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LTTE got up to $12-mn a year from Canada

Source: PTI
July 23, 2009 14:04 IST
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Prior to its defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan security forces, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam received a whopping up to $12 million annually through its fundraising activities in Canada, home to a large number of Tamils.

'Canada was one of the top sources of funding for Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers rebels, providing up to 12 million (Canadian) dollars a year,' the National Post newspaper reported citing a secret intelligence report.

The large Canadian-Tamil population mostly contributed the funds received by the LTTE, it said.

Classified as 'Secret' and titled 'LTTE Threat to Canada', the intelligence report said the Canadian Tamil community was among the LTTE's largest sources of funds, having contributed up to 10 to 12 million dollars annually in past years.

'A copy of the report was released to the (National) Post under the Access to Information Act and was written last June, during the final months of a decisive Sri Lankan military offensive,' the newspaper said.

Slain LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran's sister Vinothini and her husband Bala Rajendran also reside in Canada.

On whether he approved of the massive protest rallies organised by the LTTE sympathisers in Toronto where he and his family reside, the 67-year-old Rajenderan had told Globe and Mail newspaper recently that 'personally, I don't like these people going and blocking the roads'.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) began investigating Tamil Tigers' fundraising efforts in Canada in 2002 and Police believe the rebels raised money in Toronto and Montreal to finance weapons purchases. But investigators have never suggested the dollar figure was so high, said the Post.

'The LTTE through its many front organisations in other countries, including Canada, has conducted extensive fundraising and other activities to support its efforts in Sri Lanka,' the report said.

The tactics used to collect money were 'often coercive', it said, naming Toronto-based World Tamil Movement (WTM) as LTTE's leading front in Canada. 'As such, the WTM has been instrumental in fundraising in Canada on behalf of the LTTE'.

Police in Ontario and Quebec searched the offices of the WTM in 2006, the newspaper said, adding the government has banned the group under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Attempts are on to seize properties and bank accounts of the WTM by the federal lawyers though the organisation has denied any wrongdoing.

'The intelligence assessment was written by the Ottawa-based Integrated Threat Assessment Centre, which consists of representatives of the lead National Security agency the CSIS, RCMP, Foreign Affairs, the military and other agencies,' the Post said.

A second intelligence report written last year played down the possibility of violence in Canada stemming from the Sri Lankan war, noting that rebel activities in this country were limited to fundraising and propaganda.
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