According to the Toronto Sun
, the 492 smuggled passengers aboard the MV Sun Sea are going through regular medical and identification checks. Detention hearings are also expected to begin on Monday.
The Coalition to Stop the War in Sri Lanka (CSWSL) has announced that it has welcomed the government’s recent move to grant due process to the 492 Tamil refugees. Authorities fear, however, that some of the migrants may be members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or have connections to the group.
“The 492 Tamil refugees who have ended up on our shores by risking everything they possessed by undergoing this treacherous journey for months across the pacific, need the same promise for their endangered lives,” said CSWSL spokesperson, Senthan Nada, in an e-mail to this journalist. “They are no different than most of the citizens, whose ancestors arrived in this land in boats looking for protection and promise.”
Nada further explained that these Tamil refugees are fleeing Sri Lanka because of the government’s policies to “eradicate” all Tamils living on the “island of tears,” which has been noted by many human rights organizations and humanitarian agencies as well non-governmental organizations.
The Toronto spokesperson went on to state that the word compassion is the key term “to emphasize to our fellow Canadians and the government” in regards to the perception and handling of the Tamil migrants ship.
Nada concluded that the Canadian government needs to help those who need it, the country also needs to “send a message” to the people who might take advantage of the Tamils’ circumstances “for their own benefit.”
“The CSWSL believes that the Government of Canada’s action would be practical, balanced and delicate way to deal with the fear mongering that has sensationalized this humanitarian catastrophe out of proportion. This current scenario should not be in anyway be hindrance to anyone who would flee from persecution and murderous regimes, who have no regards to civilized norms.”