Legal Work

OTTAWA  Nov. 8, 2013 –Working with the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ), a Tamil-Canadian torture survivor is filing a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Committee in a bid to get Sri Lanka to address and remedy the torture and other violations of his rights. The complaint is being filed as Sri Lanka is set to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, boycotted by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper because of Sri Lanka’s failure to ”improve human rights conditions and take steps towards reconciliation and accountability.”

Special press conference with the survivor to announce the filing, discuss the case and highlight obstacles and options in pursuing justice for survivors of torture and other atrocities
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, 194 Jarvis Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON M5B 2B7
Wednesday, 13 November 2013, at 10:30 A.M.

For more information contact:

Matt Eisenbrandt

CCIJ Legal Director

+1 (604) 569-1778

Nanda Na Champassak

CCIJ Communication

613-263 4206


The CCIJ Toronto Working Group and Amnesty International will be co-hosting a screening of No Fire Zone, followed by a panel discussion at the Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton Street on Sunday, November 17th at 4:30 p.m.

No Fire Zone is the definitive story of the final awful months of the 26 year-long Sri Lankan civil war told by the people who lived through it. While the world looked away around 40,000 to 70,000 civilians were massacred – mostly by Sri Lankan government shelling, though the Tamil Tigers also stand accused of war crimes.

A chilling expose of some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity of recent times – told through the extraordinary personal stories of a small group of characters and also through some of the most dramatic and disturbing video evidence ever recorded. Footage which documents the day to day horror of this war in a way almost never done before: footage recorded by both the victims and perpetrators on mobile phones and small cameras – viscerally powerful actuality from the battlefield, from inside the crudely dug bunkers and over-crowded makeshift hospitals.

Speakers include:

  • Craig Brannagan, a Toronto-based criminal defence lawyer, and a Member of the CCIJ Case Team that is seeking justice for a Tamil-Canadian before the UN Human Rights Committee for alleged international human rights violations that he suffered at the hands of Sri Lankan State officials.
  • Arjuna Ranawana, a Sri Lankan immigrant to Canada, who is an experienced journalist, both in Canada, and in his native Sri Lanka.  As News Manager for OMNI TV, he has succeeded in leading a diversified team of producers and directors in producing newscasts in Mandarin, Cantonese and English for a South Asian audience, especially in Alberta.  In Sri Lanka,  Arjuna had various roles, both editing newspapers and reporting for them.

This film is part of the Amnesty International Toronto Human Rights Film Festival running from November 14th to 17th. The REEL AWARENESS Film Festival showcases some of the best human rights documentaries and feature films shown around the world. This must-see collection of films is both inspirational and informative. Join Amnesty International in protecting and promoting human rights!

For more information or to purchase tickets to No Fire Zone or other REEL AWARENESS film screenings visit AITO.

York University is holding a panel discussion on this case decided by the Supreme Court of Canada. CCIJ, in partnership with the University of Toronto International Human Rights Program, intervened in the case. CCIJ and the IHRP argued that the criteria repeatedly applied by the courts and the government of Canada concerning exclusion from refugee protection was not in line with international law.  On July 19, 2013, the Supreme Court released its judgment. The Court ruled, in line with the position taken by CCIJ, the IHRP and other interveners, that the refugee determination must be made in accordance with international criminal law. For details of the case visit the CCIJ website case page.

1:30pm – 3:30pm
McLaughlin Junior Common Room (McLaughlin 014)
McLaughlin College
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON
M3J 1P3

The panel is hosted by McLaughlin, Master’s Office