Lankan Tamils still under Canadian detention due to documents mix-up

Toronto, Aug 19 (ANI): Sri Lankan Tamil migrants, who arrived from the MV Sun Sea in British Columbia last week, are still in detention as their identities are not yet confirmed and they will have to wait until Canadian immigration authorities sift through the documents and belongings inside two U-Haul trucks.

After seizing their belongings, authorities failed to keep records linking documents to individual migrants, The Globe and Mail reports.

When the 492 migrants disembarked, their identification documents and belongings were stored inside the two U-Hauls, but no record was made connecting the documents with their particular owners.

"The process is under way to match the documents with the individuals," said lawyer Naima Karimullah, who represents the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Lawyers for some of the migrants are complaining, saying that the matching process is creating an unnecessary delay in confirming identities, and is all the more objectionable since the CBSA did the same thing with documents belonging to a shipload of Tamil migrants that arrived off the B.C. coast last fall, The Globe and Mail reports.

"I am concerned that [CBSA] have, as they did previously, put all of the documents together rather than matching them to the [claimants]," said Daniel McLeod, a lawyer for some of the men.

The CBSA said it has matched all of the women to their documents, although they have yet to verify their authenticity.

Earlier, Tamil groups in Canada has asked Canada not to trust information from Sri Lankan officials, saying that the country has been criticized for its human-rights record and is not serving the interests of its Tamil minority. (ANI)

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