Knowing how much the Harper government likes making new friends I'm sure the 490 newly arrived Tamil refugees will be treated with the utmost curtesy.(On behalf of the staff at New Media and Politics Canada welcome to Canada, but don't believe the hype, it ain't all that anymore.) They left war torn Sri-Lanka and mad the voyage across the Indian and Pacific oceans in much less than cruise ship conditions.
The cargo ship was boarded Thursday evening as it was being led to a naval base on Canada's west coast. In true conservative warmth they were welcomed with threats of being made pawns in a battle against human smugglers. FYI if you plan on fleeing for your life make sure you fill out the proper paper work first.
Public safety Minister Vic Toews seemed more concerned with the precedent the arrival of the boat could make. Starting a flood of boat people invading our shores, stealing our partners and drinking our wine. "Human smugglers and human traffickers are now watching Canada's response to judge whether or not they can continue to take advantage of us," Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said in a statement. By take advantage of he really means wether we'll kick their asses back to Sri-Lanka where they most likely would be receive some kind of ill treatment.
Peter Showler who heads the Refugee Forum at the University of Ottawa's Law School criticized officials for focusing on whether the ship was being operated by human smugglers instead of considering whether the passengers might be legitimate refugee claimants trying to escape persecution.
As if the Omar Khadr military tribunal needed any more drama his lawyer Lt-Col Jon Jackson collapsed in court on Thursday. During questioning of a witness Mr. Jackson requested a recess after feeling ill and then passed out. It took about a minute for him to be revived and afterwards he was taken to hospital. At the time of the incident Mr. Jackson was arguing that Omar Khadr did not throw the grenade and was only there because of pressure from his father."He was there because Ahmed Khadr hated his enemies more than he loved his son," said Col Jackson adding, "he only confessed to the crime after being threatened with rape and murder during his interrogation. Unlike a trial a military tribunal can accept evidence that was gathered by mean of coercion. Because of the health issue of Omar Khadr's lawyer the proceedings were halted until Monday.
|Omar Khadr at his military tribunal|
An Il-Fated Plan Of Attack
Meanwhile in Afghanistan the Afghan army tried to run before they could walk and started an ambitious strike against the Taliban without the aid of the Nato forces. On August 3rd a force of 300 soldiers began the operation against the Taliban in Kunar province. According to a Afghan Ministry of Defence the plan was betrayed and the Taliban was able to ambush the Afghan army. In the insuing confusing army commoners lost contact with the battalion. The Taliban was able to inflict heavy damage before Nato forces could aid the besieged Afghans.