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Updated: Wed, 01 Jan 2014 01:26:02 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan reportedly under house arrest in Sri Lanka



NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan has reportedly been placed on house arrest in Sri Lanka.

NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan has reportedly been placed on house arrest in Sri Lanka.

Conflicting reports have emerged over whether Toronto NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan is under house arrest in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan media reported that the Scarborough-Rouge River MP was on a fact-finding mission in the country and was placed under house arrest.

The editor of the Colombo Gazette, Eswaran Rutnam, told CBC News that no warrant was issued. Local police and military officials are denying that Sitsabaiesan is under house arrest or that there are any restrictions on her movement, he said.

However, it has been very difficult to get any information on the situation, said Rutnam, explaining Sitsabaiesan reportedly is in the country on a tourist visa and had told politicians she met with that she did not want any publicity for her trip.

Canada's Foreign Affairs ministry says it has been told by Sri Lankan officials that no arrest warrant has been issued for Toronto NDP MP RathikaSitsabaiesan despite reports she is under house arrest in Jaffna.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Lynne Yelich tweeted late Tuesday night that "Sri Lankan authorities have clarified with us there is no arrest warrant" for Sitsabaiesan. "We will continue to follow closely until she is home."

Earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird tweeted that his staff was "working on these reports." Yelich had also tweeted that "our High Commissioner in Colombo will be making representations in Sri Lanka to determine her status."

The Colombo Gazette, citing Jaffna media sources, reported that no one was allowed to meet her at her hotel.

"We are not in a position to confirm the story," the NDP said in a statement. "The [Opposition Leader's Office] has been in contact with the High Commission of Sri Lanka to Canada on this matter."

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar are also directly involved in the matter, CBC News confirmed. 

Sitsabaiesan and her family immigrated to Canada when she was five years old. In 2011, she was elected to the House of Commons in the Toronto-area riding of Scarborough-Rouge River.

She has been a fierce critic of the Sri Lankan government

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