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Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 05.20 GMT

More refugee claimants suspected LTTE


Two more Sri Lankans who arrived in Canada last August aboard the smuggling ship MV Sun Sea have been identified by federal investigators as suspected members of the LTTE, the National Post reported.

The allegations were disclosed in two Federal Court decisions released on Wednesday (Jan 11). In both cases, the court ordered the men to remain in custody, although the Immigration and Refugee Board had earlier approved their release.

Neither is identified by name. The court refers to them only as B157 and B236 and says they are among the 492 refugee claimants found aboard the Sun Sea. But in both cases, the court said Ottawa has labeled them Tamil Tigers.

After the Sun Sea was seized off Vancouver Island five months ago, the government claimed LTTE cadres were on board and that the terror organization was involved in organizing the ship’s voyage from Thailand.

The court said that B157 had initially told federal officials he was a fisherman and that he supported the rebel cause and two of his brothers were rebel “martyrs” who had died in battle.

But he later admitted to Canada Border Services Agency and Canadian Security Intelligence Service officers he had worked for the LTTE as a karate instructor from 2006 to 2009. He also acknowledged he had appeared in a rebel propaganda film as a member of the elite Black Tigers unit.

In the case of B236, the Canadian government is alleging he is also a member of the LTTE. An immigration report says he “voluntarily provided material support to the LTTE as an alternative to paying taxes to them.”

It says he owned a tractor that he used to transport people and supplies to sites where the rebels were building bunkers. “He did so 7-10 times per month over a period of several years,” it says.

The Sun Sea was the second Sri Lankan migrant smuggling ship to reach Canada in less than a year.

The RCMP says it is close to laying charges against organizers of the first ship, the Ocean Lady. Police are also investigating at least two Toronto men they suspect were involved in organizing the Sun Sea, one of whom was arrested in Thailand last year, the National Post said.






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Last modified: January 13, 2011.

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