Canadian envoy was summoned by the Sri Lankan government to protest against his country’s decision to impose “unilateral sanctions” on its four citizens, including two former presidents— Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The other two citizens who were sanctioned include Staff Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake and Lt Commander Chandana P Hettiarachchithe.
Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry expressed displeasure over the move to Canada’s Acting High Commissioner in Colombo.
“Foreign Minister Ali Sabry summoned the Canadian Acting High Commissioner Daniel Bood to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the foreign ministry said in a tweet.
He “expressed the deep regret of the Government on the announcement of unilateral sanctions brought against four individuals including two former Presidents of Sri Lanka by the Government of Canada based on unsubstantiated allegations,” it added.
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During the meet, the foreign ministry said that the Canadian government’s decision to impose sanctions was based on domestic political compulsions and added that it sets a “dangerous precedent and is inimical to Sri Lanka’s interests”.
“It was also stressed that the announcement by Canada is detrimental to the Government’s ongoing efforts towards national unity, reconciliation, and stability,” it said.
The Colombo government asked Canada to review the decision and engage constructively with Sri Lanka.
On Tuesday. Canada imposed sanctions on four Sri Lankans for committing what it called “gross and systematic violations of human rights” during the country’s civil war.
This is the first time that the Rajapaksa brothers were banned by any country despite long held accusations of rights abuses and corruption.
Notably, Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese population had praised the brothers for defeating Tamil separatists after a 26-year civil war, which took place from 1983 to 2009.
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