There have been many moments where I have felt proud to be Canadian. I had one of those moments last week when I read in the news that Canada had given asylum to one of the refugees who sheltered Edward Snowden when he was fleeing from the authorities in Hong Kong.
Vanessa Rodel and her daughter Keana Kihinsa arrived in Canada last Monday.
“This is a really great day,” said her lawyer, Robert Tibbo. “She’s departed Hong Kong. She’s left behind all the distress, hopelessness and uncertainty in life, the discrimination and marginalization she has suffered.”
Five other asylum seekers who sheltered Mr. Snowden are awaiting decisions on their applications in Canada. Among them is Ajith Pushpakumara, from Sri Lanka, who said he had fled to Hong Kong after being tortured for deserting the military and faces the possibility of execution if he returns to his native country.
Ajith fled his home country of Sri Lanka in 2003. In Sri Lanka, Ajith signed up for the military when he was 18 years old. In the Ambepussa Army Camp, young recruits were abused daily and often raped by their superiors. A victim of sexual abuse and at one point left for dead, Ajith deserted. When he was caught by the military police, he was then tortured.
With his military background, Ajith acted as Edward Snowden’s bodyguard in Hong Kong in 2013.
For The Refugees is a Canadian not-for-profit organization fighting to prevent the deportation of the Snowden Guardian Angels from Hong Kong and compelling Canada to expedite their relocation to safety.
Click here to visit For The Refugees website.
Click here to watch video about the Snowden Guardian Angels on CBC.
Click here to read article on New York Times about the Snowden Guardian Angels.
Click here to read my blog entry about Edward Snowden and the Survellance State.
Notes: All information in this blog gathered from New York Times article and For The Refugees website.