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Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News January 28, 2011 online edition

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News January 28, 2011 online edition

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Published by mapleridgenews
complete January 28, 2011 issue of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Newspaper as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, see www.mapleridgenews.com
complete January 28, 2011 issue of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Newspaper as it appeared in print. For more online, all the time, see www.mapleridgenews.com

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01/31/2011

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A 125-room hotel along the HaneyBypass could open up new tourismopportunities for Maple Ridge andbecome a catalyst for developmentin the Port Haney area.The proposed hotel cleared itsfirst hurdle Tuesday night as MapleRidge council voted unanimously toapprove the first reading of its re-zoning application.The site for the hotel is currentlya collection of eight residential prop-erties, sitting largely derelict at theintersection of Callaghan Avenueand the foot of 224th Street. In it’splace, local developer Multi-WellDevelopment plans to build 30,000square feet of commercial space, anupscale Asian restaurant, with 125hotel rooms on top.
Waiting game now for killer cougar
.
p
5
Health Care
The plain truth,vaccines save lives.
 
p
6
D
on Watson and his wifehave lived on the cornerof Selkirk and 227th forclose to 20 years, and have seenthe neighbourhood deterioratearound them.He’s had his workshop brokeninto more times than he caresto remember. He doesn’t evenbother phoning the police any-more. He just cleans up the messand makes sure not to leave any-thing valuable in there.“It used to be all right downhere,” Watson says. “My daugh-ter used to live on this street,my son, too.”But that was years go. Theyleft before the addicts andcriminals moved in and took thearea over, a steady decline thatworsened over the past 10 years,he says.Most of the aging war homeson the block now sport a tou-pee of moss upon their saggingroofs. The picket fences havebeen kicked over, the lawnsare largely overgrown, garbagebags are used as window hang-ings, and what little paint is leftis faded and peeling.Ridge Meadows RCMP arrest-ed 12 people and seized a cacheof crack cocaine, crystal meth-amphetamine and other illegaldrugs from one of the houses onSelkirk Avenue just two monthsago.Soon that house, and everyother house on that block, willall be gone.Tuesday night, Maple RidgeMayor Ernie Daykin formallyannounced that the District of Maple Ridge has purchased 14properties between Haney Placeand Valley Fair malls – includ-ing the one Watson rents – for$3.7 million, with the hopes thearea will be developed into ahigh-density, modern residen-tial and commercial district.But first the district has to clear,then sell the three-acre property.
Problem area has alot of potential: Gill
THE NEWS
District moving residents out
Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS
Main man
Malcolm Williams has some unfinished basketball business to take care of before leaving Pitt Meadows secondary for the University of B.C.
See story,
p45
Hotel on224th St.movingforward
See
Hotel
, p
10
See
 
