cbc.ca (© Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html#Rss)
Updated: Thu, 02 Jan 2014 06:17:46 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Rathika Sitsabaiesan not under house arrest in Sri Lanka



NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan has not been placed on house arrest in Sri Lanka.

NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan has not been placed on house arrest in Sri Lanka.

Scarborough-Rouge River MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan has issued a statement denying Sri Lankan media reports that she was under house arrest in her former home country SriLanka, where she has been visiting family.​

Canada's High Commission in Colombo told Sitsabaiesan that there was no arrest warrant in her name, she said.

"I recently arrived in Sri Lanka to visit my extended family and visit the places that were once home for me, during the earlier stages of my life and the civil war in Sri Lanka; but was subject to political intimidation," said Sitsabaiesan. 

"I was warned I could be subject to arrest and deportation, as several commonwealth MPs from New Zealand and Australia recently faced," said Sitsabaiesan, referring to two politicians who had been detained in November under the accusation of breaking visa laws.  

"I now look forward to exploring and learning more about the country of my birth," said Sitsabaiesan.

Sri Lankan media had reported late Tuesday night that the New Democrat Party MP was on a fact-finding mission in the country and was placed under house arrest.

Earlier on Wednesday, Foreign Affairs spokesman John Babcock said officials at the Canadian High Commission informed him that commission officials have spoken with Sitsabaiesan, "and she has confirmed her well-being to them."

"The High Commission remains in close touch with her to ensure she receives whatever assistance is required," he said in an email statement.

"The Canadian High Commission has also spoken with relevant Sri Lankan police and immigration authorities all of whom have advised us that at this time they have no arrest warrant."

Sitsabaiesan is in Sri Lanka on a tourist visa and had told politicians she met with that she did not want any publicity for her trip. 

Sitsabaiesan, 32, and her family immigrated to Canada when she was five years old. In 2011, she was elected to the House of Commons.

She has been a fierce critic of the Sri Lankan government.

more video