TORONTO, March 7, 2011 (AFP) – A Tamil asylum seeker accused of extremist links for living in a former rebel-controlled area of Sri Lanka is not a threat to Canada, a tribunal ruled Monday. “The man’s work for the LTTE — Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam designated as a terrorist organization by Canada — was not in support of its terrorist activities,” the Immigration and Refugee Board said in a written decision.
“In the context of the LTTE’s hegemony in the area, everyone in some way provided material support for the organization, from paying a bus fare or selling a soft drink to a soldier, teaching children in an LTTE-created school, or… fixing motorbikes or public bus engines.”
The man, whose identity cannot be revealed under Canadian law, was also ordered released from detention while awaiting a decision on his refugee claim.
Known only as passenger B173 for the proceedings, he came to Canada last year aboard the rickety cargo ship MV Sun Sea as one of 492 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka. Most were detained.
Another 76 were arrested in 2009 upon arrival to Canada’s west coast aboard a second freighter. Canada and Sri Lanka alleged the migrants may have included membe