Canada sanctions Gota and Mahinda over human rights violations

Canada’s foreign minister Mélanie Joly has announced today that targeted sanctions against former Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa for “gross and systematic violations of human rights during the armed conflict in Sri Lanka”.

Targeted sanctions have also been imposed against Army offivers Sunil Ratnayake and Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias ‘Navy Sampath.’

The sanctions will effectively freeze any assets they may hold in Canada, bar them from financial or related services and deem them inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Sunil Rathnayake was sentenced to death in 2015 for the murder of eight Tamils, including three children, in Mirusuvil 2000. However, in 2020, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa granted Presidential Pardon to him.

Chandana Hettiarachchi has allegations over the abduction and forced disappearance of 11 Tamil Youth between August 2008 and February 2009. He was arrested and released on bail.

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