Canada says sorry to three monks


  • AseanPlus News
  • Sunday, 31 Oct 2004

COLOMBO: Canada's mission here yesterday said it may have caused “unintended offence” in dealing with an anthrax scare that led to the disrobing and dunking of three Buddhist monks. 

“The High Commission deeply regrets that responsible measures taken to ensure the health and safety of all those involved in a potentially hazardous situation may have caused unintended offence,” a statement said. 

The anthrax scare was sparked following the discovery of powder in a passport of a Buddhist monk who went to the mission on Monday in the company of two other monks. 

The government has protested to Canada over the treatment of the monks who said they were forced to disrobe and shower after embassy staff held them inside the diplomatic compound against their will for several hours. 

However, the Canadian statement said the monks had “willingly agreed to comply with our security protocols and thus were provided a private changing facility with private shower along with new robes.” 

Police said the diplomatic mission had held the monks virtually prisoner and denied them access to a telephone, even to inform their colleagues about their plight. – AFP 

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