Canada imposes sanctions against Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksas over rights violations

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ECONOMYNEXT – Canada imposed a target sanctions against four Sri Lankans including two former presidents – Gotabaya Rajapaksa (2019-2022) and his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa (2005-2015) for committing “gross and systematic violations of human rights” during a 26-year civil conflict, the Canadian government sai.

The move comes after the island nation has failed to address its past human rights violations despite it has repeatedly promised to probe into the past rights abuses. But successive governments have failed to address the past abuses.

Mahinda Rajapaksa was the president when the country’s military ended the war with annihilation of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which demanded for a separate state for the ethnic minority Tamils.

The sanction will prohibit any transaction including property with the four Sri Lankans while the individuals listed are also rendered inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Canada said in the official statement. 

Along with Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa, staff Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake and Lieutenant Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi also were named in the sanction list.

Army Staff Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake was found guilty for the murder of eight civilians in Mirusuvil in the Northen Jaffna city in 2000. Despite being found guilty of 15 offences, former leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa released him on presidential pardon in 2020.

Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi  has been already sanctioned by the US State Dept and was allegedly involved in a gang of 14 Naval personnel that abducted and killed 11 civilians in the naval base of the Eastern port district of  Trincomalee.

The move comes after repeated warnings to former Sri Lankan leaders. (Colombo/Jan10/2023)

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Disclaimer: Canada imposes sanctions against Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksas over rights violations - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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