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Tribunal orders Tamil migrant deported

[AFP, Thursday, 10 March 2011 08:43 No Comment]

An asylum seeker from Sri Lanka has been ordered deported over his links to an extremist Tamil separatist group, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board announced Wednesday.

The man, whose identity cannot be revealed under Canadian law, came to Canada last year aboard the rickety cargo ship MV Sun Sea as one of 492 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka.

Known only as passenger B189 for the proceedings, he was found by the board to have been a member of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from 1991 to 1996 and thus not admissible to Canada.

Board spokeswoman Melissa Anderson told AFP he had undergone combat training, joined the LTTE’s naval wing and was once shot in the leg during a three-hour battle with a Sri Lankan warship.

The ruling is a vindication for Ottawa which alleged the migrants may have included members of the Tamil Tigers, outlawed in Canada as a terror group before their defeat in 2009 by Sri Lanka’s government after a lengthy civil war.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews reportedly said the decision "is an unmitigated victory for the rule of law."

The man was the second of 33 Tamil asylum seekers to appear before an admissibility hearing, accused of human smuggling, war crimes or belonging to an organized criminal organization or extremist group.

The first was released this week after the Immigration and Refugee Board found he was not a threat to Canada for simply having lived in a former rebel-controlled area of Sri Lanka.

"In the context of life in the LTTE-controlled area, the evidence does not support a finding that the man crossed the line from being a mere sympathizer or supporter to a member," the board said in the first case.

[Full Coverage]

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