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New Democrat MP of Tamil background faced 'political intimidation' in Sri Lanka

Rathika Sitsabaiesan, the NDP MP for Scarborough—Rouge River. PARLIAMENT OF CANADA.

OTTAWA – A New Democrat MP of Tamil heritage says she has experienced political intimidation during a private visit to her native Sri Lanka.

In a statement Wednesday, Rathika Sitsabaiesan (RAH-tih-kah sit-sah-by-EE-sahn) says she was warned that she could be subject to arrest and deportation.

Some of Canada’s senior political leaders were scrambling on New Year’s Eve to determine the veracity of reports that Sitsabaiesan, a Toronto-area MP, had been placed under house arrest.

Sitsabaiesan says she has received word from the Canadian High Commission in Colombo that there is in fact no Sri Lankan arrest warrant in her name.

She says she now looks forward to exploring and learning more about the country of her birth.

New Democrat MP Paul Dewar, who has spoken to Sitsabaiesan, says his caucus colleague has been followed and closely monitored by Sri Lankan authorities during her stay.