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Thread: Bob Rae denied entry to Sri Lanka - report

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    Bob Rae denied entry to Sri Lanka - report

    Bob Rae denied entry to Sri Lanka - report



    Sri Lanka Wednesday denied entry to Bob Rae, a prominent Canadian politician outspoken in his criticism of Colombo’s military campaign and then Chair of the Forum of Federations, the constitutional NGO advising the Norwegian peace process during 2002 and 2003. Sri Lanka’s Immigration Commissioner P. B. Abeykoon said “intelligence reports” meant Mr. Rae should not to be admitted and was therefore detained when he arrived at Colombo airport and put on a leaving flight.


    Former Ontario Premier Bob Rae"We got some intelligence reports on this gentleman and the instructions were not to allow him into the country, so he is detained at the airport and he will be deported by the next available flight," Mr. Abeykoon told Reuters.

    Sri Lanka's intelligence services deemed Mr. Rae's visit "not suitable" and former Ontario premier was forced to leave on another flight, AP said.

    Mr. Rae said he was stopped on Tuesday night when he reached the immigration counter in the company of two Canadian High Commission officials.
    "The government of Sri Lanka knew my views, and granted me a visa," he said in an emailed statement. "I have flown a very long way only to be told the door is firmly shut."
    In April, Mr. Rae had called on Canada to be more outspoken in its criticism of Sri Lanka's recent offensive against the Tamil Tigers that left 20,000 Tamil civilians dead.

    “The world can't just sit back and let this death and destruction happen,” he said in April as Sri Lankan artillery continued to kill and wound hundreds of Tamil civilians every day.

    “This is a humanitarian disaster and must be met with a concerted response.”

    Mr. Rae said in April Canada should be working with a group of like-minded countries to press for a complete ceasefire and a return to full-scale negotiations on the constitutional future of the country.

    According to his office, his recommendations included that the LTTE had to abandon terrorism and that the government of Sri Lanka had to accept the need for a political response to the crisis rather than a simple military one.
    Mr. Rae has advised and worked on federalism and constitutional matters in Sri Lanka, Sudan and Iraq.


    Tori MP denied visa



    Rae said he saw an email from a Sri Lankan army spokesman that described him as an LTTE supporter, which he called "ludicrous."

    A Sri Lankan boy displaced by fighting returns to his home in Mannar, western Sri Lanka, on Tuesday. An estimated 70,000 people died in Sri Lanka's civil war and at least 200,000 were displaced. (Reuters)
    "I have never in any way felt that the violent tactics of the LTTE were in any way the right course, and I have made that view known on many occasions, including debates in Parliament," Rae said.

    "A review of my record would also show that I have been a champion of moderate Tamil opinion and Tamil dissent. I have been a steady critic of the abuses of human rights that were part of the LTTE's tactics.

    "To describe me as 'an LTTE supporter,' as an army spokesman has done today, is a lie, pure and simple."

    Rae, the MP for Toronto Centre and a former premier of Ontario, has been outspoken in his criticism of the impact of the military's war against the LTTE rebels on civilians. Toronto has one of the world's largest Tamil populations.

    Rae said he was detained at the airport for more than 12 hours before being placed on a plane departing for the United Kingdom. He said he had the full support of Canadian officials in Sri Lanka and Ottawa while at the airport.

    Meanwhile, Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai said he was supposed to travel to Sri Lanka this week to check on displacement camps, but his visa application was denied by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Ottawa.

    "Their excuse was that they could not accommodate me," said Obhrai, who serves as parliamentary secretary for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

    Canada's silence 'a disgrace'


    Rae blogged about the conflict in Sri Lanka on his official website, calling the conflict tragic and saying he wept at the loss of life.

    Rae was also critical of how Canada's Conservative government dealt with Sri Lanka, saying, "Canada's absence and silence are a disgrace." Rae called for more aid for what he called a humanitarian crisis and urged for a negotiated end to the conflict.

    Rae previously visited Sri Lanka to take part in the peace process after a 2002 truce and has been a featured speaker at Tamil forums in Canada.

    Samuel Lawrence, spokesman for the Canadian Tamil Congress, said Rae provided "balanced" perspective and "criticized both parties in the conflict" in his role as Liberal foreign affairs critic.

    "The Sri Lanka government is determined to punish all those people … who worked relentlessly during the war to bring ceasefire," Lawrence said.

    Sri Lanka has refused entry to several foreign officials and journalists it viewed as hostile to its fight to wipe out the LTTE.

    The Tamil Tigers had been fighting since 1983 for an independent state for the country's Tamil minority, who say they have suffered decades of marginalization at the hands of governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority.

    Estimates suggest that more than 70,000 people died in the civil war and at least 200,000 were displaced in the Tori MP denied visa
    Rae said he saw an email from a Sri Lankan army spokesman that described him as an LTTE supporter, which he called "ludicrous."

    A Sri Lankan boy displaced by fighting returns to his home in Mannar, western Sri Lanka, on Tuesday. An estimated 70,000 people died in Sri Lanka's civil war and at least 200,000 were displaced. (Reuters)
    "I have never in any way felt that the violent tactics of the LTTE were in any way the right course, and I have made that view known on many occasions, including debates in Parliament," Rae said.

    "A review of my record would also show that I have been a champion of moderate Tamil opinion and Tamil dissent. I have been a steady critic of the abuses of human rights that were part of the LTTE's tactics.

    "To describe me as 'an LTTE supporter,' as an army spokesman has done today, is a lie, pure and simple."

    Rae, the MP for Toronto Centre and a former premier of Ontario, has been outspoken in his criticism of the impact of the military's war against the LTTE rebels on civilians. Toronto has one of the world's largest Tamil populations.

    Rae said he was detained at the airport for more than 12 hours before being placed on a plane departing for the United Kingdom. He said he had the full support of Canadian officials in Sri Lanka and Ottawa while at the airport.

    Meanwhile, Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai said he was supposed to travel to Sri Lanka this week to check on displacement camps, but his visa application was denied by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Ottawa.

    "Their excuse was that they could not accommodate me," said Obhrai, who serves as parliamentary secretary for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.

    Canada's silence 'a disgrace'
    Rae blogged about the conflict in Sri Lanka on his official website, calling the conflict tragic and saying he wept at the loss of life.

    Rae was also critical of how Canada's Conservative government dealt with Sri Lanka, saying, "Canada's absence and silence are a disgrace." Rae called for more aid for what he called a humanitarian crisis and urged for a negotiated end to the conflict.

    Rae previously visited Sri Lanka to take part in the peace process after a 2002 truce and has been a featured speaker at Tamil forums in Canada.

    Samuel Lawrence, spokesman for the Canadian Tamil Congress, said Rae provided "balanced" perspective and "criticized both parties in the conflict" in his role as Liberal foreign affairs critic.

    "The Sri Lanka government is determined to punish all those people … who worked relentlessly during the war to bring ceasefire," Lawrence said.

    Sri Lanka has refused entry to several foreign officials and journalists it viewed as hostile to its fight to wipe out the LTTE.

    The Tamil Tigers had been fighting since 1983 for an independent state for the country's Tamil minority, who say they have suffered decades of marginalization at the hands of governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority.

    Estimates suggest that more than 70,000 people died in the civil war and at least 200,000 were displaced in the violent clashes.





    Related link www.tamilnet.com
    www.cba.ca

    karan
    Swiss TYO


     



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    thanks for the info...

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