Beauties, politics, diplomacy and conspiraciesMarch 20, 2016, 12:00 pm
It has taken me nearly seven years to come out with this story. I have, no doubt, who conspired to destroy Ruby Dhalla because in the next elections in 2011, Param Gill defeated her. I have no doubt Ruby was wronged and she became the victim of a conspiracy. When I moved to our Permanent Mission in New York, Ruby called me to warn me of a conspiracy hatched both at the Sri Lankan Consulate General’s in Toronto, certain community members. She asked me to be careful.
Ruby Dhalla was a former Miss India Canada runner-up. As a Liberal party MP she represented Brampton Springdale in the Canadian Parliament from 2004 to 2011. She is very attractive. In 2009 she was voted as the third hottest female politician in the world by the Maxim magazine. She is also the first South Asian woman elected to Canada’s Parliament.
Then there was Melissa Baghat a winner of Miss India Canada from Brampton and politically ambitious. I have heard that she was first with the Liberal party and later crossed over to the ruling Conservative because the Liberals opted to give Ruby nomination from Brampton Springdale.
Having joined the Conservatives, Melissa then contested from Mississauga East—Cooksville and lost to Albina Guarneri of the Liberal party. Ruby beat the Conservative candidate and was elected to Parliament. Apart from the rivalry for beauty, Melissa lost the political battle to Ruby. She was then appointed as the Director of Multiculturalism to Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, a position she held from 2008 to 2011. Jason was a close confidante of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
I developed a very close rapport with both Melissa and Ruby. Several Community members accused Ruby of getting close to the LTTE supporters. However, I proved them wrong. I met Ruby many times; we had dinner, met for tea both officially and privately. She was also my partner/guest at the Consul General’s Ball. Ruby invited me home and even for special Sheikh religious and community functions. She became a good friend of Sri Lanka and had an open mind on the conflict in Sri Lanka, contrary to what the community members said to me. I consider her to be lovely, wonderful and intelligent.
I would say that Ruby helped me make connections in Canada. I also met her mother and brother on several occasions and Ruby joined me for dinner at my residence.
I met Melissa after she gave me a call and wanted to meet me in her position since she had to deal with community related matters. I didn't have to convince the ruling Conservative party at all since they were totally against the LTTE at the time. Melissa and I developed a very close friendship. Through her minister, Jason Kenney, She helped me obtain special assistance to the Buddhist temples in Toronto in securing security gates and camera after the LTTE attacked the Toronto Maha Vihara. In fact, she arranged a visit by Kenney’s chief of staff at the time. Melissa and I met on several occasions. We went out for tea, drinks and events. She visited me at home a few times. Melissa helped me in making good connections too with the government and I managed to convey messages to her minister through her.
I knew of the rivalry between Ruby and Melissa. But, they both were nice to me and I liked them both. Once Melissa told me not to associate with Ruby when I mentioned something about Ruby. Ruby supported me when the Sri Lankan restaurant in Brampton was attacked by the LTTE. Their rivalry didn’t matter to me at all. I remember one day how Melissa became very busy receiving several calls from her Minister Jason Kenney and she calling him back in return. If I am not mistaken even though we had met that day, due to this several calls and the ‘emergency’ situation I had to spend more time with her. I heard things like "She is done" "We have fixed her" "Will it boomerang on us" "let’s be careful" I could hear that Melissa was also in touch with Param Gill, who was Ruby’s rival in her electorate. I was well aware of the political scenario in Canada and the situation in Ontario.
The Toronto Star broke the so called ‘Big’ news accusing Ruby Dhalla of illegally employing a caregiver and then bullying and mistreating her. I realised that the aim was to destroy Ruby’s political career and to break the back of the Liberals to make way for Param Gill. Ruby was very popular and there was no other way to destroy her. As a diplomat, I was a witness to conspiracy between a powerful Canadian Minister, one of his powerful staffers and another politician who was hell bent on destroying his arch rival. Think I spent hours at Melissa’s office that day since she became very busy. I also figured out during Melissa’s conversation that Minister Jason Kenney wanted to see that the ‘story’ they were discussing over the phone would hit the target well and one hundred percent accurate.
I have read in the Canadian media that Ruby’s lawyer. Howard Levitt has suggested that there was a political or media conspiracy at play. He had told reporters at the time there was an attempt to destroy Dhalla’s career and credibility "The only question is who is really behind them. And who orchestrated, enabled or assisted these former employees of her brother to suddenly come forward?"
It has taken me nearly seven years to come out with this story. I have, no doubt, who conspired to destroy Ruby Dhalla because in the next elections in 2011, Param Gill defeated her. I have no doubt Ruby was wronged and she became the victim of a conspiracy. When I moved to our Permanent Mission in New York, Ruby called me to warn me of a conspiracy hatched both at the Sri Lankan Consulate General’s in Toronto and certain community members. She asked me to be careful.
I have lost touch with both Ruby and Melissa. But, my heart goes out to Ruby Dhalla. I learnt that Canadian politics is no better than Sri Lanka’s. Only thing difference is that Canada is getting ahead and we aren't!
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Last Updated Aug 25 2016 | 12:00 pm