The Canadian Federal Court has instructed the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) to re-examine a discrimination complaint filed against the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) by Kagusthan Ariaratnam, a former informant and child soldier. Ariaratnam claims that his application for a security job on Parliament Hill was rejected due to information disclosed by CSIS about his mental health.
Ariaratnam had been involved with CSIS in the 2000s, providing information about the Tamil Tigers, a separatist group in Sri Lanka. After being rejected for the job, Ariaratnam filed complaints with CSIS, the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA), and the CHRC, but his claims were dismissed.
However, the Federal Court has now ordered the CHRC to re-examine the complaint, citing the commission’s “unintelligible” reasoning and failure to consider the discrimination allegations. Ariaratnam’s lawyer criticized the CHRC for using a “paper-thin justification” to dismiss the claim, and suggested that the commission is overwhelmed and under-resourced.
The NSIRA had previously ruled against Ariaratnam, stating that his application was rejected by the House of Commons, not CSIS. However, CSIS acknowledged that the disclosure of classified documents about Ariaratnam would not have been approved by senior management.
Ariaratnam’s complaint is centered around allegations that CSIS used information to portray him as a security threat improperly. The Tamil Tigers, the group Ariaratnam was involved with, fought for independence from Sri Lanka and are designated as a terrorist organization by the Canadian government.
Ariaratnam hopes that the re-examination of his complaint will provide him with justice and address the significant impact the rejection had on his life.