Canada Concerned by Sri Lanka’s inclusion of Canadians on Terrorist list

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird

While expressing concern over the Sri Lankan government decision to list 16 entities and 424 individuals for purported links to terrorist activities, the Canadian government said that it ‘could further hinder progress on reconciliation.’

“Sri Lanka’s action has no legal effect in Canada: it does not constrain the freedom of listed groups and individuals to lawfully express their views in Canada. However, Canadians targeted by this list could be subject to possible questioning, detention or arrest by authorities in Sri Lanka,” a statement issued by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular) said.

The full statement:

“We are concerned by the Government of Sri Lanka’s listing of 16 entities and 424 individuals for purported links to terrorist activities, including some with ties to Canada.

“Sri Lanka’s action has no legal effect in Canada: it does not constrain the freedom of listed groups and individuals to lawfully express their views in Canada. However, Canadians targeted by this list could be subject to possible questioning, detention or arrest by authorities in Sri Lanka.

“Diaspora communities play an important role in Sri Lanka’s post-conflict reconciliation process. This action by the Sri Lankan government could further hinder progress on reconciliation. While we may share concerns about some of those listed, we remind the Government of Sri Lanka that it must ensure any measure taken to combat terrorism complies with its obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law.

“The Government of Canada remains committed to combatting all forms of terrorism. Under the provisions of the Criminal Code, Canada included the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on its list of terrorist entities in 2006 and added the World Tamil Movement to the list in 2008.”

(DM Online)

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