Canadian Sanctions Related to Sri Lanka
- 2023-01-06 - Regulations were amended
- 2023-01-06 - Permit order was implemented
- 2023-01-06 - Regulations entered into force
Sanctions related to Sri Lanka have been enacted under the Special Economic Measures Act in response to the gross and systematic violations of human rights occurring in the country.
The Special Economic Measures (Sri Lanka) Regulations impose a dealings prohibition, an effective asset freeze, on listed persons. The Regulations prohibit any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada from:
- dealing in property, wherever situated, that is owned, held or controlled by a listed person or a person acting on behalf of a listed person;
- entering into or facilitating any transaction related to a dealing prohibited by these Regulations;
- providing any financial or related services in respect of a dealing prohibited by these Regulations;
- making available any goods, wherever situated, to a listed person or a person acting on behalf of a listed person; and
- providing any financial or other related services to or for the benefit of a listed person.
Causing, facilitating or assisting in prohibited activities is likewise prohibited.
The individuals listed in the Schedule to the Regulations are also inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The above-noted asset freeze and dealings prohibitions do not apply to the following activities or transactions:
- payments made by or on behalf of designated persons pursuant to contracts entered into prior to the coming into force of the Regulations, provided that the payments are not made to or for the benefit of a designated person;
- payments made by or on behalf of a listed person pursuant to contracts entered into prior to the coming into force of the Regulations, provided that the payments are not made to a listed person or to a person acting on behalf of a listed person;
- transactions necessary for a Canadian to transfer to a non-listed person any accounts, funds or investments of a Canadian held by a listed person on the day on which that person became listed;
- dealings with a listed person required with respect to loan repayments made to any person in Canada, or any Canadian outside Canada, for loans entered into with any person other than a listed person, and for enforcement and realization of security in respect of those loans, or repayments by guarantors guaranteeing those loans;
- dealings with a listed person required with respect to loan repayments made to any person in Canada, or any Canadian outside Canada, for loans entered into with a listed person before that person became a listed person, and for enforcement and realization of security in respect of those loans, or repayments by guarantors guaranteeing those loans;
- pension payments to any person in Canada or any Canadian outside Canada;
- financial services required in order for a listed person to obtain legal services in Canada with respect to the application of any of the prohibitions set out in these Regulations;
- transactions in respect of accounts at financial institutions held by diplomatic missions, provided that the transaction is required in order for the mission to fulfill its diplomatic functions under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, or transactions required in order to maintain the mission premises if the diplomatic mission has been temporarily or permanently recalled;
- transactions with any international organization with diplomatic status, agencies of the United Nations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, or with any entity that has entered into a grant or contribution agreement with Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada; and
- transactions by the Government of Canada that are provided for in any agreement or arrangement between Canada and Sri Lanka.
Permits and Certificates
A separate Special Economic Measures (Sri Lanka) Permit Authorization Order made pursuant to subsection 4(4) of the Special Economic Measures Act authorizes the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue to any person in Canada and any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction, that is otherwise restricted or prohibited pursuant to the Regulations.
Gross and systematic human rights violations occurred during Sri Lanka’s civil conflict (1983-2009). Systemic impunity for human rights abusers in Sri Lanka continues to jeopardize the safeguarding of fundamental human rights, progress on justice for affected populations, and prospects for peace and reconciliation. The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has taken limited concrete action to address post-conflict accountability and reconciliation. Due to political interference, particularly during the terms of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, numerous current and former state officials credibly implicated in war crimes have had charges against them arbitrarily dropped or convictions overturned. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the international community, including Canada, have consistently advocated for the protection of fundamental human rights and an end to impunity.
On January 6, 2023, the Special Economic Measures (Sri Lanka) Regulations came into force. The Regulations include a list of names of four individuals for whom the Governor in Council considers that there are reasonable grounds to have engaged in activities that constitute gross and systematic human rights violations.
Regulations and Orders made under the Special Economic Measures Act:
- Justice Canada consolidation of the Special Economic Measures (Sri Lanka) Regulations
- 2023-01-06 (Entered into force) - Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Sri Lanka) Regulations (SOR/2023-004)
- 2023-01-06 (Entered into force) - Special Economic Measures (Sri Lanka) Regulations (SOR/2023-002)
- 2023-01-06 (Entered into force) - Special Economic Measures (Sri Lanka) Permit Authorization Order (SOR/2023-003)
Announcements related to the Regulations made under the Special Economic Measures Act:
- 2023-01-10 - News release - Canada imposes sanctions on Sri Lankan state officials for human rights violations
- 2023-01-10 - Backgrounder - Backgrounder: Sanctions imposed on Sri Lankan state officials
Please be advised that Global Affairs Canada cannot provide legal advice to members of the public. For this reason, we cannot deliver an opinion as to whether or not a specific activity or transaction would contravene sanctions legislation. You should consider seeking legal advice in relation to an activity that may contravene a Canadian sanction law.
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