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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2640

The Tamil Tiger scandal becomes an election issue in the campaign against Congressman Davis in Illinois

By Walter Jayawardhana

Washington, 04 October, (Asiantribune.com): Republican Congressional candidate Charles Hutchinson has made Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers an election issue against the incumbent Democratic Congressman Danny Davies for his strange friendship with the terrorist group. The August 24 2006 issue of the Chicago Tribune said, “ Chicago congressman Danny Davis and an aide took a trip to Sri Lanka last year that was paid for by the Tamil Tigers.The August 24 2006 issue of the Chicago Tribune said, “ Chicago congressman Danny Davis and an aide took a trip to Sri Lanka last year that was paid for by the Tamil Tigers.

Charles Hutchinson a complete newcomer in politics is locked up in a tight race with the veteran Congressman Danny Davies for the U.S. Congressional seat in Illinois 7th House District with only 10 points separating them according to the latest polls for November 7 elections.

Hutchinson has dedicated a major portion of his election website to attack the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorist group and his political opponent Congressman Davis’ association with them.

Since August Davis has been entangled in a serious political scandal after the prestigious metropolitan daily Chicago Tribune accused him of making a trip to Sri Lanka paid by the LTTE.

The August 24 2006 issue of the Chicago Tribune said, "Chicago congressman Danny Davis and an aide took a trip to Sri Lanka last year that was paid for by the Tamil Tigers, a group that the U.S. government has designated as a terrorist organization for its use of suicide bombers and child soldiers, law-enforcement sources said.During the visit, Congressman Danny Davis spent most of his time in a region controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as the group is formally known, and visited the organization's political headquarters.During the visit, Congressman Danny Davis spent most of his time in a region controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as the group is formally known, and visited the organization's political headquarters.

"Davis' seven-day trip came under scrutiny this week following the arrests of 11 supporters of the organization on charges of participating in a broad conspiracy to aid the terrorist group through money laundering, arms procurement and bribery of U.S. officials.

"The five-term Democratic congressman said he was unaware that the Tigers paid for the trip and on his required congressional disclosure form he reported that the trip was paid for by a Tamil cultural organization, the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America, based in Hickory Hills, Ill.

"During the visit, Davis spent most of his time in a region controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, as the group is formally known, and visited the organization's political headquarters. He also met with a police chief for the region appointed by the Tigers."

Davis questionable connection with the Tamil Tigers came to light after FBI in its first sting operation arrested 57 year old London physician Murugesu Vinayagamoorthy for trying to bribe US officials to lift the ban of the LTTE as a terrorist group in the United States.

It was alleged that Davis and Vinayagamoorthy maintained a close relationship and Vinayagamoorthy had been instrumental in arranging the Congressman’s trip to tsunami affected LTTE controlled areas in Sri Lanka after which the Congressman attacked the Sri Lanka government for not helping the Tamils.

The Chicago Tribune said, “The criminal complaint against Vinayagamoorthy asserts that he had "direct and frequent contact" with leaders of the rebel group and was "often dispatched" to facilitate its projects around the world.Republican Congressional candidate Charles Hutchinson has made Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers an election issue against the incumbent Democratic Congressman Danny Davies for his strange friendship with the terrorist group.Republican Congressional candidate Charles Hutchinson has made Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers an election issue against the incumbent Democratic Congressman Danny Davies for his strange friendship with the terrorist group.

“Without mentioning Davis or his aide by name, the complaint describes transactions in which Vinayagamoorthy and others charged in the case allegedly laundered $13,150 in Tamil Tiger funds at the direction of a top guerrilla leader to pay for travel of "two individuals" to Tamil-controlled Sri Lanka. The two were Davis and Cantrell, law-enforcement officials said.”
The Chicago Tribune further said, “Another person arrested in the case, Nachimuthu Socrates, was listed as a director in 2004 of the Tamil cultural organization which Davis listed in public disclosure forms as the trip's sponsor, the Tamil federation based in Hickory Hills.”

Davis has been constantly issuing statements supporting LTTE propaganda from time to time. He accused the Sri Lanka government of bombing a Mulaithivu orphanage and killing the same orphans, he said, he visited during his Sri Lanka trip. When this correspondent interviewed a representative of his office and asked by what methods he used to identify they were the same orphans of the orphanage he visited that were killed his office declined to answer the question. Sencholai, he was referring to was later found to be a school that was giving military training to teen aged school girls.

Congressional candidate Hutchinson accused in his web site saying, “Perhaps feeling empowered by a United States Congressmen's visit or perhaps it's true that tigers cannot change their stripes; the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) refused the offer of the Sri Lankan Government to come back to the table and talk peace. Instead the LTTE (A rebel group known for Terrorist acts, suicide bombers, and random violence that was visited by Congressmen Danny Davis (D-IL) in 2005) chose to fire mortars into Northern Sri Lanka.”

Hutchinson highlighted the killing of 65 innocent bus passengers at Kebethigollewa by Davis friends the LTTE and pointed out the assassins of the same terrorist group tried to kill the Pakistan ambassador in Sri Lanka. Probably having the large number of Pakistani immigrants in the city of Chicago in mind the Republican candidate said, “ (bombing)the car of an independent and legitimate country, should not be tolerated by the GREAT people of Illinois.

“Why a sitting U.S. Congressmen would actively work to erode the name of the United States of America, in a time where many people feel that our good name is already on shaky ground, by associating himself, and thereby All Of Us with a violent group such as the LTTE, is a question that should be answered at the ballot box,” he appealed to the Illinois voters.

- Asian Tribune -

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