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‘Exercise a high degree of caution’ Canada warns travellers in Sri Lanka

Responding to the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, the Canadian government has warned its citizens travelling to the island to “exercise a high degree of caution” and “keep supplies of food, water and fuel on hand”.

The statement comes as the island is suffering from widespread shortages of basic necessities such as medicines, fuel and food.

Read more here: No bread, no power and soon no medicines - Sri Lanka braces for possible drug shortage

Commenting on the situation in the Tamil homeland, the Canadian government highlights that “the Sri Lankan military continues to maintain a strong presence in the country’s North and East, including the Jaffna Peninsula”.

They further detail that “individuals of Sri Lankan heritage, including those who don’t have Sri Lankan citizenship, have been detained on occasion by police or security forces”.

The government encourages travellers to “avoid military areas and High-Security Zones” and details that authorities can “detain without charge for extended periods” and “impose curfews”.

Last September, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) detailed the cases of 15 Tamils who have been abducted and tortured by Sri Lanka security forces since Gotabaya Rajapaksa took office.

"The victims being detained now are generally young and of little intelligence value to the security forces, who appear to be mounting a campaign of repression against legitimate Tamil expression of fundamental rights including protests or calls for accountability," the report stated.

Read the Canadian government's full statement here. 

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