SRI LANKA UNITED NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

Box 55292, 300 Borough Drive, Toronto, Ontario M1P 4Z7 Canada

Website:   www.sluna.org                 E-mail:   sluna@idirect.com

 

 MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                     August 20, 2010

 

Tamil Tigers Smuggle Illegal Migrants aboard ‘Ocean Lady’ and ‘MV Sun Sea’ 

 

Canada has admitted 76 Tamil men who arrived aboard the ‘Ocean Lady’ in October 2009, and is presently dealing with a further batch of 492 Tamils who arrived on board the ‘MV Sun Sea’ which reached the BC shores on August 13, 2010.  These two vessels have been identified as part of the Tamil Tiger’s merchant marine fleet previously used in transporting weapons, explosives and smuggling of narcotics, now refitted to smuggle human cargo. The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) has been in the forefront organizing teams of highly paid lawyers to assist the asylum seekers with their refugee applications.  The CTC which was formed in 2001 following the listing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the UN as a terrorist group has taken over the torch from the better known front organizations called the World Tamil Movement (WTM) and the umbrella group known as FACT which have moved their operations underground. 

 

The human smugglers involved in the operation are obviously those leaders of the pro-Tamil Tiger diaspora in Canada who seek to profit immensely from the ridiculously high passage fee of $45,000 – 50,000 levied from each illegal migrant, and the opportunity to keep the myth of the supposed persecution of Tamils in Sri Lanka alive through media attention.  The other objective is to gather the remnants of the Tamil Tiger fighting cadres in an asylum granting liberal democracy such as Canada, and pursue the objective of carving out a separate state of “Eelam” for Tamils in Sri Lanka as envisioned by the newly formed Trans-National Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) of which the Canadian pro-LTTE diaspora is the largest and active segment.

 

It is unimaginable that ordinary citizens of this third world (developing) country supposedly running away from a vicious regime which allegedly was persecuting members of the Tamil community could produce such large sums of money, the equivalent of nearly 5 million rupees to pay for a risky journey by sea aboard a cargo boat to seek asylum in Canada, without any guarantee of acceptance.  In a report filed by Toronto Star reporter Raveena Aulakh on August 14, 2010, she wrote of her interview with one of the 76 men who earlier arrived aboard the ‘Ocean Lady’ who claimed he was a 33 year old farmer who managed to bribe a Sri Lankan soldier at the camp in which he was housed to obtain fake IDs and escape from the camp, and within three days flew out of Colombo to Malaysia.  There he was introduced to a travel agent to whom he paid $45,000.00 to join the voyage on board the ‘Ocean Lady’ which reached Victoria, BC in October 2009.  On top of the passage of $45,000.00, this farmer had money to bribe a soldier, fly to Malaysia and join the sea journey.  He could not have earned that kind of money by planting onions and chillies or rice paddy on his small plot, not unless he made his money planting land mines for the Tamil Tigers which they did extensively.  Next question is, will the Canadian Refugee Determination Board accept this fairy tale?

 

The long drawn out separatist insurgency fought by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka which was funded mainly by the Canadian Tamil diaspora through extortion and other illicit means was brought to an end by Sri Lanka’s security forces in May 2009 after 32 plus years of terrorist mayhem.  The Tamil civilians who lived in the northern Vanni region were forced to withdraw from their villages and herded across from the west coast to the north east coast over a period of 30 months by the retreating Tigers to form a human shield, but the HR champions, international community and other INGO did not raise a hue and cry or bring any pressure on the LTTE to have them released to places of safety.  It was left to Sri Lanka’s security forces to wade through heavily mined terrain and 12 foot deep ditches before they could breach the 20 foot high earthen bunds to rescue the 300,000 Tamil IDPs held hostage to form a human shield for the badly beaten Tamil Tiger terrorist forces.  

 

The 300,000 Tamil IDPs were provided medical care and housed in welfare camps where they were provided with three meals each day, schooling for children, banking and telecommunication facilities within Sri Lanka’s modest means with some international help and INGO/NGO assistance.  The authorities took nearly six months to screen the people as they needed to identify and separate the Tamil Tiger fighting cadres hiding in their midst to be separately rehabilitated and provided with vocational training before they could be released into the wider community.  Similar task of screening of the asylum seekers is being done by Canadian Border Services in the case of these cargo boat arrivals.   In addition, the Sri Lankan government had to undertake the massive task of clearing over a million land mines spread over 450 square kilometres by the LTTE, repair or re-build homes, restore infrastructure, put livelihood programs in place, provide other material and financial assistance to the IDPs before they could be re-settled under supervision of the UNHCR. 

 

The defeat of the Tamil Tigers ushered in a new dawn of peace with the securing of the right to life of her 20 million citizens who were constantly targeted by the LTTE by means of bus and train bombings, claymore mine detonations, suicide bombings, midnight machete attacks on remote villages, ethnic cleansing and organized violence on land, sea and air.  After just 14 months of the conclusion of the military action against the Tamil Tigers, the UNHCR has reported that almost 90 percent of the Tamil IDPs have been re-settled, whilst the remainder of roughly 25,000 are being similarly settled in batches of about 3,000 each week.  The UNHCR has also reported that those Tamil civilians who sought refuge in neighbouring India to escape from forced recruitment of their children by the Tamil Tigers as Kalashnikov carrying warriors or suicide bombers too are now returning to their villages in Sri Lanka.

 

The alleged claims of persecution by the bogus Tamil asylum seekers made at the prompting of their Canadian sponsors should be checked against the ground situation better known to Canada’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka.  The High Commission office would also confirm that the larger majority of Tamils numbering over 54 percent live in the southern parts midst the Sinhalese, Muslims, Malays and Burghers in peace and amity. Their claims to be granted refuge should be weighed against that of the approximately 26 million refugees living in UNHCR monitored camps around the world who have in many cases remained for 8–10 years or more to be considered for asylum.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mahinda Gunasekera

Honorary President