Canada takes hard line on Tamil migrants

VANCOUVER, August 17, 2010 (AFP) - A Canadian tribunal on Tuesday ordered continued detention for the first person interviewed in a group of 492 Tamil asylum seekers that reached Vancouver last week aboard a battered cargo ship. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, citing sovereignty, "significant security concerns" and "increasing" human smuggling for financial gain, said that authorities will screen each of the migrants individually.
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"It's a fundamental exercise of sovereignty and we're responsible for the security of our borders and the ability to welcome people or not welcome people when they come," Harper told reporters.

"We're a land of refuge, but the same time I think that people are concerned when they come not through any normal arrival," he said. "This leads to significant security concerns.
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The Tamil migrants reached Canada Friday after a 90-day journey aboard the MV Sun Sea, a shabby cargo ship. A male migrant died at sea from an undisclosed illness, police said.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews warned that the ship may include members of the Tamil Tigers -- a banned terrorist group -- and told reporters that the passengers paid up to 50,000 Canadian dollars (48,000 US dollars) for the t

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