Prevent terrorists from abusing Canada's refugee system - Canadian
It is imperative that Canada prevent terrorist organizations from
abusing the country's refugee system', said Canadian Public Safety
Minister Vic Toews.
He said the Tigers have used suicide bombings against civilians in
Sri Lanka, as well as extortion and intimidation to raise funds within
Canada's Tamil community. "It's important to send a message that Canada
should not be viewed as an easy entry into North America and that we are
very concerned about security issues," Toews said.
"The problem of human smuggling and illegal migration is a serious
one, and the abuse of our immigration system is something that our
government will not tolerate," he added.
Canada is home to about 300,000 Tamils, one of the largest such
populations outside Sri Lanka and India, Sun Herald reported.
Canada's top security official said Monday he was getting regular
briefings on a ship of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka that could be
Canadian Public Safety Minister said there was reason to believe
members of the LTTE are on the Thai cargo ship headed for Canada,
reported Sun Herald.
The MV Sun Sea is expected to reach the Pacific coast province of
British Columbia this week. The US Coast Guard also was monitoring the
"I can assure you that we are concerned about who is on that ship and
why they might be coming," Toews said at a luncheon hosted by the
Economic Club of Toronto, where he singled out marine human smuggling as
a top national security concern.
The Tamil Tigers have been outlawed in Canada as a terrorist group
John Leeburn, a spokesman for the District of Maple Ridge outside
Vancouver, said two local prisons - one for men and one for women - were
preparing to make room for the refugees. Corrections officers and
sheriffs at the prisons have been told to be ready for up to 500 Tamil
migrants or refugees in the coming days, most of them men.
A local corrections union official, Dean Purdy, said the group would
include about 60 women and 40 children.
Last October, a ship carrying 76 Sri Lankan migrants was intercepted
in Canadian waters after crossing the Pacific from Sri Lanka. The group
on board the Ocean Lady claimed to be fleeing persecution.
But there were concerns some had links to the Tamil Tigers. The 76
Sri Lankan migrants from that ship have since been released and their
refugee claims will be being processed over the next two years.