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Tamil migrant deported over video

31 May 2011 03:30 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Immigration and Refugee Board on Monday ordered the deportation of another Tamil migrant from the MV Sun Sea, after finding that his activities in Sri Lanka — including an appearance in a Tamil Tiger propaganda video — constituted membership in a terrorist organization.

This is the fourth migrant from the Sun Sea to be ordered deported on such grounds since the ship carrying almost 500 asylum-seekers arrived on the West Coast last August.

In a written decision, IRB adjudicator Geoff Rempel acknowledged that the migrant was never a formal member of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and never participated directly in the group's armed struggle.

However, Rempel found that the man was "more than a mere sympathizer and that his contributions to the LTTE were much more than minimal or marginal."

He cited the man's participation in a fictional movie portraying an attack on Sri Lankan army forces. The movie also showed LTTE fighters training and engaging in hand-to-hand combat.

The migrant's lawyer, Shepherd Moss, had argued that the movie could have been mere entertainment, perhaps even a spoof.

Rempel disagreed.

"I have been presented with no evidence that the movie was made to generate box office profits, unlike the Hollywood films of John Wayne and Tom Cruise," he wrote. "I accept the minister (of public safety's) view that the movie was LTTE propaganda, made to support their war aims."

The LTTE engaged in a lengthy struggle for independence against the Sri Lankan forces. The civil war ended in 2009 with the Tigers' defeat.

In his decision, Rempel found that the man's work as a karate instructor provided further support to the LTTE's war effort.

"His high-profile involvement with the LTTE went far beyond the civilian-LTTE interactions that may have been unavoidable in LTTE-controlled territories," Rempel concluded.

The migrant, who is not currently in custody, did not show any emotion when informed of the decision Monday.

Anyone who is ordered deported has options to appeal, including applying to the Federal Court for a judicial review of the decision, said IRB spokeswoman Melissa Anderson.

A publication ban prevents the media from identifying the migrant.

The IRB adjudicator redacted portions of his written decision because he felt that some details might serve to identify the migrant.

Fifteen migrants from the Sun Sea remain in detention. (montrealgazette)
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