New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP), 01 January 2014 - Statement from NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan on her stay in Sri Lanka: - For New Democrats, standing in solidarity with Canadians of Tamil heritage on matters of human rights is part of our shared values as Canadians. I recently arrived in Sri Lanka to visit my extended family and visit the places that were once home for me, during the earlier stages of my life and the civil war in Sri Lanka; but 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. I have received word from the Canadian High Commission in Colombo that the Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed that their previous claims of an arrest warrant in my name does not exist and I now look forward to exploring and learning more about the country of my birth. 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. New Democrats, like millions of Canadians, will continue to staunchly defend human rights and freedom of speech, in Canada and around the world.
News East-West Desk, 14 Jan 2013 - TORONTO: Citizenship and immigration minister Jason Kenney has greeted the Tamil community of Canada on the occasion of Thai Pongal. As minister for citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, Kenney said, “I offer my best wishes to all those celebrating Thai Pongal.” Liberal Leader Bob Rae greeted the Tamil community on the festive occasion. On behalf of the NDP, Rathika Sitsabaiesan, Canada’s first MP of Tamil origin, greeted her community.
By Adrienne Clarkson, The Ottawa Citizen, October 14, 2011 - In her new book Room for All of Us, former governor general Adrienne Clarkson profiles individuals who, like herself, “came out of cataclysm and catastrophe not out of our own making and found ourselves almost thrown into Canada.” She tells often harrowing stories of their journeys to this country and then recounts how they have enriched the Canadian fabric. The following excerpt was adapted from Clarkson’s profile of Ontario MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan.
By Karim Bardeesy, Globe and Mail, 19 August 2011 - In her orange blouse and mesh cowboy hat, Rathika Sitsabaiesan cuts a striking swath through the stalls at the 10th annual Scarborough Rotary Ribfest in northeastern Toronto. It's a sweltering Saturday, and the MP for Scarborough-Rouge River is, like any good pol in the summer, where her constituents are – although for the two-thirds of them who are immigrants, the greasy, tangy Southern rib experience might be a relatively new one.
CBC News, 3 August 2011 - Canada should press the United Nations to set up a tribunal in Sri Lanka to deal with suspected crimes against humanity, the NDP said Wednesday. A United Nations report has already called on the organization to set up a commission to look into human rights violations committed by both the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tiger rebel group. "Both sides need to acknowledge and take ownership of their actions and injustices that they have brought on their people," said NDP MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan. The NDP is petitioning the government to urge the UN to set up an independent, international and impartial mechanism to ensure truth, accountability and justice in Sri Lanka, NDP MP Wayne Marston said.
By Kristy Kirkup, Parliamentary Bureau - CNews, 15 June, 2011 - Canada's first elected Tamil MP wants to see an independent inquiry into war crimes allegedly committed in her home country. Rathika Sitsabaiesan - the newly elected NDP MP for the riding of Scarborough Rouge River - says the international community needs to support an investigation into claims of human rights violations during the final weeks of Sri Lanka's civil war.
BBC Sinhala, May 09 2011 - The first ever Tamil MP in Canadian parliament says she will take the initiative to form an All Party Parliamentary Committee (APPC) to look into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka during the last stages of the war.
CBC News, May 3, 2011 - Among the young New Democrats swept into office in Monday's federal election is 29-year-old Rathika Sitsabaiesan, now Canada's first ever Tamil Member of Parliament. The Malvern community activist won the Ontario riding of Scarborough-Rouge River, taking a seat that had been Liberal since 1988. Now, along with scores of other rookie NDP MPs, she will help form the Official Opposition for the first time in the party's history.