Toronto/Colombo, Aug.17 (ANI): Sri Lanka has reportedly urged Canada to share more of its intelligence on human smuggling operation with ties to the Tamil Tigers.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Canada Chitranganee Wagiswara was quoted by the Globe and Mail as saying in an interview on Monday that there have been "unofficial discussions" with Canadian authorities in recent weeks on the subject, but that more could be done between the two countries.
"There is no deal at the moment. I think exchange of information and intelligence is the key," ," Ms. Wagiswara added.
Canadian officials refused to respond publicly to the Sri Lankan proposal, although Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has said in recent days that the only way to prevent ships from coming to Canada is to stop them before they leave foreign ports.
"Discussions we might or might not be having with Sri Lanka on the issue are privileged, and as such, details about the issue are not something we would make public," said Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Laura Markle.
Tamil groups in Canada responded that Ottawa cannot trust information from Sri Lankan officials, saying the country has been criticized for its human-rights record and is not serving the interests of its Tamil minority.
Ottawa is processing some 500 Tamil refugee claimants who arrived in British Columbia last week, and has raised the possibility that other boats on their way.
Federal officials have discussed changing laws or obtaining greater co-operation from Asian countries to stop the human smugglers, but have said they will not prevent ships from entering Canadian waters for safety reasons. (ANI)