Canada monitoring second shipload of Sri Lankan migrants to country

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Ottawa, Oct 18 (ANI): The Canadian government is reportedly monitoring a second ship full of Sri Lankan migrants preparing to head towards the country, and has stepped up its co-operation with other countries against human smugglers.

According to the Globe and Mail, federal officials have claimed of having evidence that smugglers in southern Asia are preparing to send another boatload of migrants to Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has vowed to introduce new legislation aimed at cracking down on human smuggling by increasing the deterrence.

The new legislation and regulations, which are expected to be introduced as early as this week, might include changes to immigration laws that would make it more difficult for groups of people who arrive together to claim refugee status.

The paper quoted government officials, as saying that Canada has also increased its overseas enforcement effort, and is working with governments in Thailand and other countries where human smugglers are operating.

Last week, Thailand had arrested 155 Sri Lankan migrants under its immigration laws.

"While we will not comment on specific operational practices, stronger co-operation with authorities in transit countries such as Thailand is part of the government of Canada's overall strategy to prevent human smugglers from abusing Canada's immigration system," an official said.

Earlier this year, a ship carrying 492 Tamil migrants arrived in Columbia. Federal officials had said that time that some of the passengers had connections to the Tamil Tigers, which is listed as a terrorist organization in Canada. (ANI)

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