Home » News

Lanka Tamil arrested in Canada for war crimes

[Gulf Times, Saturday, 6 November 2010 08:51 No Comment]

(IANS) A Tamil asylum seeker has been arrested in Canada for war crimes.

The migrant is one of the 492 Sri Lankan Tamils who were smuggled into Vancouver in August on a ship from Thailand.

The accused is under detention in Vancouver and faces deportation to Sri Lanka if charges of war crimes against him are proved.

Under Canadian immigration laws, anyone guilty of war crimes or terror acts is inadmissible in the country.

The Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA), which deals with deportations, refused to say anything about the detained Tamil Wednesday.

But a spokesman for Canadian Public Safety minister Vic Toews was quoted as saying, “What I can tell you is that our government will not sit back while Canada becomes a target for criminal operations that are trying to take advantage of Canada’s generosity.”

Each Tamil reportedly paid $40,000 to $50,000 to the smuggling ship MV Sun Sea which brought them to Vancouver from Thailand.

Outraged by the illegal arrival of so many Tamils into the country, the Canadian government has just introduced a new bill to curb human smuggling, with severe penalties for smugglers, long detentions and deportations of such people.

Under the new law, those smuggled into the country will be detained up to one year to determine their true identity and not allowed to live freely in Canada as the case now.

The new law will ensure quick prosecution and tougher jail terms for human smugglers.

Canada already has about 80,000 asylum cases pending before its refugee board. Each refugee costs the country about $30,000 annually.

According to Canada’s attorney general, 63,000 refugees ordered to be deported are still in the country and 41,000 have gone missing.

The Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora here has urged Canada and Australia, which are struggling to stop illegal refugees or so-called boat people from Sri Lanka, to quickly set up a refugee centre in South-East Asia to process cases of genuine people.

Thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils, who have fled to South-Est Asia during and after the civil war, are falling victims to human smugglers promising them to take to Canada and Australia.

The Canadian Tamil Congress Thursday asked Canada to take immediate steps to nip human smuggling at its source in South East Asia.

“Since most Tamil refugees trying to come to Canada and Australia are in south-east Asia (Thailand), Canada and Australia should quickly set up the proposed refugee centre in East Timor. This centre should educate people about the perils of human smuggling and entertain their applications to know who are the genuine people,” said Canadian Tamil Congress spokesman David Poopalapillai.

He said  “Once this Canadian-Australian refugee centre in East Timor finds that cases are genuine, these people should be allowed to come to Canada and Australia through proper channels. Desperate Tamils then won’t go to human smugglers.”

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.