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Canadian stuck in ‘limbo’ of Sri Lankan terror law – canada.com

[MISC, Sunday, 11 October 2009 09:47 No Comment]

A Canadian has been detained in Sri Lanka for almost five months under the country’s controversial anti-terrorism measures, the Canadian Tamil Congress said Thursday.

Ratnarajah Thusiyanthan, 35, was working as an Internet technology consultant for a World Bank-funded project in the capital, Colombo, when he was arrested outside his office on April 29, the group said.

Thusiyanthan, who immigrated from Sri Lanka in 1989 and returned there in 2002, has not been charged but is being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, said the CTC.

Prisoners at the Colombo prison where Thusiyanthan is being held began a hunger strike Thursday morning to protest their detention without charge and lack of due process.

"Canada should intervene to ensure that no harm comes to this Canadian as torture is very common in the Sri Lankan prison system," said David Poopalapillai, the CTC spokesman.

"Our government should be active in making sure due process is followed in this case instead of this Canadian being held indefinitely in limbo."

Sri Lanka is emerging from a long civil war that ended in May with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, a separatist rebel group that was funded partly by supporters in Canada.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is already trying to assist four Canadians who are being held in camps set up in Sri Lanka to house ex-combatants and war-displaced civilians.

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