the majority Sinhalese)  at Elephant Pass, where three major Tamil Tiger battles were fought killing thousands of Sri Lankan Sinhalese soldiers, and called the place to be a neutral site, is still marching  to the ‘We are Holier than Thou’ drum beat, along the Canada’s  Sanctimonious  Human Rights Humbug Trail, in Sri Lanka.

It’s time that Canada takes a step back and give Sri Lanka’s PEACE A CHANCE and stop meddling in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs.


Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.)

5 Responses to “Canada’s statement on the arrest of human rights activists in Sri Lanka”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Well said Asoka as usual.

    “Deepak, go back and read Sri Lanka’s explanation at the UNHRC for the arrest of the activists. They didn’t do anything different from what Canada did in October 1970, to safe guard the integrity and sovereignty of Canada.”

    Like problems have like solutions.

  2. Sooriarachi Says:

    Asoka Weerasinghe, we thank you for being alert against the anti-Sri Lankan, mud-slinging MPs in Canada, who seem to be working overtime to support LTTE terrorists’ and separatists’ goals, possibly for substantial personal benefits. Asoka, your continuous expression of gratitude to Sri Lanka the land we were born in, which nation offered us a free education, free health care and for some even free rice, is most commendable and is quite in contrast to the LTTE separatist forces, who having enjoyed the same benefits, are today trying to destroy the future of Sri Lankans, who are just beginning to raise their heads after suffering under LTTE terrorism for three decades.
    People like Deepak Obrai do not seem to have any common sense to realise that they wont get the votes of the majority of Tamils, as many, if not most of them, were also victims of LTTE terrorism, and to escape the LTTE only they left Sri Lanka to countries like Canada, UK etc. However, today the LTTE has given the impression to Canadian politicians, that the LTTE controls the voting preferences of Tamils, when the reality could be that they may even vote against the LTTE nominees.

  3. douglas Says:

    This country, Canada for long, long years known to us as a “FRIEND” is daily turning out to be a “Hollow Friend”. I am now beginning to gaze at the Canadian made railway engine (gifted to us) pulling “Ruhunu Kumari” as a “Demon”, because Stephen Harper’s face comes to my mind.

    I feel this “MONKEY” must be made to get off our back.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    Finally it is official now. Endia will AGAIN vote AGAINST SL.

    “India will vote in favour of the resolution on Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council, the UPA government is learnt to have decided in possibly its last major foreign policy decision. The vote is expected on March 28 in Geneva.”

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    More fun. Endia vs China. SL should INVITE China to do investigations from SL waters.

    “After objections raised by the defence forces, India today rejected China’s request for permission to allow its four warships to enter Indian maritime zone to search for the missing Malaysian airliner.

    China, whose 150 nationals are on board the aircraft, had yesterday sent a formal request to India to allow their warships including a salvage vessel and two frigates to enter Indian waters in the Andaman Sea to locate the plane.

    The request was politely declined and the Chinese Navy was told that Indian Navy and the Air Force were already scanning the area and there was no need for anybody else to search the area, sources told PTI.

    The defence forces had raised objections over the entry of Chinese warships into the Indian waters and that too in an area in Bay of Bengal where India’s military assets are mainly to guard against China and these could get exposed if the Chinese warships are allowed in, they said.”


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