Migrant ship may be headed for B.C.
Canadas weak response to arrival of refugee ship last year has encouraged journey of new vessel, terrorism expert says
Vancouver–From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published on Sunday, Jul. 18, 2010 10:15PM EDT
Last updated on Friday, Jul. 23, 2010 6:20PM EDT
Canadas lax response to the arrival of a South Asian refugee ship last year has encouraged the voyage of a new vessel headed for B.C. with migrants reportedly linked to the Tamil Tigers, says a terrorism expert who has advised the Canadian government.
A Thai cargo ship called the MV Sun Sea is said to be en route to Canada with about 200 illegal migrants. The Asian Tribune Web-based newspaper reported Sunday that the 59-metre vessel was seen over the weekend near Guatemala heading north.
They see Canada as a soft landing place, said Rohan Gunaratna, a Singapore-based terrorism expert at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, who offered advice to the Canadian government last year on how to deal with Tamil migrants.
Mr. Gunaratnas involvement came after the MV Ocean Lady turned up in October off British Columbia with 76 Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka. The vessel was allegedly controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
All of the 76 were initially jailed while their lawyers fought terrorism allegations. But just after New Years, the migrants were released, without explanation, on tight conditions they report for refugee hearings.
Lawyers for the Ocean Lady migrants questioned Mr. Gunaratnas credibility in hearings before the Immigration and Refugee Board last year, but an adjudicator before the board deemed the security-studies professor credible and trustworthy.
Mr. Gunaratna said he has heard of two other ships beyond the MV Sun Sea headed for Canada, but declined to be specific about the source of his information.
The Canadian response to Ocean Lady was perceived as weak and Canada is seen as an easy target by the Tamil Tigers, he said Sunday from Yemen.
What happened to those 76 people? They are now living happily in Canada so, naturally, Canada will become a destination for similar criminals, similar human-smuggling ventures.
The boat will come to Canada unless the ship sinks. Otherwise there is no other venue for them to go, no other place for them to go.
David Poopalapillai, a spokesman for the Canadian Tamil Congress, said Sunday that the arrival of the ship appears inevitable, but disputed Mr. Gunaratnas interpretation of the situation by noting that terrorism connections have yet to be proved among the last group of refugees and that Mr. Gunaratna may be biased against them.
Mr. Poopalapillai said the migrants are taking unacceptable risks to come Canada, and that the ultimate solution is for the Canadian government to work to improve situations in Sri Lanka so there is no need for such flight efforts.
The war has come to an end, but there is no peace, he said, arguing that Tamils remain subject to harassment.
In a statement, the Foreign Affairs Department said they are aware of media reports about the vessel.
Canadas strategic approach is to stop such ships at their points of departure, said the statement, which did not provide any details.
Last month, The Globe and Mail reported that Ottawa had the ship under scrutiny as part of a pushing borders out strategy to look out for such schemes.
Those responsible for migrant smuggling will be pursued, investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of Canadian law and in accordance with the provisions of international Conventions and Protocols, said the statement.
The federal immigration department Sunday declined comment on the matter, referring a Globe and Mail query to foreign affairs.
7/24/2010 4:35:25 PM
The Liberals and the NDP are preparing a parade and picnic for them,as we speak.
7/24/2010 2:50:25 PM
1) Once this one lands, next year we can expect MORE Tamils or Tamils-wannabes coming ashore.
2) After a few years of welfare and free EI-funded training, these supposedly refugees will be bold enough to shout out in good ENGLISH on a Toronto highway, FREE our fellow Tamils in Srilanka or I will BLOCK all your traffics for DAYS !
3) Some of them will start pooling money together to start a “FREE Tamil” campaign and ask US Congress for “democracy funding” from “Human Rights” cause to FREE Tamils in SriLanka.
4) These refugees become armed terrorists to be trained and funded by these once-refugees funded by Canadian Tax payers. These terrorists will plan bombs to blow up Srilanka airlines just like Air India blasted off by Canadian Sihks Terrorists living in BC and these Sihks were trained and funded by Sihk refugees who came to the same BC shores a few decades earlier.
5) More Tamil refugees will have babies here and demand that Canadians allow them to build their own schools, speaking Tamil, build their own mosques or temples of worship, respect their own Tamil-law like Sharia law is respected in UK
6) Their children will be brainwashed by these refugee parents to fight for “Indpendence” in a part of Ontario, because they have congregated there for decades, just like the ethnic Albanians now claiming “Independence” from Serbia !!
7) If Canadians tell the Tamils “Go HOME”, they would say : “I was born here in Canada, where do you want me to go home to ?”, and then ……
8) They will go to Victoria and personally WELCOME more Tamil Tiger refugees by the boatloads because by then, a Tamil Tiger MP has become the Minister of Immigration and Refugee Services of Canada.
All steps are very possible and some have already taken place elsewhere in the world.
And what are YOU as Canadian going to DO about it ???
7/21/2010 10:32:34 AM
Gunaratna may be an agent of the Rajapakse regime.
This Sinhala guy has no sense and may be an expert on Sinhala hooliganism, War Crimes, Human rights abuses, deny equal rights to minorities and State Terrorism.
7/21/2010 10:28:00 AM
Gunaratna has no sense in his writings from Singapore.
This guy Gunaratna should read the writings of the world renowned Singaporean former Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew who accuses the Sri Lankan regime and in particulr the President Rajapakse. Lee further says that Singapore closely monitored the wrong doing and mistakes of Sinhala Buddhist regimes in order to have a fair multi-cultural, plural and equality policies in Singapore. This made Singapore that is smaller than Greater Toronto, more prominent and on the world map.
Hon. Lee says that Rajapakse is a Sinhala Extremist and UN wants to investigate human rights abuses and war crimes in Sri Lanka. This is evident that the Sinhala is capable of mockery, barbaric and not suitable for a multi-ethnic society.
7/20/2010 11:29:16 PM
How stupid does Globe and Mail have to be to publish a news based on facts by the so-called terrorism expert.This guy had retardedly failed in his last statement where he said that the last ship arrived was full of LTTE. He also failed years back in a similar situation in Australia where he falsely accused LTTE. Now, for the third time in a row he is attempting to ticle the testicles of RCMP.Under what credibility does the Canadian government still takes his words?? Wake up Canada..and For u globe and mail..please don't loose your dignity by putting useless news by a lowlife who calls himself as an expert.