Canada says Bahu an LTTE member, refuses visa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 September 2008, 05:51 GMT]
Canadian High Commission in Colombo last week denied visa to the Leader of New Left Front and General Secretary of New Sama Samaja party, Dr Wickramabahu Karunaratne, saying that his past actions "constitute membership in the LTTE," and therefore, Dr Karunaratne fails the admissibility tests laid out in Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

"It has been reported that you have publicly participated in LTTE activities by personally and knowingly attending and speaking at pro-LTTE events such as Pongo Thamil [sic] in Madrid and in London. In addition, you have publicly announced your support for B.Nadesan. As a prominent member of a political party that has historically and consistently shown support for the LTTE we can conclude that your actions constitute membership in the LTTE," a letter from C McKinney, First Secretary, Immigration at Canadian High Commission in Colombo said.

Dr. Karunaratne, who commented that the move, based on "absolute lies" was "un-democratic" and said he intrepreted it as a message to "fall in line" with the rest of the Sinhala politicians and activists, at a time when most of them who were earlier seen as moderates, have succumbed to the pressure from the Rajapaksa regime, yielding direct or indirect support to its military campaign against Tamils.

Dr. Karunaratne is the only notable Sinhala politician in Colombo, giving voice to Tamils right to self determination.

In a note to media, he also asked whether the Canadian authorities banned entry to the British parliamentarians who had addressed the Pongku Thamizh meetings in London.

Karunaratne said that he has never been to Spain, and that he could not attend Pongku Thamizh meeting in London due to delay in obtaining a visa.

He added that his socialist party "defended the right of self determination of the Tamil people and the autonomy for the Tamil home land since 1974,"...and "stood for voluntary unity of Sinhala and Tamil nationalities."

Karunaratne pointed out that the "LTTE is a Tamil nationalist bourgeois party that uses the method of terror in the course of the struggle," and therefore, not compativlw with his socialist party that "believes in mass actions."

In a letter to Canadian High Commission in Colombo, Karunaratne said: "if you have such credible evidence of my self being a member of the LTTE, I am sure you would have shared that knowledge with the Mahinda regime. It is strange that the government has taken no action what so ever." Canadian officials "ludicrous claim" is not taken seriously even by the war mongering Sri Lankan government," he said.

He asked clarification on whether he has "the right to appeal against your [Canada's] irresponsible and dangerous conclusions."

Letter from Canadian Embassy to Vickramabahu
Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne provided the letter he received from Canadian Embassy to media in Colombo


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