Footage shows Aussie Tigers

1 April 2010 11:29 am - 24     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Australian police have seized dramatic footage and images of gun-wielding Melbourne-based terrorist cell supporters who allegedly took money from Victorians under the guise of raising cash for humanitarian aid.

Victorian Tamil Tiger terrorist cell supporter Aruran Vinayagamoorthy is pictured proudly wearing a Tamil Tiger uniform and brandishing an automatic military assault rifle.

It is just one of many images seized by police during raids on the suburban Melbourne homes of courier Vinayagamoorthy, Tamil community newspaper editor Sivarajah Yathavan and Sydney accountant Arumugan Rajeevan.

Crown Prosecutor Mark Dean, SC, said the men formed the leadership group of the Australian arm of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers and Supreme Court judge Paul Coghlan said he accepted they did.

The men had regular meetings with Melbourne-based but now dead Thillai Jeyakumar, who bragged on video tapes seized by police about being the leader of the Australian branch of Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Mr Dean said an Australian-based charity run by the men was used as a cover to collect and send money to the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

Police seized video footage during raids in 2005 of Rajeevan and Yathavan, a married father of two from Vermont South, firing a machinegun on board a Tamil Tiger gunboat in Sri Lanka and visiting one of the group's terrorist training camps.

The Herald Sun has also obtained photographs of Vinayagamoorthy and Rajeevan posing with world Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Vinayagamoorthy, 35, of Mount Waverley, Yathavan, 39, and Rajeevan, 44, have each pleaded guilty to providing more than $1 million to the LTTE and Vinayagamoorthy also admitted providing the LTTE with electronic devices, at least one of which was used to make and detonate a bomb used in a terrorist attack.

Justice Coghlan sentenced all three to be jailed for a year for providing more than $1 million to the LTTE and jailed Vinayagamoorthy for 18 months for providing the electronic devices.

But he then released all three on $1000 good-behaviour bonds. In Yathavan and Rajeevan's cases, for three years, and in Vinayagamoorthy's case for four years.

Family and friends hugged the men as they left court and Rajeevan said: "Tamils in Sri Lanka can't expect justice from the Sri Lankan Government but today we have received justice from the Australian justice system."

The court was told the three accused used their Tamil Co-ordinating Committee - an Australian charity that claimed to be distributing donations as humanitarian aid to Tamils in Sri Lanka - as a cover to collect and send money and equipment to the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

Hundreds of Australian-based Tamils were persuaded to contribute monthly direct-debit payments to the TCC and it also used charity tins to collect money from Victorians on roadsides and in shopping centres.

"TCC are the Tigers and the Tigers are TCC," Vinayagamoorthy was recorded telling an associate.

Documents seized by police in Melbourne revealed LTTE leaders in Sri Lanka told their Australian supporters "all funds raised will be used only for strengthening the troops of the movement".

LTTE leaders in Sri Lanka thought so highly of Rajeevan and Yathavan that they granted the Australians access to one of their terrorist training camps in 2003.

Police in Australia later seized footage taken at the camp of Rajeevan and Yathavan watching male and female LTTE members demonstrating their prowess with mortars and other weapons and of Yathavan firing a large calibre gun.

Yathavan admitted to police that senior LTTE member Balasegaram Kandiah gave a speech after their training camp demonstration - which took place during a shaky ceasefire agreement between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government - in which he told them they had visited special places and that they should now go back to Australia to raise money for the LTTE cause.

Vinayagamoorthy, Rajeevan and Yathavan each admitted supporting the LTTE but denied being LTTE members and claimed the $1.9 million they helped collect in Australia between August 2001 and November 2005 was for humanitarian purposes in Sri Lanka - a claim disputed by the prosecution. 

Justice Coghlan yesterday said he accepted all three men knew of the LTTE's reputation as a terrorist organisation but also accepted they didn't consider it to be one.

"But in sending funds to the LTTE they took the risk that the funds were being used inappropriately," he said.

"There is ample material from which it can be concluded that the accused knew of the military activities of the LTTE and of the military preparedness even during the period of ceasefire."

Justice Coghlan told the men: "I would not go so far as saying that your aims were entirely humanitarian. But I do accept that they were not purposely to assist terrorist activity."

The LTTE was formed in the 1970s and spent three decades in a bloody civil war before the Sri Lankan Government claimed victory in May last year.

LTTE supporters claim it wasn't a terrorist organisation but a legitimate separatist group that wanted a separate Tamil homeland in the north and east of Sri Lanka. (Herald Sun)

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  Comments - 24

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  • Friday, 02 April 2010 06:39 AM

    What about the aboriginies?

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 11:49 AM

    Look who is talking about justice..i still remember these lunatics chased my family from
    jaffna in 1992, where was the justice then??? aussie beware these so called freedom fighters someday will chase you out of that island!!!!!

