Tamil Men, Women and Children Seeking Refugee Status from Sri Lanka

August 20, 2010

Here is an interview with Marvin Huberman, August 20, 2010, where he offers his insights on this news story (clink for the audio interview).

Please note the following interview questions:

In a recent interview, Stephen Harper commented on the last week’s arrival of the MV Sun Sea–a Thai cargo ship that carried hundreds of Tamil men, women and children seeking refugee status from Sri Lanka, where a civil war ended last year.  “Let me be clear: We are a land of refuge, but at the same time I think Canadians are pretty concerned when a whole boat of people comes — not through any normal application process, not through any normal arrival channel — and just simply lands. We will not hesitate to strengthen the laws if we have to because ultimately, as a government and as a fundamental exercise of our sovereignty, we are responsible for the security of our borders.”  

Marvin:

1. Can you comment on Steven Harper’s statement from the perspective of transportation law in general?

2. Does the Canadian government have recourse in dealing with the company that owns the Thai cargo ship and others that might follow?

 3. The Canadian government has to balance humanitarianism with issues of sovereignty and national security. From your work in alternate dispute resolution can you provide insight as to how to balance two strong and conflicting issues in a case in a dispute?

 4. How should a company that has a dispute with another firm balance its own conflicting issues or internally competing views to come to a fair resolution with that other company?

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