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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2584

World Tamil Movement offices in Canada shut down

By Walter Jayawardhana

During the last week end, the Canadian offices of the World Tamil Movement- a front organization of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have been shut down under a warrant issued by a Federal judge.

The week end shut down of the World Tamil Movement offices in Ontario and Quebec for alleged fundraising for the designated terrorist group has been highly praised by the editorial of the National Post newspaper.

“The raids -- which proceeded after police acquired a warrant from a Federal Court of Canada judge -- demonstrate just how much has changed on the national security front in the nearly two-and-a-half years since the Conservatives were elected”, the editorial said.

Comparing the present , with what happened when the Liberal Party was in power the newspaper said, “ so eager were Jean Chretien and Paul Martin to placate the Tamil voting blocks in Scarborough and other urban Liberal strongholds that they refused on numerous occasions to add the Tigers to Canada's list of outlawed terror groups. This made it difficult for police and security services to move against front organizations they felt were acting as money conduits for the Tigers.”

Paul Martin was a Canadian Liberal Party Prime Minister who attended a fund raising dinner for the World Tamil Movement before that time when he was a Finance Minister, resulting in world wide protest demonstrations by expatriate Sri Lankans.

The editorial pointed out, “so eager were Jean Chretien and Paul Martin to placate the Tamil voting blocks in Scarborough and other urban Liberal strongholds that they refused on numerous occasions to add the Tigers to Canada's list of outlawed terror groups. This made it difficult for police and security services to move against front organizations they felt were acting as money conduits for the Tigers.”

The editorial lamented, “The Tigers' terror campaign is often overlooked in the West because their attacks are not directed at Western targets. Still, the Tigers are a very nasty bunch. Over the past two decades, their civil war with the Sri Lankan government has resulted in a combined total of over 60,000 deaths. “

The following is full text of the editorial appeared in the National Post:

“Over the weekend, counterterrorism police in Ontario and Quebec shut down the Canadian offices of the World Tamil Movement, an alleged fundraising front for the Tamil Tigers. The raids -- which proceeded after police acquired a warrant from a Federal Court of Canada judge -- demonstrate just how much has changed on the national security front in the nearly two-and-a-half years since the Conservatives were elected. The Tigers are a vicious terror group seeking the independence of northern Sri Lanka. But until Stephen Harper came to power, they were not even designated a terrorist organization for purposes of Canadian criminal law.

“The Tigers' terror campaign is often overlooked in the West because their attacks are not directed at Western targets. Still, the Tigers are a very nasty bunch. Over the past two decades, their civil war with the Sri Lankan government has resulted in a combined total of over 60,000 deaths. The Tigers have abducted thousands of children to act as human shields for their bases or to serve as soldiers in their militias. Their agents have assassinated heads of government in both Sri Lanka and India. And their "Black Tiger" suicide squads have conducted over 200 suicide bombing attacks, more than the three main Palestinian terror groups facing Israel, combined.

In one particularly ghastly action, the Tigers swept through villages on Sri Lanka's eastern coast following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and press-ganged more than 100 orphans into paramilitary service. According to Israel's Institute for Counter-Terrorism, the Tigers are "unequivocally the most effective and brutal terrorist organization ever to utilize suicide terrorism."

A large part of the budget needed to sustain the Tigers' terror reign comes from Canada's 300,000 or so Tamils. Hundreds of thousands of dollars each month leave the bank accounts of Tamil-Canadian families and businesses --much of it extorted under threat of violence -- to finance recruitment, training and supply of the Tamils' terror army. As the National Post and several human rights organizations have reported over the years, the Tigers are not above holding Tamils in Sri Lanka hostage until their Canadian family members pay the $2,000 a month in "war tax" demanded of many families and the upwards of $100,000 demanded of businesses.

Yet so eager were Jean Chretien and Paul Martin to placate the Tamil voting blocks in Scarborough and other urban Liberal strongholds that they refused on numerous occasions to add the Tigers to Canada's list of outlawed terror groups. This made it difficult for police and security services to move against front organizations they felt were acting as money conduits for the Tigers.

Not coincidentally, the investigations that led to last week's raids stepped up just after the Tories kept a promise from the 2005-06 election to ban the Tigers. For their part, Liberal ministers, while in office, often ignored RCMP and CSIS warnings about suspected Tiger-front groups and attended their fund-raisers and community events anyway. Most recently, Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Liberal MP for Etobicoke Centre, and Jim Karygiannis, Liberal for Scarborough-Agincourt, both made speeches at the Canadian memorial service held after the 2007 killing of a senior Tiger commander.

We hear the grumblings all the time from small-c conservatives that the government of Stephen Harper is not different enough from the Liberal governments it replaced. Well, here is one front -- one very crucial front -- on which they are very different: They take national security far more seriously, and are prepared to withstand tremendous pressure from ethnic lobbyists to make Canada safer. This month's raids are the fruits of that vigilance.”

- Asian Tribune -

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