Response to Commentary by Mayor Tory – April 4th 2017, Toronto Star

Dear Mayor Tory,

I am writing in regards to your commentary of your trip to the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, published on the Toronto Star dated April 4th 2017.

I was born and raised in Sri Lanka and lived in the country until I migrated to Canada with my family in 2008.  Being a Tamil citizen myself, I had been exposed to hardships of the 30-year civil war. Since migrating to Canada, I have visited Sri Lanka several times and in turn have made multiple trips to Jaffna, amongst other cities in the Northern Province.

Having said that, I was surprised to read your commentary about the hostile military presence in Jaffna, as I have not experienced this in the past several times that I visited the North.

Recently, I took part in a Canada-Sri Lanka delegation headed by three Canadian Members of Parliament with 23 other Canadian delegates. We travelled by land to Northern, Central and Eastern Provinces and witnessed the progress in Sri Lanka. Specifically, the Northern Province has considerably improved since the civil war and we did not witness the military to civilian ratio that was mentioned in your commentary. We met with present ruling parliamentarians, the opposition MPs from TULF, military personnel, as well as civilians.

It is my understanding that you flew to Mulathiv via helicopter and the visit lasted 24 hours, in which time you were introduced to a group of selected people by few politicians, and did not have the chance to meet the opposition leader, Honourable R. Sampanthan.

Your commentary on the Toronto Star does not accurately depict both sides of the story and I believe that an opinion from an influential person such as yourself would greatly hinder prospects of attracting international investors for projects that develop Sri Lanka.

I hope you understand my point of view, and I will appreciate if you do not include this in your political agenda.

Thanking you,


Elanko Ratnasabapathey

(416) 879-4052