Toronto

Toronto Tamil fears for wife in Sri Lanka

A Toronto man of Tamil descent is asking the federal government to rescue his wife and children in Sri Lanka, claiming they are being harassed by the government there because of things he told a Canadian newspaper.

A Toronto man of Tamil descent is asking the federal government to rescue his wife and children in Sri Lanka, claiming they are being harassed by the government there because of things he told a Canadian newspaper.

On the Labour Day weekend Roy Samathanam told the National Post his story of detention and torture by Sri Lankan authorities over a period of three years.

A few hours after the story appeared, he said Thursday, military police went looking for his wife in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. They didn't find her, and she remains in hiding, he said.

Samathanam is a Canadian citizen, as are his two young children, but his wife is a Sri Lankan national.

He was about to submit his wife's sponsorship application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada when his story appeared, and Sri Lankan police tried to find her.

Roy Samathanam hopes the federal government will help him get his wife out of Sri Lanka. (Priya Sankaran/CBC)

"They are really scared. They don't even go out …. They are still inside the house," he said.

If his wife is picked up by the authorities, the children must go into detention with her, Samathanam said.

"I don't want my children to be in a Sri Lankan prison, and [my] wife being tortured, and my children watching that," he said.

He's worried that by the time his sponsorship application is processed in Canada, his family will have disappeared.

Contacted by CBC News, Citizenship and Immigration said Samathanam should submit his wife's application as soon as possible, and that reuniting families is the department's top priority.

now