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 11:55 AM

    Good for Aussies and keep them there for ever since they share the common gene pool coming from the same hoodlum heritage.

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 11:56 AM

    Justice Coghlan is an absolute disgrace to the Judiciary in Australia. I wonder if he would have let off the Muslim Alqeada fund raisers off with just a suspended sentences. I think not somehow.

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 12:16 PM

    We need to do demonstration outside Aussie embassy in Colombo.

    Friday, 02 April 2010 07:07 AM

    You see now the world what's going on.

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 12:31 PM

    see how sympathetic Australia toward ruthless terrorists...bcoz they think this is not any harm to them..I hope one day this will boomarage to them for their double standard mean policies

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 12:31 PM

    Justice Coghlan told the men: "I would not go so far as saying that your aims were entirely humanitarian. But I do accept that they were not purposely to assist terrorist activity." This guy Coghlan must be in their pay or else he must be the dumbest judge in Australia. Shame on you, Coghlan.

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 12:35 PM

    Maybe all Police organizations should investigate INGOs who brand themselves under "humanitarian workers". Im sure they will find more information than these Kangaroo Tigers!

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 12:35 PM

    It seems to me the judges do what the upper hand tells them to do. When it comes to justice it s just a word to make one happy. These murderers have been doing these type of activities for many many years in front of so called fight against terror western countries. I wonder if it was Al - Qaida supporters who did those terrorist activities. These judges and politicians don't give a damn about Sri Lanka . We must ban importing anything from these western countries n hang whoever help these cowards who keep helping n planning to destroy our little great nation.

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 12:36 PM

    He looks well fed; Kangaroo meat and Budweiser no doubt. Keep him in the Zoo! His kind will soon be extinct!

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 12:54 PM

    Leave these innocent men alone! Be mindful of their human rights!

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 01:25 PM

    justice coghlan playing GOD because it is the lent period? how can the aussie justice system be dragged so foolishly into the mire of terrorism. if cooghlan experienced the brutality of the LTTE towards the sinhalese and their own tamil race he would be singing a different song. some day, because of such encouragement, these so called innocent terrorists seeking asylum will turn on their saviours.
    Sri Lankans have suffered 30 years of brutal terrorism & they have the gall to tell oz that they did it for humanitarian causes.

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 02:22 PM

    This such a mockery of the justice system.

    I hope Australian citizens come to face a similar situation as we did in Sri Lanka, with bombs going off where civilians frequented etc., and then we arrest a rep who sought funds here for 'humanitarian purposes' but supplied cash for arms and other war like items to the terrorist back in Aussie.

    Then slap them on the wrist and ask them to pay Rs. 1000 and tell them to be good boys for another three years and release them. Just because they said they weren't members of a terrorist group even though they boasted that they were the local arm of the militant Aussie terrorists.

    Brilliant I say.

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 04:15 PM

    What a 'cute kitty'! Aussies just love 'kitties.' Feed him till he bites your head off!

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 06:20 PM

    'Liberation Kangaroos of Tamil Eelam' - LKTE!

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 09:24 PM

    This, certainly, is a sulking of a prosecutor who could not convince a court that those accused were guilty. The terrorism charges against these men were dropped long ago! The Judge had nothing to do with anyhting on 'terror' charges. However, the Judge did go on to say that it is 'beggar's belief' to admit the testimony of Sarath Fonseka, who is a 'war criminal,' even in the view of his own President!

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 10:18 PM

    The Ausi justice system is very fair and balanced! I am a Sinhala Buddhist ... and was in the Military too ... nobody can lie to me.

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 10:29 PM

    This judgment, by a "REAL" democratic country, is a slap in the face of the GOSL. ... It's high time for the GOSL to become civilised and treat its citizens in a humane way ...

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 10:49 PM

    It is very unfortunate, for Sinhalese, that a great General who fought against the LTTE remains inside a 'jail' in Sri Lanka while LTTE supporters are being released from jail, in Australia.

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 11:39 PM

    Sri Lankans have not experienced true law and order, since independence.

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 11:40 PM

    Westerners only look after their own interests. They do not care about those of people in developing nations. They are simply 'blood-suckers,' similar to the Tamil Tiger terrorists. (They can have them all!) We may have our own set of problems, but we do not have double-standards!

    Thursday, 01 April 2010 11:58 PM

    No discrimination - a free country; even the immigrants are treated as true citizens!

    Friday, 02 April 2010 12:04 AM

    THIS IS THE 'INSANITY' OF THE WESTERN JUSTICE SYSTEM. THEY HAVE ONE, FOR THE 'GOOD' TERRORISTS, AND ANOTHER, FOR THE 'BAD.' THESE FOOLS WILL LEARN THE 'HARD' WAY - THEY ALWAYS DO!


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