Human trafficking and smuggling of people have been major problems for countries like Canada and Australia. Over the years, more than hundred boats carrying Sri Lankan asylum seekers enter Australia. Canada has also been alarmed with the arrival of two ships boasting illegal migrants that entered the country last year. Apart from Australia and Canada, one more country is worried about this very issue, which is Thailand.
Of late, Thailand and Canada have joined hands to work on the issues. Recently, Thai police arrested about thirty Sri Lankan Tamils in the country’s port town Songkhla, and the intelligence believe that the people were supposed to board ship to enter Canada illegally. The Thai police arrested them on the ground of overstaying their visas, which indicates breaching of the country’s immigration laws. After taking them into custody, the law breakers were brought to the immigration detention center in Bangkok, where they await deportation.
Even though, their intention to enter Canada through ship is speculated by the intelligence, it seems to be the truth! Because, people from Sri Lanka generally visit Thailand on tourist visa and their visits are mostly extended to 2 months and the port town of Songkhla is definitely not a favorite among the Sri Lankan tourists. In fact, the town is one of the rarely visited destinations in Thailand. The presence of the later arrested Sri Lankans in the town surely indicates some wrong intentions.
From this, it can be said that 2 ships loaded with almost 550 illegal migrants that arrived Canada last year used Thailand as their transit to the North American country. Canada already boasts the largest community of Sri Lankan Tamils, outside Sri Lanka. Tamils first entered the country after the anti-Tamil riots of 1983, but it has paved the way for many illegal entrants.
The Canadian Immigration minister made it clear that it will always welcome genuine asylum seekers and we can see the country helped many qualified entrants in getting settled inside its boundaries. As for the illegal migrants, Canada will work with Thailand on their common interests- human trafficking and people smuggling!