Canada pre-empts Gaddafi plan to withdraw millions from banks

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS
Monday, February 28, 2011

TORONTO - Canada imposed sanctions on Libya in a swift Sunday night move after reports that embattled Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi and his family were planning to withdraw millions of dollars held in Canadian banks.

SNC-Lavalin, which made headlines in India in 2009 after being named a Kerala power scam, will be one of the worst hit Canadian companies by Sunday’s sanctions.

Quebec-based SNC-Lavalin, which is building a prison, a dam and an airport in Libya, will not be able to get its payments.

Asking the Libyan leader to step down immediately, the Canadian prime minister said Gaddafi “has blatantly violated this most basic trust. Far from protecting the Libyan people against peril, he is the root cause of the dangers they face. It is clear that the only acceptable course of action for him is to halt the bloodshed and to immediately vacate his position and authority”.

The Canadian leader said, “Canada had called for the Security Council to act and we are pleased that it has done so. The unanimous passing of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970 sends a very clear message: the murder of its own citizens by the Libyan regime, and the gross violations of the population’s human rights will not be tolerated by the international community, and will carry serious consequences.”

Harper said Canada was going beyond the Security Council sanctions by imposing “an asset freeze on, and a prohibition of financial transactions with the Government of Libya, its institutions and agencies, including the Libyan Central Bank.

“These actions will help restrict the movement of, and access to money and weapons for those responsible for violence against the Libyan people.”

The UN Security Council Resolution seeks “an arms embargo requiring all states to prevent the sale or supply of arms into Libya, or the export of arms from Libya, the inspection of cargo going into Libya, a travel ban on Gaddafi and 15 individuals closely associated with him; and and an asset freeze against Gaddafi and members of his family”.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at

Filed under: Diplomacy

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