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Archive for Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tamils seek asylum in Canada

August 14, 2010

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— At sea for three crowded and grueling months, hundreds of Tamil asylum seekers from war-ravaged Sri Lanka sought refuge in Canada on Friday when their rusty, ramshackle cargo ship finally edged just after sunrise into the shelter of a naval port.

Some passengers stood on the deck, shaded by striped lengths of cloth, after the MV Sun Sea pulled in. Paramedics wearing surgical masks tended to them. The arrival of the 490 refugees raised concerns among Canadian officials that the rebel Tamil Tigers, which fought and lost a bloody 25-year war for independence that ended in May 2009, was smuggling people into Canada, home to the largest Tamil community outside Sri Lanka and India.

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