Ottawa is concerned about who is on a Canada-bound ship that may be carrying Tamil Tigers, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said yesterday.

The government is monitoring a Thai cargo ship that is reported to be carrying about 200 Sri Lankans, including members of the Tamil Tigers, to Canada’s west coast, Toews said.

He said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam — a banned terrorist organization in Canada — are behind operations that smuggle people into Canada, but would not comment on specifics of what the government is doing about the situation.

“I can assure you that we are concerned about who is on that ship and why they might be coming to Canada,” he said after a luncheon speech.

A Sri Lankan newspaper reported last month that the MV Sun Sea was heading to British Columbia with 200 migrants on board, including members of the Tamil Tigers, the military arm of the Tamil separatist movement.

While the government is committed to protecting genuine refugees, Toews said it will thwart those who try to abuse Canada’s immigration policies.