Canadian Tiger pleads guilty

12 May 2010 01:26 am - 23     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


A fundraiser for the LTTE pleaded guilty in Canada in the first case to be prosecuted under Canada's terrorism financing laws. Prapaharan Thambithurai "pleaded guilty to providing financial services, knowing that they will benefit a terrorist group, namely the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)," Nathalie Houle, of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, told AFP.

The Tamil Tigers, outlawed in Sri Lanka, battled with the Sri Lankan government for three decades until they were crushed in 2009.

Police arrested Thambithurai, 46, in this Pacific coast metropolis in early 2008. He was released on bail days later.

Sentencing is scheduled for Friday, with the maximum penalty 10 years in prison.

In court on Tuesday the prosecutor recommended a two-year jail term, while defense lawyer Kathleen Bradley asked for a three-year conditional sentence.

Fund-raising for the LTTE's cause was banned under terrorism laws in many countries, and they have been successfully prosecuted for 27 years in Italy, Germany, France and Australia for collecting a "war tax" from expatriates, said terrorism expert John Thompson of the Mackenzie Institute.

"It just took Canada a long time," Thompson said.

Canada revise legislation against fund-raising for terrorists only after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, Thompson told AFP, "and then it wasn't illegal until the Tamil Tigers got placed on the terrorism list in 2006."

He said LTTE supporters "asked" most families of Tamil heritage in Canada for money, ranging from 30 dollars to 2,000 dollars per month. "The coercement was often quite subtle ... three big people on your front step, with your children home," he said.

"There were other people who tried to get away from the system, and they?d get a letter from their parents back home saying, 'for God's sake, pay,'" Thompson said. (AFP)

  Comments - 23

  • Wednesday, 12 May 2010 09:39 AM

    Just the "Tip of the Iceburg"!

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 10:00 AM

    The sinhalese and muslims were ejected by the LTTE from Jaffna on their agenda and ulterior purpose, that is why we call them terrorists. What do you call the ordinary sinhalese who were butchering innocent tamils in Colombo in 1983?

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 04:50 AM

    Its great to hear that these twisted folks are being prosecuted. But fund raising for the LTTE also occurred here. Have any of the big time fund raisers been prosecuted in SL ? Similarly, when the TNA was banned in the US, they were operating freely in SL. We cannot expect western countries to do all our work. After all this problem was caused because the sinhalese did not treat minorities with respect.

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 05:47 AM

    I think you from Colombo land.. Thats the problem here Mr. Senior Citizen!

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 05:59 AM


    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 06:51 AM

    No one who supports the LTTE can escape from the international stretergy of the sri lankan government.

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 07:05 AM

    Some of this illeagal money also was (and is) used to line the pockets of any influential person - mainly political who are prepared to take up the LTTE cause. They need to be investigated as well for receiving money from a terrorist organisation.

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 07:07 AM

    I think you can remember why this Tiger crap started in the first place? because of the racial politics of SWRD / JR and the following Sinhalese chauvinists for their personal profits. I remember the pictures of 1983 program in the south. And still the present politicians want to have a Sinhala buddhist Sri Lanka.

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 07:19 AM

    While the LTTE were trained killers and terrorists and did exactly what they are trained and were abhored for that fact, it is pertinent to understand that the 1983 riots where thousands of innocent tamils were butchered by ordinary sinhalese such as neighbours, school boys, fishermen etc...they were not trained killers but simply liked killing tamils. I hope Karu, you will understand better of what you are talking.

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 07:27 AM

    Other wise you want to have a tamil terrorist organisation to rule the country?

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 07:29 AM

    No it is the few maniacs led by Prabhakaran who seeded terrorims in the minds of poor tamils. Where in the world would you give 33% of land to 12% of the population. Maniacs!

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 07:31 AM

    There were many tamils living among sinhalese during terrorism, but could a Single sinhalese have lived in Jaffna???? not even a muslim was spared!

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 02:04 AM

    The diaspora were a brainwashed lot before the demise of the big man. Now it is only a handful who are shouting, but the movement has lost their grip on a majority of them.

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 02:42 AM

    Dear Mr. Thompson,

    Could you please tell us what your views are on state terrorism and systematic ........................

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 03:04 AM

    It's good to see that the truth has finally dawned to the Canadians.

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 03:06 AM

    If he's given 3 years conditional sentence, he will go on continuing illegal activities. Put the terrorist in the cage.

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 03:25 AM

    He should be sentenced for life not for just two years for being a terrorist. They collected money from all poor tamils who had no option but to give money to these terrorists. Ultimately there were only financial beneficiaries. There was no war or cause they could win.

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 03:57 AM

    Truth does not have to dawn for the legal system to work in Canada, as it works transparently and independently unlike the banana republic called Sri Lanka.

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 03:57 AM

    It's good, Canada will follow the Australian verdict and you will be released.

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 04:11 AM

    It is of course insult to species call "Tiger" if one call these guys tigers! Can't this Tamil become human before becoming Tamil or anything else? I am bewildered about this race with such ego and ultra-nationalistic values and putting the word "Human" into such a disgraceful position. This is since Hitler, that coined the word so-called "Super Race" come back in another form I suppose! whereever they go - do they want to live separately and keep their racism to go unbounded, over flowing against all the human values?

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 04:14 AM

    He should be given 5 year jail term with no parole. Canadian justice system is not dumb as the Australian one to release terror financiers go free...

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 04:19 AM

    There was never state terrorism in Sri Lanka! USA did state terrorism in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Panama etc!

    Wednesday, 12 May 2010 04:29 AM

    Where are you from - cuckooland ? Some are so blind to see a problem within two inches when they think Govt can do no wrong.

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