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Canada's Liberal opposition urges more help for Tamils

Canada's main opposition party has pressed the government to make it easier for Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka to enter the country.

world Updated: Apr 29, 2009 07:39 IST

Canada's main opposition party has pressed the government to make it easier for Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka to enter the country.

Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper "to examine the feasibility of fast-tracking existing visa applications."

Calling for special visa for those wishing to escape the violence and join their immediate family members in Canada, Ignatieff said "the international community has a responsibility to intervene and protect these innocent victims of civil war."

Ignatieff's statement was released as foreign ministers from Britain and France prepared to fly to Sri Lanka in an attempt to halt the army's blistering offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels that has killed thousands of civilians.

After months of heavy fighting, the Tamil Tigers have now been confined to a tiny strip of coastal jungle in the northeast and are said by the military to be down to their last few hundred fighters.