The cargo ship MV Sun Sea, carrying nearly 500 Tamil migrants, has docked at the Canadian naval base at Esquimalt, B.C., under military escort. The ship was met by dozens of border officers and other officials, who donned surgical masks and gloves before boarding the ship, in light of reports there may be passengers with infectious diseases on board. Officials erected large tarps to hide passengers from the media, as four buses and several ambulances waited to transport the ship’s passengers to nearby hospitals and prisons. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews stressed Thursday the migrants are not welcome. Some of the migrants are believed to be members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which has been outlawed in Canada as a terrorist group since 2006. Toews said the migrants would be processed according to their claims and would not be treated as refugees if their claims are invalid.
Ship carrying Tamil migrants docks at B.C. base
Nearly 500 passengers bound for nearby hospitals and prisons
FILED UNDER: Canada