Is interfering in elections bad if Canada & good if SL? – by Prof. Samitha Hettige

March, 13, 2023

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to be worried about Canadian "sovereignty" & is expected to appoint an independent Rapporteur to probe alleged Chinese interference in the recent elections. However, Conservative leader, Pierre Poilievre, is said to be thinking it is Trudeau's "cover up" to avoid “accountability". The Rapporteur is expected to make recommendations to combat interference & strengthen democracy in Canada. Other political parties have also called for a public inquiry. China however, has denied the claims. As per reports Canadian PM is aware of meddling attempts by China, Iran & Russia. Sri Lankans are aware that Canadians with Sri Lankan origins also play a pivotal role during elections in Canada but for some reason the PM has not mentioned SL.

Canada on few occasions expressed views on democracy in SL (probably due to pressure from those with SL origins). During Premadasa rule, it was believed that Canada interfered to support those who lead to impeach Premadasa. When Premadasa government considered British High Commissioner David Gladstone “persona non grata” for interfering in SL elections, Canadian authorities were concerned of the government’s move (Media).

During the colonial rule, thousands of Chinese peasants were taken to Canada as forced labour to construct railroads etc. Maybe Canada doesn’t wish to see their descendants behave same way as Canadians with SL origins behave. Some analysts believe that USA supported Military strongman Sarath Fonseka when running for President against Mahinda R. SF holding meetings in USA with those against MR & news on him receiving US$ for the campaign was discussed during 2010 presidential poll.

China’s historically proven practice of non interference in the internal affairs of other countries should make Canada’s Melanie Joly jolly as she has said that Canada wouldn’t tolerate interference in Canada’s internal affairs (maybe be parties other than Sri Lankans who can influence kith & kin living in Canada).

Sri Lankans may read about interferences; by those who hated Sirima working with Arab leaders & unnecessary nationalizations during 1977 elections, during 1994 election to promote CBK, by handlers of LTTE during 2005 presidential poll & during 2019 presidential poll for a wider analysis. Those who cry for democracy in other lands & push for elections in crisis hit SL may have ulterior motives to sink SL in an economic crisis.


(Views expressed are personal)