Vessel carrying Lankan Tamil refugees heading for Canada

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Vancouver (Canada), July 31 (ANI): A vessel believed to be carrying over 200 suspected Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers could arrive in British Columbia in the next three weeks.

CTV News and the Globe and Mail reported that the vessel, MV Sun Sea, is expected to arrive by August 20.

Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay told CTV news on Friday that the vessel has been on Canada's radar.

"We've been tracking this vessel for some time," he said.

The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed to The Globe and Mail a sighting of the MV Sun Sea last week and that its direction is towards British Columbia.

"We'll have ships in Canadian waters as they approach and then an assessment will be done at this time with information we currently hold and anything we'll be able to garner from direct contact with the vessel," MacKay said.

The ship was seen off the western coast of Guatemala, according to the Asian Tribune on Saturday.

The ship's specifications indicate that it travels at an average speed of 5.7 nautical miles, which is approximately 10.6 kilometres per hour.

Guatemala is about 4,800 kilometers from British Columbia. (ANI)

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