Jan 02, Colombo: A Canadian MP visiting Sri Lanka, who made headlines on New Year's eve following reports of Sri Lankan authorities allegedly placing her under house arrest, said Wednesday that she was warned of arrest and deportation but there was no arrest warrant.
Issuing a statement through her party, National Democratic Party of Canada, MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan said she was subject to political intimidation.
"I was warned I could be subject to arrest and deportation, as several commonwealth MPs from New Zealand and Australia recently faced," she said in her statement.
However, she has learned from the Canadian High Commission in Colombo that the Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed that their previous claims of an arrest warrant in her name does not exist.
Sri Lankan -born Rathika Sitsabaiesan, who represents the Toronto-area riding of Scarborough-Rouge River, said she now looks forward to exploring and learning more about the country of her birth.
Sri Lanka law enforcement authorities vehemently denied the media reports which said that Sitsabaiesan was placed under house arrest during her visit to the Northern Province. However, they said if she violates her tourist visa requirements immigration officials will question her an deport her.
The pro-LTTE website Tamilnet reported Tuesday that the MP was placed under house arrest in a hotel in Jaffna by the Terrorist Investigation Department.
The 32-year-old Canadian MP said she arrived in Jaffna to visit her extended family and visit the places that were once home for her, during the earlier stages of her life and the civil war.
"My experiences since arriving in Sri Lanka are a reminder that defending principles of human rights is not easy, but I continue to believe that it is only through open dialogue and freedom of expression that people can ultimately achieve healing and reconciliation," Sitsabaiesan said in her statement.
Sitsabaiesan came to Canada with her family at the age of five and was elected to the House of Commons in 2011.