MV Sun Sea passenger loses refugee status

Tuesday, 22 January 2013 - 13:13


The Federal Court of Canada has overturned the refugee status granted to a passenger aboard a smuggling ship linked to Tamil rebels, just as the refugee board extended protection on the same grounds to a Tamil passenger of a second smuggling ship, highlighting the difficulty in handling the two highly publicized mass arrivals.

The overturned decision involves one of 492 Sri Lankan Tamil migrants who arrived aboard the MV Sun Sea in 2010; the newly granted asylum decision involves one of the 76 aboard the MV Ocean Lady in 2009.

In both, the men had been accepted as refugees under claims that publicity connecting the ships to the LTTE placed all passengers at risk in their homeland by mere association.

The court’s rejection of the claim could impact other cases still pending.