OTTAWA, January 19, 2011 (AFP) – Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews renewed calls Wednesday for tougher measures to curb human smuggling, amid reports the defeated Tamil rebels are regrouping in his country. Toews said “new information” suggests that “syndicated criminal networks are organizing migrant smuggling ventures potentially destined for Canada.”
Without elaborating, he said “action is needed now… before further boats turn up on Canadian shores.”
The Ottawa Citizen, citing unnamed security intelligence sources, reported that exiled rebel leaders from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were re-establishing their violent Sri Lankan separatist movement in Canada.
“We don’t know how far advanced it is, but their intent is pretty clear — to set up a base-in-exile here for the leadership. Some leadership is already here,” a government official was quoted as saying.
The newspaper also said intelligence sources warned that two ships may be launched from Asian ports carrying as many as 50 former Tamil Tiger rebel leaders and fighters headed for Canada’s west coast.
Canadian border officials detained 492 Tamils who arrived in August aboard the rickety cargo ship MV Sun Sea. Anothe