Canadian diplomat asks if he is under surveillance 

By Easwaran Rutnam 

A foreign diplomat in Colombo has asked if he is under surveillance after details of some visitors to his official residence was exposed in the media.

Canada’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, David McKinnon tweeted asking if he was under surveillance after at least two newspapers published details of visitors to Canada House in Colombo 07.

The two newspaper had reported over the weekend that Bangladesh High Commissioner Tareq Ariful Islam had met David McKinnon Canada House.

While the diplomat refused to comment, sources told Daily Mirror the Canadian diplomat was concerned that the private meeting got media coverage when there was no media outside the residence at the time.

Local media had also reported that the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Sarah Hulton had met South Korean Ambassador Woonjin Jeong.

Both Bangladesh and South Korea are members of the UN Human Rights Council.

The UN Human Rights Council will be taking a vote on a resolution on Sri Lanka later this month.

Canada and the UK are part of a Core Group on Sri Lanka which is seeking support for the resolution.

Just recently the European Union (EU) had raised concerns in Geneva over intensified surveillance in Sri Lanka.

In a statement made at the UN Human Rights Council during the ongoing 46th Session, the EU said it was concerned about intensified surveillance and intimidation, particularly of human rights defenders and victims.

UPDATE: The Police insisted that diplomats in Sri Lanka are not under surveillance. Police Spokesman, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ajith Rohana told reporters today that no diplomat has been placed under surveillance.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Clearly, the High Commissioners are stepping outside of their mandate. The Sri Lankan government should take an appropriate action.

  2. In early – I mean very early – 1990s, when I was an official at the Political Division of the American Embassy in Colombo, a contact of mine, a very senior official in Sri Lanka Telecommunication Department confidently told me that our telephones are being tapped, and that my conversations with outsiders have been on surveillance. I notified the relevant officials in the Embassy upon which they took some measures to prevent such intrusion. I don’t believe that such thing happened in this case, but it is possible. – Daya Gamage/USA

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