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Diplomats in Canada in tough spot over arrest of four Tamils over war dead commemoration

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The recent detention of four Tamils in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, following their commemoration of war dead, poses a formidable challenge for Sri Lankan diplomats in Canada. Canadian Tamil activists are seizing upon this incident to reinforce their allegations of human rights abuses against Sri Lanka.

Canada’s Tamil community, comprising approximately 240,000 individuals, is actively campaigning against alleged wartime atrocities in Sri Lanka. These latest arrests have intensified their advocacy efforts, leaving Sri Lankan officials scrambling to rebut these accusations effectively.

Furthermore, Sri Lanka remains vigilant amid concerns that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may reiterate genocide allegations during the Victory Day commemoration on May 18, marking the end of the civil war in 2009. Despite Canada’s Parliament designating May 18 as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day in 2022, the Canadian Federal Government maintains that the events of the conflict do not meet the legal threshold for genocide.

Last year, Prime Minister Trudeau’s similar allegations provoked a sharp reaction from Sri Lanka. Foreign Minister Ali Sabry summoned Canadian High Commissioner Eric Walsh, condemning Trudeau’s remarks as politically motivated. The Sri Lankan government staunchly refuted the genocide accusations, dismissing them as baseless and underscoring that the conflict stemmed from LTTE terrorism.

As the anniversary approaches, Sri Lankan authorities are on high alert, anticipating further diplomatic challenges and heightened scrutiny from the international community.

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