Downtown
, p
18
Friday, January 28, 2011 · Serving Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows · est. 1978 · 604-467-1122 · 50¢
www.mapleridgenews.com
Gardening
High time to prune fowering shrubs.
p
23
Opinion
6
Health Care
6
Parenting
17
Acts of Faith
22
Home&gardening
23
Community Calendar
42
Scoreboard
46
Index
A
family who fled from Sri Lankato Canada on a ship called the
  MV Sun Sea
puts a face to thosebehind the figures
.
See p3
by
Robert Mangelsdorf 
 sta reporter 
by
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www.mapleridgenews.com -
THE NEWS
-- Friday, January 28, 2011 --
3
T
hivia’s mother-in-law was killed whilesteeping a cup of tea.She had climbed out of theirunderground bunker when thesky was quiet, sneaking intothe kitchen above to make astrong Sri Lankan brew.
There wasn’t much the family below coulddo when they heard planes rumbling above.The bomb crashed through the roof. Thiviafound her mother-in-law lying in blood, notyet dead, a hole in her side.Stoic, unflinching, the young mothershrugs.Her mother-in-law was buried near thepaddy fields they farmed under the coconuttrees that shaded her home and village in theVanni. There was no time to cremate her ac-cording to Hindu traditions.During the last five months of their 30-yearcivil war, Sri Lankan government and securi-ty forces encouraged hundreds of thousandsof civilians to move into ever smaller govern-ment-declared No Fire Zones in the country’snorth, then subjected them to repeated andincreasingly intense artillery, mortar bar-rages and other fire.And it isn’t just the government who is ac-cused of violating international humanitarianlaw, says the International Crisis Group.The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,fighting to create an independent state in thenorth of the island country, were responsiblefor killing, wounding or endangering civil-ians, by shooting them and preventing themfrom leaving the conflict zone even when in- jured and dying.The International Crisis Group believesthat tens of thousands of non-combatantTamil men, women, children and the elderlywere killed in the final five months of the war– from January to May 2009.The United Nations is more conservativewith their estimates and figures the conflicthad killed between 80,000-100,000 people sinceit erupted into a full-scale civil war in 1983– including unofficial and unverified talliesshowing 7,000 civilian deaths since January2009.Thivia’s husband Kapilan buried his friend,split in three by a bomb, on a sandy beach. Hewatched the friend’s young son cover his fa-ther with palm fronds to shield the body fromthe sun.It was then he made the decision to leave,flee far from all that was familiar, find peace.The bombing may have ended, but sur-rounded by the army, Kapilan says, his fam-ily did not feel safe. As a Tamil, he admits, hewas protected when the Tigers ran Vanni.Before the family left, they dug a hole be-hind their home where they hid their photo-graphs.Thivia and their two children arrived inBangkok in October 2009 carrying all the gold jewelry she owned - her wedding ring, fam-ily heirlooms, keepsakes from childhood. Shenever told her mother she was leaving.Kapilan joined her a 18 days later, after brib-ing officials at the airport in Columbo whopulled him aside before he could board theplane with his family.In Thailand, where they spent six monthson a tourist visa, the family sold their goldfor passage on
MV Sun Sea
– four places for$15,000, a sum collected thanks to the highprice of gold.“I wanted to be safe,” he says, through atranslator.“I wanted freedom.”•••••The rusty 59-metre 767 ton cargo ship tookthree months to reach Victoria.The Sun Sea was well-stocked, captainedby a man the passengers had nominated toguide the ship. The man had worked as a sec-ond-mate on an Eritrean cargo ship, he couldread navigation charts and assured them - hewould get them safely to Canada.Kapilan calls him “a hero.”Their daily ration on the ship included alitre of drinking water, dried fish and rice forlunch and porridge for dinner.When the sea was calm, Thivia and the chil-dren would stroll the decks. Everyone wouldmove below deck when the skies turned greyand waves whipped around them. Passengerswere often sea-sick.Below deck, Thivia kept track of the days.She figured the ship must be close to Canadawhen rations began to run low.On Aug. 12, the
MV Sun Sea
was interceptedby the Canadian Navy.Thivia says everyone ran to the deck andcheered when they saw the Maple Leaf.The ship was escorted into CFB Esquimaltthe next morning, a total of 492 people onboard.All have claimed refugee status.To date, 307 of the
MV Sun Sea
passengershave been released, including Thivia andKapilan, who each spent time in provincialprisons while the Canadian Border ServicesAgency tried to determine their identitiesand whether they were human smugglers orformer Tamil Tiger rebels.Of 136 who remain detained, 124 are menwho are housed in Fraser Regional Correc-tional Centre and 12 are women who are beingheld inside the Alouette Correctional Centrefor Women, two prisons in Maple Ridge.“The CBSA continues to exercise due dili-gence in the screening of all irregular mi-grants for both security and criminal threats,”said spokesperson Shakila Manzoor.“The CBSA is committed to working withits partners to maintain the integrity of Can-ada’s immigration system and will exercisedue diligence in processing these individualsaccording to Canadian law. The safety andsecurity of Canadians remains the CBSA’spriority.”Thus far, 15 of the men have been referredto the Immigration and Refugee Board for ad-missibility hearingsMelissa Anderson, a spokesperson for therefugee board, said 14 of the 15 men are ac-cused of being a member of a terrorist orga-nization.The border agency also alleges two of the 14took part in human smuggling, while anotheris being accused of war crimes.•••••The arrival of the
MV Sun Sea
and an ear-lier ship in 2009 that also carried Tamils trig-gered a sharp response from the federal gov-ernment, which promised to crack down onhuman smuggling and illegal migration.As a result, last fall the Conservative gov-ernment introduced Bill C-49 to toughenrules. Those include mandatory jail terms forthose involved in human smuggling, deten-tion for up to year while their status is beingdetermined and making those who arrive bya smuggling operation wait five years beforethey can apply for permanent residency inCanada.
Out of the line of fire
Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS
Surrounded by the army in Sri Lanka, Kapilan and his family did not feel safe.Story by
 
Monisha Martins
See
Tamil
, p
4
 As the federal government looks to tough-en rules on human smuggling and illegalmigration, a family who fled from SriLanka to Canada on a ship called the MV Sun Sea puts a face on those behind the figures. Their names have been changedto protect their identities.
“The CBSA is committed to workingwith its partners to maintain theintegrity of Canada’s immigrationsystem and will exercise due diligencein processing these individualsaccording to Canadian law.
 
Shakila Manzoor, CBSA
Juanita Savegeis Celebrating her90
th
Birthday
DROP IN!OPEN HOUSE
Sunday, January 30th, 2011
1 pm to 4 pm
E.C.R.A. Centre -
12150 - 224th Street
oa
Happy 
y 
Birthday
ihy

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