Sri Lanka boots Rae

The federal government expressed “dismay and displeasure” to the Sri Lankan government Wednesday after Liberal MP Bob Rae was detained and booted out of the country.

OTTAWA — The federal government expressed “dismay and displeasure” to the Sri Lankan government Wednesday after Liberal MP Bob Rae was detained and booted out of the country.

Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Emma Welford called it “unacceptable treatment of a Canadian parliamentarian” and said it’s absurd for anyone to suggest the former Ontario premier represented a security threat or is a supporter of the Tamil Tigers.

Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai, parliamentary secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, said he was also supposed to go to Sri Lanka this week to check on refugee camps. But the Sri Lankan High Commission in Ottawa denied his application for a visa.

“Their excuse was that they could not accommodate me,” he said in an interview. “At least it saved me a long trip.”

Unlike Obhrai, Rae had successfully applied for a visa and had discussed his trip with Sri Lankan officials.

In an interview, the Sri Lankan high commissioner to Canada, Daya Perera, said it “might have been advisable” to allow Rae into the country to see for himself the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war.

“The country has nothing to hide,” Perera said.

Indeed, Rae said Perera phoned him to apologize for his expulsion.

The Liberal foreign affairs critic said the decision to expel him was made strictly by the Sri Lankan defence ministry.

“What this is all about is the defence ministry flexing its muscles,” said Rae in an interview from London, enroute back to Canada.

“The triumphalist view, which is the defence secretary’s view, is: ‘Well, if you haven’t been an absolutely, 100 per cent supporter of everything the government has been doing, we’re going to punish you.”’

Just Posted

Climate change’s impact on outdoor hockey discussed in Red Deer

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance held a forum Friday at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Collision between Red Deer transit bus and truck investigated by RCMP

No one on bus was hurt, truck driver had minor injuries

Eckville man facing about 80 child sexual exploitation charges in court

More than half a million photos and videos found on electronic devices

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

Red Deer woman wins $1 million in lottery

A Red Deer woman spent $5 on a lottery ticket and became… Continue reading

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Puddle splashing: A rite of spring

Is there anything more fun than driving through water-filled potholes in the… Continue reading

Special evaluations can help seniors cope with cancer care

Before she could start breast cancer treatment, Nancy Simpson had to walk… Continue reading

Home renovator Mike Holmes oversees reno for paralyzed Humboldt Broncos player

AIRDRIE, Alta. — One of Canada’s most recognizable home renovators has acted… Continue reading

The endless war against invasive species

Group looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Flyers, Blackhawks, Sabres and Lightning to Europe in ‘19-20

Jakub Voracek was psyched at the mere suggestion the Philadelphia Flyers might… Continue reading

Danish receiver Nielsen looking to defy the odds again, this time at CFL combine

TORONTO — He’s coming to the CFL’s national combine as a definite… Continue reading

Mom with kids on YouTube channel suspected of child abuse

MARICOPA, Ariz. — A woman who operated a popular YouTube channel featuring… Continue reading

Most Read